Sunday, March 23, 2008

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and his influence on Elvis

Tonight I am going to talk a little bit about one of Elvis's greatest influences, Arthur Crudup. I am also a huge fan of his and enjoy his original recordings every bit as much as the same ones Elvis would go on to cover. Crudup was born in Mississippi in 1905. He went to Chicago in the late 30's or early 40's and begin working as a street singer but could barely get by. He was later on discovered and would record a lot of songs in the 40's and early 50's. He actually got paid very little for his record sales and it would cause him to leave the business in the 50's. He tried to comeback in the 60's but never made it all that far with it. He wrote and sang three great blues numbers. That's All Right, So Glad Your Mine, and My Baby Left Me. All three Elvis would record early on. My favorite song on the three is So Glad Your Mine. I love Big Boy's and Elvis' version. We all know of course That's All Right helped Elvis as it was his first record and would go down in history. My Baby Left me is an awesome song Elvis did and I like even more then That's All Right. So Glad Your Mine though is a true blues song and Elvis keeps it true to its original form in his recording. When Elvis did honest to god blues, he was the baddest white boy to ever sing it. He just never sang it as much as he should have. Especially post 1970. Anyway, back to Big Boy. He would eventually just go to moon shining in his later days. Crudup would pass away in 1976 at the age of 70. Elvis really thought a lot of Big Boy and loved his music and fell back on it a lot in his early days. Elvis would even pay for one of Crudup's recording sessions in the 1960's since Arthur did not have the money to do so. Elvis said the fallowing in 1956, "I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now, and I said if I ever got to the place I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw.". Elvis was right, he was a music man like nobody ever saw. We will never see one like him again either. Listen Arthur's classic My Baby Left Me. It is truly something great. Listen, you hear some of the ingredients of the early Elvis sound.

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