Carl Perkins - Rocking Guitarman (CR 300003)
The Sun Years (Sun Box 101)
The Original Carl Perkins (CR 30110)
Dixie Fried (Charly 2) Carl Perkins
The Classic Carl Perkins (BCD 15494-5)
Carl Perkins - The Sun Era Outtakes (BCD 17240-5)
Discovering Carl Perkins, Eastview, Tennessee 1952-53 (BAF 14007)

For Biography of Carl Perkins see: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

1974 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300003 mono

Licence Sun Records. Manufactured & distributed by President Records Ltd. Marketed by President Records.

Rock and Roll, Rockabilly Pioneer. Although Carl Perkins is closely associated with his current hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, he was born in the far northwest corner of the state, close to the banks of the Mississippi. His birth certificate gives his parents address as Route 1, Ridgely County, Tiptonville, Tennessee, and their names as Fonie "Buck" Perkins and Louise Brantley. Their second child, born on April 9, 1932, was christened Carl Lee Perkins. The misspelling of the family name suggest that the literacy of government employees was barely a notch higher than that of the people they were cataloging.

It was the height of the Depression, and Buck Perkins was a sharecropper without a market. The family lived first in a three-room shack and then in a one-room storehouse. The kids in the neighbourhood brought castoff clothes for the Perkins brothers, and Carl has often told the story of how kid asked for his pants back after Carl had tackled him in a football game.

Music entered Carl Perkins life from two directions: the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, and a black sharecropper from across the field. The black sharecropper was named John Weststrook (or Westbrooks), and Perkins called him Uncle John. "He used to sit out on the front porch at night", Perkins told Lenny Kaye, "with a gallon bucket full of coal oil rags that he'd burn to keep the mosquitoes off him, and I'd ask my daddy if I could go to Uncle John's and hear him pick some".

In the same way that Perkins rarely sings a song the way twice, he never seems to tell a story exactly the same way. In some versions, Uncle John gives Carl his guitar on a Saturday and dies the following Wednesday. Shortly after the end of World War II, Buck Perkins moved his family to Bemis, Tennessee, where his brothers worked in the cotton mills. Buck was refused a job in the mills because of his deteriorating lungs, and the Perkins family went back to sharecroppin, although by this time they had a house with electricity and a refrigerator. Perkins soon found a use for the electricity when he bought a cheap Harmony electric guitar and plugged it in.

Although he will generally claim to have no direct influences, Carl Perkins' style was obviously formed by listening to the guitarists who worked on the Opry. In particular, he remembers "Butterball" Page, who played single-strings leads with Ernest Tubb for a few years in the late 1940s. Another important influence was probably Arthur Smith, whose 1946 hit "Guitar Boogie" influenced a generation of pickers and set a new standard for sheer technique.

And then there was the blues. It's unlikely that Perkins was allowed to listen to the rhythm and blues stations, but he never forgot the lessons that Uncle John had taught him.

The choices of venues available to the brothers was limited, virtually confined to church socials and honky-tonks; the Perkins Brothers Band gravitated naturally toward the latter. Jay Perkins handled some of the vocals, singing in a rough-hewn voice modeled on Ernest Tubb. But it was Carl who was both principal vocalist and lead guitarist.

By 1954 their repertoire included a fair sampling of hillbilly standards, "Always Late (With Your Kisses", "Jealous Heart", "Honky-Tonk Blues", and the inevitable "Lovesick Blues"; there was also a little pop music, in the shape of "I'll Walk Alone".

The reason revolves around Carl Perkins and the nature of his music. By 1954 Perkins had evolved a unique style. It was not pure honky tonk music but a hybrid that borrowed much in terms of feeling, phrasing and rhythm from black music. "I just speeded up some of the slow blues licks", said Carl. "I put a little speed and rhythm to what Uncle John had slowed down. That's all. That's what rockabilly music or rock and roll was to begin with; a country man's song with a black man's rhythm. Someone once said that everything's been done before, and it has. It's just a question of figuring out a good mixture of it to sound original".

One of his first moves was to bring in a drummer. Drums, of course, were forbidden on the Grand Ole Opry but Perkins decided that he needed them to reinforce the rhythm and keep it danceable. His first drummer was Tony Austin, who would later record at Sun but lasted no more than a few gigs in 1953. He was replaced by W.S. "Fluke" Holland who was originally from Saltillo, Mississippi but had gone to school in Jackson with Clayton Perkins. He bought a set of Brecht drums and habituated many of the black bars in town because, as a drummer working in country music, he had few role models.

Between 1953 and 1955 music provided nothing more than a small addition to Perkins' income from the Colonial Bakery in Jackson. The honky tonks paid $2.00-3.00 a night but enabled the Perkins brothers to hone their music and cultivate their drinking habits at minimal cost.

On January 24, 1953 Carl Perkins married Valda Crider from Corinth, Mississippi. They moved to a government housing project in Jackson as the children started appearing. However, Valda encouraged Carl to work on his music and try for a career in entertainment. As Perkins observed, there were many country boys who were playing with a blues feel and working on the hybrid that later became known as rockabilly music. One of those who had independently worked up a similar style of course, was Elvis Presley. "The first time I heard Elvis was when my wife was in the kitchen", recalled Perkins to Dave Booth, "and she said, 'Carl, that sounds just like y'all. Hearing him do "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" set a flame afire in me and oddly enough I'd been doing that song too".

