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“Johnny B. Goode”

31 Mar

The guy with the new guitar sound and great rock and roll lyrics, Chuck Berry, released the rock and roll anthem “Johnny B. Goode” on March 31, 1958. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #1 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.




How many bands covered this after the fact?

“Old Shep”

3 Oct

On October 3rd 1945, Elvis Presley made his first ever public appearance  at the age of 10 in a talent contest at the Mississippi, Alabama Dairy Show. He sang  ” Old Shep”, and came in second.


This is obviously a much later version.


21 May

Chuck Berry recorded his first single, “Maybellene,” at the Chess Recording Studio in Chicago on May 21, 1955. This recording is one of the first records to be successful on rhythm & blues, country & western, and the pop charts at the same time!

These three genres were the recipe for the new hybrid genre called rock and roll.

In 1988 “Maybellene” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single.

The Survivors

23 Apr

The Survivors Live is a live album by country/rockabilly musicians Johnny CashCarl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, released in 1982 on Columbia Records. It was recorded on April 23, 1981 in Böblingen, near StuttgartWest Germany, when all three singers, who had been labelmates at Sun Records at the beginning of their careers, were touring Europe. The show had initially been meant to feature only Cash, but Lewis and Perkins joined him onstage on a night when they did not have a concert scheduled themselves. Without rehearsal, the three performed a number of songs they were known for – including Cash’s “Get Rhythm” and Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” – as well as slightly more obscure compositions. Perkins, Cash and Lewis had previously collaborated with each other, and with Elvis Presley (who had died in 1977), during the Million Dollar Quartet session, and would later collaborate for the album Class of ’55 with Roy Orbison in 1985. For the last song on the record “I saw the light”, Cash, Perkins and Lewis were joined by Cash’s sonJohn Carter and his daughter Cindy Cash.

Side 1

  1. Get Rhythm” (Cash) – 3:07
  2. I Forgot to Remember to Forget” (Charlie Feathers, Stan Kesler) – 2:44
  3. “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” (Traditional) – 2:59
  4. “That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine” (Gene Autry, Jimmy Long) – 3:10
  5. Matchbox” (Carl Perkins) – 3:18
  6. “I’ll Fly Away” (Albert E. Brumley) – 4:02

Side 2

  1. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (Dave “Curly” Williams, Sunny David) – 4:04
  2. “Rockin’ My Life Away” (Mack Vickery) – 2:54
  3. Blue Suede Shoes” (Perkins) – 3:07
  4. “Peace in the Valley” (Thomas A. Dorsey) – 4:51
  5. Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (A.P. Carter) – 4:36
  6. I Saw the Light” (Hank Williams) – 3:25


  • Johnny Cash – Vocals, Guitar, Arranger, Liner Notes
  • Jerry Lee Lewis – Vocals, Piano
  • Carl Perkins – Vocals, Guitar
  • Jerry Hensley, Kenneth Lovelace, Bob Wootton – Electric Guitar
  • Marty Stuart – Guitar, Mandolin
  • Earl Ball – Piano
  • Jack Hale Jr., Bob Lewin – Trumpet, French Horn
  • W.S. Holland – Drums
  • Henry Strzelecki – Bass

I Walk the Line

2 Apr

I Walk the Line” is a song written by Johnny Cash and recorded in 1956. After three attempts with moderate chart ratings, “I Walk the Line” became the first number one Billboard hit for Cash. The single remained on the record charts for over 43 weeks, and sold over 2 million copies.[1]

Single by Johnny Cash
from the album With His Hot and Blue Guitar
B-side Get Rhythm
Released May 1, 1956
Format 7″ single
Recorded April 2, 1956
Genre Countryrockabillyrock and roll
Length 2:45
Label Sun
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer Sam Phillips

“Surfin’ USA” and “Sweet Little Sixteen”

4 Mar

The Beach Boys  “Surfin’ USA.” was a copy of  the melody of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” but uses new lyrics. After Berry sued, he was granted royalties, and all further issues of the song gave him writing credit.

 According to Wilson,

“I was going with a girl called Judy Bowles, and her brother Jimmy was a surfer. He knew all the surfing spots. I started humming the melody to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ and I got fascinated with the fact of doing it, and I thought to myself, ‘God! What about trying to put surf lyrics to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’s melody? The concept was about, ‘They are doing this in this city, and they’re doing that in that city’ So I said to Jimmy, ‘Hey Jimmy, I want to do a song mentioning all the surf spots.’ So he gave me a list.”[1]

“Surfin’ U.S.A.” was released as a single on March 4, 1963. “Sweet Little Sixteen” was released in January 1958.

The Last Great American

26 Feb

John R. “Johnny” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Many remember him as a country music icon. The truth is his songs and sound spanned many genres including rockabilly , rock and rollbluesfolk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash!