Rock'n'roll legend Elvis Presley's former producer Sam Phillips has died in Memphis, Tennessee aged 80.

Phillips, previously a radio announcer and music talent scout, passed away at the ST FRANCIS HOSPITAL, but no other details have been released.

The legendary producer, who is also credited with helping Johnny Cash, ROY ORBISON, and Jerry Lee Lewis on the road to fame, founded SUN RECORDS and produced Elvis's first record THAT'S ALL RIGHT in 1954.

Recognising undeveloped talent, he was keen to take on musicians who had no formal training, and recognised the potential in a young Elvis, who came to the studio to record two songs for his mother's birthday.

After producing Presley's first four singles, Phillips handed over the reins as manager of the rising star to RCA RECORDS for GBP35,000 (GBP21,700) in order to clear his own debts.

In 1969, Phillips sold Sun Records and become a manager at Memphis's WLVS radio station.

Elected into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986, he is survived by sons KNOX and JERRY, who are also record producers.

31/07/2003 17:18