Throwback to my youth for tonight’s Friday night music open thread. When I was young and began totally crushing on Elvis, I would listen to his first single and debut album on an endless loop. Pure, clean Elvis before all the ….. toxicity.
That’s Alright, Mama is best known as the first single recorded and released by Elvis Presley. Presley’s version was recorded on July 5, 1954 and released on July 19, 1954 with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side.
During an uneventful recording session at Sun Studios on the evening of July 5, 1954, Presley, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (string bass) were taking a break between recordings when Presley started fooling around with an up-tempo version of Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right, Mama”. Black began joining in on his upright bass, and soon they were joined by Moore on guitar.Producer Sam Phillips, taken aback by this sudden upbeat atmosphere, asked the three of them to start again so he could record it.
Black’s bass and guitars from Presley and Moore provided the instrumentation. The recording contains no drums or additional instruments. The song was produced in the style of a “live” recording (all parts performed at once and recorded on a single track). The following evening the trio recorded “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in a similar style, and it was selected as the B-side to “That’s All Right”.
The recording session was Presley’s fifth visit to the Sun Studio. His first two visits, the summer of 1953 and January 1954, had been private recordings, followed by two more visits in the summer of 1954.
Upon finishing the recording session, according to Scotty Moore, Bill Black remarked, “Damn. Get that on the radio and they’ll run us out of town.”
(Source: Elvis: His Life from A to Z. Outlet. 1992)