Airdate – Apr 24, 2022
When Elvis hit the scene in the mid-50s, many people proclaimed that music was entering a new world and would never be same.
Well, it sure wasn’t the same with Elvis on board. But was it really new …?
What Sam Phillips of Sun Records saw in Elvis was a young man who could sing rhythm and blues and, more importantly, whose voice appealed to a wider audience.
Truth be known, many of Elvis’ first recordings were cover versions of some of finest blues recordings from the mid to late 40s.
In particular was Elvis’ debut release in 1954. The original version of this dates back to 1946 and, according to one source, was “… the front-runner for rock ‘n’ rolls’ ground zero.”
An article by The Guardian in 2004 states that Elvis’ version was simply one of “the first white artists’ interpretations of a sound already well-established by Black musicians almost a decade before.”
In addition to this, Marty Robbins’ country music versions went to #7 on the country charts in 1957.
The artist responsible for writing and originally recording this song in 1946 was a black, Delta blues singer/songwriter and guitarist.
Sometimes labeled as the “Father of Rock & Roll,” Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup had to work as a laborer to augment the low wages he received from his singing.
Recognized and credited as the composer of Elvis’ first recording, royalties were never forthcoming despite legal battles that went into the 70s. It certainly makes one question if “That’s All Right,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: