"That's News to Me" - Archive #1

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A Mix of Music Related Text and Photos That You May Find Interesting



Eric Heatherly Hears Hollywood Calling

Eric Heatherly recently scored his first hit with the debut single," Flowerson the Wall," but he's already getting interest from Hollywood. Eric playedto a packed crowd at New York City's Rodeo Bar on Wednesday night, but hisrecent show at the House of Blues in Los Angeles attracted a crowd whichincluded actor/director Billy Bob Thornton, who worked with Dwight Yoakam in"Sling Blade." Eric isn't about to abandon his music career, but he admits,"I want to do some movie work and some acting, too. I've always dreamed ofmaking it out in Hollywood. Back in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee,all there was to do was play music and go to movies. So those are twothings I've dreamed of doing my whole life." It looks like his dream ofbeing in the movies could come true. Eric says, "I've got my first roleoffer, but I haven't even been back in Nashville to look over the scriptyet. I can't wait to dig in and see what it's all about, but it's going tohave to be the right thing. I'd rather see myself do smaller roles andsupporting little things and work my way up to a lead type situation. Idon't think I should jump in -- head over heels -- and try to go for itbecause music for me was not exactly that way. I had to work my way upthrough all the bars, joints, write the songs and hone them, and puttogether the right band. And I think all that takes time. So I think I'dlike a role like Bruce Willis had in 'Pulp Fiction.'" Eric isn't sure aboutthe plot of the script that's waiting for him in Nashville, but he says,"It's got something to do with country music and it's something like thehistory of country music and rockabilly. I know there will be some liveaction performance pieces, which would be nice."




Cliff Bruner Has Died

Texas fiddle great Clifton Lafayette "Cliff" Bruner died yesterday morning (Friday, August 25, 2000) at his home in Houston after struggling with cancer and heart problems. He was 85.

Though he played off and on for his entire life, Cliff will always be remembered for the body of work he recorded in a very short period of time, 1936-1940, first as fiddler on Milton Brown's last session in '36, to his own Texas Wanderers Decca sessions in '37-'38, and as sideman to many artists ranging from Shelley Lee Alley to Buddy Jones to Jimmie Davis.

Bruner's influence was integral to the early western swing sound, particularly in East Texas and Louisiana. He reigned supreme in Beaumont from 1937 to 1949 (taking in occasional flights to San Angelo, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Shreveport, and even Chicago), and nearly everybody who was anybody in East Tx. played in Cliff's bands during those years: Bob Dunn, Dickie McBride, J.R. Chatwell, Leo Raley, Smokey Wood, Moon Mullican, Link Davis, etc. Despite rural origins (he was raised in Tomball, Texas), he never liked hillbilly or cowboy music, always concentrated on pop, jazz and blues, and never compromised his vision for commercial considerations. For the entirety of the '40s, he always dressed in sporty clothes and suits, never western wear or cowboy hats, and really didn't consider himself in the same field as people like Spade Cooley or Bob Wills. And although posterity will remember his as a "western swing" musician, he never used the term himself.

The Bear Family 5-CD box set issued several years ago is still in print and is highly recommended as an overview of Bruner's essential recordings under his own name, while his work as a sideman is reissued from time to time on labels like Krazy Kat.

Accomplishments aside, Cliff was at heart a very down-to-earth guy, as laid back as they come, well loved by everyone who knew him or worked with him. He was completely unsentimental about his past, and didn't own a single one of his recordings until the Bear Family box came out. He was always thinking about the next gig or the next recording he was going to make, but was somehow never satisfied with any of them.

It won't be the same without you, Cliff.

AB (Houston, Texas)




REVIEW:

Gene Vincent bio lurches
toward inevitable tragedy

By Richard P. Carpenter, Globe Staff, 8/21/2000

The important thing about the concert held in the municipal auditorium in Norfolk, Va., in September 1955 wasn't so much who was onstage - a pretty boy named Elvis Presley - but who was in the audience: a 20-year-old named Vincent Eugene Craddock who was anything but pretty, with his greasy curls, dingy teeth, and crippled leg.

Craddock was so moved both by Presley's hip-shaking performance and by the audience's raucous reaction that, writes music journalist Susan VanHecke in this biography, he "knew what he had to do."

And he did it. The poor kid from Norfolk became Gene Vincent, one of the first rock 'n' rollers, a major influence on dozens of future stars, and a sad example of where the fast lane can sometimes take you.

He owed it all, the good and the bad, to "Be-Bop-A-Lula," a nonsensical song about a girl in red blue jeans who is queen of all the teens, a girl who is his baby - and "I don't mean maybe." But there was something about the way he sang those sappy lyrics in his high, striking voice: a little bit sweet, a little bit sensual, and a little bit Elvis. Capitol Records signed him up as the company's answer to RCA's Presley.

That song took Gene from the record studio to the concert stage, where he and his first band, the Blue Caps (so named because they wore those flat golf caps), delighted the crowds with their manic performances. And if VanHecke's prose is sometimes overheated in describing Gene onstage ("he tore into `Be-Bop-A Lula' like a ravenous beast ripping the life from its helpless prey"), well, his performances were overheated, too. Often dressed in black, he bucked and cavorted, occasionally raising his left leg - permanently in a brace and forever painful as a result of a motorcycle accident - over the top of the microphone stand. As he sang, his face twisted into an approximation of agony, and he punctuated his words with gasps, all of this causing the audience to become similarly overheated - especially the young girls, whom VanHecke describes as "sweaty and moist" no less than four times.

