The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Carl Perkins was born in Ridgely, Tennessee on April 9, 1932. Carl a rockabilly singer/songwriter/guitarist was a pioneer of early 1950s rock and roll. With label mates at Sun Records…Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley…they tore up the 1950s rock era with a sound that other tried to imitate but could not…Pure rockabilly with a shot of rhythm and blues.
Carl formed a family band along with brothers, Jay B. on guitar, Clayton on bass and W.B. Holland on drums. They were signed by Sam Phillips to record for his Flip Records label a subsidiary of Sun Records, in 1954.
On February 18, 1956 Carl’s first hit record was released on Sun Records. The classic recording is…”BLUE SUEDE SHOES” (Sun 234). The single was a huge country hit climbing the Country and Western chart to #1. It remained at #1 for 3 weeks and stayed on the chart for 24 weeks. Carl and his hit did not stop there, “BLUE SUEDE SHOES” made its Billboard Top 100 debut on March 3, 1956. The single charted at #2 on the Top 100 remaining on the chart for 21 weeks. On March 10, 1956 “BLUE SUEDE SHOES” became a Billboard R&B hit. The single charted at #2 and remained on the chart for 16 weeks. Carl’s huge hit record sold well over a million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”.
RCA Victor Records released Elvis Presley’s version of “BLUE SUEDE SHOES” (from his first RCA Victor album “Elvis Presley” LPM1254). It charted on April 7, 1956. Elvis’s version, RCA Victor 47-6636, charted at #20 and remained on the Top 100 for 12 weeks. Elvis’s version also sold over 1 million copies.
The flip-side of Carl’s…”BLUE SUEDE SHOES” is another classic Carl Perkins tune…”HONEY DON’T”. The single did not chart for Carl but became one of his classic songs that was recorded by other artists including The Beatles in 1965 with Ringo Starr on lead vocal.
Carl’s recording of “BLUE SUEDE SHOES” won a Grammy: Hall of Fame, is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a long list of other awards. Carl has a list of classic, rock and roll songs to fill a book, some of those are: “BOPPIN’ THE BLUES”…”YOUR TRUE LOVE”…”PINK PEDAL PUSHERS”…”EVERYBODY’S TRYING TO BE MY BABY”…”MATCHBOX”…”POINTED TOE SHOES”…”ALL MAMA’S CHILDREN”…and the list goes on.
In January of 1998 Carl Perkins died at the age of 65. He left a legacy of wonderful music, both written and recorded. He is truly “a legend” and one of the greatest singer/songwriters in the history of Rock and Roll. The “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL” is pleased to present both sides of CARL PERKINS…first “Golden Record”…”BLUE SUEDE SHOES and “HONEY DON’T.
Till the next time—Joe