That's Alright Mama

Album: The Sun Sessions (1954)
Charted: 3
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  • This was Elvis' first single, and it came out of his first recording session. Elvis was a 19-year-old truck driver when he came to Sun Records in Memphis to record a song as a gift for his mother. Sun was owned by Sam Phillips, who his assistant, Marion Keiser, knew was looking for a "white man who sounds like a black man." She alerted her boss to Elvis, and Phillips arranged some sessions with some local session players: bassist Bill Black and guitarist Scotty Moore.

    The trio tried a few different songs in various styles, finally hitting the mark when they informally started playing Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's obscure 1946 blues song "That's All Right," in a fast, innovative style. Phillips liked what he heard and had them record the song this way. This uptempo blues variation led some music historians to consider it the first rock song.
  • Elvis recorded this song at Sam Phillips' studios in Memphis on July 5, 1954. Sam delivered a copy to the local disc jockey Dewey Phillips (no relation) at WHBQ. On July 8, Dewey became the first DJ to play an Elvis song when he gave it a spin on his Red, Hot & Blue show. It got a huge response, so played it several more times and eventually brought Elvis in for an interview.

    Dewey Phillips was a pioneering DJ who played a mix of black and white music that attracted a large and diverse following. After he started playing "That's Alright Mama," it quickly caught on in Memphis and went national, setting the stage for Elvis' rapid rise.
  • Presley told Rolling Stone magazine, "I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw."
  • This song was only the second time Elvis and lead guitarist Scotty Moore played together. It was also the first song Elvis played in concert: On July 30, 1954, Elvis opened for Slim Whitman in Memphis and performed "That's All Right, Mama," "Blue Moon Of Kentucky," and "I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • According to Scotty Moore, this session wasn't so smooth. He says Elvis started jumping around, "acting the fool," which drew the ire of Sam Phillips, who owned the label and recording studio. Phillips made them start over, and it was this second take that was the keeper.
  • On July 5, 2004, exactly 50 years after Elvis recorded the song, "That's Alright Mama" was re-released. It didn't get much attention in America but made #3 in the UK and also charted in Canada and Australia.

