Paul McCartney recording "That's Alright, Mama" with Elvis Presley's original band mates

This unearthed gem of rock history finds Paul McCartney recording the Arthur Crudup blues classic, "That's All Right, Mama," with Elvis Presley's original band members, Scotty Moore (guitar) and DJ Fontana (drums). The recording took place in 2009 for the album Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records. Both Moore and Fontana died a few years after this session, making this is a real rock treasure.

Several of the many things I like about this video is that you can tell that Paul is nervous around his idols, like any fan, and how perfectly his voice and bass meld with the band. This is the music that inspired his youth.

"That's All Right, Mama" was recorded by Crudup in 1946 and was Elvis' first single in 1956. The song is claimed by some rock historians to be a "convincing front-runner for rock 'n' roll's ground zero." It has also been claimed by at least one historian that it's the first song to contain a guitar solo. The song also, sadly, distinguishes itself as being the first case of White rockers being accused of stealing from Blacks. Crudup was credited on the record but never received any royalties. Crudup himself was accused of lifting lines for the song from earlier blues artists.

It's amazing how good the music sounds in this 2009 recording. Scotty Moore's guitar part is so smooth and tasty, and then there's the chugga-chugga choo-choo of Fontana's brush drumming. Keith Richards was once quoted as saying: "Everybody wanted to be Elvis. I wanted to be Scotty."

[H/t Steve Silberman]

Thumbnail image: Cecioka, CC BY-SA 4.0