by Robert Wilkinson
This is the guitar player who inspired Keith Richards to pick up his axe. Need moore? Scotty was Elvis Presley's original guitarist who played on every major early hit.
From Wikipedia about Scotty Moore (December 27, 1931), "He was ranked twenty-ninth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2011," and he's still going strong at 82! When Sam Phillips put Scotty and Bill Black behind Elvis, pop music was changed forever!
Scotty is one who helped birth the musical form known initially as "rockabilly," later to be known as "rock and roll." Without any more delay, here are a few of his best from when the world was much younger! We start with some of the earliest tunes, all studio versions, with live performances down the line a little.
Here's the song that kicked the doors down and introduced Elvis to the world! It's the studio version set to still photos, but that's still Scotty picking lead. For your enjoyment, "That's All Right Mama."
Another early live performance clip (in color!) from 1956 in Memphis. The brief performance clip begins about 2 minutes in! “Baby Let’s Play House”
From September 1956, a great live performance video called “Tupelo’s Own.” For your enjoyment, here’s Elvis ripping up the diaphragm of the mic live and on stage! Elvis Live in 1956 – “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Long Tall Sally,” “I Was the One,” “I Got A Woman,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “Hound Dog”
Here’s one of his first monster hits! The studio version of “Heartbreak Hotel”
The first double sided #1 in history! Here’s the original studio version of “Don’t Be Cruel” ("Hound Dog" was on the flip side).
The studio version of “Shake Rattle and Roll” and “Flip Flop and Fly”
Last year I had all 6 appearances on the Dorsey Brothers shows in the mid-50s, but they've all been taken off you tube. But I found these live performances, so enjoy rock and roll in its infancy!
From 1956 on Milton Berle, Scotty plunking away on "Hound Dog." Dig that lead!!It’s followed by a gag bit that is definitely classic Uncle Miltie!
And again from Uncle Miltie, here’s the King doing “I Want You I Need You I Love You”
Here’s a bizarre jingoistic offering! From 1956, supposedly featuring Elvis but actually featuring an aircraft carrier, 9+ minutes of Elvis on the Milton Berle show
From the Steve Allen show in 1956, Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ doing a live performance of "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" and "Hound Dog."
From Ed Sullivan in 1956, a great live performance of “Ready Teddy”
Here's Elvis in 1956 live on the Ed Sullivan Show doing "Love Me." For 1956, those screams were something else! As was usual, the band was off camera.
From Ed Sullivan October 1956, a very short clip of Elvis and Scotty belting out “Hound Dog”
From 1957 on the Ed Sullivan Show, here’s the flip side of “Hound Dog,” which as noted earlier, was the first double sided #1 record in history! It’s clipped at 1 minute so it’s not the whole song, which the Ed Sullivan owners seem determined not to allow on you tube. “Don’t Be Cruel”
Here’s a rare one! When Elvis got out of the Army, Frank Sinatra produced a TV special called “Welcome Home Elvis” in 1960. Again, the band is off camera, but history was made when Scotty was invited to get together to play with drummer D. J. Fontana for this special. Here’s Elvis live on stage performing “Too Much” and “Fame and Fortune”
And in a strange clip, while Scotty isn’t in them, it’s an interesting juxtaposition of this song! Elvis Performing “Don’t Be Cruel” – 1956 and 1968
Here's Elvis in 1957 on the Ed Sullivan Show doing "Too Much" Scotty's definitely playing the guitar behind Elvis and the Jordanaires.
Called “Tupelo Gold Suit,” here’s Elvis and Scotty and the band live in September 1957 doing “Hound Dog”
From the 1957 movie "Jailhouse Rock," here's Elvis and Scotty doing "Treat Me Nice."
Also from "Jailhouse Rock," a color version of Elvis and Scotty doing on of my faves, written by another legend, Mister Jerry Leiber. Here's Elvis and the group doing "Baby You're So Square (Baby I don't care)"
Some newer performances!
Here's a great performance by Scotty with Eric Clapton doing Mystery Train." From the same session the first tune to blows the doors off pop music, "That's All Right Mama," done in the original arrangement with Scotty doing the exact lines!
More roots music with Mark Knopfler and Scotty! First, another of the original 4 songs cut at Sun that created a revolution, the great Blue Moon of Kentucky." For another of the first and best, Mark and Scotty doing an amazing version of "Baby Let's Play House."
From UK TV, A Tribute to Scotty Moore
For the closer, here’s Scotty Moore talks about the Sun Records sessions
Keep playing, keep rocking, and keep rolling, Scotty, and a big Happy 82nd! You helped to change the world forever, and that's no small thing. Thanks for the leads that inspired 10,000 guitarists! And as always, TieDye Andy sez hi and happy everything!!
p.s. Today is also the birthday of Lenny Kaye )December 27, 1946), the producer and guitarist for the Patti Smith Group. I don't have time to do a tribute this year, but here's a big send up since the Patti Smith Group blazed a bright trail in music! And of course, he's still going strong with the Lenny Kaye Connection and other projects. A big happy to ya, Lenny!!
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson