"EYE'N YOU UP"

INTERVIEW by STEVE KELEMEN

This is one of my early music experiences. I was a paper boy in 8th grade and I had a customer that was way behind on payments. He had missed quite a few weeks. He comes to me and tells me he lost his job, was leaving the area and would it be okay if he gives me a guitar. I figured it was better than nothing, so I took the guitar

It wasn't a Gibson or Gretsch, but it was a decent guitar and I was satisfied with it. My neighbors weren't satisfied. They wished he had paid me and never given me that guitar. I tried to sing and play it and keep it in tune, but what they heard was a lot of sour notes because of my big voice. A neighbor 1-1/2 blocks away had to turn his TV up louder because I was so loud. I kept breaking a lot of strings also.





ROCKABILLY - It's got more spice, spark, beat, rhythm and life. It ignites your adrenals. I started playing it as soon as I heard it. It lifts everyone's spirit into a super high gear and even gives you a little overdrive. It creates a more positive feeling in the mind, body and heart of all who hear it.




THE VIKINGS - I met the Vikings in the late 1950's at Conneaut Lake Park. A great group! They then came to Amridge (my home town area) and played at the Hidden Valley Hotel for some time. That's when I joined them and we went to Cleveland and recorded the only records they ever did in their lifetime.

They were a group who did very little socializing together when they were off-stage. But when they got on stage to perform, they tried to out do each other and the listening audience benefited because they had some great music. I've seen people who never danced in their lives, get up to move to the great sounds of the Vikings.

I did a few shows with them, then they went to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and I went back to Cleveland and some commercials and shows. I then went to Geneva-on-the-Lake and then Chicago for over three months and then Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. I played the Grand Ole Opry two times. Presently I'm doing commercials and shows in the Pittsburgh area.

I recorded 3 singles for Nationwide Records (with the Vikings). The label was owned by Ken Monello and John Horchak. Some of the other record labels I record for are Jerry, Gemina, Feather and St. Clair.

At that time my manager was J.J. Jewels who had quite a few million record sellers. One of his groups, The Marcels had a big hit "Blue Moon." Mr. Jewels ended up dying in a tree accident.

I was involved in a car wreck that sidetracked me for a few years. I did write some good songs and stories and now I'm on a come back trail - stronger and better than ever.
"

Posted December 22, 2001




Rockabilly Hall of Fame