This was rock 'n' roll, melded from rhythm and blues, country, and gospel, an "unholy union of white folks' music and black folks' music." And Gene Vincent was part of the first glorious wave, along with Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and others, most of whom Gene would befriend or perform with. Never mind that after "Be-Bop-A-Lula" he would have only a few minor hits, such as "Race With the Devil" - he had the mystique. So he'd drive across the country to perform, fueled by pills and booze and cigarettes and the screams of his fans.

It couldn't last, of course. Parental protests and cagey business decisions brought about a sanitized, safer, and duller brand of rock, featuring the likes of Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Yet if Gene Vincent's popularity was waning in America, it wasn't in Europe; there he was a cult figure, especially in England. But it was also in England where he was injured in a car crash that killed his good friend and fellow performer Eddie Cochran and added to the torment that seemed to stalk him.

Vincent is described dropping and adding wives and band members. Some of the latter are more interesting than others, especially Dickie Harrell, the wild-man drummer whose unrehearsed but joyous scream can be heard on "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and backing vocalist Tommy "Bubba" Facenda (who one day would have a small success of his own with the record "High School U.S.A."). An ocean of sometimes less-than-fascinating detail is reported about the changing of band members and the making of records.

With his lifestyle, too familiar among rock stars then and now, the death of Gene Vincent - in 1971, at 36, with chronic alcoholism a key contributing factor - has a ring of inevitability. Just how much the singer, who had become paunchy and balding, had deteriorated is made plain by a rambling and pathetic radio interview he did shortly before his death.

VanHecke has done a lot of research into Vincent's life, but mistakes about the era have crept in. President Kennedy's assassination is misdated; a Beatles' hit is attributed to the Rolling Stones; there is a badly reported account of the 1958 Boston Arena concert that led to a charge of inciting a riot against disc jockey Alan Freed. (I was there: There were no injuries or fights during the concert. The trouble came afterward on the streets, and may have had little to do with the show.)

One other quibble: Three pivotal events - the motorcycle accident that mangled Vincent's leg, the car crash with Eddie Cochran, and Vincent's death - aren't merely described. They're turned into fantasies in which Gene is racing with the devil, whose "smoldering orbs" burn behind the windshield. Oh, please.

But there's no quibbling over the impact of Gene Vincent on rockers from the Beatles to Jeff Beck to Adam Ant. At Vincent's 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, John Fogerty sang a bit of "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and then said: "It doesn't get much better than that. I do believe that this record is probably one of the greatest records ever made."

Me too. And I don't mean maybe.

This story ran on page B10 of the Boston Globe on 8/21/2000.
©Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.




Elvis Week 2000: What If He Had Lived?

Veteran Presley sidemen Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana among attendees imagining a 65-year-old Elvis. SonicNet Editor RW Deutsche reports: For friends, fans and fellow musicians who flocked to Graceland this week in his honor, there's a question that lingers: What if he had lived?

"Well, he'd definitely be getting his Social Security," said his first guitarist Scotty Moore, who was at Elvis' side right from the start at those early Sun Record sessions and live shows. It is Moore's guitar you hear on such classics as "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel." "But seriously, I could see him becoming a preacher."

"He'd be a damn good one," added drummer D.J. Fontana, who was with Elvis from 1955 to 1969.

"Elvis was very vain, you know," Moore added. "It would have been hard for him to age gracefully."

Singer Ronnie McDowell, who has been headlining a Tribute to Elvis show at the Horseshoe Casino's Bluesville Nightclub in Tunica, Miss., along with Moore, Fontana and Elvis backup singers the Jordanaires, disagreed. "I'd say he'd look a lot like Vernon [Elvis' father], who was very handsome."

McDowell added that he could have seen Elvis doing shows with Led Zeppelin or Bruce Springsteen.

"I think he'd be doing ballads," Fontana said.

Early in his career Elvis had a tough experience at the Grand Ole Opry, where he and his music were not received well. As to whether he'd ever return there today, Fontana didn't think so.

"With all his money," Moore laughed, "he'd a probably bought it!"

"I'll tell you one thing," Fontana roared, "he'd be on Viagra like the rest of us!"




Country Music HOF Coast-to-Coast

Even as it documents country music's past, the new Country Music Hall ofFame will take a step into the future by partnering with Washington,D.C.-based XM Satellite Radio, a digital programming service. The newCountry Music Hall of Fame, opening in downtown Nashville next year, willinclude a glass-enclosed digital radio studio. XM, set to launch a radiosatellite in November, will broadcast daily from the site. Consumers who ownradios with special antennas will be able to pick up the signal. Broadcastsfrom the Hall of Fame will be part of larger network of up to 100 satellitechannels, running 24 hours a day and offering a broad range of music, news,sports, talk, comedy and children's programming. Set to go on the air whenthe Hall of Fame opens in May, XM will offer everything from live visits andperformances by country music artists to music culled from the collection of200,000 sound recordings in the Hall of Fame's vaults. Listeners also willbe part of museum-related events such as exhibit openings and donationceremonies, and they will learn about upcoming attractions. One programbeing discussed, The Country Music Hall of Fame Hour, will feature profilesof country music legends, complete with rare, archival recordings.






FEATURE ... Edd Cisco

Edd was friends with Carl Perkins since their early teens. They formed a band and played over WTJS in Jackson, TN - at local shows, dances, talent shows, etc. The stage door of the Grand Ole Opry was their hang-out. Many a Saturday night would find them there without tickets - only to find themselves being led up the back steps by some of the biggest stars of the day. Later their biggest dream came reality by playing with those same stars.

