Saturday, September 24, 2011

Covers that you might not have known are covers: "Blue Suede Shoes"

"Blue Suede Shoes"

Familiar version: Elvis Presley
Original version: Carl Perkins

This was actually a bigger hit for Perkins, who wrote the song, than for Elvis, who covered it later in the same year, but my sense is that the Elvis version gets more play nowadays. Unfortunately, in my opinion, because I think Perkins's version is better.

On video, Elvis's charisma is overwhelming, and Perkins can't come close to matching it. But if you listen to the music without the images, I think Perkins brings much more heart to the song than Elvis does. It's not a "deep" song, but Perkins brings a sincerity to it that Elvis doesn't match in this case.

Anyway, enjoy.

Carl Perkins (1956)

Elvis Presley (1956)

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  1. Carl Perkins even originated the knee-twisting moves! He did fail in the bedroom eyes department, though.

    My son works in Nashville for some of the greats (more blues and jazz there than I'd ever have realized, too). He's taught me to look for the relatively few writers and studio musicians, past and present, who are the real engines behind Music City. Carl Perkins was one of those.

  2. I've got a collection of old rockabilly songs from the '50s, and there's some really wild stuff on it, but a lot of it definitely has kind of a country tinge to it. I guess there used to be a lot more overlap among rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and country than there is now.


What do you think?