Record producer Sam Phillips, July 30

Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who decided that a then-unknown Elvis Presley deserved a recording contract when he heard him sing songs for his mother, has died. He was 80. After the success of Presley on Sun, others who recorded for the label under Phillips included Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty and Charlie Rich. Phillips was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2000, the A&E cable network ran a two-hour biography called "Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll." AP/The Commercial Appeal, Karen Pulfer Focht
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