A few weeks later, the Perkins Brothers Band headed for Memphis. The office manager, Marion Keisker, apparently told them to go away but they met Sam Phillips on the street outside the studio. Carl Perkins first recorded for Flip Records, a nonunion subsidiary label of Sun Records. His first release was "Movie Magg" (FLIP 501), recorded on January 22, 1955. Carl Perkins first met Elvis Presley in Bethel Springs, Tennessee, in 1954, where Perkins was playing a club. Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley appeared together in Memphis on November 13, 1955. Perkins recorded his composition "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" (SUN 234) on December 19, 1955. On March 27, 1956, Perkins was injured in an automobile accident that took the life of his brother and manager Jay. Disc jockey David Steward fell asleep at the wheel while the band was en route to New York City to appear on TV's "Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Perry Como Show", which would have given them national exposure. At the time of the accident, Perkins' version of "Blue Suede Shoes" are released on January 1, 1956, reached on February 18, 1956 for 24 weeks on the Country charts peaked at number 1; on March 3, 1956, "Blue Suede Shoes" reached for 21 weeks on the Billboard Most Played In Juke Boxes chart peaked at number 2 for 4 weeks; on March 10, 1956 the number reached two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts; and peaked for 16 weeks on the Rhythm and Blues charts for 4 weeks at number 2.

After the accident he was taken to the General Hospital in Dover, Delaware, where he received a Western Union telegram from Elvis Presley on March 28, 1956, that read: "We were all shocked and very sorry to hear of the accident. I know what it is for I had a few bad ones myself. If I can help you in any way please call me. I will be at the Warwick Hotel in New York City. Our wishes are for a speedy recovery for you and the other boys. Sincerely Elvis Presley, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, and D.J. Fontana".

From 1954 to 1957, Carl Perkins and his band, recorded several brilliant recordings for Sun Records as follow, "Movie Magg"/"Turn Around" (Flip 501) 1954, "Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing"/"Gone, Gone, Gone" (SUN 224) 1955, "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" (SUN 234) 1955, "Sure To Fall"/"Tennessee" (SUN 235) 1955, "Boppin' The Blues"/"All Mama's Children" (SUN 243) 1956, "Dixie Fried"/"I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry" (SUN 249) 1956, "Youre True Love"/"Matchbox" (SUN 261) 1956, "That's Right"/"Forever Yours" (SUN 274), and "Lend Me Your Comb"/"Glad All Over" (SUN 287) 1957.

In 1957 his last single hit the market, Carl Perkins had quit Sun Records. He and Johnny Cash had been approached by Don Law from Columbia Records in August 1957 who proposed that both artists move to Columbia. An agreement in principle was signed with Columbia in November 1957 and the contract was dated January 25, 1958. With his career as a rock singer fading fast, Carl Perkins turned back to the honky tonks. He also turned to the bottle. His alcoholism was precipitated by the death of his older brother Jay from a malignant brain tumour on October 22, 1958. 1959 was the last year in which Carl Perkins entertained serious hopes of recapturing his place in the sun. Later in 1959 W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland quit the line-up. He tried managing Carl Mann for a while and then opted for the security of playing drums behind Johnny Cash. By this point, Perkins had stated working long stints in Las Vegas which would hardly seem to be his natural habitat. In August 1963, Carl Perkins signed a two-year contract with Decca Records and recorded four titles in Nashville where MOR, country had co-opted rockabilly beyond recognition. The session got off to a sluggish start with two of the least exciting songs in the Perkins canon. On June 1, 1964 is historically resonant, Perkins attended a Beatles session at Abbey Road in Liverpool where his Scouse admirers completed five takes of "Matchbox" between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Back in the USA, Carl Perkins worked clubs with George Morgan, Webb Pierce and Faron Young. In mid-July, he caught his left hand in the blades of an electric fan at a club in Dyersberg, Tennessee. He was taken 60 miles to hospital in Jackson while blood dripped through the floorboards of his Buick. The surgeon was persuaded not to amputate two of his fingers. In mid-October, Carl Perkins flew to London for a second tour of England. It was tabled The Rhythm and Blues Show 1964 and Carl topped the first half of a bill which included The Animals, Tommy Tucker, Elkie Brooks, Ray Cameron, The Quotations, The Nashville Teens, The Plebs and, at selected venues, Barry St. John. In 1980s, Carl Perkins still live in Jackson, Tennessee, and the part of Carl Perkins that he will leave behind consists of a handful of recordings, only a few of which were released during his tenure with Sun, but recordings that still form the bulk of his stage repertoire today. They also remain, all told, one of the landmarks of pure, carefree rock and roll. From 1965 through 1975, Carl Perkins constantly drinking alcohol and toured with Johnny Cash in the United States.

Elvis Presley, who recorded a faster version of Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956, was present at Perkins' recording session on December 4, 1956, when he recorded "Matchbox" (SUN 261) and other songs. That impromptu get-together was later dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet. Elvis Presley last played with Carl Perkins on July 4, 1976, for a Bicentennial concert in Memphis. After Elvis Presley's death, Carl Perkins recorded the tribute record "The Whole World Misses You" (JET 117). In 1974, Carl Perkins wrote and recorded the novelty record "The E.P. Express" (Mercury 73609) in his own rockabilly style. In 1986, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison recorded as the group "Class Of 55" at Sun Recording Studio, 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, "We Remember The King" (American Smash 88142-7). RCA's Chet Atkins once remarked to Sam Phillips when Carl Perkins had the number two record in the country with "Blue Suede Shoes", "We thought for a while we bought the wrong Sun artist".

