Carl Perkins: “Blue Suede Shoes”

By Walter Price

“I don’t know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?” – Carl Perkins

On this day back in 1955 Carl Perkins entered into Sam Phillips famed Memphis, TN recording studio, Sun Records, to record Blue Suede Shoes. One of the tracks that would ultimately change Rock N’ Roll forever.

The rockabilly greatness of Blue Suede Shoes, as legend goes, got it’s origins from Johnny Cash. Cash has told Perkins about a young black airman he’d know in Germany that would refer to his military shoes as ‘blue suede shoes’. The seed was sown and musical history was about to be made.

Interesting enough, Blue Suede Shoes was the first mega-seller for Sun Records. Even more than what Elvis was and had been releasing. Earning Perkins a brand new Cadillac from Sam Phillips himself for selling over a million copies. Shazam! That style of gratitude has always made me love the early days of rock, rockabilly, country, swing and so on. Just pure class all the way man.

Over the years it has been recorded and performed by everyone from Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash to Black Sabbath, The Toy Dolls, Stray Cats and Mountain. 

“Carl Perkins’ songs personified the rockabilly era, and Carl Perkins’ sound personifies the rockabilly sound more so than anybody involved in it, because he never changed.” – Charlie Daniels 

Is Blue Suede Shoes the best rock song ever recorded? Hard to say, that is up to you and your musical preferences. Is the track the most important Rock N’ Roll song ever recorded? Most likely the answer is, in my opinion, a resounding, yes! 

“If there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles.” – Paul McCartney

For All Things Carl Perkins: RockHall.com
Sam Phillips & Sun Records: Website. / Facebook.





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