Sun Sounds- “Blue Suede Shoes”- Carl Perkins. Elvis recorded his version of “Blue Suede Shoes” in 1956 but the go to version is of this song written by Carl Perkins- is Carl Perkins original recorded a year earlier in 1955.
Johnny Cash deserves an assist here in this becoming a song. Cash told Perkins of a black airman he knew while serving in the Air Force in Germany who would call his military regulation airman’s shoes ‘blue suede shoes” and told Perkins he should write a song about it- Perkins reply was that he didn’t know anything about shoes. He did manage to write a song about them though. When he went to record it Perkins had a great suggestion from producer Sam Phillips- who suggested instead of “go, boy, go”- make it “go, cat, go.”
As a single “Blue Suede Shoes” became the first Sun single to sell a million copies. It was the first million selling country single to cross over into the R&B and pop charts. Things were really looking up for Carl Perkins- he was booked to be on the Perry Como Show on television- but two days before was involved in a serious automobile crash in near Dover, Delaware and suffered multiple injuries- and nearly drowned in a drainage ditch. While he was hospitalized “Blue Suede Shoes” went to #2 in the pop and country singles chart. Perkins though never fully recovered from the car crash emotionally or career-wise. He would be a big influence on four young men from Liverpool, England- you may have heard of them- The Beatles.