In 1987, Carl Perkins was elected in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, included with Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley, Roy Orbison, and Ricky Nelson. The Beatles recorded the following Carl Perkins compositions: "Honey Don't", flip-side of "Blue Suede Shoes", "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", and "Matchbox". On February 4, 1969, Jackson, Mississippi celebrated Carl Perkins Day. Carl Perkins once said of Elvis Presley, "This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed, like a lot of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he eyed, he really was different". On January 19, 1998, about 10:30 p.m., Carl Perkins died in Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, following a series of strokes and an extended stay in Intensive Care at the age of 65.

Side 1 Contains
1.1 - Blue Suede Shoes
1.2 - Roll Over Beethoven
1.3 - Sweethearts A Stranger
1.4 - Perkins Wiggle
1.5 - Honky Tonk Gal
1.6 - You Can Do No Wrong
1.7 - What Do You Do When You're Crying
1.8 - Boppin' The Blues
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
2.1 - Caldonia
2.2 - Lonely Street
2.3 - I Care
2.4 - Y.O.U.
2.5 - Glad Over
2.6 - Honey Don't
2.7 - Dixie Fried
2.8 - Her Love Rubbed Off
Original Sun Recordings


March 1982 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 101 mono

Inside this box, 3 individually sleeved LP's containing 54 recordings interspersed with many extracts of fascinating session conversation and false starts. Each LP sleeve bears a detailed track by track analysis of the enclosed recordings. Here an overview of Carl Perkins' recording career during the Sun years; a detailed session discography. Each album has been mastered in mono. More extensive information see: Sun Box 101.

Record 1 Side 1 ''Hillbilly Jukebox''
1.1 - Honky Tonk Gal
1.2 - Movie Magg
1.3 - Turn Around
1.4 - Movie Magg
1.5 - Turn Around
1.6 - You Can't Make Love To Somebody
1.7 - Gone Gone Gone
1.8 - Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing
1.9 - What You Doin' When You're Crying
1.10 - Drink Up And Go Home
Original Sun Recordings

Record 1 Side 2 ''One For The Money''
2.1 - Blue Suede Shoes
2.2 - Blue Suede Shoes
2.3 - Honey Don't
2.4 - Blue Suede Shoes
2.5 - Honey Don't
2.6 - Sure To Fall
2.7 - Tennessee
2.8 - Perkins Wiggle
2.9 - Boppin' The Blues
Original Sun Recordings

Record 2 Side 3 ''Boppin' The Blues''
3.1 - Boppin' The Blues
3.2 - All Mama's Children
3.3 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
3.4 - Carl Perkins In Richmond
3.5 - Somebody Tell Me
3.6 - Carl Perkins In Memphis
3.7 - Dixie Fried
3.8 - I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry
3.9 - Sweethearts Or Strangers
3.10 - Keeper Of The Key
Original Sun Recordings

Record 2 Side 4 ''Two For The Show''
4.1 - Be Honest With Me
4.2 - That Don't Move Me
4.3 - Lonely Street
4.4 - Pink Pedal Pushers
4.5 - Matchbox
4.6 - Your True Love
4.7 - Caledonia
4.8 - Her Love Rubbed Off
4.9 - You Can Do No Wrong
Original Sun Recordings

Record 3 Side 5 ''Put Your Cat Clothes On''
5.1 - Roll Over Beethoven
5.2 - Matchbox
5.3 - Your True Love
5.4 - Put Your Cat Clothes On
5.5 - Put Your Cat Clothes On
5.6 - Only You
5.7 - Pink Pedal Pushers
5.8 - That's Right
Original Sun Recordings

Record 3 Side 6 ''Go Cat Go''
6.1 - That's Right
6.2 - Forever Yours
6.3 - I Care
6.4 - Y.O.U.
6.5 - Look At That Moon
6.6 - Lend Me Your Comb
6.7 - Lend Me Your Comb
6.8 - Glad All Over
6.9 - Right String Baby (But The Wrong Yo Yo)
Original Sun Recording


1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30110 mono

Carl Perkins' music was created in the days when country was square, blues was black and rock and roll was young. It is the real rockabilly, the original white rock and roll, a unique fusion of rhythm and blues and country music influences.

Perkins was the first Southern white boy to become a national rock and roll star in America; even before Elvis Presley, he had a record at the top of the American Popular, Rhythm And Blues and Country charts at the same time. The record was ''Blue Suede Shoes''. The steady, chopped rockabilly rhythm carried along ''Perkins' seating, innovative lead guitar work and pioneering rock lyrics. His sound had a rawness, created in the days before the record industry ''establishment'' tamed rock and roll into teenage music.

Carl Perkins was born the second of three brothers on a welfare-aided tenant farm near Robinsonville, Tennessee on 9 April 1932, and he spent the early years in that north-western corner of the state. He was raised there on a plantation in Lake County where his family where the only white sharecroppers. In 1945 the Perkins family moved to Semis, and on leaving school Carl found work at a battery plant and later at a bakery in nearby Jackson. His pleasures were the country pursuits of hunting and fishing, but music too, was always with him. Growing up in the ''Bible Belt'' with gospel music at weekends, the spirituals and blues of black sharecroppers by day and the country music of radio WSM Nashville by night, he showed an early aptitude for the guitar.

