About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Monday, January 26, 2009

One-hit wonder Carl Perkins

Blue Suede Shoes is intimately connected with Elvis Presley, but it was first recorded by Carl Perkins, who grew up on a tenant farm in Tennessee and whose first guitar was made from a cigar box and a broomstick. Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes and recorded it on the Sun Records label in 1956. It quickly moved to No.1 on the country music chart. Soon after cuting the record, he was badly injured in a car accident. During Perkins' recovery, Elvis did his own version of the song--competition that was too much for Perkins to overcome. It was Perkins' only big hit, although he also wrote Honey Don't and Dixie Fried. He played guitar behind Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder for their hit Ebony and Ivory and performed with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny
Cash and other luminaries.

Perkins had trouble with alcohol but managed to kick the habit. He died at 65 in 1998 following a series of strokes.

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