Edd has traveled and played all over the U.S. (including Alaska) and Canada and performed with such stars as Porter Wagoner, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Carl Smith, George Jones and Johnny Cash - and helped Carl "go through" several pairs of "Blue Suede Shoes." Later, Edd decided to be part of music in a different way - by becoming one of Jackson's most popular DJs for 20 years.

Throughout the years, Edd has been a key figure in organizing and performing in many benefits for The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association - the underprivileged, handicapped and many other individuals in need - urging others to donate money to these causes as well as money for Christmas presents, groceries and radios for gandicapped kids. He has received numerous awards from the American Cancer Society and The American Heart Association as well as being among the first and few to be inducted into Opryland's DJ Hall of Fame. Now Edd is proud to be part organizing the benefit for the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.




Guitars Made from Opry Pews

Guitarists hoping for a little country music magic in their playing can buy an instrument carved out of oak pews from the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. The Ryman Limited Edition Acoustic Guitar was scheduled to debut Friday evening at a news conference. Only 243 are being made by the Washburn International Inc., Mundelein, Ill., each costing $6,250. Among the first customers were singers Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Loretta Lynn, said Larry English, an executive at Chicago-based Washburn. "Loretta bought two," English said. "These hunks of wood will now live forever. They could have been sent off to the dump years ago." Fans sat in those Ryman pews while stars like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Minnie Pearl and Elvis Presley performed on the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74. The show on WSM-AM continues to this day, now based at the Grand Ole Opry House in suburban Nashville. About 20 pews weren't needed anymore when the 108-year-old Ryman was renovated in 1992. They were put into storage until the deal was made with Washburn. Only the seats of the pews were used to make the guitars. Grand Ole Opry officials are considering using the backs of the pews in some other product. "We're trying to decide what that could be," said Opry spokesman Jim Hennessey. The guitar was designed by English, with several design features tying into the Ryman. A carving design on the guitar is based on the one on the original pews, and the serial number of each guitar will correspond to the seat from which it was made. "If there was a screw hole or nail hole, we left it," English said. Nails removed from the wood will be shipped with each guitar. English said he wasn't sure during the design stage whether the guitars would be viable instruments, besides their value as a keepsake. "The guitar really sounds great, which I didn't necessarily expect," he said.



Jack Scott Gig Report

(Posted July 23, 2000) Jack Scott performed, outdoors, at the show. It included a "swearing in" of new U.S. Citizens. I took an old pal of mine, Wayne Stafford, who has in the past booked many of the greats.....Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash and others....for shows in Western Canada. He admitted he was surprised at how great Jack was. He'd never seem him before. Jack did all his old favourites....plus. When he hit the high notes on Roy Orbison's "Crying"....it was really special.
Friday night, Jack and his wife Barb attended a Glenn Campbell Show in Detroit. Jack and Glenn used to hang out together back in the 60's when they both were signed to Capitol Records, but hadn't seen each other in years. When Glenn heard Jack was in the audience....he introduced him, asked Jack to come up on stage and they did a duet together of Burning Bridges. It was a song Glenn recorded early in his career....before Gentle On My Mind.

Jack's next show in the area will likely be the Woodward Dream Cruise. It's one of the largest events of its kind in the world. Check it out at: http://www.dreamcruise.org/ - Hope you can make it! Cheers, WC - radiopro@home.com





Country Music Star in Indiana

Buck Lake Ranch in Angola IN To Host Historic Event
It's one of the oldest and most prestigious concert venues in the United States and on Sunday, July 30, 2000 it will host the first annual "Legends Fest." We're talking about Buck Lake Ranch in Angola, Indiana. Buck Lake Ranch is recognized as the Nashville of the North, where almost every famous country artist has been at least once, some of them many times. The venue will now host "Legends Fest" an event with historic significance. The show, which will be hosted by Ralph Emery, is set to begin at 2 PM and will feature Country Music Hall Of Famers Little Jimmy Dickens and Kitty Wells. Other acts on the show include Grand Ole Opry stars Jack Greene, Stonewall Jackson, Jeanne Pruett, Charlie Louvin, and Johnny Russell along with the entire Kitty Wells Family Show featuring Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Bobby Wright and the Tennessee Mountain Boys. Wells and company are doing their farewell tour this year so this will be a rare last chance to see the Queen Of Country Music and her family show before their retirement. This will also mark her 26th appearance at Buck Lake Ranch. With the exception of Wells and Dickens, the artists will be backed by the Music City Show Band, featuring some of Nashville's finest musicians.

"Legends Fest" is the brainchild of Carl Unger who owns Buck Lake Ranch and Nashville agent and manager Marty Martel, president of Midnight Special Productions, LTD. In commenting on the show Martel states, "Both Carl and I feel there is a need to preserve the tradition of country music and what better place to do it than this beautiful park where the pioneers and legends of country music have appeared. We also feel that this area of northern Indiana is the perfect location to make this event a success for years to come. It is easily accessible to the residents of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan who make up a huge percentage of the country music fans in the United States."

