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Blue Moon of Kentucky

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(Monroe)

Information:
Bill Monroe wrote and recorded Blue Moon of Kentucky (Columbia 20370) in 1947. His recording could be heard in the 1979 movie Coal Miner's Daughter. The Stanley Brothers recorded the song in 1954 (Mercury 70453).

On the evening of July 6, 1954, Elvis, Scotty Moore and Bill Black were trying to record a flip side to That's All Right (Mama), which had been recorded the previous evening. During a break, Black began fooling around with a parady of Blue Moon of Kentucky. Elvis and Scotty joined in. After a few rehearsals, Sam Phillips began taping. Two versions of the song survive from that night: a slow, more traditional version and the uptempo version that was originally released. After the slow version, Phillips could be heard to remark, "Fine, man! Hell, that's different. That's a pop song now, nearly 'bout!" After Phillips had both sides of Elvis's first single on tape, he made a few demos and distributed them to Dewey Phillips of WHBQ, Uncle Richard of WMPS, and Sleepy-Eyed John Lepley of WHHM. It's a toss-up as who first played Blue Moon of Kentucky on the air. But it was probably Uncle Richard. In any case, the record was released on July 19. It did not chart nationally, but by September, Blue Moon of Kentucky was the number one record in Memphis. Fewer than 20,000 copies were sold. Elvis sang the song on his only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on October 2, 1956, as well as during his first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride on October 16, 1954. Bill Monroe's original version of Blue Moon of Kentucky was rereleased after Elvis's release began getting airplay.

Lyrics:

Blue moon, blue moon, blue moon, keep shining bright
Blue moon, keep on shining bright
You're gonna bring me back my baby tonight
Blue moon, keep shining bright
 
1. I said blue moon of Kentucky just keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
I said blue moon of Kentucky just keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
 
2. Well, it was on one moonlight night the stars shined bright
Whispered I love said good-bye
Blue moon of Kentucky just keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
 
1. 2. (repeat)
 
Where it was released:
First released on single 
 

Singles:

- That's All Right (Mama) / Blue Moon of Kentucky (Sun 209) July 19, 1954. Standard Sun 78 rpm and 45 rpm release

- That's All Right (Mama) / Blue Moon of Kentucky (RCA 20-6380) November 1955. Standard RCA 78 rpm reissue of the Sun original

- That's All Right (Mama) / Blue Moon of Kentucky (RCA 47-6380) November 1955. Standard RCA 45 rpm reissue of the Sun original

- That's All Right (Mama) / Blue Moon of Kentucky (RCA 447-0601) March 1959. Gold Standard Series reissue

- That's All Right (Mama) / Blue Moon of Kentucky (RCA PB-13891) October 1984. One of six singles in the boxed set Elvis' Greatest Hits - Golden Singles,Volume 2 (RCA PP-13898). The record was pressed on gold vinyl with a special gold "50th" anniversary label.

 

EPs:

- Good Rockin' Tonight (1956) - Motion Picture Service

- Great Country / Western Hits (1956) 
- A Touch of Gold, Volume 3 (1960)  
- See the USA, the Elvis Way (1964) 
 
LPs/CDs:
- A Date With Elvis (1959) 
- A Date With Elvis (1965) 
- The Sun Sessions (1975) 
- The Legendary Recordings of Elvis (1979) 
- Country Classics (1980) 
 Country Music (1981) - Time Life 
- Elvis: The Hillbilly Cat (1984) - Music Works
- The Complete Sun Sessions (1987)
- The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete 50's Masters (1992) 
- The Legend Begins (1996) - Magnum
- Great Country Songs (1996)
- Raw Elvis (1997)
- A Golden Celebration (1998) 
- Burbank '68 (1999) - FTD 
- Sun Sessions (1999)
- Sunrise (1999)
- Good Rockin' Tonight (2000) - Music Mill
- Live and Unplugged (20009 - Laserlight
- 55 Recorded Live At The Louisiana Hayride (2001) - NMC
- Country Collection (2001) - Time Life
- Playing With Fire (2001) - Magnum
- Hayrides and Gambling Halls (2001) - Sonotec
- The Hillbilly Cat (2001) - Magnum
- The Country Side Of Elvis (2001)
- Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride / The Original Roots Of Elvis Presley (2002) - Charly
- The Elvis Broadcasts on Air (2002) - Cleopatra
- Live At The Louisiana Hayride (2003) - Dynamic
- I Was The One (2003) - Janda
 A Boy From Tupelo (2012) - FTD 
 A Date With Elvis (2017) - FTD 
 For LP Fans Only (2018) - FTD 

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