Photo courtesy of Screamsville Studios 2013
Browsing through my old vinyl I've re-connected with the first LP I ever bought: Carl Perkins Original Golden Hits. I guess that would have been around 1969,1970. I remember I'd looked at it longingly in Rumbelows for several weeks, picking it out and reading the song titles, and then eventually I'd taken the plunge and bought it. Hey - an album purchase was a big spend back then! Well I guess that as an investment it's certainly paid off, it's still with me and it's survived a million plays. And Carl's picking style, over that million listens, surely must have had an influence on me. Today I've given the album a re-spin and it's just as I remembered - it's great!!! Like the tough Sun vinyl it's pressed on, this stuff was made to last.
Side 1 - Blue Suede Shoes / Boppin' The Blues / Lend Me Your Comb / Only You / Tennessee / Honey Don't.
Side 2 - Matchbox / Dixie Fried / Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo / Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby / Your True Love.
Listening to it now it still rocks, Carl had rockabilly in him, natural. It's clearly apparent that the songs are played live in the studio, a couple of the tracks have tatty endings, and I'm sure different takes would have slightly different riffs, solos and feels - it's all being performed on ability and instinct.
Instrumentation is electric lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, stand-up 'fiddle' bass, drums, a little piano here and there and mostly Carl's one lead vocal, occasionally with a second vocal harmony part. I particularly love the economy and dry tone of the guitar breaks.
It's highly influential stuff too - obviously, and famously, listening carefully to these tracks would have been the young Beatles - with three tracks here later covered as official releases. Says it all, really.
Many years after that first album purchase I recognised myself within the lines of John Sebastians' song 'Nashville Cats'......the record man said everyone is a yellow Sun record from Nashville, and up North there ain't nobody buys them and I said "But I will".