Carl Perkins on the Perry Como Show in 1956

Blue Suede Shoes
#2 in 1956


Carl Lee Perkins was born on April 9, 1932, in Tiptonville, Tennessee, as a poor tenant farmer. He was an American pioneer of rockabilly music, a mix of rhythm and blues and country music that evolved at Sun Records in Memphis in the early 1950s. By age seven, he was playing a guitar his father made from a cigar box, broomstick and baling wire. In late 1955, a desperately poor and struggling Perkins wrote the song "Blue Suede Shoes" on an old potato sack. Produced by Sam Phillips, the record was a massive chart success charting #1 on the country charts, #2 on the pop charts, and #3 on the rhythm & blues charts. However, at the peak of the song's national success, Perkins was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Carl Perkins died on January 19, 1998, at Jackson-Madison County Hospital, Jackson, Tennessee, at the age of 65 from throat cancer after suffering several strokes.
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