The story goes that Elvis walked into the offices of Sun Records seeking a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided disc with “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” on it. Some argue that he chose to enter Sun Records in the hopes of being discovered, although he claimed that he was just intending to give the recording to his mom. After recording, Sun boss Sam Phillips asked the receptionist to write down the young man’s name. He went on to record two more songs, but nothing came of any of these early recordings.
Soon after, believe it or not, he actually failed an audition for a local vocal quartet, the Songfellows. Finally, Sam Phillips, after searching for awhile for a “white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel,” asked Elvis to the studio to sing a number of songs. He liked what he heard enough to bring in two local musicians to do a recording session with Presley.
The evening, which was July 5, wasn’t going too well until late into the night when Elvis started singing Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right.” Suddenly, he hit on the sound that Sam Phillips had been seeking, and they taped the session. Three days later, popular Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips played “That’s All Right” on his Red, Hot and Blue show. Listeners went crazy!
Soon after, the trio recorded a bluegrass number, Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the rest is history.