Carl Perkins Tribute

On January 19, 1998 : Carl Perkins dies at the age of 65.

RA 129 K.

Carl Perkins, who wrote the hit song ``Blue Suede Shoes'' that helped lift Elvis Presley to stardom, and who became a legend himself as one of the founders of rock and roll, died at age 65.

A family spokesman said he died of complications from a series of three strokes suffered in the past two months at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

The son of a tenant farmer in Tennessee, the singer-guitarist was among several rockabilly performers to emerge from Memphis' famed Sun Studios whose fast-paced tunes and twangy lyrics would influence dozens of rockers to come, including the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.

 

At the same time that Perkins was helping launch rock music from his country roots, Chuck Berry's machine-gun guitar licks were reinventing the Blues as rock and roll.

The two are acknowledged as perhaps the key figures in the birth of rock music in the late 1950s.

John Lennon once said ``there was no music before Sun (Studios),'' and the Beatles would record three Perkins songs after meeting him at a 1964 recording session -- ``Honey Don't,'' ``Matchbox,'' and ``Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby.''

Before Presley turned ``Blue Suede Shoes'' into the first song to simultaneously top the pop, country and rhythm and blues charts, Perkins received his first dose of stardom when he recorded it in 1956 and sold two million copies.

Carl Perkins was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in 1986 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year later.

In 1991, he had to stop touring to undergo treatment for lung cancer and later successfully battled throat cancer. He endured surgery on a blocked artery in his neck in June last year and subsequently suffered a series of strokes.

Back on stage after his initial bout with cancer, he said ''I know how precious and fragile life is now.''
In his later years, Perkins was often accompanied by his sons Stan on drums and Greg on bass. He also helped found a center for child abuse victims in his long-time hometown of Jackson.

Well it's a one for the money, two for the show
Three to get ready, now go cat go but don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
Well you can knock me down, step in my face
Slander my name all over the place and do anything that you want to do
But ah ah honey lay off of my shoes and don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
Well you can burn my house, steal my car
Drink my liquor from an old fruit jar and do anything that you want to do
But ah ah honey lay off of my shoes and don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
Well it's a one for the money, two for the show
Three to get ready, now go cat go but don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
Blue blue blue suede shoes Blue blue blue suede shoes Blue blue blue suede shoes Blue blue blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes ---------

 

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