Elvis Presley was a force of nature in the world of music, but without his trusty backing musicians he couldn’t have made nearly the impact that he did. Scotty Moore, who played guitar for Elvis for many years, has passed away at the age of 84. No cause of death is known at the moment, but he had been in poor health for a few months prior to his passing.
In the early ’50s, Moore moved to Memphis and formed a group called the Starlite Wranglers with bassist Bill Black. In 1954, Moore and Black were chosen to back up a then teenaged Elvis on his first single “That’s All Right (Mama).” Moore would go on to play on such iconic songs as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” He also appeared in four of Elvis’ movies. Moore was fired by Sun Records after recording a solo album, but reunited with Elvis for his 1968 comeback special.
Moore was named one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time by Rolling Stone, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Keith Richards, a guitar legend in his own right, had this to say on the legacy of Scotty Moore: “When I heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ I knew what I wanted to do in life. It was as plain as day. All I wanted to do in the world was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis, I wanted to be Scotty.” That’s about as high praise as one can get.