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The Man Who Was Present at the "Birth" of Rock and Roll - Remembering Scotty Moore

Along with the king, Memphis Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and guest double bassist Bill Black - Scotty was part of the fusion of black music and white music, blues and country... He was one of those who gave the world rock and roll!

Do you remember Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's guitarist

Before Jagger and Richards, Plant and Page came along, there were Elvis Presley and Scotty Moore. And while the first needs no introduction (he is, after all, the king), Moore's name is often overlooked... And for good reason, because he was present at the The "birth" of rock 'n' rolland was essentially the first guitar hero in rock history to make his instrument synonymous with the genre.

There are as many people as there are opinions, so rock 'n' roll, depending on your view of the genre, can have many birthdates. Still, if we're talking about Presley and Moore, it's July 5, 1954. Along with the king, Memphis Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and guest double bassist Bill Black - Scotty was part of the fusion of black music and white music, blues and country... He was the one who gave the world rock and roll! And after that, many people really continue to turn a blind eye to his history?! Quite unfair, considering colossal influence of this hero! At the same time, it's hard to call his career mind-blowing...

Early Years and Success with Elvis

Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley
Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley

Winfield Scott Moore III was born into a large family in December 1931. He mastered the guitar at the age of 8, and from 1948 to January 1952 he served in the U.S. Navy in China and Korea. He could have built a military career, but music appealed to him much more. Inspired by jazz and country as well as virtuoso style The Atkins Chet.Moore played in The Starlite Wranglers before being spotted by the aforementioned Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records. It's hard to say whether Scotty's name would have eventually become iconic and popular in the rock 'n' roll world had Phillips not seen the potential in his voice Elvis Presley. It was he who united this trinity (including Bill Black), thereby sparking a "rock and roll boom" across America!

Today, the legendarily famous "That's All Right, Mama." everyone knows, but it might not have been recorded. The story goes that at that time, on July 5, 1954, the trio spent the whole day in the studio senselessly. Nothing useful came out, and the guys were about to leave. A weary and slightly distressed Presley picked up his guitar and began fooling aroundIn a very flighty manner, playing "That's All Right" Arthur Crudup. His comrades quickly picked up on his spirit, and when Phillips stopped by to "make some noise," he was delighted. A record was made, and soon all its members became idols - first and foremost Elvis, of course.

The next day they got together again to record "Blue Moon of Kentucky". Everything they touched turned to gold! The period spent in the walls of Sun Records turned into a string of hits, the last of which was "Mystery Train".

The arrival of the "Colonel" and the separation from Presley

Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker
Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker

At first Scotty was the manager of the band, which was dubbed Blue Moon Boys (By that time, the drummer had also joined it. D.J. Fontana). Things were going well, both personally and career-wise: the guys got along well and were well-liked by the audience! But that all changed with the arrival of "Colonel" Tom Parkerwho took over from Moore and literally destroyed the community of the band.

Colonel Tom Parker
Colonel Tom Parker

He showed no interest in the musicians of his new protégé, and even more, he literally isolated Elvis from them. "The Colonel" paid them $100 a week, or $200 if they had a gig, and restricted their access to the singer. At the same time he made a deal with RCA for the then astronomical sum of $40,000

Blue Moon Boys
Blue Moon Boys

After the signing, the Blue Moon Boys continued to play with Presley. Moore left his bright mark on such timeless classics as "Heartbreak Hotel." or "Too Much.". IN Hound Dog he described his own solo as "hereditary psychedelic," while Jailhouse Rock was one of the first examples of the use of "power chords.

Of course, the main event in the world of rock 'n' roll was still Presleybut we can't help but notice the amazing role Moore played in this success story. Subsequently, many now iconic guitarists referred to Scotty as their idol and main inspiration. In particular. Keith Richardswho once stated:

"Everybody wanted to be Elvis, but I wanted to be Scotty!"

Scotty Moore
Scotty Moore

His way of playing was an inspiration to most of the guitarists of the next generation. However... his importance was not financially rewarded. Presley was earning millionsThe group had seen almost no money, while the members of his group had seen almost no money.

From the beginning Hollywood career The king of live performances became many times less. By the will of the "Colonel" none of the Blue Moon Boys could talk to Elvis properly, to jam with him... All this offended his comrades, as well as the extremely low royalties, which did not allow them to live normally. This led to a logical split, which was perceived by Presley as Betrayal (to some extent). But essentially the culprit was Tom Parker. Subsequently, Elvis played with new musicians, but their skills were far from the original Blue Moon Boys lineup. Eventually there was a mini-reunion that did not succeed.

"I needed a tractor."

Scotty Moore
Scotty Moore

In the '60s, however, Moore teamed up with Presley to record a number of tracks, including "You're the Devil in Disguise, Bossa Nova Baby and "Good Luck Charm.". Before that, while Presley was in the army, Moore founded Fernwood Studios, where the "Tragedy." Thomas Wayne. In addition to producing, Moore also played some guitar parts. It was a national hit, reaching number five on the charts! But they didn't get any further than that.

There were no more recordings with Elvis, nor was there any relationship. Scotty returned to Nashville, where he worked sound engineer. It wasn't until the '90s that he returned to playing in the studio and on stage, aided by another rockabilly guitar legend, Carl Perkins. By this point Moore had gotten rid of his Gibson Super 400. After not playing it for years, he thought it was time to sell it - a collector offered him $10,000and Scotty agreed. After a while Chet Atkins asked his now-famous fan and colleague why he sold the guitar so cheaply, to which Moore replied: "I needed a tractor.". He doesn't seem to have regretted it - in 2011, Moore shared a photo with fans with a caption:

"The tractor still works and, unlike the guitar, is still in use."

Scotty Moore
Scotty Moore

In 1997 he teamed up with D.J. Fontana to record Elvis tribute album entitled "All the King's Men: Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood participated in the recording. In his final years, many legends got a chance to play with the man who gave rock its first iconic solos... Moore died June 28, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 84.

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