December 5, 2012
Carl Perkins, 1932-1998, had one big hit during his career but “Blue Suede Shoes” was one of the most inflential songs in rock and roll history. He was elected to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987 and would continue to perform until just before his death from throat cancer.
Despite his lack of commercial success, he issued a number of excellent singles. “Jive After Five” was representative of his material as he was was a rockabilly artist and it was a rocking performance. Perkins was a first-rate guitarist and most of his material was up-tempo and reflected that expertise.
“Jive After Five” was the B side to “Pink Pedal Pushers,” which spent one week on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Chart at number 91.
Any compilation album by Perkins is well-worth the investment.
August 7, 2012
The Beatles had 30 singles reach the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart in the United States during 1964.
“Slow Down/Matchbox” was a rarity in the Beatles catalogue in that both songs were covers. “Matchbox” was written by Carl Perkins and “Slow Down” by Larry Williams. The Beatles took them in a rock direction with a very dense sound. Both songs were very different from most of their other early material.
The single was released during the late summer of 1964 and did not fare as well as most other Beatles single releases on the Capital Label. It was a double sided hit as “Slow Down” reached number 25 and “Matchbox” peaked at number 17. They remain somewhat forgotten in the huge Beatles catalogue.
February 26, 2012
Jerry Lee Lewis released his version of “Blue Suede Shoes” while he was with the Sun Label. It did not become a hit as the original by Carl Perkins remains the standard for this classic rock ‘n’ roll song with Elvis’ a close second.
Still, during the late 1950s, Jerry Lee Lewis really did not produce any bad rock ‘n’ roll songs for the Sun label. While “Blue Suede Shoes” will never be associated with Lewis, it was still a rocking cover of a classic song.
February 6, 2010
Carl Perkins was a stable mate of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley on the legendary Sun Label during the mid-1950’s. While his career would be less successful than the others, he would be recognized as one of the musicians who formed rock ‘n’ roll.
He would only place five songs on the national charts and all of would be between 1956-1959. One of them, however, was “Blue Suede Shoes” and it would become one of the most important recordings in rock history. It would spend four weeks at number two and would cross over onto the country and rhythm & blues charts as well.
Perkins came out of the country rockabilly tradition but was able to fuse that sound with a driving rhythm which moved it over into a straight rock ‘n’ roll sound.
He would tour with Johnny Cash for years and continue to perform and record until his death in 1998. He would leave behind not only one of the best, but also one of the seminal songs in American music history.