Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Sun Records: Top 50 Songs

Sun Records

Top 50 Songs

Sun Records has been called the birthplace of rock and roll. In January 1950, Sam Phillips opened Memphis Recording Service, which evolved into Sun Records in 1952. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the studio focused on southern-rooted music like blues and country. It was the merger of these two genres which has largely been defined as the beginning of rock and roll. To that end, the studio birthed songs such as “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats and “That’s All Right” by Elvis Presley, which have both staked claims as the first rock and roll song.

Of course, the studio is best known as the launching pad for Elvis Presley, but it also served that purpose for B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Junior Parker, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Charlie Rich.

Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.

Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists, appearances on compilations and live albums by the featured act, and songs’ chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957)
2. Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire” (1957)
3. Johnny Cash “I Walk the Line” (1956)
4. Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” (1956)
5. Elvis Presley “That’s All Right, Mama” (1954)
6. Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats “Rocket 88” (1951)
7. Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues” (1955)

DMDB Top 2%:

8. Elvis Presley “Mystery Train” (1955)

DMDB Top 5%:

9. Bill Justis “Raunchy” (1957)
10. Jerry Lee Lewis “Breathless” (1958)

DMDB Top 10%:

11. Jerry Lee Lewis “Crazy Arms” (1956)
12. Roy Orbison “Ooby Dooby” (1956)
13. Jerry Lee Lewis “High School Confidential” (1958)
14. Elvis Presley “Blue Moon” (1954)
15. Johnny Cash “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” (1957)
16. Elvis Presley “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (1954)
17. Howlin’ Wolf “How Many More Years” (1951)

DMDB Top 20%:

18. Elvis Presley “Baby Let’s Play House” (1955)
19. Johnny Cash “Guess Things Happen That Way” (1958)
20. Johnny Cash “Get Rhythm” (1956)

21. Carl Perkins “Honey Don’t” (1956)
22. Jerry Lee Lewis “What’d I Say” (1961)
23. Carl Mann “Mona Lisa” (1959)
24. Carl Perkins “Matchbox” (1957)
25. Elvis Presley “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1954)
26. Rufus Thomas “Bear Cat” (1953)
27. Billy Riley & His Little Green Men “Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll” (1957)
28. Elvis Presley “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” (1955)
29. Charlie Rich “Lonely Weekends” (1960)
30. Johnny Cash “Cry! Cry! Cry!” (1955)

31. Carl Perkins “Dixie Fried” (1956)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

32. Johnny Cash “The Ways of a Woman in Love” (1958)
33. Little Junior Parker’s Blue Flames “Mystery Train” (1953)
34. Johnny Cash “There You Go” (1956)
35. Billy Riley & His Little Green Men “Red Hot” (1957)
36. Elvis Presley “I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine” (1954)
37. Little Junior Parker’s Blue Flames “Feelin’ Good” (1953)
38. Howlin’ Wolf “Moanin’ at Midnight” (1951)
39. Elvis Presley “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” (1955)
40. Johnny Cash “Give My Love to Rose” (1957)

41. Jerry Lee Lewis “You Win Again” (1957)
42. Carl Perkins “Boppin’ the Blues” (1956)
43. Elvis Presley “You’re a Heartbreaker” (1954)
44. Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two “Big River” (1957)
45. Elvis Presley “Milkcow Blues Boogie” (1954)
46. Johnny Cash “Hey Porter” (1955)
47. Charlie Rich “Who Will the Next Fool Be” (1961)
48. Warren Smith “Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache” (1957)
49. Johnny Cash “Home of the Blues” (1957)
50. Little Junior Parker’s Blue Flames “Love My Baby” (1953)

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First posted 8/21/2023; last updated 8/23/2023.

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