The story of the song 'Blue Suede Shoes' begins with Johnny Cash. In 1955, while on a joint tour with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash was behind-the-curtain talking with fellow musician Carl Perkins. Cash told Perkins a story of a black airman he knew during his military service who always liked to look his best when traveling off base. While the two of them were out on the town one night, Cash accidentally stepped on the airman's military regulation footwear which were black in color. The airman (named C.V. White) said, "Hey man, don't step on my blue suede shoes'. When Cash protested that the shoes were black, White responded, "Tonight, they're blue suede." Cash told Perkins that he ought to write a song using the lyric.
As he was performing at a dance later that year, Perkins was moved to do just that after he heard a boy scold his girlfriend on dance floor saying, "...don't step on my suedes!" Perkins smiled at the thought - why would you get upset about your shoes when you've got such a pretty girl in front of you?
Perkins would go on to write and record the song to tremendous success, but as he was traveling with his band to promote the tune, they suffered a devastating car accident on March 22nd, 1955 while en route to a performance on The Perry Como Show. If 'Blue Suede Shoes' was to enjoy continued acclaim, someone else would have to pick up the torch.
In an effort to keep the ball rolling, RCA Records convinced Elvis Presley to record his own cover version on January 30th, 1956 (59 years ago today) - it became a massive hit and eventually Perkin's catchy tune was designated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that helped shape Rock music.