Blue Suede Shoes” was written by Carl Perkins in 1955 when he was recording at legendary Sun Records in Memphis. Fellow recording legend, Johnny Cash told Perkins of an airman he had met when serving in the military in Germany, who had referred to his military regulation airmen’s shoes as “blue suede shoes”. Cash suggested that Perkins write a song about the shoes.
When Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, he heard someone say, “Uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes!” He saw that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes. “Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes”, thought Perkins.
Perkins wrote the rockabilly song that night and recorded it later that year. It was a ground-breaking hit, but Perkins was seriously injured in a car accident and his career never recovered. Meanwhile Elvis Presley recorded the song in 1956 and it became identified with Elvis, even though his version never topped the charts quite like Perkins’.