#959: 1954, Elvis Presley, That’s All Right

by Charlie_East_West on November 23, 2014

Note to self. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

To conclude our Great Debut Singles, I drafted a feature on Rocket 88 – generally regarded as the debut song for rock’n’roll. After submitting the article, I found that George East had already posted an earlier feature on this song. Time spent without reconnaissance is always wasted.

Anyway, sticking to the great debut rock’n’roller theme, I have come up with a great Plan B:- The debut single from Elvis PresleyThat’s All Right.

The song was originally written by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and first recorded in Chicago on September 6, 1946.

During an early recording session at Sun Studios on the evening of July 5, 1954, Presley, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (string bass) were taking a break between recordings when Presley started fooling around with a version of Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right, Mama“. Black began joining in on bass, and soon they were joined by Moore on guitar. Producer Sam Phillips – who also produced and recorded Rocket 88 (see above), was so taken aback by this sudden upbeat rock’n’roll atmosphere, he immediately asked the three of them to start again so he could record it.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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