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Review of Sun Studio

Sun Studio
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Sun Studio Guided Tour
Ranked #3 of 161 things to do in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sun Studio - The place where an 18 year old Elvis Presley recorded his first song. It’s well-known in the music industry as "The Birthplace of Rock 'N' Roll" and the most famous recording studio in the world. Opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950, this national Historic Landmark is where superstar musicians like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and countless others started their recording careers. Today, Sun Studio still serves as a recording studio in the evenings while hosting public tours during the daytime hours.
Reviewed July 23, 2011

It was neat to see where Elvis first recorded his songs, and others. It is a little run down now, and the each tour is kinda of crowded and no where to sit. But neat to hear who all recorded there and listen to original recordings.

Thank doralb73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,649 - 7,653 of 8,401 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2011

I'm not an Elvis fan (unless you're talking about Costello..) and so was not expecting much from this tour. Despite the studio being a very small storefront, this tout was a real highlight of the trip. Group tours are given hourly, with free buses providing rides in a circle that includes stops here, Graceland and the Rock and Soul Museum.

Our tour guide was great - knowledgeable, personable and funny. The tour starts in an upstairs room containing a lot of old recording studio gear and memorabilia from people who recorded there. My audiophile husband was enthralled with the recording machines. The second stop is in the actual studio area, which is still a working studio, albeit with large pictures of some of the more famous alumni of Sun.

The final stop is in - wait for it - the gift shop, which is housed in an old 50s style diner next door.

Doesn't sound like much - but a lot of good information is packed in and the tour is well worth it.

2  Thank LolaCheesehead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

My husband and I made our first stop at Sun Studios on the first day of the trip. He's been there several times before, but it was my first visit. The tour was really interesting, and our tour guide was energetic and approachable. You get a basic history of the studio, but also more detailed stories for the big Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, etc fans. There's a lot of memorabilia that is described, and songs played, then they take you into the studio, which is exactly the same as it was back in the day, right down to the walls and floors. There's even a duct tape "X" marking the exact spot Elvis was standing during a recording, as well as the actual microphone that he sang into. Definitely worth a stop!

Thank LisaLPharmD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

This is definitely worth checking out if you are in the area or going to Graceland.The parking is a little tricky.You have to go down the side alley behind the building to park, which is free.

Our tour guide Jake was very enthusiastic throughout a lot more, so than at Graceland, which is self guided.He asked us to write a review on trip advisor.Well, Jake we did!

The tour lasts about an hour.Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis all recorded here early in their careers.You get to go upstairs first where they house some really neat things in glass cases, like the actual recording equipment used to record there, instruments, and memorabilia to name a few things.Our tour guide Jake gave us a history on the place, and played snippets of some songs recorded there.

Next, you go down stairs, and get to see the actual recording room, that is still in use today.It is full of instruments, which is why they ask you to not bring young children under 5 with you.The only thing you get to touch is a microphone at the end of the tour, which is pretty cool in it's own right.

So definitely check this out if you're in the area.We even had some English, Australian and either French or Portuguese with us, I couldn't quite place the accent.People really do come all over the world to see the most famous recording studio in the world.

Thank kdmusiclover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2011

I have lived in Memphis for thirty year. I have done all of the Tours in town, but for some reason, I never made it to Sun Studios. This was a HUGE mistake on my part. It is by far the best tour in town. I learned more about the Memphis music scene & history in thirty minutes than I have in my entire 30 years of living in Memphis. Our tour guide, Jayne, was amazing. She loves the music industry, and it comes out in her enthusiasm and what seem like an endless amount of trivia on all the talented musicians that have crossed the threshold of the that famous studio. I love our big name locals like BB King, Elvis, and Jerry Lee Lewis, but it was nice to hear about the lesser known people that have formed the music scene that has put Memphis on the map! I will definitely be back with all future out of town guest and will start talking it up to the other locals that have yet to make it to Sun Studio!

1  Thank Heddi74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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