Carl Perkins Flashback:
Traffic Crash Stalls Career
March 22, 1956 - Entertainer Carl Perkins was seriously injured in a traffic crash near Wilmington, Deleware. Carl and his band were on the way to a national television appearance in New York City. Forced to spend months in recovery, Carl's career was stalled. In the intervening months, fellow West Tennessean, Elvis Presley covered Carl's Blue Suede Shoes.
Though Carl had tremendous success with the record, becoming the first singer ever to chart simultaneously on three Billboard charts, Elvis version became so strongly tied with Blue Suede Shoes that many music fans came to associate the song with Presley rather than Perkins.
Carl Perkins career, though legendary, was not to achieve the recording success first exhibited with Blue Suede Shoes. The great rockabilly debate will always be what would Carl's career been had not the traffic crash of March 22nd not occurred.
Many, however, noting what happened to Presley and other Sun artists, feel that long term Carl Perkins may have been able to live a better lifestyle than his more famous counterparts.
March 22nd a career limiting curse or a life-saving day?
The Day The Music Died:
That's what some feel about March 22nd. On that day in 1952 Grand Ole Opry star Uncle Dave Macon died in Tennessee. One of the Opry's earliest stars, Uncle Dave personified what the Opry had been since its inception. With his death and others of his generation, some Opry purists considered the Ernest Tubb and others with electric instruments the purveyors of noise rather than music. For them the Opry would never be the same.
A Beginning: March 22nd, 1958 eight-year old Hank Williams, Jr. made his professional stage debut in Swainsboro, Georgia. A new cover industry was born and continued until Hank finally broke the cover spell in the 1970's.
An Ending: Stoney Cooper died March 22nd, 1977.