Nostalgia: Elvis’ First Hit Single ‘That’s All Right’ Turns 63
Their review wasn’t exactly a rave. “He didn’t knock me out,” Moore recalls telling Phillips in Sam Phillips’ biography, “[but] the boy’s got a good voice.”
Despite a lack of enthusiasm from his scouts, Phillips decided to schedule a recording session with Elvis for July 5th.
But halfway through the session with Elvis singing torpid covers of “Harbor Lights” and “I Love You Because,” a frustrated Phillips decided to take a break, leaving Elvis and the session players to their own devices.
As it turned out, that freedom was exactly what Elvis needed. Once Phillips had left the booth, Elvis began playing and singing “That’s All Right” twice as fast as Arthur Crudup’s original.
“All of a sudden, Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting the fool—Sam, I think had the door to the control booth open,” Moore recalled. “[He] stuck his head out and said ‘What are you doing?’ And we said, ‘We don’t know.’ ‘Well, back up, ‘Sam said, ‘try to find a place to start, and do it again.'”
Elvis’ pepped up version of That’s All Right” was released two weeks later as a double sided single with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and sold more than 20,000 copies.