Can you believe it? Tomorrow would be Elvis Presley’s 84th birthday… To celebrate, our mystery conductor has asked us to play an Elvis song followed by songs by artists who were active when he was. Since that includes half of the ’50’s, all of the ’60’s, and most of the ’70’s, that gives me a lot of leeway… but I stuck with artists who were from the ’50’s and early ’60’s. Elvis was first recorded on Sam Phillips’s Sun Records label, along with a few other names you’ll recognize, so the first half of the list are the Sun artists.
- Elvis Presley, “Mystery Train” As long as we have a mystery comnductor… From 1955, recorded on a 78 rpm record. Reached #10 on the country chart.
- Carl Perkins, “Matchbox” Recorded in 1956 as the B side to “Your True Love,” which went to #13 on the country chart. One of his more popular tunes.
- Johnny Cash, “Cry, Cry, Cry” The Man In Black’s first single, it reached #14 on the country chart in 1955.
- Jerry Lee Lewis, “Breathless” From 1958, it reached #7 on the pop chart, #4 on the country chart, and #3 on the R&B chart.
- Roy Orbison, “Ooby Dooby” The original from 1956, it didn’t crack the Top 40. Creedence Clearwater Revival covered it practically note-for-note on Cosmo’s Factory.
- Little Richard, “Keep A-Knockin'” from 1958, went to #13 on the pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart.
- Chet Atkins, “Canned Heat” I included this because around the same time Elvis came to RCA Records, Chet was put in charge of the Nashville studios.
- Fats Domino, “Blue Monday” Reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart in 1956. Fats was also a Sam Phillips discovery.
- Ricky Nelson, “Hello Mary Lou” Evidently Ozzie Nelson had more than a little trouble with his son mimicking the King. From 1961, it only reached #9, but James Burton’s guitar solo influenced many guitar players. Burton later played with Elvis as a member of the TCB Band.
- Bill Haley & The Comets, “Rockin’ Thru The Rye” Only reached #78 on the Hot 100, but reached #3 in the UK, and probably had Harry Lauder spinning in his grave.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 7, 2019.