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The Survivors

The Survivors


Liner Notes To CD

Carl Perkins was once a alcoholic. I’m not sure he realized it then but he does now since he doesn’t drink any more. I seem to remember that he preferred Jack Daniel’s back on the tour when we crossed Canada in 56 and 57 but he bought whatever the controlled liquor stores had for sale. Sundays were unusually bad days for Carl. The stores were closed and if he forgotten to get a double supply on Saturday, he would tremble and sweat backstage. Once on the stage, the audience never knew how he was suffering. The power of his performance covered any hint the fans might have left had they known he was without liquor.

We traveled together in his car or mine with big bass fiddle strapped to the top of the car. One cold day in Nebraska, we bought our regular fare of bologna and crackers for lunch. It wasn’t until the 60’s that we discovered steak, prime rib and so forth. Unaccustomed to the Midwestern blizzards. With Carl at the wheel we slid of the off the road and through a shallow ditch. Out of control, we came to a halt in a wheat field far off the highway. For a while everyone was quit, then I asked "what are going to do" Carl ? Finally he said "Johnny I’ll figure that out as soon as I my bologna.

In 1958 genuinely repented after a night of drinking Carl threw his whisky bottle into the Pacific Ocean at Ventura California. Today Carl Perkins is a master of his art. The old death dealing habits are gone. And the excellence of the countenance; that of a confident mature man. And musician, still married to the wife of his youth. The kind understanding Valda no longer worries about her man. It’s all a family affair – his sons Greg and Stan are with him performing as a part of the best band he ever had.

Remember the picture they called a million dollar quartet; Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis and myself. Elvis loved those gospel songs, as we did. Now on the scene, Jerry Lee politely waited until the singing came to a casual halt. When Elvis stood up, Jerry Lee said "let me at that piano" we all knew we were seeing the master of the keyboard, when Jerry Lee Lewis began he led and Carl

Elvis and I joined in whenever the key was right. I remember him singing "This Train Is Bound For Glory" and "Vacation In heaven". Nobody sung along. We all listen. It was his moment. Check any of the hundreds of Jerry Lee Lewis stories you have heard and you can be sure that some are true and some are lies. You hear him praise God on this record, but you also hear him do a lot of shaking in a frenzy, caught up in his own talent. Such a talent is given to a special few. His personal relationship with the Giver of that talent is his personal affair.

Carl’s and Jerry Lee’s appearance with me in Stuttgart Germany on April 23, 1981 was a total surprise to the audience. We had been appearing separately in various cities doing festivals. And on the 23rd, they happened to have the night off. Midway into the first show in Stuttgart June Carter caught my eye from the sideline and gave me a message that Carl and Jerry Lee were there. At intermission, my producer Lou Robin brought us together backstage. I asked them to sing with me on the second half of the show. What you hear on this recording is unrehearsed and each song is the one and only take.

My hat is off to Rodney Crowell who took this tape and edited and mixed it. Just a few months after that concert I stood by Jerry Lee’s bedside in a Memphis hospital watching him fight for his life. I took his hand and spoke to him. He squeezed my hand and tried to talk. The power was still there in the grip of his hand. I marveled at his hands so deft yet so strong, and capable of bringing out music like no hands I have ever known "June is with me Killer" I said. "We want you to know we care about you". He nodded and closed his eyes holding both of are hands in a strong grip. " You make it" I said. You still have a lot to do. We always wanted to sing gospel music and that is what brought us together at Stuttgart. John Carter and my daughter Cindy sang on the last song. They had watched the three of us from the side of the stage. When I took them back to join in on the encore number "I Saw The Light" they were thrilled. Here’s hoping the new generation survives the 80’s and 90’s along with us, the other Survives


The Survivors CD

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CD Razor &Tie RE-2077
Still available On CD
Mobile Recording By Dierks Studio, Cologne Germany
Concert Performed At The Sportshallie Boeblingen
Stuttgart West Germany April 23, 1981
Originally released In 1982
Also Originally Released On Vinyl And Cassette

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Track List

  1. Get Rhythm ( Johnny Cash )
  2. I Forgot To Remember To forget  ( Johnny Cash )
  3. Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad  ( Cash & Carl Perkins )
  4. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine ( Cash & Perkins )
  5. Matchbox ( Carl Perkins )
  6. I'll Fly Away ( Cash - Jerry lee Lewis - Perkins )
  7. Whole Lot Of Shakin Going On ( Jerry Lee Lewis )
  8. Rockin My Life Away ( Jerry Lee Lewis )
  9. Blue Shuede Shoes ( Carl Perkins )
  10. Peace In the Valley ( Cash - Lewis - Perkins )
  11. Will The Circle Be Unbroken ( Cash - Lewis - Perkins )
  12. I Saw The Light ( Cash - Lewis - Perkins

Revised: September 02, 2007

 

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