CARL PERKINS CHUCK BERRY HENDRIX ZEP PLATTERS EDDIE COCHRAN. MORETTI
                                         
 
                                                    
CARL PERKINS. THE DADDY IF THEM ALL. THE GROOVIEST ROCK - C&W ARTIST - ROCKABILLY - CALL IT WHAT YOU LIKE, OF ALL TIME.
 
 FOREWORD : Anyone can compose a web page on Carl Perkins, or anyone else for that matter. Grab some info from the web :  date of birth, discography, etc etc, and you have what can pass for a web page.  With all humility I must say  I do attempt to give my articles some substance, some relevance, especially when it comes to writing about the most important figures in music, art, literature. I am not a critic.  CARL PERKINS was, to my mind,  simply the grooviest rocker of all time. From the first time I heard " Honey Don't " and Carl's 'Blue Suede Shoes', I was hooked. Carl was one of the few who started out groovy and stayed that way. Elvis disappeared into movie land, which I regretted very much. His early cuts for SUN were brilliant, but when the Colonel came along, well......'Nuff said.  Carl was always his own man, like Hank Williams. What gave Carl the edge on all the others was the fact that he sung and played his own guitar solos, and they were brilliant pieces of musical invention. The intro to Honey Don't is outstanding for the descending  pattern of notes using the open  E- and B-strings and the dissonance created by Bb on the third string against them. It rivets you. And the groove ? While other guys were ramming straight 8's and sheer volume down our throats, Carl had that crazy soft, but solid, insistent feel.  A gentlemanly feel, and one that can only come from a master of understatement. Carl didn't have to prove that he could play guitar.  He knew he could swing, and he just sat on the beat and sung and played the guitar. Easy, naturally. That's the sign of a man who is mature in what he's doing.  When a musician is relaxed like that, he can summon up tremendous energy and make a simple musical statement that contains great power. Puccini could do it with two notes. DeBussy could do the same. Others can display a great knowledge of musical analysis and say nothing at all.  'Honey Dont' was especially relevant in popular music development in being one of the first songs to simply, but drastically, change the time honoured structure of a twelve bar, and the traditional twelve bar chord sequence, eg: E, A7,B7, E. The second chord in the vocal intro of 'Honey Don't'  is a C7 which intoduces a lovely change, supporting the vocal. Why ? Well, let's just say It's because it sounds nice.  Forget the analysis.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a millionaire to get it on in music. On the contrary, most of the great rockers started out from a very humble background. More often that not, the people were hard working, poor, and honest. This proves to be the case across the Artistic spectrum.  The true artist does his own thing. It's difficult to think of any millionaire's son who can sing truthfully about hard times. That's where Rock and Roll comes from, hard times. When a man did a day's work, came home, had his supper, and then picked up his guitar to play and tell his story.
                                         
 
Carl Perkins signed with SUN records in 1954 to work with owner/producer Sam Phillips.    Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash were all with SUN at the time . Carl records " Blue Suede Shoes "in 1955. He came from Tennessee and grew up in a Sharecropping family in Tiptonville, North of Memphis. He worked in the Perkins Brothers Band and He and Elvis were Major Catalysts in the Great coming together of Rock and Roll. I was in a Cafe in Glasgow, Scotland the first time I heard " Honey Don't "  Ah ! That feel. It was CRAZY.  I wanted to play like that. And Elvis had released " That's All Right Mama" b/w " Blue Moon of Kentucky " - two tracks that had inspired Carl to go to SUN in the first place. What impressed me  about Carl was that he played his own guitar solos. Elvis was so knocked out with Blue Suede Shoes that He cut his own version of it. Both versions are beauties. Something extremely significant occurred then. Carl's version went to number 5 right across the Board. Number 5 on the Pop, Country, and R & B charts - Simultaneously.   Is anyone still unsure about the Tie-ups between Rock, R&B, Blues, and C& W ?  The Beatles cut 5 of his songs in 1964 when He was touring Britain. George Harrison was a big fan of Carl. Retro bands of the 1980s like "Stray Cats" pulled Carl's Music to the fore once more, and in 1985 He returned to SUN to record " Class of 55 " with Jerry Lee and Roy Orbison. In 1987 Carl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1995 his autobiograpy "Go Cat Go" was published. Carl died of throat cancer on Jan.19th 1998.  (

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                                           Chuck Berry on 10-18-2001 at his 75th birthday party

                                                                                 CHUCK BERRY

 Chuck was one of the first guys to use the "Straight  8 Feel" -  as opposed to the " Dotted" or " Bouncy " feel that was most popular in the 50s and before. Jerry Lee used it too, with his left hand playing walking octaves a la Barrelhouse Boogie while his right hand pounded out the straight 8 quavers.  Chuck's straight feel added a new sense of urgency to a song. It had more attack. Listen to any of his great guitar intros and you'll know what I'm saying. Playing in a Rock band in those days required that you get hip to three basic feels : " The Bouncy Feel ", " The Straight 8 thing ", and the" Triplet" feel " - for Rock ballads. Chuck has influenced thousands of guitarists, John Lennon and Paul McCartney being just two of them, and personally I can play a Chuck Berry solo as good as the next guy. You can't mistake Chuck. There's only one of Him and he's still laying it down today. When Chuck does a tour with a pick up band he doesn't bother with rehearsals. Every Rock Guitarist knows his stuff. If you don't  - why are you on stage Baby" ?  " Roll  Over Beethoven" " Sweet little Sixteen " the hits go on and on. Check Chuck further on theWeb, he's still at it.     

                                                                                                                                                                             

                           
 
 
                          
                                                                                                                                                                     

 

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