The Story Of 'Blue Suede Shoes'

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NPR 100 Fact Sheet

Title: Blue Suede Shoes

Artist: Words/music Carl Perkins

As performed by Carl Perkins

Reporter: Nick Spitzer

Producer: Marika Partridge

Editor: Marika Partridge/ Jonathan Kern

Length: 8:00

Interviewees: Jerry Lee Lewis, singer (archive tape)

Carl Perkins, singer (archive tape)

Recordings Used: BSS- Carl Perkins

BSS – Elvis Presley

BSS- sung by 3rd graders at Lowell School in Washington DC

Carl Perkins. i

Carl Perkins. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Carl Perkins.

Carl Perkins.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The song "Blue Suede Shoes" was a huge hit for songwriter Carl Perkins in 1956. But while the song became the first million-seller triple play crossover, going from the top of the country charts over to rhythm & blues and then pop, Perkins' own version of the song was eclipsed in mid-orbit by Elvis Presley's up-tempo cover, which rose even further up all three charts. Now it's a classic that is now even being taught in grade schools.

Nick Spitzer pays tribute to the enduring popularity of "Blue Suede Shoes."



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