Carl Perkins

Carl Perkins Biography

Carl Perkins

The 1950s rockabilly musical trend was defined by the song “Blue Suede Shoes,” written by American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Carl Perkins. Perkins, a “triple threat” artist who excelled as a lead guitarist, a good singer, and a prolific and creative songwriter, ascended from sharecropping poverty to international acclaim. Charlie Daniels asserts that Carl Perkins “personifies the rockabilly sound more so than anyone engaged, since he never changed, and Carl Perkins’ songs represented the rockabilly era.” With the recordings of Perkins’ songs by musicians (and friends) as influential as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, and Eric Clapton, his standing in the annals of popular music was further cemented. Paul McCartney said “if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles.”

He was born on April 9, 1932, in Tiptonville, Tenn., U.S. He plucked cotton with an African-American neighbor who also taught him how to play the guitar. From the age of 14, Perkins played in a band with his brothers Clayton (on upright bass) and Jay, who completed the lineup. The band was rooted in gospel music and influenced by bluegrass and Hank Williams. Perkins developed his sound playing on the bar circuit in Jackson, Tennessee (on acoustic rhythm guitar). The Perkins brothers traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend an audition for Sun Records, the record company that Elvis Presley recorded for, after hearing Presley’s music on the radio and being inspired by the similarities between it and their own beat-driven style of country music. The song “Blue Suede Shoes,” which Perkins composed after seeing a dancer take special care to preserve his new shoes, gave him his big break in 1956. An unparalleled accomplishment, the song reached the Top Five on the pop, country, and rhythm-and-blues charts. Carl and Jay were gravely hurt in a car accident on the way to New York City to play on national television, briefly stopping the band’s progress. Presley, who was by this time recording for RCA, scored a hit with his cover of “Blue Suede Shoes” in the meantime.

Before departing Sam Phillips’ label in 1958 to record for Columbia, where he scored just two small chart entries, Perkins produced two average hits for Sun. Jay passed away that same year from a malignant brain tumor. Perkins was discouraged by these occurrences and succumbed to drunkenness and bad morale. He performed in Britain in 1964 and 1965, the height of Beatlemania. The Beatles covered several of his compositions, notably “Matchbox” (based on a blues standard) and “Honey Don’t,” enhancing Perkins’s popularity and giving him royalties. George Harrison had been particularly influenced by his guitar skills. He shared the stage with Johnny Cash from 1965 through 1976 as a member of Cash’s touring band and on his television show. The former Sun label-mates converted to Christianity and gave up their vices throughout their first year of dating. The song “Daddy Sang Bass” by Perkins, another great smash for Cash. In fact, a lot of other country acts had success with his tunes. Later, Perkins joined the family band once more, this time with sons Greg (on bass) and Stan (on drums). Perkins was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, making him unquestionably one of the founding fathers of rock music.

Together with music critic David McGee, Perkins penned his autobiography Go, Cat, Go, which was released in 1996. Fastlane Entertainment, a Santa Monica-based production firm, announced plans for a 2009 release of a biographical movie.

Perkins was voted 99th out of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004 by Rolling Stone. The Beatles frequently covered Carl Perkins songs in their live performances, including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby,” “Matchbox,” and “Honey Don’t.” The National Recording Preservation Board added his rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes” to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2006. His songs are still owned by the Perkins family.

Discography

Turn AroundYouTubeAmazon
Jailhouse RockYouTubeAmazon
Born To RockApple
The Man & The Legend
Country SoulYouTube
Rock ‘N Gospel ‎
The Sun Story Vol. 3
My Kind Of Country
On TopSpotifyAppleYouTube
Dance Album Of Carl PerkinsAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Was Carl Perkins Biggest Hit?

“Blue Suede Shoes” was Carl Perkins’ biggest hit. It reached the number one spot on the Billboard Country & Western chart and the top five on the pop chart. The song has been covered by many artists and is considered a rock and roll classic.

What Is First Song Of Carl Perkins?

The first song of Carl Perkins is “Blue Suede Shoes.” It was released in 1956 and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has been covered by many artists, including Elvis Presley, and has become a rock and roll classic.

What Is Carl Perkins Famous Album?

“Blue Suede Shoes” is the most famous album by Carl Perkins. It was released in 1956 and contains the hit song of the same name. The album was a commercial success, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

What Is Carl Perkins Famous Song All Time?

“Blue Suede Shoes” is Carl Perkins’ most famous song. It was first released in 1956 and has been covered by many artists since then. The song is about a man who is warning his girlfriend not to step on his blue suede shoes.

Most Searched For Songs

Blue Suede Shoes SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Matchbox SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Honey Don’t SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
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Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin on SpotifyApple
Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
A Lion In the Jungle Spotify
You Can’t Make Love to Somebody SpotifyYouTube
Your True Love SpotifyAppleYouTube