Encouraged by several prizes and awards for local talent show appearances, Carl taught his brothers Jay and Clayton to play guitar and eventually they turned semi-professional as the Perkins Brothers Band. Carl was the star but Jay's imitation of country favourite Ernest Tubb were strongly featured. After a couple of years and a regular radio spot in Jackson, the band was able to buy new equipment and Clayton moved to bass at W.S. Holland became a regular addition on drums.

In December 1954 the group finally managed to get an audition with Sam Phillips at Sun. They played ''Movie Magg'', a novelty country song set to a very fast beat. Carl says he was told to, ''go back and write another song. So I took Sam ''Turn Around'', which was kinda in the popular Hank Williams style. By January 1955, both songs were on tape and soon the disc appeared as the first issue on the Flip label. On ''Movie Magg'' Perkins play fast guitar runs on the strings in a style approaching that which he employed on his later rock hits, but on ''Turn Around'' he keeps a slow walking rhythm on the bass strings while the lead instrumentation is taken by Bill Cantrell on fiddle. This pattern was continued on Perkins' second release, coupling the boogie ''Gone Gone Gone'' with the hillbilly styled ''Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing''.

Carl Perkins partly attributes his rhythmic sense to the black sharecroppers he knew and also to, ''guys I heard on the radio. I liked Bill Monroe's fast bluegrass songs and also coloured blues like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters. Way back then I liked to do Hooker's electric things Monroe style, blues with a country beat and my own lyrics''. He also liked country guitarist Arthur Smith and the Memphis bluesman B.B. King, and would adopt a singing pose similar to that of King while playing boogie licks redolent of Smith's ''Guitar Boogie''. The patrons of the El Rancho club in Jackson were witnessing the birth of a new musical style when the Perkins Band played its resident weekend dates.

In December 1955 there was a change of recording policy at Sun and for the almost a decade Carl Perkins' recordings veered away from country music and he became a rock singer. ''We had been recording country because Sam did not want two artists doing coloured music like Elvis, but at that session he said to go right ahead and rock''. The session was December 19, 1955 and the chosen A-side was a Perkins composition, Honey Don't'' featuring a strong boogie rhythm. As the evening wore on, Carl asked Sam to listen to a possible B-side he had written just a few days before at the insistence of his friend Johnny Cash. It was about a boy at a dance back in Jackson whom Carl noticed being most carefull not to let anyone step on his new shoes. ''Blue Suede Shoes'' appealed to Sam Phillips at a possible hit among the new teenage audience who were beginning to have identifiable symbols of their new life style. He could hear, too, the sales potential in the heavy backbeat and Carl's sharp, spluttering solos which cut through the jumping rhythm. The song was recorded in three takes and in the best haphazard, unplanned manner a new hit sound was created. The disc was issued on January 1, 1956 and became a number one hit. It was the prototype which took Carl from pure country lyricism to a position as one of the first poets of the rock and roll era.

On the strength of ''Shoes'', Judd Phillips (Sam's brother) and Bob Neal (of Sun's booking agency, Star Talent) began to promote Carl Perkins strongely. He was booked into the big country shows and gained national TV spots. More recording sessions were needed, on January 20 and March 22, 1956. This was as well from Sun's point of view, for immediately after the March session Carl and the band headed north for a prestigious tour taking in the top-rated Perry Como and Ed Sullivan TV shows. When their car got into Delaware it was involved in an accident which injured Carl enough to force a six month rest and which eventually led to Jay's death in 1958. As the height of his career, as the beginning of the rock era when reputation were won and lost overnight, this was a serious blow and Carl Perkins never did achieve the status he deserved and would have gained.

Carl could see his hard work all going for nothing. ''I was a poor farm boy and with ''Shoes'' I felt that I had a change, but suddenly there I was in hospital. But anyway, Elvis had the looks, the flashness, and no ring on that finger. I had three kids. But, I've never felt bitter, I always felt lucky. Most kids from my background never got to drive a new car''

By September 1956 when he returned to action, Carl found he could still make a good living from his two hit records. The second ''Boppin' The Blues'', had been recorded in January and released in May. After this came the magnificent bopper, ''Dixie Fried''. These records helped Carl, but they also widened the prospects of Sun Records. Sam Phillips says simply, ''Blue Suede Shoes'' put Sun in the black''.

During 1957, Perkins had three singles, all masterpieces in their own right. From the pulsating rocked-up blues standard ''Matchbox'' through the tough-talking ''That's Right'' to the ebullient ''Glad All Over''. By 1958.Johnny cash and Jerry Lee Lewis took over from Carl as the Sun label headliners and during that year Jay died, the band worked less and Carl eventually moved to Columbia.

The loss of Perkins was the effective end of the rockabilly era for Sun. He had been a national success but he had not lost the basic country personality. He had vocal similarities to Hank Williams but he was probably more successful than anyone in adapting the vocal inflections of blues artists to his own style. And Carl Perkins had a style; the mumbled scat singing which accompanies guitar solos and fade-outs, the relaxed control and timing of the jumping rhythms and incisive guitar solos. This was the original Carl Perkins.

Secong pressing. All tracks recorded 1955, 1956, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Compiled and liner notes by Martin Hawkins. Cover design by Bernard Higson.

