Every song has a story behind it. Here is the story behind “Blue Suede Shoes” wh…

Written by on December 19, 2017

Every song has a story behind it. Here is the story behind “Blue Suede Shoes” which was written by and first recorded by Carl Perkins. He recorded it 61 years ago today.

Johnny Cash planted the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, Elvis Presley, and other Louisiana Hayride acts toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman, C. V. White, whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany, who had referred to his military regulation airmens shoes as “blue suede shoes.” Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes. Carl replied, “I don’t know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?”

When Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, Carl heard a stern, forceful voice say, “Uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes!” Carl looked down and noted that the guy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes, thought Carl.

That night Perkins began working on a song based on the incident. His first thought was to frame it with a nursery rhyme. He considered, and quickly discarded “Little Jack Horner…” and “See a spider going up the wall…”, then settled on “One for the money…”

Leaving his bed and working with his Les Paul guitar, he started with an A chord. After playing five chords while singing “Well, it’s one for the money… Two for the show… Three to get ready… Now go, man, go!” he broke into a boogie rhythm. He quickly grabbed a brown paper potato sack and wrote the song down, writing the title out as “Blue Swade”; “S-W-A-D-E – I couldn’t even spell it right,” he later said.

According to Perkins, “On December 17, 1955, I wrote ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. I recorded it on December 19,” releasing the second take of the song. Producer Sam Phillips suggested that Perkins’s line “go cat go” be changed to “go man go”, but it wasn’t.

Carl first recorded the song, and it has been covered by many since, including one by ELVIS PRESLEY and the Ten Years After / Alvin Lee version at Woodstock. (part of the song I’m Going Home”) “Blue Suede Shoes” helped make Alvin a star. Carl’s recording was done an Alvin’s 11th birthday as today, Dec. 19th is his birthday.

Happy 62nd Birthday to “Blue Suede Shoes”!!

Here is Carl Perkins playing the song:


Carl Perkins appeared on The Perry Como Show on Saturday May 26th 1956 singing his big hit Blue Suede Shoes. This was just about 3-weeks or so after the song…

Read It Here!

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