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Blue Suede Shoes
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(Perkins)

Information:
Blue Suede Shoes was written by Carl Perkins in late 1955. There are two versions of how Perkins came to write the song. Perkins had said that he played for a high school dance in Jackson, Tennessee, on December 4, 1955. During the dance, he spotted a boy with blue suede shoes dancing with a gorgeous girl. The boy told her, "Uh-uh! Don't step on my blue suede shoes!" Perkins couldn't get the image out of his mind. He awoke at three o'clock the next morning with the lyrics to Blue Suede Shoes and wrote them down on a brown paper potato sack. Originally, the first line was "One for the money, two for the show, three get ready, and go, man, go". But while recording the song at Sun Records, Perkins substituted the word cat for man. That opening phrase was borrowed from Bill Haley's 1953 recording What 'Cha Gonna Do (Essex 321).

Johnny Cash told a different story about the origin of Blue Suede Shoes. While Perkins, Elvis, and Cash were performing in Amory, Mississippi, one night in 1955, Cash told Perkins about a black sergeant he had in the Air Force by the name of C.V. White. Sergeant White would frequently step into Cash's room and ask him how he (White) looked and then say, "Just don't step on my blue suede shoes!" (Never mind that Sergeant White was wearing regulation Air Force shoes). Perkins thought that Cash's story was a good idea for a song. While Elvis was performing on stage, Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes.

Whatever the story, Perkins's Blue Suede Shoes (Sun 234) was released on January 1, 1956. By March it was #4 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, #2 on the country chart (Heartbreak Hotel kept it from being number one), and #2 on the rhythm & blues chart - the first song in music history to reach all three charts. Blue Suede Shoes was a million-seller.

Three versions of Blue Suede Shoes charted in 1956: Perkins's, Elvis's, and that by Boyd Bennet and His Rockets (King 4903), who reached #63 on the Top 100 chart. In 1973 Johnny Rivers (United Artists 198) peaked at #38 with his recording.

Elvis recorded Blue Suede Shoes on January 30, 1956, at RCA's New York City studios. Although the September 1956 single did not chart, earlier in the year Blue Suede Shoes had reached #24 on Billboard's Top 100 chart as part of the EP Elvis Presley (RCA EPA-747). It had a 12-week stay on the chart.

Elvis sang Blue Suede Shoes during his screen test for Paramount Pictures on April 1, 1956, and on the following TV programs: Stage Show (February 11, 1956; March 17, 1956), The Milton Berle Show (April 3, 1956), and Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii (January 14, 1973). In addition, a performance of the song at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in August 1970, was used in the documentary Elvis - That's The Way It Is. Blue Suede Shoes was recorded for the 1968 TV special, Elvis, but was not used. However, a spliced version, using the first portion of the song recorded on June 27, 1968, at the 6:00 P.M. show, and the last portion recorded on June 29, 1968, at the 8:00 P.M. show, was heard in the 1981 documentary This Is Elvis. The version of Blue Suede Shoes heard on a jukebox in G.I. Blues was recorded at RCA's Hollywood studios on April 28, 1960.

In 1985 RCA issued a music video of Elvis's Blue Suede Shoes in which Carl Perkins made a cameo appearance.

Lyrics:

Well, it's one for the money, two for the show
Three to get ready, now go, cat, go
But don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my Blue suede shoes
 
Well, you can knock me down, step in my face
Slander my name all over the place 
Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh
Honey, lay off of my shoes
And don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
 
You can burn my house, steal my car
Drink my liquor from an old fruit jar
Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh
But honey, lay off of my shoes
And don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes
 
Rock it! Yeah!
 
Well, it's one for the money, two for the show
Three to get ready, now go, go, go
Well, it's blue, blue, blue suede shoes
Blue, blue, blue suede shoes, yeah!
Blue, blue, blue suede shoes, baby
Blue, blue, blue suede shoes
Well you can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes

 

Where it was released:

First released on the album Elvis Presley.

 

Singles:

- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 20-6636) September 1956. Standard 78 rpm release

- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 47-6636) September 1956. Standard 45 rpm release

- Blue Suede Shoes / I'm Counting On You (RCA 47-6492) September 1956. Disc Jockey Record Prevue (Canada only).

- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA 447-0609) March 1959. Gold Standard Series reissue

- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA PB-11107) October 1977. One of the 15 singles in the boxed set 15 Golden Records - 30 Golden Hits (RCA PP-11301), and the 20 Golden Hits In Full Color Sleeves (RCA PP-11340) boxed set released two months later.

- Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (RCA PB-13885) October 1984. One of six singles in the boxed set Elvis' Greatest Hits - Golden Singles, Volume 1 (RCA PP-13897). The record was pressed on gold vinyl with a gold "50th" anniversary label.

- Blue Suede Shoes / Promised Land (RCA PB-13929) October 1984. New single that was pressed on blue vinyl with a gold "50th" anniversary label.

- Blue Suede Shoes / Blue Suede Shoes (RCA JK-13929). October 1984. Disc jockey promotional release.

- Blue Suede Shoes / Fools Fall In Love (Collectables DPE1-1022 4522) December 1986.

