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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Walk The Line Medely - Johnny Cash with Luther Perkins

Luther Monroe Perkins (January 8, 1928 – August 5, 1968) was an American country music guitarist and a member of the Tennessee Three, the backup band for singer Johnny Cash. Perkins was an iconic figure in what would become known as rockabilly music. His creatively simple, sparsely-embellished, rhythmic use of Fender Esquire, Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars is credited for creating Cash's signature "boom-chicka-boom" style Perkins was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a Baptist preacher. He grew up in Como, Mississippi, and taught himself to play rhythm guitar. Perkins started his career in 1953 as a mechanic at Automobile Sales Company in Memphis. He specialized in electrical systems and radio repairs. Roy Cash, Sr., older brother of Johnny Cash, was service manager at the dealership. At the time, the younger Cash was stationed in Germany with the US Air Force. At Automobile Sales, Perkins met co-workers Marshall Grant and A.W. 'Red' Kernodle. Grant, Kernodle and Perkins began bringing their guitars to work, and would play together when repair business was slow. When Johnny Cash moved to Memphis after returning from Germany in 1954, Ray Cash introduced him to Grant, Kernodle and Perkins. The four began to get together in the evenings at Perkins's or Grant's home and play songs. It was during this time that they decided to form a band, with Grant acquiring a string bass, Kernodle a six-string steel guitar, and Perkins buying a somewhat-abused Fender Esquire electric guitar from the O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis. The guitar had been modified by a previous owner, and the volume and tone controls were dysfunctional. Perkins was married twice. He and his first wife, Bertie, separated while they were living in southern California in 1959. Perkins had three daughters from this marriage: Linda, Vicki and Claudia. He later married Margie Higgins; they had one daughter, Kathy. Margie Perkins Beaver still appears at Johnny Cash reunion events. His hobbies were knitting, fishing and guitar. Examples of his knitting are on display at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a close friend of singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson. At the time of his death, he was planning to open his own music publishing company and give Kristofferson his first break. Perkins’ younger brother, Thomas, was a successful rock ‘n’ roll singer in the 1950s and 1960s, under the name of Thomas Wayne. In his autobiography, Johnny Cash wrote that Perkins was mildly addicted to amphetamines. They started taking drugs together in the late 1950s. Perkin's nickname was "L.M", the initials of his first and second name "Luther Monroe". Singer-guitarist Carl Perkins, who was also a member of Cash's touring show, was not related to Luther Perkins During the early morning hours of August 3, 1968, Perkins returned from fishing on Old Hickory Lake to his newly-constructed home on Riverwood Drive in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He apparently went to sleep in the living room while holding a lit cigarette. His daughter awoke around 6:00 am to find the living room in flames and Perkins collapsed near the door. An emergency crew rushed Perkins to Vanderbilt University Hospital, where he was kept in intensive care until finally succumbing on Monday, August 5, 1968. His grave is near the graves of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash at Hendersonville Memorial Park in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Luther Perkins was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Perkins and Marshall Grant, as The Tennessee Two, were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. In 1980, Perkins's daughters from his first marriage filed suit against Johnny Cash for embezzling funds that were to have provided retirement income for Perkins. This lawsuit was filed coincidentally with actions taken by the other founding Tennessee Three member, Marshall Grant, against Cash for wrongfully firing Grant and embezzlement of Grant's retirement funds. Both lawsuits were eventually settled out-of-court If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely nobody or anyone could top JOHNNY CASH AND THE TENNESSEE THREE. I grew up with a dad who was an ULTIMATE Johnny fan, so luckily I grew up on all that is CASH.

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