Tickets for the event are $15 advance, $20 day of show. Please add an additional $10 for reserved seating. Tickets may be ordered from Buck Lake Ranch by calling 219-665-6699.
For more information contact:
Marty Martel at 615-822-6713
Carl Unger at 219-665-6699



Johnny Duncan, 1932-2000

Johnny Duncan rode the English skiffle craze all the way with a majorhit record in 1957 hovering at number two in the pop charts, finishingup among the top 20 records of the year [NME chart].The native born Tennessean took over Lonnie Donegan's spot in ChrisBarber's band prior to his solo smash 'Last Train To San Fernando'followed by two more chart records, a string of albums and televisionappearances.His rockabilly style was influential to The Beatles and other 'beat'groups emerging in the wake of the original rock era.He settled into a career as the leading British based country artist onthe northern club circuit and continued recording through the 1960's.In the early 1970's he virtually disappeared after he emigrated toAustralia.

Although still performing he never made an impact on the Australianscene, releasing just one single soon after arrival.In the mid 1990's a four CD box set of Johnny's recordings, including a28 page book was released by a German label. The notes contained manyinaccuracies due to the fact Johnny could not be found at the time.The past few years he has been living in or around Taree on the NorthCoast of New South Wales and in November 1999 he came out of retirementto record four new songs.One, 'Hillbilly Daddy' has recently gone to radio while all will be partof a forthcoming 30 track 'Best Of' CD currently being prepared byEnglish label Rollercoaster.The album will also include detailed liner notes written by Keith Glasswho also wrote two of the new songs and produced the session.Keith says 'Johnny exceeded our expectations on these songs and they hadgiven him a new lease of life. We were planning more recording and evenhoping to get Johnny out playing live.'

Sadly this wasn't to be. At 5pm on Saturday 15th of July 2000, 68 yearold Johnny Duncan passed away after being admitted to Taree Hospital anddiagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer. His story spans triumph and tragedy and three continents but the man himself lived his final years very simply. Surrounded by the Australian bush and a few friends he had found contentment and enjoyed a final musical fling. The future should re-evaluate Johnny Duncan's contribution. More than a one hit wonder, his best recordings are exuberant slices of the musical crossroads that brought on the modern era. He was the Hillbilly Daddy.




Dave Robel, Bob Timmers, Pinky Semrad, Bobby Lowell, Michael B. and Sean Benjamin outside Jam Palace Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 5, 2000. The musicians united to help Michael record a new CD, "Midwest Carolina Blues," a tribute to Bobby Lowell.

Michael B. Smith's CD to be on
Rockabilly Hall of Fame "Blues" Label

July 12, 2000 - The album features some of Nebraska's finest falents and was recorded in Lincoln, Nebraska and Completed in Asheboro, North Carolina. "Midwest Carolina Blues," (RBHOF 110) the second album from UpstateSouth Carolina performer Michael B. Smith, will be released on theRockabilly Hall of Fame label in August, as the pilot project of theirnew "Blues" division. The band is billed as Michael B. Smith & TheRockabilly Hall of Fame Blues Band. A nice, short, easy to remember name.

The album was inspired by, and is dedicated to, Nebraska rock and blueslegend Bobby Lowell, best known for his 1956 hit, "Um Baby Baby," onRoto Records. Lowell and Smith struck up a friendship while Smith waswriting an article for Goldmine Magazine on the death of Boxcar Willie,who had been on the roster at Lowell's Roto Records early in his career.Shortly after a visit to Lincoln to meet Lowell in person and an ensuingjam session with members of the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, andmany others, including the legendary Johnny Olen ("The Girl Can't HelpIt"), Smith learned that Lowell had been diagnosed with terminalcancer. Smith decided to record his next album in tribute to his friend,and all of the Nebraska rockers from the earlier jam session, allfriends of Bobby's, agreed to play on the project. Cowboy Bob Davis,proprietor of Jam Palace Studio, offered use of his studio and hisengineering skills.

The recording session took place on March 3 - 5, 2000. The Lincolnsessions were produced by Mike "Pinky" Semrad and Sean Benjamin, andengineered by Cowboy Bob Davis. Musicians include Semrad on bass;Benjamin on piano and guitar; Dave Robel on drums; Bob Timmers onguitar; Jim Cidlik on Hammond B-3 organ; Jim Jenkins on saxophone; andToni Bastian on vocals, along with Michael B. on lead vocals and leadand rhythm guitars. Oddly enough, Michael lost his voice after singingonstage with The Heart Murmers at the Zoo Bar upon his arrival inLincoln on Friday. He was forced to return to S.C. with one componentconspicuously missing from his master tapes - his lead vocals.

Enter Wes Nance and Subtle Chaos Records near Asheboro, North Carolina.In July, Smith took a road trip to Studio 5 in Trinity, N.C., where headded the lead vocals, and had the project mixed and mastered under thecapable hands and ears of Studio 5's Kevin "Caveman" Davis and WesleyNance, who are credited as co-producers for the North Carolina sessions.

"Midwest Carolina Blues" features contributions from many of hisNebraska friends, as well as one of Smith's original compositions, andsome blues classics. Guitarist Bob Timmers, who is also the curator ofThe Rockabilly Hall of Fame, wrote the excellent "Rockabilly Blue,"which features Toni Baustian of Omaha on lead vocals, and some fine saxwork from Jim Jenkins. Sean Benjamin sings "It's Been So Long," a lovesong written by Bobby Lowell himself, and the Rockabilly Hall of FameBlues Band rocks through the instrumental "Redeye," featuring Timmers onguitar, a tune penned by Johnny Meeks, an original member of GeneVincent and The Blue Caps. Smith turns in, "She's Got a Hold On Me," andhe and Toni share lead vocals on a blues medley that includes "StormyMonday Blues" and "Redhouse." There is also an up-tempo bluesarrangement of Steve Young's "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean," a retelling of"Jelly Jelly Blues," and a cover of the Edgar Winter's White Trashclassic, "Fly Away," complete with a studio choir.

