"I met Elvis in 1953 in a little park, when he was living on Alabama Street in Memphis," says Charlie Feathers. "He was beating around on a rhythm guitar, and I got him into playing rockabilly music." Feathers is one of the original figures in that primitive genre of rock; he's never stopped playing it or the hillbilly style of country music, even though they've only recently become fashionable again. Feathers will bring them to Desperado's tonight and at Zit's in Beltsville tomorrow and Thursday.
"After Elvis got out of school, he would come over to Sun," the converted garage studio where Feathers was a sometime producer, engineer and talent scout for Sam Phillips. "His father and mother didn't know where Elvis was, and he would practice until late in the evening." In fact, Elvis' first recording came about when he got together with some other Sun musician to "whip up some music. Elvis worked at it for about six months and then one night he brought his mother over and we all made a demo. Elvis paid to have it made to give to her as a birthday present." Recorded in 1953, "My Happiness" was a very private record --- it was put directly onto wax and Elvis owned the only copy.
Elvis also had his first No. 1 hit with a Feathers' song, "I Forgot to Remember to Forget," in 1955. It was the flip side of the classic "Mystery Train." Feathers himself had a few minor hits, but left a very personal mark on rockabilly with his high-pitched, echoing hiccup.