Thursday, January 15, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Carl Perkins
Album:Restless: The Columbia Recordings
Carl Perkins was one of the early innovators of Rock 'N' Roll and he was known as The King Of Rockabilly. Blue Suede Shoes was his only big hit as a performer. He could have been much bigger if fate had not intervened. He was born Apr. 9, 1932 in Tiptonville, TN. His parents were sharecroppers. Though Perkins grew up in poverty, he learned to play the guitar and by age 14 he was playing gigs with his brother Jay. Perkins married his wife Valda in 1953 and she encouraged him to pursue music full time. Then when she heard Elvis Presley's recording of Blue Moon Of Kentucky on the radio, she suggested that he go see Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Perkins signed and he was there with Elvis, Johnny Cash and all the other greats. When Elvis left Sun for RCA in 1955, Phillips decided that Perkins was his new star. Blue Suede Shoes was released in 1956 and was a massive hit. Perkins had already had a successful appearance on The Perry Como Show. Perkins and his trio were on their way to New York for another appearance on that show on Mar. 21, 1956 when they were in a serious car accident near Dover, DE. Perkins almost died and was laid up for several months. Meanwhile, Elvis had a huge hit with Blue Suede shoes. Perkins returned to performing but it was too late by then. In 1958, Perkins & Johnny Cash left Sun for Columbia for more money. This comp covers his Columbia recordings. The music is fine but the Columbia recordings are missing something and Perkins never caught on as a recording star and was dropped by Columbia in 1961. Perkins would continue to record occasionally and have some success in the country market but he continued to have a lot of success as a songwriter and also gained a lot of respect from young rock musicians familiar with his Sun recordings. Carl Perkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987 and died on Jan. 19, 1998 at age 65. Here's the famous clip of Carl Perkins performing Blue Suede Shoes on The Perry Como Show in 1956.