100 Greatest Guitarists

Find out who our panel of top guitarists and other experts picked

Carl Perkins
100
Jan Persson/Redferns88/100

88. Carl Perkins

In the Beatles' early days, George Harrison briefly billed himself as Carl Harrison in honor of his quick-picking hero. Perkins' bright, trebly style – which the rockabilly king picked up from blues players in Tennessee – defined the singles he put out on Sun Records ("Blue Suede Shoes," "Glad All Over") and influenced scores of players from Eric Clapton to John Fogerty. "He took country picking into the rock world," Tom Petty has said. "If you want to play Fifties rock & roll, you can either play like Chuck Berry, or you can play like Carl Perkins."

Key Tracks: "Blue Suede Shoes," "Glad All Over"

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