Many persons of the 60s, then and now, contribute 'Blue Suede Shoes' and its rebellious message with Elvis Presley. True indeed is an Elvis version but that is not the original nor was it ever a chart hit. Yet, in the public eye, Presley has been associated with cultural ownership of the ever classic song.
Carl Perkins That's right, NOT Elvis Presley! 'Blue Suede Shoes' has been called the first true rock 'n' roll hit. It's fairly clear that the music dubbed rock 'n' roll incorporated elements rhythm & blues and country & western. As for 'Blue Suede Shoes', this was the first record to borrow from the three categories - blues, country and pop, then, become a hit on all three charts. That achievement is attributed to Carl Perkins'!
1956 On July 29, Carl Perkins was on the UK singles chart with his debut UK hit 'Blue Suede Shoes'. The song had already entered the local Memphis country charts on February 11 at No2. The following week it became No1, where it remained for three months. Billboard picked it as a "Country Best Buy." "Interestingly enough," Billboard added, "the disk has a large measure of appeal for pop and R&B customers." It starts to sell in huge quantities throughout the South.
Origin of the song 'Blue Suede Shoes'...
Carl Perkins actually wrote 'Blue Suede Shoes'. There are two versions how Perkins wrote the song. One version has Johnny Cash planting the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, and Elvis Presley toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had heard a reference in the chow line to his military regulation air shoes as "blue suede shoes." This prompted Cash to suggest that Carl write a song about the shoes.
A second version places Perkins a few nights later playing in Jackson, Tennessee. When he sees a dancer in the crowd trying to keep his girlfriend away from his new blue suede shoes, it connects with the idea that Cash had given him. At three o'clock the following morning, Perkins awakens with the genesis of the song in his head. He goes downstairs and writes out the lyrics in pencil on an empty potato bag.A Tidbit of 'Blue Suede Shoes' Trivia...
• Presley and Perkins faced off in the "Top 100"
The two records also had a race to the top of the Hot 100. Both entered Billboard’s top pop chart on March 3, 1956, with Heartbreak Hotel at #68 and Blue Suede Shoes at #83. The very next week, however, Perkins’s record leaped up to #23, five spots ahead of Presley. Both recordings reached the top 10 on March 31, when they tied for the #9 spot. Then, slowly, Heartbreak Hotel inched ahead, reaching #1 on May 5, while Blue Suede Shoes spent six weeks vacillating between #4 and #5. In the end, Elvis’s first RCA record spent seven weeks at #1. Carl Perkins’ first entry in the Top 100 was a smash hit as well. Blue Suede Shoes spent 21 weeks on the chart, nine of them in the top ten. Source: Elvis History Blog
"Presley gave Blue Suede Shoes the full rock ’n’ roll treatment, at a faster pace and with greater energy than Perkins’s rockabilly recording."
Which do you prefer?
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...
BLUE SUEDE SHOES: CHRONOLOGY OF A HIT
Songs: Blue Suede Shoes