Carl Perkins was born into a sharecropper family in fertile northwestern Tennessee, separated from neighboring states Missouri and Kentucky by curvy bends of the Mississippi River. Even in his early days scouting talent, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips had it right when he met Perkins and declared with reverence "this is one of the world's greatest plow-hands." Perkins was a proud country kid. With Sun Records, Perkins released eight singles and one studio album, but his recording legacy is often undeservedly simplified to this singular, million-selling 7" record.
Originally released in February 1956, "Blue Suede Shoes" b/w '"Honey, Don't" is a rock and roll standard and critically praised as one of the first massive blockbusters of its kind. It walks down the road forged by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ike Turner, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley to fuse elements of blues, country, pop and gospel in a completely new direction. Though Elvis Presley's cover would cement the song's status as a standard, Carl Perkins owes a good deal to Elvis for his name recognition and success as an artist.
With Elvis's cover of "Blue Suede Shoes" recorded and ready to release at the same time as Perkins' original version, Presley requested that his major label distribution hold back his cover single until the original single sold one million copies, purely out of loyalty and consideration for his friend Perkins.