By Walter Price
9 April 1932 – 19 January 1998
Man, when you’re born in Tiptonville, TN in the early 1930s, population 1300, you probably didn’t have a clue that you’d go on and have a hand in creating and maintaining an entire genre of music. Not to mention be an influence on some of the most notable names in music history.
Carl Lee Perkins is the man who did just that. Moving from a humble cotton picker to becoming The King of Rockabilly and changing the musical landscape forever.
Sure, we know and cherish the classics you wrote “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Dixie Fried”, “Honey Don’t” and of course “Boppin’ The Blues” (w/ Curly Griffin). But it is what your legacy by the way of influence on the sounds of Rock N’ Roll I’d like to hail today, the day of your birth.
Elvis, The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Bono, Johnny Cash, Stray Cats and the names do and will go on. The names that have you to thank for contributing to their legendary sounds. The great thing is they all make mention of you as their inspiration, not just taking and leaving the man behind the guitar and verses dangling in the wind…Respect! Not much of that going these days.
So, thank you Carl Perkins. The world of country rockin’ blues soaked boogie woogie music would not be the same. Jukeboxes and honky tonks will forever be filled with what you gave this big silly world.
Now, on your birthday, lets hear some of your life’s well traveled thoughts…
“That rockabilly sound wasn’t as simple as I thought it was.” – Carl Perkins
“After all those days in the cotton fields, the dreams came true on a gold record on a piece of wood. It’s in my den where I can look at it every day. I wear it out lookin’ at it.” – Carl Perkins
“You can’t rely on artificial stimulation to carry you very far in life. Musicians may think they play better when they use drugs, but they don’t.” – Carl Perkins
“I’ve always felt very fortunate. I’ve worked hard and I’ve had a lot of luck. The timing was right for “Blue Suede Shoes”. My contribution has been small. I’ve never boasted about it.” – Carl Perkins
Rock On King Of Rockabilly!