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The Story of the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ | Articles @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com

The Story of the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ | Articles @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com

The Story of the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ | Articles @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com
July 30
14:42 2017

The song entered the local Memphis country charts on February 11 at #2. It later rose to #1, where it remained for three more months.On March 3rd, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100. The single began to sell in huge quantities throughout the South. On March 10, 1956, Carl Perkins became the first country artist to reach the national R&B charts, peaking at #2. Three weeks later he was followed by Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ which peaked at #3. By early May both Perkins and Sun Records have logged their first million-seller.In the fall of 1955, Johnny Cash told Perkins, while touring together through the South, about a black airman, whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany, who had referred to his military airmen’s shoes as ‘blue suede shoes.’ It was a joke because at that time blue suede shoes were a luxury item in the South, a stylish footwear for a night out, that had to be worn carefully because it wasn’t easy to clean.

A few months after this conversation, Perkins played at a dance, when he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, he heard a forceful voice say, ‘Uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes!’ He looked down and noted that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. ‘Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes!’

That night Perkins began working on a song based on this incident. He based the beginning of this song on a nursery rhyme: ‘One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go.’ Later he decided to change the last line to ‘Now go, man, go!’ and break it to a boogie rhythm.

Perkins later recalled,

‘On December 17, 1955, I wrote ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ I recorded it on December 19, for Sun Records, which released the second take of the song. Sun’s producer, Sam Phillips, suggested that the lyric “go cat go” be changed to “go man go,” but I declined the suggestion.’

The B-side of the single was the song ‘Honey Don’t,’ which was later covered by The Beatles. Carl Perkins was a huge influence on George Harrison and Paul McCartney. George sings lead on ‘Honey Don’t’ and also on ‘Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,’ another Perkins song that the Beatles covered.

Source: The Story of the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ | Articles @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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