Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

I learned about Carl Perkins through George Harrison and The Beatles. On their first tour, they all adopted “stage names” and George’s was George Perkins. A wonderful title for this song.

This gets kind of confusing. It was written by Carl Perkins, but it’s also very similar to another song by the same title by Alabama country singer Rex Griffon in 1936. Carl modernized it by the same sound he was getting out of Blue Suede Shoes.” Meanwhile, the melody was also borrowed from the Hank Williams song “Move It On Over” and “Mind Your Own Business.” Rock Around The Clock also borrowed from this.  Anyway…it is credited to Carl Perkins.

Carl Perkins was on the rise fast in 1956. He just had 3 top-10 hits in that year. On March 22, 1956, Perkins was severely injured when the car he was riding in crashed on Route 13 between Dover and Woodside, Delaware. Perkins and his band were headed to New York City for a Mar. 24, 1956, appearance on NBC-TV’s Perry Como Show after playing a show in Norfolk, Virginia, on Mar. 21, 1956. Perkins had sustained three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, a broken collar bone, and lacerations all over his body. Perkins remained unconscious for an entire day.

Worse than that…his brother Jay Perkins had a fractured neck and severe internal injuries. Later he developed a malignant brain tumor and died in 1958.  It had been planned on the Como show to present Carl with a gold record for Blue Suede shoes. When the wreck happened the song had peaked at #1 on the Country Charts and #2 on the Hot 100. Perkin’s career was never the same after that.

After 1956 he had 6 more top 40 hits in the country charts but never a top 10 hit again. One of those songs peaked at #31 in 1986 called “Birth of Rock and Roll.” Throughout the rockabilly revival of the 80s Perkins worked with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and many more.

Carl Perkins continued to achieve many successes throughout his career, such as writing the 1968 number one country hit “Daddy Sang Bass” as recorded by Johnny Cash as well as Glen Campbell and The Statler Brothers. He played for about ten years with Johnny Cash, playing lead guitar on Cash’s number one country hit “A Boy Named Sue.” He even appeared on the Johnny Cash Show playing “Matchbox” with Derek And The Dominoes.

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby was recorded in March of 1956 in Sun Studios with no other than Sam Phillips producing.

The Beatle’s version was recorded their version on October 18, 1964. They did it in one take not counting Ringo overdubbing a tambourine and George doubling his voice. It was released on the Album Beatles for Sale released in December of 1964. It was not their best album by any stretch. They were worn out and the album included a lot of covers. The album was not available in the United States and Canada until 1987. The song appeared on their US-only album Beatles 65.

George Harrison sang lead because he was a huge fan of Perkins. It was his showcase song on early tours.

Everybody Is Trying To Be My Baby

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Woke up last night, half past four
Fifty women knocking on my door

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

38 thoughts on “Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby”

    1. I think the Beatles brought some awareness to him…both in covering his songs and in the 80s with George and Paul playing with him but yea he shouldn’t have needed that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so, as they and many of the prominent names did with so many of the pioneers of blues and R&R. Million Dollar Quartet performances do a lot to bring awareness to Perkins as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Carl Perkins is far too often forgotten as an early influencer. I actually had to explain to someone sitting near me at a Jerry Lee Lewis concert who Perkins was, because she’d never heard of him … and she was close to my age. Context: the opening artist, Jacob Tolliver, played “Put Your Cat Clothes On” after mentioning Perkins in his intro. She thought Elvis wrote “Blue Suede Shoes.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right…he was forgotten. That wreck did stop his momentum in the 50s with tragic results. I’m sure there were a lot of people like her…who thought Elvis wrote it and many of his songs

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems like all of those big rockabilly guys went through there. Since you told me about it I will catch some on videos in Youtube.

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      1. There are a few with Carl Perkins. My dad played in the house band which was really known as The Light Crust Doughboys. He alternated weeks with Carroll Hubbard, another fiddle player. I used to go to the show with Dad and would sit with the stars, most often the gals who gave me cokes. Bet no one but me has had their ears cleaned with spit by the famous Wanda Jackson.

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  2. More than a few seemed to crack up/go off the road/fall out of the sky back then; Carl, Gene Vincent, Buddy, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens etc. I’m sure back in those free-wheeling free of seatbelts and loose laws over drink driving more than a few were bound to not get to where they were going unscathed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That band called the Beatles isn’t too bad. Great sound and the more I get to know George’s stuff, the more I’m impressed. Did they ever release a version of this song? I’m currently writing about ‘It’s All Too Much’ and I’m finding it’s all too much lol. Haha

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    1. Yea they might make it someday. Yes they did release this…they covered I believe 6 Carl Perkins songs…I’m saying that off the top of my head but I believe that is right.
      That is a wild intro to It’s All Too Much…it sounds like Hendrix a little.

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      1. Those are the songs they played in Hamburg before they made it. Thousands of hours they got on that stage perfecting those harmonies.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Another of the pioneers. Great nod Max. I was lucky that my old man exposed me to this stuff when I was a kid. Doesnt get any better than this cut. My dad would watch the Johnny Cash show and give me his take on all the guests etc. Not always favorable. Carl was one of his favorites. Rubbed off on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you were lucky…I got Carl Perkins second hand through the Beatles. I love this cut and he was such a cool guy and yea a great guitar player. I love those Sun recordings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He seemed like the real deal. Helm was connected to all this suff you’re into. He brought that to the Band. Ever see the clip he did on SCTV he did? Google it. I might have sent it to you before. Funny as hell. “The Gil Fisher Show” Carl and his band go Arctic Char fishing with Gil. Gil gets hammered.
        Here it is He plays ‘Matchbox’ at the end. Killer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is really cool dude. I’ve seen a few of them and love em…this one is great. Thanks CB and you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

        Liked by 1 person

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