Music Genres

A Brief History of Select-O-Hits

Select-O-Hits Brass Note

Pict1Select-O-Hits, which is owned by Sam W. Phillips and John Phillips, was co-founded in 1960 by their father, Tom Phillips, and uncle, Sam Phillips, the legendary founder of Sun Records.

Tom Phillips began his career in music as Jerry Lee Lewis#39;s road manager for a number of years. He had invested all of his savings into an upcoming 1958 European tour when news of Lewis's marriage to his 13 year-old cousin hit the front pages. Lewis's career came to a sudden, although temporary, halt. The tour was cancelled, and Tom was broke. Sam helped him by giving him a job in the Sun Records warehouse and allowing Tom to live with him while his family stayed behind in Mobile, Alabama. Eventually, Tom saved enough money to send for his family in 1960.

Not satisfied with running the Sun warehouse, Tom, with the help of his wife, Lucille, opened a small record store and one-stop that provided small, predominantly black-owned record stores with everything from phonograph needles to display racks. In the mid-1970s, Select-O-Hits began to concentrate more on distributing and less on retail and one-stops as the business evolved.

Painting1979 brought the beginning of another role for the family to play in music history when the company distributed the seminal "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang and Sugar Hill Records. As this new genre of music began to develop into the leading genre it is today, Select-O-Hits remained a driving force in its development with the discovery and breaking of such acts as '80s pioneers N.W.A. and Eazy E, '90s trend setters Three Six Mafia and distribution of groundbreaking Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent in the early 2000s. Never one to rest on their laurels, Select-O-Hits continues to be a strong force and true independent – marrying old school record business with modern technology and creating an avenue for artists to work. Working with long time partners Jackson, MS based Malaco Records, the tradition has continued with groundbreaking chart toppers and legendary icons such as BeBe & CeCe Winans, Colt Ford, Jimmy Buffett, Edgar Winter, the Bellamy Brothers, and Foghat, to name a few.

Today with sales offices and staff in Memphis, Dallas, New York and Sacramento, Select-O-Hits is one of the largest independent record distributors in the country, providing services for over 300 independent vendors to all key US music traditional "brick and mortar" retailers as well as all digital service providers, while still keeping the personal touch that has been the foundation of its history.

In June 2023, Select-O-Hits was honored with a Brass Note on the Beale Street Walk of Fame.

Select-O-Hits Brass Note

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