It’s Tuesday Night and usually, I do my runs while HRH is in the pool but lately I’ve also been completing my runs on my lunch hour so tonight, I gots nuthin’ to do but sit in my lawn chair with my Timmies coffee and get a few chapters of my ‘Sam Phillips: the Man Who Invented Rock n’ Roll‘ (Peter Guralnick) book. I mean, really, what else is there to do? Just look at the view here:
This is the view you might expect to have of a swim meet at, say, the local penitentiary.
So, yeah, reading and Timmies it is.
Tonight then, I’m also starting to listen to some of the music inspired by the book I’m reading, beginning with ‘The Best of...” collection for the original Sun Records “Golden Boy”, Carl Perkins.
Born in Tiptonville, Tennessee, the son of poor sharecroppers, Perkins successfully auditioned for Sam Phillips at Sun Records during early October of 1954. Commenting on Perkins’ playing, Sam Phillips has been quoted as saying:
“I knew that Carl could rock and in fact he told me right from the start that he had been playing that music before Elvis came out on record … I wanted to see whether this was someone who could revolutionize the country end of the business.”
Charlie Daniels though might have said it best:
“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.”
Perkins’ songs have been recorded by artists (and friends) as influential as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Johnny Cash, which further cemented his place in the history of popular music. Even Paul McCartney claimed that:
“If there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles”.
That’s a pretty damn good legacy, wouldn’t you say?
Perkins, nicknamed “the King of Rockabilly”, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He also received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. At the time though, he was more or less overshadowed by the other musicians in the Sun Records stables like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
All Carl’s popular hits are here on this very simply compilation including ‘Blue Suede Shoes‘, ‘Boppin’ the Blues‘, ‘Gone, Gone, Gone‘, and ‘Matchbox‘. Even lesser known tracks like ‘All Mama’s Children‘, ‘Honey Don’t‘ and the down-home delinquency of ‘Dixie Fried‘ in all it’s well-oiled sartorial splendor are here. Every song, of course, is a winner and Perkins’ ringing guitar lines, warm and playful vocals, and loose but emphatic interplay with his band are a joy to hear. It’s sure as shit more entertaining than the sound of slashing and the sight of odd flutters boards down below as seen through the metal grate.
I’m also thinking I might have to hunt me out some other Sun artists for future Tuesday Night sessions.