Carl Perkins (April 9, 1932 - January 19 1998) was an American rockabilly singer, guitarist and songwriter, performing early rockabilly and rock n roll along with more traditional country and gospel music for decades before his death at age 65. His best known song was "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956 which was the first single to top three charts listed by Billboard Magazine - popular, country and western, and rhythm and blues. Perkins had a long association with musical collaborator Johnny Cash, and was a an influence on numerous artists including The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. A highly regarded and influential American pioneer of rockabilly music, a mix of rhythm and blues and country music, recorded most notably at Sun Records in Memphis, beginning in 1954.
An outstanding performer, his touch on rock and roll music is still heard to this day. According to country musician Charlie Daniels, "Carl Perkins' songs personified the Rockabilly Era, and Carl Perkins' sound personifies the Rockabilly Sound more so than anybody involved in it, because he never changed." Perkins's songs have been recorded by artists as influential as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash, which further cemented his place in the history of popular music. Carl Lee Perkins was the son of poor sharecroppers near Tiptonville, Tennessee. He grew up hearing Southern gospel music sung by whites in church and by black field workers when he started working in the cotton fields at age six.
In the spring and fall, the school day would be followed by several hours of work in the fields. During the summer workdays were 12 - 14 hours, "from can to can't". Carl and his brother Jay together would earn 50 cents per day. With all family members working, and credit, there was enough money for beans and potatoes, some tobacco for Carl's father Buck, and every so often the luxury of a five cent bag of hard candy.Make Carl Perkins Playlist