ONE of Elvis’s biggest fans got to step in the King’s blue suede shoes after recording five songs at Sun Studio in Memphis.

Joe Astley, who was taught to play guitar by his Bewsey grandfather Mickey Hynes, visited the iconic American music city to celebrate his 21st birthday.

Sun Records was the first company to record Elvis Presley as well as some of Joe’s other heroes like Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.

So Joe took a tour of the studio and could not resist the chance to record there for an hour after he convinced staff to waive the usual minimum session time of five hours that he could not afford.

He said: “It was so surreal. I’ve been a fan of rock and roll all my life. I was brought up on the music of giants like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash so sitting in that room was a bit overwhelming.

“The entire place has got such a buzz about it. There’s just so much going on there and I met so many people who had been there and done it. Real musicians who have been on the scene for years. I met a guy who had been taught by B.B. King at his blues club.

“I went to Elvis’s grave, to Graceland and to so many places but when I was in that room that’s when I really felt it. You could almost feel the presence of the performers who had come before. It’s still got the crosses on the floor that record producer Sam Phillips put there to tell the singer where to stand.”

Joe managed to record five songs including Shadow on the River which he wrote while he was there.

He said: I was inspired by the Mississippi River. I could see it from my hotel and the song had more of a southern style to it.”

Joe also recorded a track for his fiancée Dannielle Atkins called From Here to Eternity.

The 21-year-old added: “She’s an Elvis fan as well so I wanted to record something for her in that room. It made her cry.”

Then when Joe realised he had two minutes of recording time left he quickly belted out a cover of That’s Alright Mama as a nod to his mum Johanne.

He said: “My mum brought me up as a massive Elvis fan so I thought it would be so special if I dedicated an Elvis song to her in that room.

“So I did That’s Alright Mama and she was over the moon with that.

“I had to do it faster than I’d ever played it to get it down to two minutes. I think it was double time more or less.”

Joe is from Wigan but half of his family are from the Dallam and Bewsey area. His mum also grew up in Warrington. And it was Joe’s Bewsey grandfather Mickey Hynes who made him fall in love with music in the first place.

Mickey used to play in all the Warrington clubs in the 60s when he was in an Irish band called The Beaumen.

Joe added: “My granddad taught me my first few chords on the guitar and it went from there. I remember him teaching me some Beatles songs. Then I heard this sound on the radio when I was about nine and I remember thinking to myself: What on earth is that?

“It was Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis. I’ve been a big fan since and I’ve now got a tattoo of him.”

Following his Memphis adventure, Joe has followed in the footsteps of some music heroes closer to home.

He talked his way onto the stage at The Cavern in Liverpool where the Beatles cut their teeth. Paul McCartney recently returned to the venue for a very special one-off gig.

Joe said: “I went into the Cavern with my fiancée and my mum and we were going for a few drinks mainly but I also had some tickets to my next show in Liverpool to see if we could sell a couple of those.

“But I went downstairs and saw someone playing and thought today’s the day. I told the guy running the stage it was my life’s dream to play there. He went and had a word with the management and came back after his break and said it was only going to cost me a pint.

“It was an incredible moment and I had to finish on a Beatles song so I played I Saw Her Standing There.”

Joe has also recently teamed up with renowned Manchester promoters Scruff of the Neck.

He added: “You have to make your own luck in this world. You have to push for things. You’ve got to be cheeky.

“There’s really good things happening at the moment and my next gig is my first with Scruff of the Neck at Buyers Club in Liverpool on September 15. I can’t wait for that one. I’m going to get just about everybody I know out for that one. I think this is my year...”