Carl Perkins performs “Matchbox” Live in Denmark 1971.

Was released on February 27, 1957, Blind Lemon Jefferson wrote and recorded a song called "Match Box Blues" in 1927 that is musically different but contains some common phrases. Perkins maintained that he had never heard the song of Jefferson when he recorded "Matchbox".

YouTube Johnny Cash Channel
YouTube Johnny Cash Channel

Matchbox:

Lp cover Carl Perkins ( Sun 1957 )
Lp cover Carl Perkins ( Sun 1957 )

A song written by Carl Perkins (nicknamed “the King of Rockabilly”), was recorded on December 4, 1956, for the Sun Records label, with the production of Sam Phillips, was released on February 27, 1957, the song would be included in album, Dance Album Of Carl Perkins (Sun 1957). Blind Lemon Jefferson wrote and recorded a song called “Match Box Blues” in 1927 that is musically different but contains some common phrases.

After recording “Your True Love” in the studio of Sun Records, Carl’s father (Buck), suggested that he write a song, with fragments of songs he remembered from his youth. While Perkins sang the few words that his father had suggested, Jerry Lee Lewis, who at that time was a session pianist at Sun Studios, started a boogie-woogie riff. Carl began to choose a melody on the guitar and improvised lyrics. Finally, the song of Matchbox was written, Perkins maintained that he had never heard the song of Jefferson when he recorded “Matchbox”. The songs are musical, thematically and lyrically totally different.
The song was recorded at the studios of Sun Records, in December 1956, Carl Perkins (vocals, lead electric guitar), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano), Fluke Holland (drums), Clayton Perkins (bass) and Jay Perkins (acoustic guitar).

lp cover Compilation album ( Pickwick 1971 )
lp cover Compilation album ( Pickwick 1971 )

That same day, later, they coincided in the recording studio, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Lewis who were in the Sun Studio with Sam Phillips and Carl Perkins and their band. The improvised group that formed in this impromptu session became known as the Million Dollar Quartet, this session is historically significant as a milestone in the history of rock and roll.

A large variety of singers and bands recorded this song, among them the Beatles, were fans of Perkins, recorded on June 1, 1964, and was released on June 19, 1964, in the UK, as EP, for the Parlophone label, and on December 24, 1964. August 1964 in the USA, with the Capitol Records label.

Single cover Sonny Burgess ( Blackjack )
Single cover Sonny Burgess ( Blackjack )

Versions:
Carl Perkins 1957 (Sun)
Jerry Lee Lewis 1958 (Sun)
The Beatles 1964 (Parlophone)
Ronnie Hawkins 1970 ( Cotillion )
Wild Angels 1970 (B & C Records)
Sonny Burgess 1976 (Lake County)
Matchbox 1976 (Charly Records)
Sleepy LaBeef 1978 (Sun)
Orion 1981 ( Sun )
Carl Perkins & Friends 1996 (Dinosaur Entertainment)
and many more …..

Carl Perkins – Matchbox Lyrics

Well, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
Yeah, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
I ain’t got no matches
But I got a long way to go

I’m an ol’ poor boy and a long way from home
I’m an ol’ poor boy and a long way from home
Guess I’ll never be happy
Everything I do is wrong, yeah

Well, let me be your little dog
Till your big dog comes
Let me be your little dog
Till your big dog come
When the big dog gets here
Show him what this little puppy done

Yeah, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
Yeah, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
I got no matches
Got a long way to go

Let ‘er go boy, go, go

Well, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
Baby, I’m sitting here wondering
Will a matchbox hold my clothes
I ain’t got no matches
Got a long way to go

Single Carl Perkins ( Sun 1957 )
Single Carl Perkins ( Sun 1957 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com