Carl Perkins Remembered

The late rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins was remembered for his love of music yesterday (April 9) in his hometown of Jackson, Tenn., on what would have been his 70th birthday.

The late rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins was remembered for his love of music yesterday (April 9) in his hometown of Jackson, Tenn., on what would have been his 70th birthday.

"If he was alive today, he'd walk right through that door and say, 'How long do you want me to play?'" said Henry Harrison, owner of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Carl loved to perform. He loved to play anything you could tap your toes to." Perkins, who died in 1998, is perhaps best known for his hit "Blue Suede Shoes," which reached No. 2 on Billboard's pop singles chart in 1956.

"We've got one picture of Carl playing for Bill Clinton; that shows how much prestige he had," Harrison said. "On the other hand, we've got one of him playing a chicken festival in Oklahoma."

Perkins' friends and family planned a celebration Tuesday night at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Scheduled performers included Perkins' son, Stan, and some of his father's former band mates, including Jerry Elston, Lee McAlpin, and Paul Burleson. The show was taped for radio broadcast on Voice of America, the international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government.


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