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Elvis Australia : Official Elvis Presley Fan Club

Bill Monroe : Blue Moon of Kentucky

By Elvis Australia
August 1, 2012 - 9:03:12 PM

Bill Monroe wrote Blue Moon of Kentucky and recorded it with his Bluegrass Boys in 1946, and Columbia released it the next year. This little waltz became a hit. Then producer Sam Phillips, bassist Bill Black, guitarist Scotty Moore, and a 19-year-old kid, who had just secured a job as a truck driver and was planning to marry his girlfriend, Dixie Locke --tore the thing to shreds. But what came out was so good that even Monroe re-recorded it himself in 4/4 time rather than the original 3/4 after hearing--and seeing--Elvis perform it and at the Louisiana Hayride. (See Peter Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis, pages 121-129, for a more detailed account of this interesting collision of musical worlds.) Sam Phillips was relieved when the country legend and 'founder' of Bluegrass offered praises rather than the anticipated scorn for Presley's version of his tune. At 19, Elvis somehow had the instinct to sing the song perfectly. Even the songwriter admitted it.

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