Side 1 Contains
1.1 - Movie Magg
1.2 - Turn Around
1.3 - Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing
1.4 - Gone Gone Gone
1.5 - Blue Suede Shoes
1.6 - Honey Don't
1.7 - Bobbin' The Blues
1.8 - All Mama's Children
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
2.1 - Sorry, I'm Not Sorry
2.2 - Dixie Fried
2.3 - Matchbox
2.4 - Your True Love
2.5 - Forever Yours
2.6 - That's Tight
2.7 - Glad All Over
2.8 - Lend Me Your Comb
Original Sun Recordings


© 1986 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Charly 2 mono digital

Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product. Yellow label. Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label. Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at left at bottom.

This collection from one of rockabilly's toughest, edgiest rockabilly singers. This release compiles a variety of the great rock and roll and rockabilly recordings Perkins made for Sun Records between 1954 and 1957, including Perkins' biggest hits like ''Blue Suede Shoes'', ''Gone Gone Gone'', ''Honey Don't '', ''Boppin' The Blues'', ''Matchbox'' as well as a host of tunes that missed the charts but match his signature songs for infectious energy. Every effort has been made to replicate the incredible vibrancy of the original Sun records. Also included in the box, 8-page booklet biography information and liner notes by Adam Komorowski.

1 - Honey Don't (2:49) > Sun 234-B < 
(Carl Perkins)
2 - Boppin' The Blues (2:51) > Sun 243-A <
(Carl Perkins-Curley Griffin)
3 - Blue Suede Shoes (2:15) > Sun 234-A < 
(Carl Perkins)
4 - Put Your Cat Clothes On (2:51)
(Carl Perkins)
5 - Dixie Fried (2:26) > Sun 249-B <
(Carl Perkins)
6 – Matchbox (2:09) > Sun 261-A <
(Carl Perkins)
7 - Pink Pedal Pushers (2:27)
(Carl Perkins)
8 - That's Right (2:51) > Sun 274-B < 
(Carl Perkins-Johnny Cash)
9 - I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (2:27) > Sun 249-A < 
(Wanda Ballman)
10 - Roll Over Beethoven (2:51)
(Chuck Berry) (Jewell Music)
11 - Glad All Over (1:42) > Sun 287-A <
(Aron Schroeder-Sid Tepper-Ben Weisman)
12 - Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo Yo (2:35)
(Willie Perryman)
13 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (1:57)
(Carl Perkins)
14 - Gone, Gone, Gone (2:38) > Sun 224-B <
(Carl Perkins)
15 - Lend Me Your Comb (1:59) > Sun 287-B <
(Kay Twomey-Ben Weisman-Fred Wise)
16 - All Mama's Children (2:08) > Sun 243-B <
(Carl Perkins-Johnny Cash))
17 - Sweetheart Or Strangers (2:19)
Davis-Wayne) (Southern Music
18 - Your True Love (2:46) > Sun 261-B < 
(Carl Perkins)
19 - Movie Magg (2:10) > Flip 501-A <
(Carl Perkins)
20 – Tennessee (3:03) > Sun 235-B < Sun Unissued
(Carl Perkins)
21 - Sure To Fall (2:33) > Sun 235-A < Sun Unissued
(Carl Perkins-Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell))
22 - Honky Tonk Gal (1:57)
(Carl Perkins)
23 - Turn Around (2:58) > Flip 501-B < 
(Carl Perkins)
24 - Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing (2:52) > Sun 224-A < 
(Carl Perkins)
Original Sun Recordings 
All tracks published by Carlin Music except were noted
Compilation Adam Komorowski
All recorded in Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee, October 1954-December 1957
Licensed from Charly Records International APS
This CD © 1986 Charly Records Lid.
Photograp by David Redfern
Sleeve Design by The Raven Design Group

Carl Perkins is probably one of the unluckiest guys around; there again you might think that perhaps he in fact is one of the luckiest, it all depends how you look at it. A smash hit with ''Blue Suede Shoes'' (arguably the only genuine rockabilly platter to ever reach the top ten), Carl was deprived of being the first rocker to appear on nationally networked TV (The Perry Como Show) when the car he was travelling in from Memphis to New York crashed. The honour went to one Elvis Presley who went on the box whilst Carl was languishing in hospital recovering from the severe injuries he sustained in the car crash. A favourite brother, Jay, was to die eventually from the injuries he suffered at the time. By the time he was in his 1930's, Carl was a confirmed alcoholic; yes you could say that Carl was unlucky. Add the fact of his younger brother Clayton committing suicide in the 1970's, and his Pa dying of cancer, and you could forgive Carl for feeling that Lady Luck hadn't smiled his way. And yet there is the reverse side of the coin; a happy marriage that has lasted over a quarter of a century, a grown family, the conquest of alcoholism and the unswerving loyalty of countless numbers of fans to whom Carl always was and always will be the King of Rockabilly. Those recordings cut down in Memphis on the good ole Sun label in the 1950's still contain more magic per groove than you and I have had hot dinners. Time has taken its toll of many of those young 1950's stallions; Elvis, Warren Smith, Ray Smith, Bill Black, Bill Haley, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran are all dead and gone (albeit not forgotten). In a profession with a notoriously high death rate Carl lives on; yeah you could say he is lucky.