Michael's debut release, "Happy to Be Here," an all-original album, wasreleased on Dreaming Buffalo in 1997. He is currently performing anall-acoustic, solo act, and preparing to tour with a full blues band.

"Midwest Carolina Blues" will be distributed by and available from TheRockabilly Hall of Fame, Subtle Chaos, Gritz (http://www.gritz.net) ,Amazon.com and from Michael's website (http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Hills/9611/)
Check out Michael's "Midwest Carolina Blues" Page, with photos from therecording session!


Fairfield Four's James Hill Dies NASHVILLE - Baritone singer James Hill, of the prominent gospel group the Fairfield Four, died on Thursday, June 6, 2000 here at Baptist Hospital of complications from diabetes. He was 83. Hill, a native of Bessemer, Ala., joined the Fairfield Four in 1946. The group, which had been formed in 1921, disbanded in 1950, and Hill and another member, Isaac Freeman, joined the Skylarks. Hill and Freeman rejoined the reunited Fairfield Four in 1980 and, since then, had performed and recorded with numerous country, gospel, rock and pop stars. Hill, who also helped run the Fairfield Four Funeral Home in Nashville in the 1940s and who was a sheriff's deputy and police officer here, also appeared in Robert Altman's film Nashville.The group toured with Lyle Lovett and was a mainstay at Nashville musical functions, wearing their trademark overalls with tuxedo shirts and jackets. They traveled widely, appearing at a salute to Johnny Cash in 1999 in New York. The group recently released the album The Fairfield Four and Friends ‹ Live From Mountain Stage on Nashville's Blue Plate records. Friends appearing on the album are Kevin Welch, Elvis Costello, Lee Roy Parnell, Steve Earle and the Nashville Bluegrass Band.


Cub Koda Championed Music That Matters Cub Koda championed music that mattersAppreciation/by Dean Johnson, Thursday, July 6, 2000 [Boston Herald] - He wrote and sang a genuine rock 'n' roll anthem that sold two millioncopies and rose to No. 3 on the charts: the 1974 hit "Smokin' in theBoys Room" by Ann Arbor, Mich., band Brownsville Station. He was called "America's greatest houserocker" by author Stephen King.He named himself after Cubby from television's "Mickey Mouse Club" andwas responsible for the rise of Motley Crue when its remake of "Smokin'in the Boys Room" hit the charts in 1985.Those facts alone guarantee Michael "Cub" Koda, who died Saturday atage 51 of complications from kidney disease, a place in the history ofrock 'n' roll.

But Koda was much more than a one-hit wonder with a goofy name.At least a half-dozen other songs he wrote hit the Billboard charts. Buthe also was dedicated to blues and American roots music in a way thatwent far beyond the numerous club and concert gigs he played through theyears.Koda wrote a column for Discoveries music magazine for 22 years, one thatdetailed whatever music he felt needed to be heard. He also wrote aboutmusic for Goldmine and numerous other publications.Koda edited two music reference books, the All-Music Guide and TheAll-Music Guide to the Blues. In 1998, he co-wrote the criticallyacclaimed "Blues for Dummies."

His life was consumed by music, specifically sounds that could evenremotely be considered American "roots" music: blues, rockabilly andr&b. He befriended and championed a variety of artists through the years,ranging from Lonnie Brooks and Link Wray to Bo Did-dley.Koda also was aware of the history behind the music he loved, and heannotated reissues of classic recordings by Muddy Waters, Robert Johnsonand Spike Jones.And though he didn't play many live dates in the past decade, he was aregular in Boston nightclubs and kept making his own music. He hadfinished a new album just a few months before his death.To Koda, rock 'n' roll was all about fast fun, something he revealed afew years ago when a writer asked if he felt "Smokin' in the Boys Room"was a curse because he was never able to match it."Are you nuts?" he replied. "I consider it just the opposite. For ashort white kid with big glasses from the Midwestern sticks to be in aband that makes a record that gets played on the radio that a millionpeople go out and buy - how could that possibly be a curse?"I can think of a whole lot of people with maybe even more talent," headded, "to whom that never happened. To me, it's happened twice. "That's no curse, mister. That's a blessing."




The King of the Road

Photographic proof of Elvis in Texas...more than 40 years ago By Zac Crain.
Local schoolteacher-turned-historian Stanley Oberst is on the homestretchof an ambitious project: documenting Elvis Presley's frequent, thoughrarely mentioned, Texas appearances in the 1950s. It's a daunting task,especially considering that Presley played in this state more thananywhere else in the country during the '50s, and, well, Texas is a bigstate (a whole 'nother country, if the ad campaign from a few years backis to be believed). Oberst has pretty much dedicated himself to theproject for the past three years. He drove down every back road in Texasin search of people who saw Presley play--whether it was in an actualvenue or the local high school's gymnasium--and hunting through stacks ofyellowed newsprint, or in most cases, lots of microfilm for reviews ofthe show or photographs. The result of his research, tentatively and simply titled Elvis in Texas,is a combination of oral history and photo essay, featuring a mountain ofphotographs that haven't been seen in four decades (including the onehere) and many that never made it into print at all. (In the interest offull and complete disclosure, Dallas Observer staff writer RobertWilonsky is helping Oberst edit the book, and the Observer art directoris assisting with the design and layout.)

