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Published on Sep 9, 2013
The song was part of the 1985 Class of '55 sessions that marked the 30th anniversary of the emergence of rock and roll when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis began their careers at Sun Records in Memphis. The sessions were also a reunion of the Million Dollar Quartet, Perkins, Presley, Cash, and Lewis. With the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, Roy Orbison took his place at the sessions. They were the surviving members of the 1955-1956 period in the history of Sun Records when the label had its greatest chart and sales success. In the song, Perkins recounts that early history when Sun was instrumental in the emergence of rock and roll. He sings: "I was here when it happened/ I watched Memphis give birth to rock and roll." He described how Elvis Presley's first recording session at Sun had been a catalyst for the emergence of the rock and roll genre. He also emphasized his own role in that evolution. He then traced that evolution to the emergence of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in 1964. They continued the evolution of rock and roll begun at Sun. Finally, he concluded that critics who argued that rock and roll was "the devil's music" and that it would not last as a form or genre of music had been proved wrong.