• Singer/guitarist, 1932-1998. Part of the birth of the Rock and Roll Age, a Sun Records recording artist (Jerry Lee Lewis was sometimes his pianist). Is his version of "Blue Suede Shoes" the definitive one, or Elvis'? Answer: Perkins got to keep the shoes. Also wore a beyond-toupee wig for decades. His "Matchbox" was later recorded by The Beatles (he was there), et al.

  • West Coast jazz pianist of The Fifties; he recorded with Dexter Gordon and led his own groups.
  • Born April 9, 1932, Tiptonville, Tenessee

    Often called "the original rockabilly," Perkins was one of the best guitarists of his era, and unlike Elvis, he actually wrote most of his own material. In fact, when RCA records signed Presley on in late 1955, studio excecutives were heard to whisper that they'd got the wrong man from Sun Studios.

    Perkins began his musical career in the late 1940's, playing with his two brothers in the honky-tonk bars of Jackson, Tenessee. He was signed to Sun in 1954 and stayed with the studio until 1957. In 1956, he and his band were involved in a car accident en route to New York, where they were to have played on Perry Como's television show. Although Perkins recovered fully from the accident, his career suffered. Yet Perkins' real decline came from the depopularization of the original rock 'n roll sound in the late 50's and early 60's.

    Perkins also suffered from alcohol addiction until 1965, when he quit the bottle and became a born-again Christian.

    Despite his lack of success on the charts, he is a highly respected musician and composer, famous for songs such as "Blue Suede Shoes", "Dixie Fried" and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby."

    He was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

    --Source: Go Cat Go! by Craig Morrison

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