Scotty Moore played guitar in Presley’s original and only band the Blue Moon Boys and on his early recordings.
He started out a country guitarist – a finger-picker in the mode of Chet Atkins.
But slathered in echo that country style translated remarkably well to a rockabilly/rock and roll context – while the context brought something extra – something ecstatic – to the style.
Other extraordinary guitarists were playing rock and roll already: among them Mickey Baker, Lowman Pauling, Johnny Watson and Danny Cedrone who died just a few weeks before Elvis – Scotty and Bill Black made their first recordings.
Scotty Moore brought something different to the table.
Not quite diffidence but a perfectly worked out sense of proportion.
Moore didn’t wail or break from the pack: understated on stage and in person he played to frame the frontman.
(In an interview with Guitar Player magazine Moore claims never to have broken a string.)
All the same the music’s shot through with his playing.
Source: Mystery Train « LRB blog