If an hour-long conversation with Oberst is any indication, the bookshould be almost as relevant to discussions about Presley as PeterGuralnick's acclaimed two-fer Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of ElvisPresley and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. It documents afascinating period in Presley's development: He might not have had manypeople show up to his concerts, but most of them were girls, and all ofthem went wild for him. Oberst dug in deep and found out the real storyfrom the people who were there about all of the small-town screw-ups (apromoter's booking gigs for Elvis in Wichita Falls and Seymour on thesame day) and short-lived love affairs (just about every city he stoppedin). In the interest of keeping his book fresh, Oberst didn't want to go intotoo much detail, spoil all of the stories before they even hit theshelves. But the little he did tell us about was good enough to keep usinterested, begging him for more information about Elvis' life on theroads through the backwoods of Texas. While we never imagined Presley'slife would warrant yet another book, Oberst has us looking forward to it.And since Amazon.com lists more than 700 matches for books about ElvisPresley, that's probably the most daunting task of all.




This is how yodeling began:

Submitted by Memphis session drummer, Gene Chrisman

Back in the olden days, a man was traveling through Switzerland. Nightfall was rapidly approaching and the man had nowhere to sleep. He went up to a farmhouse and asked the farmer if he could spend the night. The farmer told him that it would be all right and that he could sleep in the barn. The man went into the barn to bed down and the farmer went back into the house.

The farmer's daughter came down from upstairs and asked the farmer, "Who was that man going into the barn?" "That's some fellow traveling through, "said the farmer. He needed a place to stay for the night, so I said that he could sleep in the barn The daughter then asked the farmer, "Did you offer the man anything to eat?" "Gee, no I didn't," the farmer answered. The daughter said, "Well, I'm going to take him some food." She went into the kitchen, prepared a plate of food, and then took it out to the barn. The daughterwas in the barn for an hour before returning to the house. When she came back in, her clothes were all disheveled and buttoned up wrong, and she had several strands of straw tangled up in her long blond hair. She immediately went up the stairs to her bedroom and went to sleep. A little later, the farmer's wife came down and asked the farmer why their daughter went to bed so early. "I don't know," said the farmer. "I told a man that he could sleep in the barn, and our daughter took him some food." "Oh," replied the wife. "Did you offer the man anything to drink?"

"Umm, no, I didn't," said the farmer. The wife then said, "I'm going totake something out there for him to drink." The wife went to the cellar, got a bottle of wine, then went out to the barn. She did not return for over an hour, and when she came back into the house, her clothes were also messed up, and she had straw twisted into her blond hair. She went straight up the stairs and into bed.

The next morning at sunrise, the man in the barn got up and continued on his journey, waving to the farmer as he left the farm. A few hours later, the daughter woke up and came rushing downstairs. She went right out to the barn, only to find it empty. She ran back into the house. "Where's the man from the barn?" she eagerly asked the farmer. Her father answered, "He left several hours ago."

"What?" she cried. "he left without saying good-bye? After all we hadtogether? I mean, last night he made such passionate love to me."

"What?"shouted the father. The farmer ran out into the front yardlooking for the man, but by now the man was halfway up the side of the mountain. The farmer screamed up at him, "I'm gonna get you! You had sex with my daughter!"

The man looked back down from the mountainside, cupped his hands next tohis mouth, and yelled out, "I LAID DE OLADEE TOO!"




Journal of Country Music on Newsstands

The latest issue of The Journal of Country Music isnow on newsstands. Published by the Country Music Hall of Fame, the magazine is in its 28th year of publication and is heralded by Dave Marsh as the "best-written and best-edited journal about any form of popular music." Lorrie Morgan graces the cover of the new issue. In a wide-ranging interview with Journal of Country Music editor Chris Dickinson, Morgan speaks with candor, humor and a resolve born of tragedy and triumph, proving she is indeed a woman who has come to know her own strength. The magazine also includes features on alt-country band Freakwater (who modeledNudie suits during its visit at the Hall of Fame), steel guitarist Little Roy Wiggins, hillbilly boogie guitarist Zeke Turner, "Little Miss Dynamite" Brenda Lee, the Grand Ole Opry, CD and book review.



"Tutti Frutti" Indeed! (Alop-Bam-Boom, Too)

June 28th - by Ben Ratliff (NY Times) - "I am the beautiful Little Richard," said Richard Penniman, with the utmost assuredness, opening his eyes wide and grinning. "I know you've seen me on television, but now I'm in person so you know I ain't lying." He spotted a professional photographer in the audience fiddling with a camera. "You're a picture-maker," he said. "I can see it in your eyes. Would you mind getting up and going? I'm almost 70 years old. They've been doing that to me forever, and I never did make a dime from those pictures." He waited until his request was honored. "Now," he continued, "I want all the ladies to say 'whooo!' Only real ladies -- no imitations, no false vibrations. If you ain't a real lady, shaddup."

This was Little Richard, outfitted entirely in blue -- navy polka-dots on a dark mesh shirt, azure pants -- warming up his crowd at the B. B. King Blues club on Monday night. But "warming up" doesn't quite capture it; "barbecuing" is more the word. For 90 minutes, his band pumped out a roadhouse mixture of funk and rock 'n' roll, pure eighth-note battering to match Little Richard's driving right hand on the piano. The shape of it was wild overkill: two drummers, two bassists, two saxophonists, at times two electric guitars.