It all began out in the cottonfields of Lake County, Tennessee and an old black man 'Uncle' John Westerbrook who passed on some of his guitar playing knowledge to young Carl. The battered old family radio also played its part, bringing over the airwaves the sounds of Bill Monroe and his ilk. It all conspired to inspire Carl to save up the $150 needed to buy a Les Paul guitar. Despite the demands of night shift work in a battery factory, Carl managed to teach his younger brother Clayton how to play the upright bass, and elder brother Jay the rhythm guitar. That accomplished the Perkins Brothers Band came into existence. They played weekends in honkytonks, dodging beer bottles and trying to avoid the bloodstains in some mighty rough joints.

Attempts to get on records met with no success; Carl's somewhat naive idea of writing to the addresses he saw on record labels out on the East Coast may have given the odd company executive a good belly laug but that was all. This total lack of response only strengthened Carl's resolve to get on records. Eventually he tried nearer home, sending demos to Sun Records in Memphis and followed this up with a phone call only to be told that they already had their hands full looking after a new youngster called Elvis Presley. Still undeterred, Carl decided to pay a personal visit to 706 Union Avenue. Sam Phillips granted him a ten minute interview and after a couple of abortive sessions they cut two sides that were released on the subsidiary label Flip. ''Movie Mag'' and ''Turn Around'' cut in January 1955 became Carl's first single release.

It was only when Presley departed for RCA that Sam Phillips would allow Carl to cut some of the uptempo material that was bubbling inside him and that the band had been playing at their live gigs. As a result ''Blue Suede Shoes'' was recorded in December 1955, and pretty soon Carl's name would be a household word with kids of America. Inspired by a country boy whose pre-occupation with not having his brand new footwear besmirched at a dance, ''Blue Suede Shoes'' was just one of several songs that Carl wrote capturing that quintessential feel of teenagers out on the town on a Saturday night; ''Put Your Cat Clothes On'' (amazingly never released until the 1970's), ''Pink Pedal Pushers'' (re-recorded on Columbia), ''Dixie Fried'' (a glorious anthem to getting smashed when the cops are gone) and ''Boppin' The Blues'' are all reflections of a carefree bygone era set to an effervescent rockabilly music that remains a timeless charm.

The freedom accorded his recording artists by Sam Phillips at the Sun Studio, and the liberal consumption of such local brews as Thunderbird, helped generate a relaxed atmosphere that went into creating the Sun sound. As with many other of Sam's artists, Carl found that when he moved on to what promised to be greener pastures, restrictions on studio time and the general pressures of the large record companies that magic spark just wouldn't ignite. Whilst Carl has recorded extensively over the years on such labels as Columbia, Decca, Dollie and Mercury, it is the three years that he spent recording on Sun that will forever remain a living testament to his achievements. The music retains a freshness and feel that imparts on it a lasting quality. The superlative licks that Carl extracts from his guitar, the tight backing provided by brothers Jay and Clayton with drummer W. S. Holland and the occasional pianist (Jerry Lee inter alia on ''Matchbox''), and the predominantly self composed numbers all add up to a powerful and potent slice of rockabilly history.

So give yourself a treat and thanks to the magic of modern technology hear the full glory of Carl Perkins' music as you've never heard it before on this compact disc. Whack on the pink pedal pushers, put your cat clothes on and after one look at that moon, you'll be glad all over that you let that jukebox keep on playing, yeah that's right before you know where you are you'll be bopping the blue in blue suede shoes.

- Adam Komorowski, 1986


1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-5 mono digital

5 compact disc boxed set, LP-sized. An Bear Family Special Products. Yellow label. Have circle of musical notes and staff around the entire label, with excepted of the bar wherein "Memphis, Tennessee" appear. The letters SUN with sun rays pressed in light brown at the top of the label. Bear Family logo left from the center on the disc. On the back cover Bear Family logo at bottom, catalog number in upper right. For the first time, the complete Sun recordings, many of them previously unissued complete with studio chatter, demos, false starts, and home recordings, and as well as his Columboa recordings from 1958-1962, and everything he cut for Decca between 1963 and 1965. Also included in the boxed set, 24-page booklet biography, with liner notes by Bill Millar. The booklet also features rare and previously unpublished photos and a detailed session file information by Colin Escott.

Disc 1 Contains
Honky Tonk Babe (Gal)
Movie Magg
Honky Tonk Gal
Movie Magg
Turn Around
Dialogue Bill Cantrell & Carl Perkins
Turn Around
Let The Jukebox Keep Playing On
What You Doin' When You're Crying
Let The Jukebox Keep Playing On
You Can't Make Love To Somebody
Gone, Gone, Gone
Gone, Gone, Gone
Dixie Bop/Perkins Wiggle
Blue Suede Shoes (Take 1)
Blue Suede Shoes (Take 2)
Blue Suede Shoes (Take 3)
Honey Don't (Take 1)
Honey Don't (Take 2)
Honey Don't (Take 3)
Sure To Fall
All Mama's Children
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
Boppin' The Blues
Put Your Cat Clothes On
Boppin' The Blues
Only You
You Can't Make Love To Somebody
Right String, Wrong Yo Yo
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 2 Contains
False Start & All Mama's Children
All mama's Children
Dixie Fried
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
Put Your Cat Clothes On
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
False Start To Dixie Fried
Dixie Fried
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry
That Don't Move Me
Lonely Street
Drink Up And Go Home
Pink Pedal Pushers
The Way You're Living Is Breaking My Heart
Take Back My Love
Somebody Tell Me
Instrumental - 1
Instrumental - 2
Red Wing
Down By The Riverside
Her Love Rubbed Off
You Can Do No Wrong
Sweethearts Or Strangers
Be Honest With Me
Sweethearts Or Strangers
Your True Love (Original Tempo)
Your True Love
Put Your Cat Clothes On
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 3 Contains
Put Your Cat Clothes On
Keeper Of The Key
Roll Over Beethoven
Try My Heart Out
That's Right
Forever Yours
That's Right
I Care
Y.O.U. (With Narration)
Pink Pedal Pushers
Pink Pedal Pushers
Lend Me Your Comb
Look At That Moon
Lend Me Your Comb
Look At That Moon
Glad All Over
Tutti Frutti
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
That's All Right
Where The Rio De Rosa Flows
Shake, Rattle And Roll
Long Tall Sally
I Got A Woman
Hey Good Lookin
Sittin' On Top Of The World
Good Rockin' Tonight
1-18 Original Sun Recordings
19-28 Original Columbia Recordings

