It’s no secret that many of the biggest stars in Nashville’s music history got their start at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis; the original address of Sun Records. Such legendary performers as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and even Conway Twitty passed through the historic studios of Sam Phillips throughout their careers. That legacy continues at theSun Diner, located at 105 Third Ave. S in downtown Nashville, while honoring Elvis on the 40th Anniversary of his passing. On August 16, the award-winning chef will make the famed peanut butter and banana sandwich that Elvis loved so much!
“The Sun Diner celebrates the heritage and music history that was so present during the Sun Records era,” said Katie Goytte, VP of Sales & Marketing for TC Restaurant Group, the company which owns the establishment. “It is always fun to celebrate milestones and sad to remember when someone dies, however, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing and we couldn’t just ignore it. We are hoping all of Music City will join The Sun Diner in celebrating Elvis’ career and history on August 16.”
Nashville Remembers Elvis!
“In 1955, Elvis turned the music world upside down. Young people loved him and his new kind of music. Adults tried to stop him, but he was unstoppable. How lucky I am to have known him and worked with him and called him my friend. The whole world and every generation knows his name. What an awesome thing that is. Fourth years have flown by without the King, but I still remember all the fun we had together.” – Wanda Jackson
“Never again will the tapestry of music be changed so dramatically. His music touched the lives of just about everyone in the world and brought a sound that has grown and endured to this day. All children grow up knowing three things; Coke, Mickey Mouse, and Elvis Presley. It was a pleasure to know him and call him friend.” – Brenda Lee
“After 40 years, there are times that I’m still in denial about my friend passing. When he died it really scared me because I knew that if someone like him who was bigger than life could die… I could too.” – T.G. Sheppard
“I lived in Memphis, singing jingles/commercials at the Tanner Company, and we were asked to sing at a Jaycee’s banquet honoring Elvis; he winked at me backstage and I about fainted! Then I moved to Nashville, became a backup singer on albums, and then his producer Felton Jarvis hired us to add vocals to his live show recording in Rapid City, SD. As we worked on the album, Elvis died the next week, we were all devastated, but had to return a week later to complete the recording. In tears. Felton was in shock; we sobbed as we put headphones on to finish. Shortly after, Felton passed away.” – Janie Fricke
“As I look back on my time spent working with Elvis, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to work with the King. Today, I am in the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame with him. What a great honor!” – Richard Sterban
“I toured with Elvis for the last 4 years of his life and recorded two albums with him. Both of which were recorded in the jungle room at Graceland. He was without a doubt the most talented artist of our time and was the greatest entertainer to ever take the stage. It’s hard to believe that 40 years has passed since his death. I’m grateful for the millions of fans across the world that has kept his memory alive. We travel to Memphis every year for the celebration of his life and I’m amazed by the thousands of people that join us there. He is often imitated, but there will never be another Elvis. I’m thankful to have known him personally and miss him very much.” – Larry Strickland, former member of The Stamps Quartet
“August 16th 1977. A day I will always remember. I was on tour with Charley Pride with my group “Dave & Sugar” in Eugene, Oregon, when I was told that Elvis had died. Man what a shock! So many great memories singing on stage with Elvis and singing on his recordings for RCA Records as I was with J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet. After the shows in Las Vegas and on the road we would go to Elvis’s suite and would always end up singing again, but it would be gospel songs. He loved the harmonies of quartets and gospel songs. One time up in his suite he wanted to show me a new karate move. He did and as I flinched he stopped and said, “now don’t be afraid because if I break something on you, I’ll just replace it.” We had a good laugh. What a great time in my life, knowing Elvis as a friend and singing with him on stage.” – Dave Rowland, Dave & Sugar
The restaurant, which has become a destination for tourists and locals, showcases the taste of southern hospitality 24 hours a day!
