Carl Perkins

Carl Lee Perkins ( born April 9, 1932 in Tiptonville, Tennessee, USA, † January 19, 1998 in Jackson, Tennessee ) was an American musician and is considered a pioneer of rockabilly.

  • 2.1 Singles
  • 2.2 albums

Life and career


Carl Perkins ' parents were Fonie and Louise Brantley Perkins, his brothers were called Jay and Clayton. His father worked on a rented cotton farm that fed the family more bad than good. Perkins grew up in the small town of Tiptonville on in northwest Tennessee. His earliest musical influence was gospel music, which was sung by black workers in the cotton fields. His first guitar was Carl Perkins, when he was seven years old. The instrument had built his father out of a cigar box, a broom handle and wire.

1950 the family moved to Jackson in Tennessee. There, Carl Perkins founded with his brothers, a group that called itself The Perkins Brothers Band. Carl played guitar and took over the majority of the song, Jay played acoustic rhythm guitar and Clayton took over the bass. In order to secure his livelihood, Perkins also worked during the day as a baker. On January 24, 1953 Perkins married his girlfriend Valda Crider, with whom he had three sons and a daughter.

The Perkins Brothers Band had in Jackson in terms of opportunities to perform little choice. Most of them occurred in rough Honky Tonks, because the atmosphere was perfect for Perkins ' musical experiments. Errors that made ​​the band were heard in the large background noise often, and many people wanted music that you could dance. Although the repertoire of the brothers contained many country classics like Jealous Heart, Honky Tonk Blues or Lovesick Blues, their music was a mixture of common country music and black rhythm and blues: " I just speeded up some of the slow blues licks. I put a little speed and rhythm to what Uncle John had Slowed down. That's all, " Perkins described his beginnings later itself to generate a stronger rhythm, got Perkins in 1953 the drummer Tony Austin in the band, who after a few appearances but by WS " Fluke " Holland was replaced. Drummers were still largely frowned upon in country music at that time, but Perkins justified its use so that the music must remain danceable.

Rise ( 50 ) and alcohol addiction ( 60 )

On January 25, 1955 Carl Perkins signed a recording contract with Flip Records, a label of Sun Records in Memphis. His first release was Movie Magg, a piece he had composed at the age of 14 years. The record sold moderately, but told him the opportunity to perform in concerts of Elvis Presley in the opening act.

The owner of Sun Records, Sam Phillips thought he could do with the right song from a Perkins rockabilly star. This song was Blue Suede Shoes. The song is based on a story by Johnny Cash.

Blue Suede Shoes was recorded in December 1955 and was published on January 1, 1956, the Sun label. It takes some time but after a few promotional appearances, the record sold a million times. Then Perkins had a serious car accident in which he suffered a skull and a broken arm. Instead of seizing the opportunity of the hour for successes connection can, he had to stay in hospital for the time. Elvis Presley took on its own successful version of Blue Suede Shoes. It can be said that the mythical ascent Presley helped that Carl Perkins never managed the jump to the top. Perkins said later in an interview said: "I was bucking a good-looking cat called Elvis who had beautiful hair, was not married, and had all kinds of great moves. "

Dixie Fried, 1956

After Perkins had recovered from his accident, again, get him, among others, Boppin 'The Blues and Dixie Fried further chart positions, but the success of Blue Suede Shoes could not be repeated. In addition to Perkins ' publications at Sun, he took in the studio in Memphis with his band numerous other songs, including cover versions of Everybody's Tryin ' To Be My Baby and Only You. As an alternative to his recent books exist on many of his hits "Alternate Takes", published at the end of the 1970s during the " Rockabilly Revival ". His well-known title is a cover of Matchbox. The piece has already been ingested the end of the 1920s by famous blues musicians and 1937, Roy Newman for the first time a country version, on which Perkins was oriented later.

In the spring of 1958 Perkins moved to Columbia Records, where he, however, only one chart position was granted. Pink Pedal Pushers, which he recorded already at Sun, reached number 17 on the country charts and number 91 on the pop charts. Perkins began drinking alcohol excessively due to the continued failure success; by his own admission, he fought until 1967 with his alcohol addiction.

During his recordings of 4 December 1956, the other Sun sizes Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis were in the studio and played with him a jam session that should be remembered as Million Dollar Quartet in the history of rock 'n ' roll.

Carl Perkins belonged to in the 1970s to the solid formation of the Johnny Cash show. There he appeared not only as a sideman for cash, but with their own songs was an independent music act. Perkins also played concerts at Cash's At Folsom Prison At San Quentin in 1968 and 1969 as another rhythm guitarist Luther Perkins and next to Bob Wootton and entered in 1969 at Madison Square Garden in addition also as individual artists.

Comeback ( 80 ) and death ( 90 )

The Beatles were great admirers of Perkins. This was evident in the cover versions that they took from his plays ( Matchbox, Honey Do not and Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby ). That respect was quite another, this statement shows that made Carl Perkins to the cover versions of the Beatles: "They put a nice suit on rockabilly. They never really strayed from the simplicity of it. They just beautified it. " Appreciating was also reflected later in Perkins collaboration with Paul McCartney down. On his 1982 album Tug of War, there is the duet Get It With Perkins, who also played guitar.

In 1985, in London for a special concert for a television special Carl Perkins joined with illustrious colleagues in a Rockabilly Session. Here were, among others, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Dave Edmunds and Rosanne Cash, and Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats.

A year later, Perkins took in the Sun Studios in Memphis with the old companions Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on the album Class of '55. The plate was a tribute to their early years at Sun label and partly the repetition of an informal jam session that had taken place with Presley, Lewis and Cash on 4 December 1956.

1987 were honored Perkins ' contributions to the rock music with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (Ohio ). Another late honor learned Perkins in 1996, after a long time another studio album, Go Cat Go than him! could take a number of prominent guest stars such as Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Bono and Ringo Starr.

Carl Perkins died in 1998 at age 65 from the effects of multiple strokes. His grave is located in the Ridgecrest Cemetery in Jackson ( Tennessee).



  • Honky Tonk Gal
  • What You Doin ' When You're Cryin'
  • You Can not Make Somebody to Love
  • Perkins Wiggle
  • Somebody Tell Me
  • Sweetheart 's a Stranger
  • That Do not Move Me
  • Caldonia
  • Her Love Rubbed Off
  • Put Your Cat Clothes On
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • You Can Do No Wrong
  • Keeper of the Keys
  • Say When
  • Beacause You're Mine
  • Big Taxes
  • Drink Up and Go Home
  • I Care
  • Lonely Street
  • Right String Baby
  • Rockin 'Record Hop