Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Recordings Sold in Mammoth Deal

by Jon D. B.

Hold onto your balls of fire, Sun Records fans: the legendary rock music label, along with Johnny Cash‘s biggest hits, has just sold for a gargantuan sum.

Welcome to 2021. It’s been a wild year so far, and things just keep getting wilder. According to a report by The New York Times, iconic rock label Sun Records, which catapulted the careers of rock & country kings Elvis Presley, Johhny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis has just sold to an independent label for an undisclosed, mammoth sum of money.

As of Thursday, independent label Primary Music now owns Sun Records. The enormous deal comes with the entirety of Sun’s catalogue. These include timeless, mega hits like:

  • “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
  • “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash 
  • “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins, made famous by Elvis Presley
  • “Ooby Dooby” by Roy Orbison
  • “Red Hot” by Billy Lee Riley
  • and more

The deal includes all master recordings from Sun Record’s meteoric run. While Elvis Presley’s catalogue remains under the control of his longtime label RCA Records (now a subsidiary of Sony Music BMG), others like the late Johnny Cash, who died in 2003 of respiratory failure, will now have masters under the Primary Music label.

Sun Record’s astonishing catalogue is largely credited with rock’s rise to the “musical pulse” of American popular culture. Among them is Lewis’ mega-hit “Great Balls of Fire,” which sold one million copies within one week of its debut.

The deal, which is garnering nationwide attention, is estimated at about $30 million, cites The New York Times.

Johnny Cash & Rock Legends Find New Home Under Primary Music

Of the transaction, Primary Music’s founder, Larry Mestel, says ““Sun is as iconic a record label as there is. Its legacy needs to be nurtured.”

Said nurturing will be easy for Mestel and Primary, too, if their finances are any indication. Mestel adds Primary Wave is “still hunting for more deals” with $1.5 billion in cash and assets under management.

“GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! Primary Wave is thrilled to welcome the legendary SUN RECORDS ☀️,” his independent label announces via their Instagram.

“THE LABEL THAT HELPED BIRTH ROCK MUSIC IS HOME TO THE MASTER RECORDINGS OF JOHNNY CASH, JERRY LEE LEWIS, ROY ORBISON, & MORE! Recordings include: Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls of Fire”, Johnny Cash – “I Walk the Line”, Bill Justis -“Raunchy”, and more!”

What a time to be alive.

For all the latest on Johnny Cash and your favorite American icons, stay tuned to Up next:

[Source: The New York Times]