Disc 4 Contains
Jive After Five
Rockin' Record Hop
Pink Pedal Pushers
Just Thought I'd Call
Ready Teddy
Jenny, Jenny
You Were There
Because You're Mine
Pop, Let Me Have The Car
Levi Jacket (And A Long Tail Shirt)
When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain
Sister Twister
This Life I Live
Please Say You'll Be Mine
Honey, 'Cause I Love You
I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore
Highway Of Love
Pointed Toe Shoes
One Ticket To Loneliness
The Drifter
To Much For A Man To Understand
Original Columbia Recordings

Disc 5 Contains
Blue Suede Shoes
Big Bad Blues
Say When
Lone Heart
A Love I'll Never Win
Let My Baby Be
Monkey Shine
Mama Of My Song
One Of These Days
I Wouldn't Have You
Help Me Find My Baby
After Sundown
For A Little While
Just For You
When The Right Times Comes Along
The Fool I Used To Be
Forget Me (Next Time Around)
Hollywood City
I've Just Got Back From There
Too Much For A Man To Understand
Turn Around
Unhappy Girls
Someday, Somewhere Someone Waits For Me
Anyway The Wind Blows
1-13 Original Decca Recordings
14-24 Original Columbia Recordings


April 26, 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5 mono digital

5-CD Mini-Box Set (CD-format) with 132-page booklet, 152 tracks. Playing time approx. 360 minutes, 152 tracks and 45 separate songs. Outtakes from all of Carl's Sun era recordings. Everything from Carl's earliest hillbilly titles through his final recording for the film ''Jamboree''! Contains previous unissued titles and outtakes of almost all known songs. Lavishly illustrated booklet contains previously unpublished vintage photos. Complete up-to-date discography, detailed track-by-track music commentary with liner notes of Hank Davis and Scott Parker. The book includes rare photos, and previously unpublished interviews with Carl's son Stan Perkins, and drummer WS Holland. Carl Perkins was the best guitar player who ever set foot in the Sun studio. He was no slouch as a singer and song writer also. Until Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis became megastars, nobody, and that includes Elvis - sold more records at Sun than Carl Perkins. Carl was so much more than ''Blue Suede Shoes''. In addition to eight singles and an album's worth of material, Carl left behind a treasure trove of recorded material consisting of unissued titles and studio outtakes. Many of these tracks have appeared over the years but, incredibly, there were still vintage recordings awaiting discovery. Here for the first time, along with every known Carl Perkins outtake from the Sun era. Finally, it's all here in one place, along with some delicious moments of studio chatter, false starts and song fragments. You've never heard Carl like this before. Also offer some memorable home recordings from the Sun era, some of them previously unissued. They show Carl playing and singing in the privacy of his own living room.

