Carl Perkins playing at the opening of a Jackson hardware store in the early ‘50s. Jay is behind him on rhythm guitar. / Go, Cat, Go! The Life and Times of Carl Perkins.
Carl truly adored his older brother Jay, his presence meant the world to him, he was his left arm brother that he could count to always be there, whether it was in a fight or on stage playing rhythm guitar. He loved his brother and it hurt him deeply when he passed away. I’m reminded of a story Carl shared of Jay, back when they were kids, expressing that love.
“I remembered our growing-up years back on the bayou. I remembered my first day of school and Jay’s words, “Carl, now don’t you be scared. You ain’t got no reason to worry. Most of the kids your age can’t even write their names. But look at you. You already know how to write it, you can count to a hundred, and you even know two and two makes four.” He took me to my class, and when he turned to walk down the corridor a lump came to my throat. But Jay would always meet me at lunchtime to give me my share of biscuits and fatback mom had packed for us. And he never failed to ask, “Carl, did you get good marks today?” When I answered that I had, he’d smile and say, “See, Carl, I told you you would do it.” His words were all it took to inspire me to do my best. ”
- Carl Perkins, Disciple in Blue Suede Shoes, pg. 66.