Alongside Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins was one of the key stars crafted at legendary producer Sam Phillips's Sun Studio in the late 1950s - "the birth place of rock'n'roll". Raised in a poor family of share croppers in North Tennessee, he was taught guitar as a 10-year-old by an older black cotton picker and grew up listening to gospel, blues and country music on local radio stations. A successful audition with Phillips led to him penning the 1955 classic Blue Suede Shoes, a US Number 2 hit for Perkins, which became one of the most famous rock songs of all time when Elvis Presley covered the song a year later. It became the first Sun Records single to sell a million copies, but Perkins could only follow it with minor rockabilly hits such as Boppin' The Blues, Dixie Fried and Restless. He went on to hugely influence The Beatles, The Animals and a host of British beat acts of the 1960s, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and collaborated with Duane Eddy, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and Bono before his death in 1998 from throat cancer, aged 65.
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