Released as the B-side of his debut single, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” jumped to the top of a whole bunch of charts during the first year that Elvis Presley rocketed to fame.
Soon-to-become the ‘King of Rock and Roll,’ Elvis began his legendary music career in mid-1954, when his first single, “That’s All Right,” hit airwaves on July 19. The ‘B’ side to the single featured an upbeat cover of a bluegrass waltz: “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” This kind of rendition would continue to be a key part of country music’s history, just like Elvis would become one of the most famous and influential of its stars.
While Elvis and his producers were looking for a song to launch alongside “That’s All Right,” they found their salvation in Bill Black, one of the future leaders of country rock. Black started playing the song just for fun, but it captured Elvis’ ear and they ran with it.
Soon after recording “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” the single was handed over to a few local disc jockeys who were enthralled by the music, adding each side of the single to their easy-listening playlists. In doing this, they pitted Presley’s music against the likes of Nat Cole, Tony Bennett, and a lot more.
Ever since then, the song has developed into a true standard of American music history. During the early 2000s, it was even added to the United States Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
Along with Elvis’ rendition, some other popular country performers have recorded the song, including the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe.
Enjoy this absolutely sensational and storied tune in the video below, and tell us what you think about it in the comments!