10 Incredible Facts about Carl Perkins

The final member of the Million Dollar Quartet, Carl Perkins, was nicknamed the “King of Rockabilly”. We’re taking a look at some interesting facts about the man behind “Blue Suede Shoes”…


1. When he was young, his father created a makeshift guitar for him from a cigar box and a broomstick until he could afford to buy his own second-hand, dented and scratched guitar for just a few dollars.

2. His best known song is “Blue Suede Shoes”, released in 1956 reaching number 1 in the US Country chart, number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in the British charts. The song was inspired by seeing a man getting angry at his date for scuffing up his shoes whilst dancing.

3. The Beatles were heavily influenced by Carl Perkins’ work, Paul McCartney was even quoted saying “if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles.”
Carl Perkins plaque

4. Carl Perkins has been inducted into many Halls of Fame including:

-The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

-The Rockabilly Hall of Fame

-The Memphis Music Hall of Fame

-Recipient of the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

5. As a child, Perkins worked in the cotton fields in Tennessee with his brother, earning 50 cents a day.

6. Perkins was a member of the Lake County Fourth Grade Marching Band.

7. In his early career, he played the local circuit in a band with his brothers.

8. Carl Perkins auditioned for Sun Records in 1954, impressing Sam Phillips and signing to the label.

9. He often played shows alongside Elvis Presley.

10. On the day that Carl Perkins recorded rockabilly classic “Matchbox”, Elvis Presley visited Sun Records as well as Jerry lee Lewis and Johnny Cash where they all had an iconic jam session. They were later dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet.

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