Almost -- not quite, but almost -- as energized as its leader, this band could be easily manipulated; most of the songs were played as chorus after chorus of the same basic idea, without bridges or a lot of chord changes, so it was easy for Little Richard to stop on a dime and start up something new. There were the songs, enacted like speed trials, some of them only one or two choruses long -- and there was the free-ranging commentary, both during and between numbers. The show resembled a party, and from the stage Little Richard mingled with his guests. There was "Blueberry Hill," during which the audience started to sing along. ("That sounds so good, it's like singin' with Mitch Miller!"); "Boney Maronie" ("I'm gonna scream like a white lady!"); "It Hurts Me Too" ("I love that little part of that song -- it makes my big toe shoot up in my boot! Shaddup! I'm gonna play it again!").

Then came "Goodnight Irene" ("The God of Abraham is the god of the world!"); "Tutti Frutti" ("I used to be a dishwasher, and I was the most beautiful dishwasher in the world. I used to have to put my beautiful arm down in those tall pots and scrub the food off them."); "I Saw Her Standing There" ("I still sing the songs in the same keys, you know!") and "After Hours" ("You remember Count Basie? I remember growing up in Macon, Ga., and seeing Andy Kirk, Cootie Williams, Hot Lips Page . . . ") It was a slow process, but Little Richard's voice got looser and began to thud more confidently into the high notes; the belted phrasing of his lyrics picked up the assertiveness of his early records. By the time he got to "Lucille," he demanded entirely blue lighting and he went for the song's jugular, lodging a wild scream in the girl's name. Even at its peak this wasn't memorable music, per se; but as a performance, it was to be savored.




All-Star Tribute Album to
Bill Monroe Scheduled for Aug. 29 Release

The Dixie Chicks, Bruce Hornsby, John Fogerty, Joan Osborne, Travis Trittand Dolly Parton are among the several stars paying tribute to Bill Monroeon the forthcoming album, Big Mon. Produced by Ricky Skaggs for his SkaggsFamily Records label, the album is due out Aug. 29. Big Mon, which has beenin progress since late last year, contains 13 songs Monroe either wrote orfeatured in his enormous repertoire. The songs and the artists performingthem are: "Darlin' Corey," Bruce Hornsby; "Cry, Cry Darlin'," Dolly Parton;"Heavy Traffic Ahead," Steve Wariner; "Close By," Patty Loveless; "Blue Moonof Kentucky," John Fogerty; "Used to Be," the Whites; "Walk Softly on ThisHeart of Mine," the Dixie Chicks and Ricky Skaggs; "My Little Georgia Rose,"Travis Tritt (who also does a banjo solo on this number); "I Am a Pilgrim,"Charlie Daniels; "Old Kentucky Shore," Joan Osborne and Ricky Skaggs; "BlueNight," Mary Chapin Carpenter; "Rocky Road Blues," Dwight Yoakam; and "BigMon," an instrumental by an ad hoc group dubbed "The Red Hot Chili Pickers."(The Red Hots are fiddlers Bobby Hicks, Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter and LukeBulla; banjoists J. D. Crowe, Bela Fleck, Jim Mills and Rob McCoury;mandolinists Roland White, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury and Ricky Skaggs;acoustic guitarists Del McCoury and Bryan Sutton; and bassist Mark Fain.)Other backup musicians on the album are Lee Ann Womack, Rob Ickes, JerryDouglas, Kayton Roberts, Joey Miskulin, John Jennings, Eric Darken, ClayHess, Kim Fleming, Bob Bailey, Vickie Hampton, Shannon Forrest and PaulBrewster. Skaggs' history with Monroe goes back a long way. He was only 5 or6 years old and just beginning to master Monroe-style mandolin when the"Father of Bluegrass" did a show near Skaggs' home and invited the youngsteron stage to perform. Since Monroe's death in 1996, Skaggs has been veryvocal about his desire to carry on the tradition his mentor established.




Brian Setzer covers Bill Haley classic

NOTE: This article is from our EXTRA PAGE- a great source for Bill Haley and Comet information.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra's new CD, "Vavoom," is scheduled for U.S.release on July 11, 2000, and Bill Haley fans -- or at least those insoutheast Asia -- might find the release of great interest. Word has it that the Japanese pressing of the "Vavoom" CD will includetwo bonus tracks, one of which will be a cover of the Bill Haley classic"Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie." There is no word yet as to whether this track will be available on otherreleases of the album or in CD-single format elsewhere in the world.Anyone with additional information is invited to contact me atalexfh@home.com.

Such modern-day Haley covers are rather rare these days -- in fact, theonly other ones that come immediately to mind is Robert Gordon's versionof "Crazy Man, Crazy" and The Sex Pistols once attacked "Rock Around theClock." Setzer, formerly of the rockabilly group Stray Cats, hascontinued to champion the cause of swing and rockabilly, and it will beinteresting to see how he handles "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie."Originally written by Haley circa 1952, the song was first recorded byThe Esquire Boys (featuring Comets session guitarist Danny Cedrone). TheJodimars recorded a version in the summer of 1955 during a demo sessionfor Captiol Records, and Haley finally recorded his own version forDecca in the fall of 1955. It became a major chart hit for the Comets,and in later years, Haley would claim that "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie" wasthe song that "gave the name to rock and roll music."




SONNY WEST displays his award from BMI for over 1 million airplays of "Oh Boy!"



