Personalities | Carl Perkins | Fifties | Rock

(Guitar, vocals, 1932–88)

Tennessee-born Perkins was a rockabilly pioneer. Signed to Sun Records in 1955, he is most famous for 1956’s US country chart-topper/US pop Top 3/UK Top 10 ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. On his way to New York for a TV appearance, Perkins was involved in a serious car crash, and a 1956 Elvis Presley cover version of the song was a million-seller. Perkins was sidelined and despite continuing to record, never again reached the US Top 50. As George Harrison was a big fan, The Beatles covered the Perkins compositions ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘Matchbox’ and ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, but attempts to revive his career were generally fruitless, and he played in the Johnny Cash touring show for 10 years from 1965, eventually dying of throat cancer.

Styles & Forms | Fifties | Rock
Personalities | The Platters | Fifties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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