Marion Keisker

b. 23 September 1917, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 29 December 1989. Marion Keisker was Sam Phillips’ assistant at Sun Records in the 50s, and as such was the employee who first recorded the young Elvis…
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b. 23 September 1917, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 29 December 1989. Marion Keisker was Sam Phillips’ assistant at Sun Records in the 50s, and as such was the employee who first recorded the young Elvis Presley in 1953. In 1946, she began working for radio station WREC. Phillips joined as an announcer a year later and when he launched the Memphis Recording Service in 1950, Keisker went along as his assistant, continuing to work part-time for the station until 1955. Phillips started Sun in 1952 and Keisker arranged sessions for the blues musicians who recorded there. She kept a log of all activities at the company, which provided future historians with interesting details. Keisker was on duty in 1953 when Presley arrived at Memphis Recording Service to record two songs as a gift for his mother. She took his fee, ran the recording machines and made a note of the boy’s potential. It was she who suggested to Phillips that he record Presley on Sun the following year and she who took Presley around to visit disc jockeys and the press. Presley called her his ‘first fan’. As Sun grew, Keisker performed such duties as handling accounts with distributors and pressing plants. All of the aspiring artists who wanted to record for Sun had to speak to Keisker before they were accepted or rejected by Phillips. Keisker left Sun in 1957 to join the US Air Force, with which she worked until 1969. She died of cancer in December 1989.