Close this search box.

Telegram To Carl Perkins

On eBay you can buy a telegram sent by Elvis for 950 pounds (1150 euro, $ 1450), or best offer. After playing a show in Norfolk, VA on March 21, 1956, the Perkins Brothers Band headed for New York City and their appearance on the nationally broadcast Perry Como Show. Shortly before sunrise near Dover, Delaware Stuart Pinkham (aka Dick Stuart, and Poor Richard) assumed the duties as driver. After running head on into the back of a pickup truck, their car ended up in a ditch of water about a foot deep, and Carl was lying face down in the water. Drummer W.C. Holland rolled Carl over, saving him from drowning. Carl had suffered 3 fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, a broken collar bone, and lacerations all over his body in the crash. Carl remained unconscious for an entire day. The driver of the pickup, Thomas Phillips, a forty year old farmer, died when he was thrown into the steering wheel of his pickup Carl’s brother Jay had a fractured neck along with severe internal injuries. On March 23 Bill Black, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana visited Carl on their way to New York to appear with Elvis the next day. Bill Black told Carl, ”Hey, man, Elvis sends his love”, and lit a cigarette for him, in spite of the fact that the patient in the next bed was in an oxygen tent. A week later, Carl was given a telegram, which had actually arrived on the 23rd, from Elvis wishing him a speedy recovery. Sam Philips had planned to surprise Perkins with a gold record during the Perry Como show. ”Shoes” had already sold more than 500,000 copies by March 22. Now, while Carl recuperated from the accident, ”Blue Suede Shoes” rose to number one on most pop, R&B, and country regional charts. It also held the number two position on the Billboard Hot 100 and country charts. Elvis Presley’s ”Heartbreak Hotel” held the number one position on the pop and country charts, while ”Shoes” did better than ”Heartbreak” on the R&B charts. By Mid-April, more than one million copies of ”Shoes” had been sold. On April 3, while still out of commission, but back in Jackson, Perkins would see his friend Elvis Presley performs ”Blue Suede Shoes” on his first Milton Berle Show appearance. Presley performed the song on national television 3 times that year, and made references to it twice during an appearance on The Steve Allen Show. Although his version became more famous than Perkins’, it only reached #20 on Billboard’s pop chart.
Here’s the description:
Unique ‘get well’ telegram from Elvis to Carl Perkins

This is a singularly unique piece of early rock & roll history in the form of a ‘get well’ telegram from Elvis Presley to Carl Perkins after Perkins’ almost fatal car accident:
‘we were all shocked and very sorry to hear of the accident I know what it is for I had a few bad ones myself if I can help you in any way please call me I’ll be at the Warwick hotel in New York city our wishes for a speedy recovery for you and the other boys sincerely=
alvis presley bill black, scotty moo and j d fontana=’ (sic)

Source: ElvisMatters

Recent Posts
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Stay in the loop