October 12

Story of the Song “Boppin’ The Blues” By Carl Perkins


Story of the Song “Boppin’ The Blues” By Carl Perkins 1

The song “Boppin’ The Blues” was written by Carl Perkins and Howard “Curley” Griffin back in 1956. It was released as a single on Sun Records in May 1956. The single was backed with the song “All Mama’s Children”, a song co-written by Johnny Cash. The song reached no.9 on Billboard country and western chart, no. 47 on the Cashbox pop singles chart, and no.70 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. It was also released in Canada on the quality label as #1570. The record was reissued I 1984 on the Collectibles label on the Back to Back Hit Series featuring Sun Records as 3090 and on the Sun Golden Treasure Series in 1979.

The co-writer of the song Howard Griffin was a singer and a disc jockey from Jackson, Tennessee, who also recorded rock and roll songs on the Atomic Records label from 1955 to 1957, such as “Got Rockin’ On My Mind,” released in 1958. He also co-wrote the song “Dixie Fried” with Carl Perkins in 1956.

“Boppin’ the Blues” has been recorded by many other musicians, including Ricky Nelson, who recorded the song on his first Imperial album ‘Ricky’ in 1957.  Gene Vincent, Brian Setzer, The Kingbees, Robert Gordon with Link Wray, Johnny Rivers, The Nighthawks, Hank C. Burnette, Carla Rugg, Jussi, Merrel Fankhauser, the Razorbacks, Tarwater, The Shakers, Johnny Thunders, and Heartbreakers.

Carl Perkins re-recorded the song in 1970 in collaboration with the band NRBQ on the eponymous album released on Columbia Records. The band Blackfeather had a no.1 hit for two weeks on the Australian singles chart in October 1972 with a recording of the song and the lyrics changed. Nelson performed the song on the Ozzie and Harriet T show on ABC in 1957, along with “Your True Love,” another hit by Perkins hit. The song was featured on the 1970 album ‘Carl Perkins’ Greatest Hits’ and the 1986 Rhino Records Car Perkins: Original Sun Greatest Hits.  Perkins also performed the song on the Town Hall Party syndicated TV series in 1959 and with Dave Edmunds and The Stray Cats on the 1985 HBO/Cinemax special Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session.


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