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The Museum Welcomes Historian Peter Guralnick On November 14

October 29, 2015
Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame taken from a drone.

 Guralnick to Discuss His New Biography
SAM PHILLIPS: The Man Who Invented Rock ’n’ Roll

Discussion Is Presented in Support of the Museum’s Exhibition 
Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll: The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips

NASHVILLE, Tenn., – October 29, 2015 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will welcome historian Peter Guralnick on Saturday, November 14, at 1:30 p.m., to discuss his just-published biography SAM PHILLIPS: The Man Who Invented Rock ’n’ Roll. The program is presented in support of the museum’s exhibition Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll: The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips, which was co-curated by the museum’s curatorial team and guest curator Guralnick. It runs through June 2016.

Guralnick is a leading authority on American roots music, a Grammy winner, documentary film writer and producer, and a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. He also teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University, where he is writer-in-residence. Following the program, Guralnick will sign copies of his books, as well as a new two-CD set of Phillips-produced material that Guralnick compiled and annotated to accompany the biography. Books and CDs are available for purchase in the Museum Store.

This program is included with museum admission and free to museum members (complimentary to Vanderbilt Students with valid ID). Seating is General Admission. Seating will be limited. Attendees must have a program pass to guarantee admission to the event. Museum members and Vanderbilt students may reserve their program passes in advance by phone (615-416-2050) or via The interview will be streamed live at

One of the most innovative and inspiring figures in the history of American music, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips introduced the world to Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Rufus Thomas, Ike Turner and many more. Blurring class and color lines, Phillips set out to undermine barriers of racial segregation and discrimination, just as the Civil Rights movement gathered force. The exhibition, like the book, takes an in-depth look at Phillips and the social and cultural impact of the music he created in heavily segregated Memphis.

“Sam Phillips was an unreconstructed individualist,” says Guralnick. “And that is putting it mildly. He believed most of all in the freedom of the individual and the redress of all the social inequities perpetuated by distinctions of race, class, and region.”

Throughout the remainder of its run, The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips will be accompanied by related public programs, including live performances, guest lectures, family activities in the Taylor Swift Education Center, film screenings, panel discussions, and more.  The schedule will be updated regularly at

For more information about the exhibit, click here. Follow @countrymusichof on Twitter and join the conversation using #CosmicSamPhillips. 


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture.  With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates Historic RCA Studio B, Hatch Show PrintTM, CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and under agreements with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll: The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at or by calling (615) 416-2001.


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