Comments: 20

  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiIf time travel were possible, I would love to be able to go back to Sun Records in Memphis on July 5, 1954.
  • Mike from Idaho@David from Brunssum, Netherlands, thank u for that info. i like elvis' lyrics better, but it's a shame that arthur crudup didn't get the money & credit he deserved.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 30, 1954, Slim Whitman was the headliner of act* appearing in the 'Hilllbilly Hoedown' concert at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, TN...
    At the time his "Rose Marie" was at #8 on Billboard's Country and Western Best Sellers in Stores chart...
    * The six opening acts were Billy Walker, Sugarfoot Collins, Sonny Harvelle, Tinker Fry, Curly Harris and 19 year-old local singer named Elvis Presley; twenty-five days earlier on July 5th, 1954 Elvis recorded "That's All Right" at the Sun Records studio....
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLoved Scottys playing.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 2nd 1954, Elvis, wearing a pink jacket and white bucks, performed his covered version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" on the Grand Ole Opry* in Nashville, TN...
    At the time his version was at #6 on Billboard's C&W Territorial chart for Memphis...
    Later that same evening he sang "That's All Right" at the Midnight Jamboree at Ernest Tubb's Record Shop in Nashville; in attendance was Marty Robbins, and a little over five months later on March 10th, 1955 his version of the song would reach #9 on Billboard's Best Selling Country Records in Stores chart...
    * This was Elvis' only appearance on the Opry, maybe because of his attire?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16th 1955, Elvis performed at the Odessa Senior High School Field House, Odessa, Texas...
    In the audience of 4,000 was a local singer named Roy Orbison; years later the Big O would state 'his energy was incredible, his instinct was just amazing'...
    At the time Elvis didn't have a record on any national chart; but on Billboard's Best Sellers Country chart Marty Robbins was at #11 with his covered version of "That's Alright Mama"...
    R.I.P. Mr. Robbins, born Martin David Robinson, (1925 - 1982) and to The King (1935 - 1977).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 8th 1955, Elvis, as a member of the 'Louisiana Hayride' tour, performed a five song set at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, LA
    The MC introduced him as 'The Memphis Flash'*; and "That's All Right" was his opening number...
    * It has been reported that Elvis appeared wearing crocodile-skin shoes with pink socks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 9th 1954, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash meet for the first time...
    Elvis was performing at the grand opening of the Katz Drug Store in Memphis; and Johnny Cash, who had just been discharged from the Air Force, was in the audience. After his performance, Elvis and Johnny talked for a few moments...
    At the time Elvis' "Blue Moon of Kentucky" was at #1 on Billboard's Country & Western Memphis Territorial Best Sellers chart, and the record's flip-side "That's All Right" was at #4...
    Exactly two later on September 9th, 1956 Elvis made his first appearance on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 21st 1954, Elvis, accompanied by Scotty Moore & Bill Black, performed at the Gladewater High School gym in Gladewater, Texas; it marked the first time he performed outside the state of Tennessee...
    One month earlier on July 5th, 1954 he recorded his first Sun record, "That's All Right"*, and on August 28th it became his first charted record when it entered the Memphis country hits chart...
    Exactly 22 years after his appearance in Gladewater, on August 21st, 1976, RCA Records would announce that sales of his records had just passed the 400 million mark...
    R.I.P. to The King {1935 - 1977}...
    * Note: this is the way the titled appeared on the original Sun Record 78 RPM label.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyMarty Robbins also released his version in 1954; it reached #7 on Billboard's C&W Hits chart...
    R.I.P. Mr. Robbins, born Martin David Robinson, (1925 - 1982) and to The King (1935 - 1977).
  • Lindon from Preston, United Kingdomi have got an elvis live cd recorded live at louisiana hayride 1954 1st song isheartbreak hotel and the last song is tweedle dee there is also abonus song of aloha to the king.( how much is it worth). its in a tin case with a half picture of him wearing a jacket.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cahey...raw baby! like some old blues record...
  • David from Brunssum, NetherlandsElvis did rewrite part of the lyrics.

    Well, that's all right, mama
    That's all right for you
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do
    But that's all right, that's all right
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    Well my mama she done told me
    Papa told me too
    The life you living, son, women been a doubt for you
    But that's all right, that's all right
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    Yeah man!

    Baby one and one is two, two and two is four
    I love that woman but I got to let her go
    But that's all right, that's all right
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    Babe, If you don't want me
    Why not tell me so
    You won't be bothered with me round you're house no more
    But that all right, that's all right
    That all right now mama, anyway you do


    Now that's all right
    That's all right
    That's all right now, mama, anyway you do


    Elvis Presley
    That's All Right (1954)

    Well, that's all right, mama
    That's all right for you
    That's all right mama, just anyway you do
    Well, that's all right, that's all right.
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    Mama she done told me,
    Papa done told me too
    'Son, that gal you're foolin' with,
    She ain't no good for you'
    But, that's all right, that's all right.
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    I'm leaving town, baby
    I'm leaving town for sure
    Well, then you won't be bothered
    With me hangin' round your door
    But, that's all right, that's all right.
    That's all right now mama, anyway you do

    I need your loving
    That's all right
    That's all right now, mama, anyway you do
  • Kristian from Cleveland, Txthis song is amazing and changed the world
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaPaul McCartney did the vocals on a good live version of this song that the Beatles did on the BBC. However,they never released it as a record during their Beatles career. It appears on their Live at the BBC CD.
  • Marilyn from Grand Rapids, MiRod Stewart and the Small Faces covered That's Alright on the only good album (Maggie May) that Rod Stewart ever did.
  • Bob from Comox, B.c., Canada"That's All Right (Mama)/Blue Moon Of Kentucky" the
    flip side was recorded in 1954 by Sun Records with the mixing of Blues & Country to an uptempo beat,was the first recording to become known as "Rockabilly".

  • Sara from Greenville, AlRicky Nelson covered this and several other Presley songs
  • Andrew from Moscow, EuropeYou can hear this song on the Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions (disc 2, track 9) while they are performing Whole Lotta Love medley.
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