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Tennessee: Carl Perkins [1956]

This song about Tennessee's contribution to country music manages to fit in the fact that the state was also where the first atomic bomb was built. It isn't exactly clear how this relates to the salutes to Red Foley, Ernest Tubb and Eddy Arnold, but we'll take our Bomb references wherever we can find them.

Rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins was born in Tiponville, Tennessee in 1932 and was inspired by country music as a child listening to The Grand Ole Opry on the radio. He also gained an appreciation for the blues by listening to his fellow sharecroppers while working in the fields. As a teenager Perkins formed, with his two siblings, a honky-tonk combo called The Perkins Brothers. He first approached Sun Records for a chance at recording in 1954 and in the latter part of the year he cut his first single: Movie Magg/Turn Around. The record was released on the Sun subsidiary Flip. In December of 1955 Perkins recorded, again at Sun, what would be his biggest hit: Blue Suede Shoes/Honey Don't. Shoes went on to hit Number One on the country charts and Number 2 on the pop charts in 1956. Of course, Elvis Presley's version would also catch fire. Perkins continued recording such landmark rockabilly tracks as Boppin' The Blues, Dixie Fried, Matchbox, and Everybodyís Trying To Be My Baby (the latter two covered by the Beatles). In 1958 the artist followed his Sun labelmate Johnny Cash over to Columbia, and from 1965 to 1975 Perkins toured with Johnny Cash and wrote a hit song for him, Daddy Sang Bass, in 1968. In the '80s most of Perkins work was for various retrospective projects and the nostalgia market. In 1996 he published his second autobiography, 'Go, Cat, Go!'. Perkins died in 1998 after a series of strokes.
LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Tennessee: Carl Perkins [1956]

Now there are folks who like to brag about where they came from
But when they start that stuff I let Ďem be
But it makes me feel like I want to brag some
To know that I come from the state of Tennessee

Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville every day
Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

Mr. Red Foley came from Kentucky
Now Ernest Tubbís down in Texas donít you see
But if all you folks out there can remember
Mr. Eddy Arnold came from Tennessee

Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville every day
Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

They make bombs they say can blow up our world here
Well, a country boy like me, I will agree
But if all you folks out there will remember
They made their first atomic bomb in Tennessee

Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville every day
Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville every day
Letís give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

Carl Perkins [1956]
Tennessee
(Carl Perkins)
Sun 235

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