Carl Perkins

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Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Perkins, c. 1956
Background info
Full name Carl Lee Perkins
Birthday/Birthplace (1932-04-09)April 9, 1932
Tiptonville, Tennessee, U.S.
Deceased January 19, 1998(1998-01-19)
Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.
  • Rockabilly
  • rock and roll
  • country
Profession(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Active Years 1946–1997
Record Labels Sun, London, Columbia, Mercury
Worked with Perkins Brothers Band
Johnny Cash
Elvis Presley
Jerry Lee Lewis

Carl Lee Perkins (Ridgely, Tennessee, April 9, 1932 – Jackson, Tennessee, January 19, 1998) was a pioneer rockabilly American singer, a mix of rhythm and blues and music country, who started his career with Sun Records in Memphis at the beginning of the 50s.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also ranks ninety-nine (99th) of the 100 Great Artists of the Rolling Stone Magazine.

Carl_Perkins’s Biography

Of humble origin, his father was a tenant farmer, Perkins grew up surrounded by gospel music sung by African-Americans in the cotton fields.

At the age of seven he was already playing with a guitar that his father made him with a box of cigars and packing wires. At thirteen, he won a new talent contest with a song he wrote himself and called “Movie Magg.” Ten years later, Perkins would carry that same song, renamed as Sam Phillips, to Sun Records.


His beginnings were working in country dance halls in his town, accompanied by his brothers Jay with the rhythm guitar and Clayton on bass. In this way, his career would also end.

“Blue Suede Shoes”

Dixie Fried
The rockabilly Dixie Fried song performed by Carl Perkins.

In 1955, a desperately poor and fighter Perkins wrote the song “Blue Suede Shoes” on an old sack of potatoes. With Sam Phillips as producer, the record would be a resounding success. In the United States, it reached number 1 on the Billboard magazine in its country music section, 4 in the Pop music section and 3 in the rhythm and blues section. In the United Kingdom, it became a Top Ten success. It was the first album by an artist from the Sun house that reached a million copies. This theme would be interpreted later in 1956 by Elvis Presley with a more marked country style, placing it again as a success.


At the time that Perkins and Blue Suede Shoes saw the pinnacle of success nationally, he suffered a serious car accident. It happened on March 21, 1956 when he was traveling with his group to participate in a television program by Ed Sullivan that served as a springboard for many artists. In the accident, which happened in Wilmington, his brother Jay and his manager died. Perkins suffered a skull fracture that kept him out of music all year. During his convalescence, Perkins could only see how his friend, Elvis Presley, got a huge success singing his same song.

The version

Intentionally or not, Elvis’ version stole the initial success of Perkins, and he never achieved another success, even after his departure to Columbia Records in 1958. Almost at par Eddie Cochran, he recorded a version of Blue suede shoes to his style, more attached to the country style of Elvis Presley, but with the style called Cochran Sound.

Their versioned songs

However, their songs were heard by the public, in the interpretation of other groups, such as the British band The Beatles, who recorded the songs “Matchbox”, “Honey Do not” and “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby “.

In 1968, Johnny Cash reached, with the song written by Perkins “Daddy Sang Bass”, number 1 on the country music charts. Perkins would spend a decade of touring with the Cash. He would also tour with his sons Stan and Greg.

In 1982, Perkins collaborated on Paul McCartney’s album Tug Of War, making a duet with the former Beatle in the song “Get It”.

The Resurrect

With the resurgence of rockabilly in the 80s, the Perkins star shone again. In 1985, Perkins re-recorded his “Blue suede shoes” accompanied by two members of the Stray Cats, as part of the music band for the movie “Porky’s Revenge”.

The following year, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Rosanne Cash and Dave Edmunds appeared with him on a television special recorded in London, entitled Carl Perkins and Friends: A Rockabilly Session (Carl Perkins and friends: Una Rockabilly session).

His return

Also in 1986, he returned to the Sun Studios in Memphis, along with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on the album Class of ’55. The record was a tribute to his years in that label and, specifically, to the Million Dollar Quartet group formed by Perkins, Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash who performed impromptu sessions, now classic, that were recorded on December 4, 1956 .

Your recognitions

In 1985 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1987, recognition of his contribution to music came when he was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a museum dedicated to the most influential artists in rock and roll. roll His “Blue Suede Shoes” was chosen as one of the 500 most famous rock and roll songs and a special Grammy was awarded to its historical relevance.

His last album

Their last album, Go Cat Go !, was released in 1996 and many of the artists already mentioned along with new ones like Paul Simon, John Fogerty, Tom Petty and Bono collaborated in it.


Carl Perkins died at the age of 65 because of throat cancer after suffering several attacks. He was buried in the Ridgecrest Cemetery in Jackson. I also had a big problem with alcohol

More Facts about Carl Perkins

The Carl Perkins’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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