You Know Jackson?

Did you know?

Two young boys walked to school each day in Bemis, Tennessee* in the early 1940’s. The younger boy, Carl Perkins was 12, the older boy was Bill Boyd, who was 14 years old. It would have been hard to imagine then, that Carl would create a new Rock music form and Bill would change the way music is recognized by the music industry.

Carl Perkins gave birth to rock music with the first song to top all three charts in 1956—Blue Suede Shoes. Bill Boyd who would spin new records on radio and interview and promote new artists. Bill would go on to help create and serve as the Director of the Academy of Country Music, then called the Academy of Western Music.

Knowing what we know now, their conversation might have gone like this, “Carl, what are you going to do when you grow up?….Well Bill, I am going to write songs and perform them for audiences around the world. What about you Bill? I am going to promote you and others and start a show, one of the first ever-televised awards show on TV, that will be seen by millions to allow the music industry to recognize excellence. ”

Stay tuned…more to come on both Carl Perkins, the artist, and Bill Boyd, the promoter! The Carnegie Collection includes important artifacts from both men’s lives.

If you ask Garth Brooks who was his major influences it would be Carl Perkins and Bill Boyd. Both were instrumental in Garth’s career and success!

Photo of Bill Boyd spinning records 1950s

*Bemis, TN is 3 miles outside of Jackson, TN


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  1. Nice memories – Bill Boyd died in 1995 but one said, “Country music has been really wonderful to me. It’s fulfilled three of my dreams: I now have indoor plumbing, a color TV and a ’66 Thunderbird.”

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