Little did we know that highly influential Carl Perkins holds a place in Country music. He is a pioneer in rockabilly and he also produced “Blue Suede Shoes,” a number one country record and a #2 pop hit on Billboard’s 1956 charts. However, like any other person, something also challenged him. This was a car accident that kept him in the hospital for weeks and halted his momentum. He had a hard time getting back on track and was only able to contribute two hits that made it to Top Ten including “Dixie Fried” and “Boppin’ The Blues,” which are now, sadly, forgotten. Elvis Presley covered “Blue Suede Shoes” and sang it so much in his live shows and on national TV appearances that fans soon forgot the fact that it was Carl’s song, not Elvis’s.
Carl Perkins had every right to be a bitter man, but he stayed in music. As a gifted guitar player, Perkins became a member of his friend Johnny Cash’s road show and remained connected with that entourage for many years. Johnny Cash instantly liked Carl’s new song and recorded it shortly thereafter. “Daddy Sang Bass” spent six weeks at number one.
Nearly twenty years after the chart-topping success of “Daddy Sang Bass,” Perkins was still looking for his place in the music industry. He became friends with producer and songwriter Brent Maher, who was producing The Judds at the time.
The Story Behind
It was on a Saturday and Carl drove up to Nashville from his home in Jackson, Tennessee. The three men sat down at Paul’s kitchen table to write and Perkins started playing that great little rockabilly groove on his guitar. Maher added the melody to Carl’s pickin’ and Kennerley came up with the title “Let Me Tell You About Love.” From there, they concocted a series of verses that pulled together five romantic couples from history and literature.
Perkins did the actual demo for “Let Me Tell You About Love” in that tiny studio and Brent Maher took it to RCA to play for the Judds. Wynonna and Naomi loved the song, but they had one very special request to ask of Maher. They asked if perhaps Carl Perkins could be recruited to play guitar on their recording. Carl was happy to do it and those are his guitar licks you hear on the actual record. Wynonna even introduces the guitar break when she says, “Take it, Perkins!”
“Let Me Tell You About Love” reached #1 on Billboard’s country singles chart on September 30, 1989, marking the Judds’ fourteenth and final chart-topper. On New Year’s Day of 1990, Naomi woke up feeling ill and visited the doctor that week. The prognosis was that she possessed a rare and incurable strain of hepatitis. The Judds kept it private until October 19, 1990, when they announced to the world that Naomi’s career would be coming to a close because of this illness, although Wynonna went ahead with her solo career on her new label, Curb/MCA. She logged a total of eleven Top Ten singles including four number one hits as a solo artist.
carl perkins, teh judds
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