That's All Right - Elvis Presley

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"That's All Right" - Elvis Presley (1954)

“That’s All Right” was the first commercial single released by Elvis Presley in 1954.

The track was written and originally performed in 1946 by American Delta blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Arthur Crudup. Crudup also composed the R&B’s number “My Baby Left Me.”

In early March 1949, “That’s All Right” was re-released under the title, “That’s All Right, Mama” which was issued as RCA’s first rhythm and blues record on their new 45 rpm single format.

During an uneventful recording session at Sun Studios on the evening of July 5, 1954, Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore, and bassist Bill Black were taking a break between recordings when Presley started fooling around with an up-tempo version of the song. Black began playing on his upright bass, and soon they were joined by Moore on guitar. Producer Sam Phillips, taken aback by this sudden upbeat atmosphere, asked the three of them to start again so he could record it.

Black’s bass and guitars from Presley and Moore provided the instrumentation. The recording contains no drums or additional instruments. It was produced in the style of a “live” recording with all parts performed at once and recorded on a single track. The following evening the trio recorded “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in a similar style. According to Moore, this session wasn’t so smooth. He says Elvis started jumping around, “acting the fool,” which drew the ire of Phillips.

Upon finishing the recording session, according to Scotty Moore, Bill Black remarked, “Damn. Get that on the radio and they’ll run us out of town.” On June 7, 1954 WHBQ Radio in Memphis was the first radio station to play this, the day after Elvis recorded it.
Presley told the press:

“I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I’d be a music man like nobody ever saw.”

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