Disc 1 Contains
Honky Tonk Gal / Babe (Take 1)
Honky Tonk Gal / Babe (Take 2)
Honky Tonk Gal / Babe (Take 3)
Honky Tonk Gal / Babe (Take 4)
Honky Tonk Gal / Babe (Take 5)
Turn Around (Fragment 1)
Turn Around (Take 1)
Turn Around (Fragment 2)
Movie Magg (Take 1)
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Take 1)
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (False Start 1, Take 2)
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Take 3)
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Take 4)
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Take 5)
Gone Gone Gone (Take 1)
Gone Gone Gone (Take 2)
Gone Gone Gone (Take 3)
Let the Jukebox Keep On Playing (Take 1)
What You Doing When You're Crying (Take 1)
What You Doing When You're Crying (Take 2)
Dixie Bop/Perkins Wiggle (Take 1)
Dixie Bop/Perkins Wiggle (Take 2)
Dixie Bop/Perkins Wiggle (Take 3)
Tennessee (Fragment 1)
Sure To Fall (Take 1)
Sure To Fall (Take 2)
Sure To Fall (Take 3)
Blue Suede Shoes (Take 1)
Blue Suede Shoes (Take 2)
Honey Don't (Take 1)
Honey Don't (Take 2)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 2 Contains
Boppin' the Blues (False Start 1)
Boppin' the Blues (Fragment 1)
Boppin' the Blues (Take 1)
All Mama's Children (Take 1)
All Mama's Children (Take 2)
All Mama's Children (Take 3)
All Mama's Children (False Start 1)
All Mama's Children (Take 4)
All Mama's Children (Take 5)
All Mama's Children (Take 6)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (False Start 1)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Fragment 1)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Take 1)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (False Start 2)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (False Start 3)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Take 2)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Take 3)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Take 4)
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Take 5)
Dixie Fried (Fragment 1)
Dixie Fried (Take 1)
Dixie Fried (Take 2)
Dixie Fried (Take 3)
Dixie Fried (Take 4)
Dixie Fried (Take 5)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (Take 1)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (False Start 1)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (False Start 2)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (Take 2)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (False Start 3, False Start 4
False Start 5, Take 3)
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (Take 4)
Caldonia (Take 1)
Caldonia (Take 2)
Sweethearts Or Strangers (Take 1)
Sweethearts Or Strangers (Take 2)
Sweethearts Or Strangers (Take 3)
Be Honest With Me (Take 1)
Be Honest With Me (Take 2)
Be Honest With Me (Take 3)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 3 Contains
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 1)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 2)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 3)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 4)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 5)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 6)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 7)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 8)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 9)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 10)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 11)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (False Start 1, Take 12)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 13)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 14)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 15)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 16)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (False Start 2, Take 17)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 18)
Matchbox (Take 1)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Take 1)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Take 2)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Take 3)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Rake 4)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Take 5)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 4 Contains
Your True Love (Fragment 1)
Your True Love (Take 1)
Your True Love (Take 2)
Your True Love (False Start 1)
Your True Love (Take 3)
Your True Love (Take 4)
Your True Love (Take 5)
That Don't Move Me (Take 1)
That Don't Move Me (Take 2)
That Don't Move Me (Take 3)
That Don't Move Me (False Start 1)
That Don't Move Me (Take 4)
That Don't Move Me (Take 5)
You Can Do No Wrong (Take 1)
You Can Do No Wrong (Take 2)
You Can Do No Wrongs (Take 3)
You Can Do No Wrong (Take 4)
You Can Do No Wrong (Take 5)
Forever Yours (Take 1)
Forever Yours (Take 2)
That's Right (Take 1)
That's Right (Take 2)
That's Right (Take 3)
That's Right (Take 4)
I Care (Take 1)
I Care (Take 2)
Y-O-U (Take 1)
Y-O-U (Take 2)
Y-O-U (Take 3)
Lend Me Your Comb (False Start 1)
Lend Me Your Comb (Take 1)
Lend Me Your Comb (Take 2)
Lend Me Your Comb (Take 3)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 5 Contains
Look At That Moon (Take 1)
Look At That Moon (Take 2)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 1)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 1)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 2)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 3)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 4)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 5)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Take 6)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Fragment 1)
Keeper Of The Key (Take 1)
Listen To The Mockingbird (Take 1)
The Way That You're Living (Take 1)
The Old Spinning Wheel (Take 1)
Try Mu Heart Out (Take 1)
Try My Heart Out (Take 2)
The Poor People Of Paris (Take 1)
Roll Over Beethoven (Take 1)
Take Back My Love (Take 1)
Silver Bell (Take 1)
Somebody Tell Me (Take 1)
Lonely Street (Take 1)
Lonely Street (Take 2)
Lonely Street (Take 3)
Lonely Street (Take 4)
Drink Up And Go Home (Take 1)
Original Sun Recordings


October 4, 2019 Bear Family (LP) 33rpm 10inch BAF 14 007 mono

Carl Perkins, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, began his legendary recording career for Sun Records in 1954. After two fairly undistinguished hillbilly outings, he created ''Blue Suede Shoes'', which changed the face of American popular music. It was the first song to top all three charts at once: pop, hillbilly and rhythm and blues.

Producer and music historian, Shawn Pitts and Hank Davis just made a startling discovery that will rewrite rockabilly history. Carl Perkins recorded at least two years earlier in a small studio in rural Tennessee. Those records make it clear that he was far from the clueless hillbilly who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the rockabilly revolution. In fact, one of the four songs he recorded was ''Good Rocking Tonight'', perhaps two years earlier than Elvis Presley cut it at Sun!

In October 2019 Bear Family Records will release ''Discovering Carl Perkins, Eastview, Tennessee 1952-53''. It contains for the first time anywhere, these historic, unreleased recordings, complete and remastered for the best possible sound, along with several rare outtakes from Carl´s earliest Sun period (first time on vinyl). They will appear on a ten-inch LP that includes previously unseen vintage photographs and detailed liner notes about the music, and how the local culture gave rise to these historic, one-of-a-kind recordings. It´s quite a landmark event for those interested in early rock and roll history, Sun Records, Carl Perkins and the birth of rockabilly.

Original session producers: Stanton Littlejohn and Sam Phillips. Reissue producers: Hank Davis and Shawn Pitts, Richard Weize. Liner notes by Shawn Pitts, Hank Davis and Scott Parker. Photo research by Shawn Pitts. Frontcover photo: Carl Perkins and W.S. Holland circa 1953, image courtesy of W.S. Holland. Limited edition of 2,000 copies.

Side 1 Contains
1.1 - Good Rockin' Tonight
1.2 - There’s Been A Change in Me
1.3 - Drinking Wine Spo-Dee O-Dee
1.4 - Devil’s Dream
Previously Unreleased (historic, early recordings discovered after 70 years)

Side 2 Contains
2.1 - Gone Gone Gone (Alternate Take 1)
2.2 - What You Doing When You’re Crying (Alternate Take 1)
2.3 - You Can’t Make Love To Somebody (Alternate Take 5)
2.4 - Sure To Fall (Alternate Take 1)
2.5 - Perkins Wiggle/Dixie Bop (Alternate Take 1)
Original Sun Recording


For Biography of Carl Perkins. See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <