Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ Archives
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  • 5th Annual
    DECEMBER 5, 1998

    A report on the fifth annual Night Of 100 Elvises held last nite at the Lithuanian Hall in downtown Baltimore Md.

    I declined the free stretch limo ride from the seedy parking lot area up to the Hall. A giant carved ice sculpture of the King greeting you at the entrance. Barbeque, Polish sausage, grilled cheese sandwiches and oysters were plentiful. They were even serving fried peanut butter & banana sandwiches upstairs in the "Jungle Room!" They used all three floors of the old building. "The Lounge" (basement) was for "tribute artists" doing karaoke type acts- mostly "vegas elvis" stuff. The crowd downstairs was more the blue haired, "is He dead or alive" variety.

    The main floor "Ballroom" was a mix of regular bands and Elvis impersonators, each doing two or three songs, all Elvis of course. Among the more than 35 acts were Cadillac Frank, The Glenmont Popes, Evan Johns, Monsters from The Surf, Jeff Sarli, The Graceliners (several large female elvis impersonators from Ontario), Eric Rose of the Original Sinners, Dr. Harmonica & Rockett 88 (the ones from Delaware), Towering Bouffants, Honky Tonk Confidential, Michael Hoover, Lionel Ward, Mark Waddell, and too many white sequined jumpsuit Elvises of all shapes and sizes. Sound quality in the main hall was too echoey. The acts came fast and furious. To be honest, I spent little time in the main hall because up on the third floor was where the real action was happening....

    The jungle room as they called it was a little smaller but where the best rockin music was played... Thankfully! The Flea Bops and Rockin' Bones, two of Maryland's best authentic rockabilly bands. Unfortuanately, they may be the ONLY two. They alternated two sets each and it was such a relief, with so much noisy, rocked out crap going on downstairs to be able to hear some real rockabilly, played in authentic style by bands that obviously understand and love it. Lance LeBeau, late of Go Cat Go played drums for both groups. The Flea Bops also feature two other LeBeaus- wife Wendy on upright, and brother Preston on guitar. Ronnie Joyner handles vocals, acoustic guitar, and a dead-on Johnny Burnette scream. Repetoire was lots from the rock & roll trio , gene vincent, elvis, johnny cash and other Sun era artists. Wendy stepped up to sing Janis Martin's "My Boy Elvis' and the Collins Kids "Mercy." As usual, she left the fellas in the crowd drooling & shouting for more. ;-). I was really impressed by how far the Flea Bops have progressed since I first heard em a few years ago. Was it opening for Go Cat Go at Tornado Alley? They really sound good. The enthusiastic crowd was inspiring and the band and the crowd were having alot of fun. Rockin Bones, sorry I don't remember all their names (5 guys) also played a couple really good sets in authentic style though I won't list anything they did. I think the cholesterol from the snack bars clogged my memory. Had fun hangin with fellow lister James Stephenson and his wife Karen too.

    Overall, a very cool event. Something to please all types of Elvis fans. Well organized. Good benefit for the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center.

    thank you. uh, thank you very much,

    Louie Newmyer