Sun Records premieres Thursday, Feb. 23, at 10 p.m on CMT. Set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, Sun Records tells the untold story of nothing less than the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.
Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis combined the styles of hillbilly country with the 1950s R&B sound created by artists like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino and Ike Turner and changed the course of music forever. The series chronicles these young artists’ often jarring and sudden meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest.
The all-star cast includes Billy Gardell (Presley and Eddy Arnold’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker), Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart), Trevor Donovan (Eddy Arnold), Keir O’Donnell (Dewey Phillips), Jennifer Holland (Sam’s wife Becky Phillips), Margaret Anne Florence (Sam’s assistant Marion Keisker) and Kerry Holliday (Ike Turner).