Carl Perkins

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Sam Phillips
  • Category:
Carl Perkins Signature


The widely influential pioneer of rockabilly.

Carl Perkins transformed his humble sharecropper roots into jumping, jiving rockabilly hits. His song “Blue Suede Shoes” launched a label and a movement.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

In 1954, Carl Perkins, a country and western singer by trade, was gigging around and doing a local radio show in Jackson, Tennessee, when he heard Elvis Presley’s version of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s  All  Right.” 

Here, for the first time, the major strains in Southern music - hillbilly boogie, country and western, rhythm and blues — came together. 

Perkins had been  moving in that direction himself, so he headed straight to where Presley was working, Sun Records, in Memphis, and offered his services to owner-producer  Sam Phillips.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Program 1987
1 of 2
Carl Perkins Quote Image
Blue Suede Shoes was a rockabilly masterpiece
Ahmet Ertegun