The menu at the Sun Diner will most definitely take on a Memphis flavor with such listings as the “Love Me” Tenders – named after the classic Presley hit, as well as the “Cry, Cry, Cry” Hot Wings – with its name taken from the first major hit record from “The Man In Black.” Among the entrees include the “Million Dollar Quartet,” with its moniker taken from the iconic December 1956 session at the label with Presley, Lewis, Cash, and Carl Perkins. Consumers will get to pick their choice of four items among such delicious fare as Crispy Bacon, Sausage Patty, Chef Tomasz Hash Brown, Cage-free organic eggs any style, Pancake, Waffle, and Granola Parfait.
About The Sun Diner
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Sun Diner was opened in the fall 2016 by TC Restaurant Group. The Sun Diner is a 24-hour diner, featuring rich southern classics like chicken n’ waffles, short rib hash, and pork belly eggs benedict. Chef Tomasz Wosiak uses only the freshest ingredients to make you feel like you’ve pulled right up to an original 1950’s diner. At Sun Diner Nashville, you will be greeted with the rock ‘n’ roll sounds and décor of the 50’s, and even some modern-day twists like their fresh sausage and egg sandwich with a glazed donut as the bread. The restaurant’s theme was inspired by the legendary Memphis born, Sun Record Company.
The Sun Record Company sound was a fusion of rock & roll and country music that was labeled “rockabilly”. The first recordings were made in July of 1954 and the first Elvis Sun Single, That’s All Right/ Blue Moon of Kentucky, was the vehicle that not only launched Elvis’ career, but also began a revolution in the music business and had a tremendous social impact, both worldwide. Other unique and ground breaking recording artists, such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Charlie Rich, soon flowed from the Sun stables and all achieved stardom in their musical careers. In 1969, Sun Records was sold to Nashvillians John and Shelby Singleton. The company is still active today.
About Sun Records
The Sun Records story began in 1952 when Phillips founded the label. Among the other artists that received early exposure from signing with Phillips include Roy Orbison and Charlie Rich. Though much of the aforementioned artists were very much influenced by the R&B stylings that were coming out of the Bluff City and Mississippi, Phillips also cut much-respected music on pure Blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Rufus Thomas, Jr., and Roscoe Gordon. Phillips also produced what Rock and Roll aficionados consider the first Rock and Roll record, “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brentson.
Sun Records was bought in 1969 by the Nashville-based Singleton family and continues today under the leadership of John A. Singleton, President and CEO.
About TC Restaurant Group:
TC Restaurant Group is a family owned and operated business created from a group of construction veterans with a background of success dating back 40 years. This diversified group was selected as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing development companies in the United States in the early 90’s. Starting with residential remodeling for the first few years, the group quickly created a division in commercial construction, building prestigious office projects with clients such as Morton’s of Chicago, Children’s Hospital, The Columbus Bar Association and many more high profile retail concepts. Stemming off from their developmental roots, the group decided to diversify into the restaurant hospitality industry in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. During this time the group conceptualized, built, operated and sold numerous multi-unit concepts. In late 2012, the first Tequila Cowboy and Wanna B’s Karaoke Bar was opened on the world famous Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee. Luigi’s City Pizza would join the fray in May 2013 when it opened its first location on 3rd Ave, directly beside its sister locations on Broadway. Stemming from the success of the original Tequila Cowboy other locations would open in Columbus, OH, Lansing, MI and Pittsburgh, PA in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Pittsburgh Tequila Cowboy in the famed North Shore District is joined by Wanna B’s and a new concept, the Little Red Corvette ‘90s Kitchen and Bar. The group’s latest creation, Crazy Town was built and opened in early 2016, again on historic Broadway which will be followed by the themed restaurant, Sun Diner, next door to Luigi’s in October 2016.
TC Restaurant Group is continually searching for expansion opportunities across the country and looks forward to bringing their industry leading concepts to even more markets. For more information visit tcrestaurantgrp.com.
For more information about Sun Diner, log on tosundinernashville.com.