Hi,  One of the most popular songs from the 1950’s was about a pair of shoes, “Blue Suede Shoes” to be exact.  The song became a huge hit for two rock-a-billy cats, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley.  The song is a rock and roll classic, written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955.  It has been said that Johnny Cash suggested to Carl that he write a song about blue suede shoes.  Johnny had met a man in the military in Germany, who referred to his military shoes as “blue suede shoes”.  Carl told Johnny that he didn’t know a thing about shoes.  Carl was playing a dance in late 1955 and heard a guy saying, “don’t step on my suedes”, Carl looked down and saw they were “blue”.  Carl later commented that he wrote the song on December 17, 1955 and went into the studio and recorded it on December 19.

On March 3, 1956 “BLUE SUEDE SHOES” on the legendary Sun Records label made its Billboard Top 100 debut.  To say the song was a hit would not be actually right….it was a HUGE, hit.  On the Top 100 it climbed to #2 and held that spot for 4 weeks, remaining on the Top 100 for 21 weeks.  It was #1 for 3 weeks on the Billboard Country & Western Chart and Carl was the first country artist to chart a #3 record on the R&B chart.  “Blue Suede Shoes” crossed the Atlantic and became a #10 hit on the UK Singles Chart.  By April, it had sold over one million copies.  “Blue Suede Shoes” became the first million selling country song to cross over to both the R&B and pop charts.

Elvis Presley recorded “Blue Suede Shoes” on January 30, 1956 on RCA Victor Records.  It was one of the first songs RCA wanted their new recording star to record.  Elvis asked RCA to hold back his release of the song because of his friendship with Carl and Sam Phillips of Sun Records.  Elvis’s version features a great guitar solo from Scotty Moore, with Bill Black on bass and D.J. Fontana on drums.  Elvis did not release his single version while Carl’s was still hot on the charts.  Elvis Presley’s version was the first song on his million selling debut album “Elvis Presley”.  His version of “Blue Suede Shoes charted on April 7, 1956 and charted at #20 on the Top 100 and stayed on the chart for 12 weeks.  Elvis’s version charted on the UK Singles Chart at #9.  The record became a million selling single for Elvis and he continued to sing the song in many of his live concerts through the years.

“Blue Suede Shoes” was chosen as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  In 1986 Carl’s version was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame and in 2006 the Library of Congress National Recording Registry selected the song to its library.  Both versions of this “Classic Recording” are ranked on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.  Carl Perkins at #95 and Elvis Presley at #423.

“It’s one for the money, two for the show, 3 to get ready, now go cat go”.  YOU CAN SEE A VIDEO OF BLUE SUEDE SHOES BY CARL AND ELVIS ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.

Till the next time—Joe


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