Oral History Information
Carl Mann sang in church as a child and grew up just a few years behind Elvis Presley, who, like Carl, brought the style of church musical expression to popular music when he began recording for Sun Records in Memphis. While playing guitar on several Sun Record sessions, Carl met and befriended WS Holland, the drummer who would go on to perform with Johnny Cash for over 40 years. WS arranged for Carl to cut several sides under his own name. Among those songs recorded was Carl’s rockabilly version of “Mona Lisa,” which climbed the charts and went on to become a classic early rock hit. Carl recorded two sides for Jaxon Records ("Gonna Rock and Roll Tonight" and "Rockin Love") and several more songs with Sam Phillips at Sun Records ("Pretend," "Ain't Got No Home" and "Born To Be Bad"). He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2006.