Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One more brush with fame ...

Tom Taylor's series of no-names-please radio stories has morphed recently into a series of brush-with-fame narratives and brought this one of mine to mind.

I was working for The Tanner Company, producing promos and jingles and stuff in the late 1970's. Each of us had a studio assigned and mine was a 16-track wonder designed by Wilton Jatan (sp?) of the Memphis company Auditronics. We guarded our settings and equipment fiercely.

Keith Phillips, the Tanner Sales Manager (he always carried at least a carton of cigarettes in his briefcase), brought a grey-bearded, gold-chain wearing client into my studio late one afternoon, clearly after a long liquid lunch for both.

Keith asked me to spool up and play a jingle demo for the client. I did, and sat back listening to it with them. Then the client got up and started working the eq on MY Auditronics custom board.

He fussed and fiddled with the sound until I stood up and asked him, please, to stop and sit and just listen and to LEAVE MY GEAR ALONE!

At that point, Keith introduced me to Sam Phillips.

How do you tell the guy who invented Elvis to quit messing with your 2k eq switch?

Sam Phillips, the recording studio owner who "discovered" Elvis Presley and so many other rock and roll musicians, died at a Memphis hospital in August 2003.