Memphis tradition keeps music playing around the world - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis tradition keeps music playing around the world

(WMC-TV) - At a modest warehouse in Memphis, music from around the world is shipped to every corner of the globe.

Select-O-Hits is one of the only independent label music distributors left in the country.

"We distribute into South America, Europe, Japan," said Johnny Phillips.  "Last year we celebrated our fiftieth."

Johnny Phillips and his brother, Sam Phillips, run the family business that was co-founded in 1960 by their father, Tom Phillips, and uncle and legendary founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips.

Today, the Phillips brothers keep CDs on store shelves.

"We basically put out the first Three Six Mafia stuff in 1994," said Johnny Phillips.  "We did all the product on Ice Cube, Ice-T, NWA, Easy-E."

More recently, Select-O-Hits became the number one independent Latin music distributor in the US and Puerto Rico.

The company started as a small record shop on Chelsea.

"My dad was Jerry Lee Lewis' road manager," said Johnny Phillips.

But when Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin, his career tanked and Tom Phillips lost everything.  His idea to sell records grew into a business that has stood the test of time, and his sons have adapted to changing times in the music industry.

"We sell direct to iTunes, we sell to every major digital download company," said Johnny Phillips.

Select-O-Hits owns several of their own labels.  They help artists with everything from manufacturing to marketing, artwork and web design, all while allowing the artist to retain ownership of their music.

"I'm proud of what we've done," said Johnny Phillips.  "We've been able to launch some careers, but my biggest joy has been having my son work with me, because I worked with my dad."

In a city known for its music, Select-O-Hits carries on a family tradition that keeps music playing around the world.

If you are a musician or record label interested in working with Select-O-Hits, or a consumer who wants to know more about the distributor's music line up, click here.

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