 

EPs:

- Elvis Presley (RCA EPA-747) (1956)

- Elvis Presley (RCA EPB-1254) (1956)

- Elvis Presley (RCA SPD-22) (1956)

- Elvis Presley (RCA SPD-23) (1956)

- Elvis Presley - The Most Talked About New Personality in the Last Ten Years of Recorded Music (RCA EPB-1254) (1956)

 

LPs/CDs:

- Elvis Presley (1956)

- G.I. Blues (1960)

- Elvis From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis (1969)
- Elvis in Person at the International Hotel (1970)
- Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite (1973)

- Elvis Forever (1974)

- Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Volume 2 (1976)

- Elvis - A Collectors Edition (1976)

- The Elvis Presley Story (1977)

- Legendary Concert Performances (1978)

- Elvis! His Greatest Hits (1979)

Elvis Aron Presley (1980)
G.I. Blues (1980)
- This is Elvis (1981)
- The Alternate Aloha (1988)

- The Great Performances (1990)

- Collectors Gold (1991)

- The King of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete 50's Masters (1992)

- The Essential Collection (1994)

- The Legend Begins (1996) - Magnum

- Elvis 56 (1996)

- Always Elvis - The Dutch Album (1997)

- All Time Greatest Hits (1997)

- Classic Elvis (1997)

- An Afternoon In The Garden (1997)

- G.I. Blues (1997)

- A Golden Celebration (1998)

- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)

- Tiger Man (1998)

- Memories of the '68 Comeback Special (1998)

- All The Best (1999)

- Rock'n'Roll (1999)

- Burbank '68 (1999) - FTD

- Artist Of The Century (1999)

- That's The Way It Is, Special Edition (2000)

- The Swedish Hit Collection (2000)

- Elvis Rockabilly - Millennium Masters (2000)

- Elvis 2000: Best of the King (2000)

- Too Much Monkey Business (2000) - FTD

- Live and Unplugged (2000) - Laserlight

- The 50 Greatest Hits (2000)

- 55 Recorded Live at the Louisiana Hayride (2001) - NMC

- Best of Elvis Presley II (2001) - Zounds

- The Life Greatest Hits (2001)

- Hayride and Gambling Halls (2001) - Sonotec

- Greatest Hits (2001)

- L'Essentiel (2001)

- Live In Las Vegas (2001)

- The Way It Was (2001) - FTD

- Elvis 50's (2001)

- Elvis; Elvis Is Back; Elvis Presley (2001)

- Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride / The Original Roots of Elvis Presley (2002) - Charly

- Spring Tours '77 (2002) - FTD

- Today, Tomorrow And Forever (2002)

- Elvis at The International (2002) - FTD

- New Year's Eve (2003) - FTD

- Live At the Louisiana Hayride (2003) - Dynamic

- I Was The One (2003) - Janda

- 2nd To None (2003)

- Dragonheart (2003) - FTD

- Takin' Tahoe Tonight! (2003) - FTD

- The Impossible Dream (2004)

- All Shook Up (2005) - FTD

- Summer Festival (2005) FTD

- Southern Nights (2006) FTD

- Elvis Presley (2006) FTD

- Writing For the King (2006) - FTD

- The Way It Was (2008) - FTD

- Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas (2008) - FTD

- I'll Remember You (2008) - FTD

- Dixieland Delight (2009) - FTD

- The Wonder of You (2009)

- Showtime! Birmingham/Dallas '76 (2010) - FTD

- Elvis as Recorded at Boston Garden '71 (2010) - FTD

Live in Las Vegas (2011) - FTD

Amarillo '77 (2011) - FTD

Elvis From Hawaii to Las Vegas (2012) - FTD

- G.I. Blues (2012) - FTD

- From Memphis to Hollywood (2012) - FTD

3000 South Paradise Road (2012) - FTD

Hot August Night (2013) - FTD

G.I. Blues, Volume 2 (2013) - FTD

Destination U.S.A. (2014) - FTD

Love Me Tender (2014) - FTD

- The Return to Vegas (2014) - FTD

- This is Elvis (2015) - FTD

- Elvis' Golden Records (2015) - FTD

- Elvis in West Texas (2015) - FTD

NBC-TV Special (2016) - FTD

- Taking Care of Business (2016) - FTD

 

Bootleg Releases:

- The King of Las Vegas Live (1973) Hazbin / Wizardo Records

- The Hillbilly Cat Live (1974) Brookville Records

- Dorsey Shows (1976) Golden Archives Records

- Rockin' With Elvis New Year's Eve Pittsburgh, Pa. Dec. 31, 1976 (1977) Spirit of America Records

- The Sun Years (1977) Sun International Corp.

- Superstar Outtakes, Volume 2 (1977) E.P. Records

- The Burbank Sessions, Volume 1 (1979) Audifon Records

- The Burbank Sessions, Volume 2 (1979) Audifon Records

- Cadillac Elvis Audifon Records

- Aloha Rehearsal Show - Kui Lee Cancer Benefit  (1980) Amiga Records

- That's The Way It Is (1980) Amiga Records

- Long Lost Songs (1985) Vault Records