Upcoming European / International
Weekends and Festival DatesCourtesy: Jorge Rocker99 - rocker99@teleline.es
JUNE:
28 - FILHARMÓNICA BARCELONA - THE BOP PILLS
29 - EL KLUB - GIJ'N - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
30 - BILBO ROCK - BILBAO - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
30 - ROBIN HOOD BARCELONA - THE NU NILES
JULY:
01 - LA IMAGEN - PRADEJON - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
01 - LA CAPSA, EL PRAT BARCELONA - FLYIN' BOMBERS SUMMER PARTY
01 - MANRESA CATALUNYA - HELLBILLY CLUB
01 - Oak Canyon Ranch, LA Area, CA, USA - HOOTENANNY
02 - TBA - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
05 -SOTILLO DE LA RIVERA - BURGOS - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
06 - QUINTA AVENIDA BURGOS - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
07 - LA IGUANA - VIGO - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
08 - EL SOL - MADRID - TRAILER PARK CASANOVAS
08 - BAR MARISCAL ESTARTIT CATALUNYA - HELLBILLY CLUB
08 / 09 - Minerbio (Bologna) ITALIA ROCKIN'AND BIKERS MEETING
09 - HONKY TONK BLUES BAR, BARCELONA - THE BOP PILLS
13 / 16 - CALELLA BARCELONA - 8º PSYCHOBILLY MEETING 2000
14 - PARC VALLÉS (TERRASA - BCN) - THE NU NILES
20 / 21 BERDUX - ALEMANIA - INTERNATIONAL R-A-B R'N'R MEETING
AGOSTO:
??? GIRA (aún por confirmar) - STEVE LUCKY & THE RHUMBA BUMS
05 - CAFÉ JOCKER, VIGO - 1º ROCK'N'ROLL FESTIVAL GALICIA COSTA OESTE 04 / 05 - SCHÖNEICHE ALEMANIA - BRANDERBURGER R'N'R/ROCKABILLY MEETING
SEPTEMBER: 08 - GERONA CATALUNYA - HELLBILLY CLUB
09 - BARCELONA - HOT ROCKIN' NIGHT
OCTOBER:
07 - SALA MAGIC BARCELONA - 2º R'N'R & CAFE RACER MEETING
27 - BARCELONA - BLOODY MARY FESTIVAL
28 - MADRID - BLOODY MARY FESTIVAL
29 - PA'S VASCO - BLOODY MARY FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER:
09 / 12 - GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK, ENGLAND - 9th TEDDYBOY WEEKENDER
24 / 27 - PONTINS HOLIDAY CENTER, SUSSEX ENGLAND - RHYTHM RIOT!
DECEMBER:
02 - SALA MAGIC BARCELONA - ELLIS & THE ANGRY TEENS / LONELY CATS



Australia's "Satellite V" 'Satellite V, Sydneys most authentic sounding Rockabilly band' -Greazefest 2000
'Satellite V, 'Hail Bop!' - the best CD to have come out of NSW in theRockabilly scene since '81' Rockin' -Marc Rondeau, King Pin Record Hop
'Hail Bop!', makes an impressive entry into Australias' Rockabilly scene,with their original material showing particular strength - an impressiveentry into the rockabilly scene' -Glen Nelson, Highway 49

Satellite V - A word from the author .... "Satellite V makes another spectacular crash landing in Terra Nova with their second jug of 'Groove Juice'. A mixture of Mars dust, Nitro methane, Squirrels brains, and a little bit of Von Dutch. Nurtured by the glow of black & white T.V., the V no, 4.....? astronauts ponder scratchy vinyl transcripts from the past. The band have dragged the river, and continue to pulsate and quiver, to the Giant Quasar, beyond Alpha Centauri, that controls them". -Tim Knuckey

Satellite V continue to please crowds along the east coast of Australia.Following their previous release 'Hail Bop!', the fellers have assembled acrazy jallopy and, with a shot of 'Groove Juice' come draggin' down mainstreet. The band members and duties are:
Tim Knuckey, Hillbilly Singer Extraordinary & rhythm guitar
Roy Payne, Lead guitar & Lap Steel
Steve Wood, Bass Fiddle & Vocals
Rob Souter, on Drums
They're always set on a honky tonk, swingin' time. The songlist includes startling original tunes like "The Beatles miss you Johnny, Dizzyland, Eatin' brains, Hillbilly Nitro and Satellite Boogie!!! It's crazy Rockabilly and swingin' country boogie.

. Satellite Vs' influences include 50's Rockabilly, Hillbilly Swing, Rockin' Country and Jump Blues. The boys have played in various Rockabilly, Rockin' Country/Western Swing outfits. Tim Knuckey 'Dobbs and The Ludebakers', and Steve with 'The Stringbusters' and Rob with Slim Dusty. Satellite Vs' repertoire includes country style duets such as The Kershaw Bros.," Hey Sheriff", and The Perkins Bros., "Sure to fall", High steppin' renditions of the likes of Hank Williams and George Jones cross over into the wilder sounds of the Burnette Trio and Sonny Fisher and his Rockin' Boys. The band has released their first album, 'Hail, Bop!'. It has 14 tracks, five are originals. Hail Bop Comet, Cane Cutter Boogie, Parramatta HotRodman, an anthem for the west of Sydney, The Creature and a real thong clapper, the gear jamming Hellcat Rhythm.

They're playing authentic and obscure sounds of the fifties - so cut a rug to their real rock beat with a 'Hellcat Rhythm'. And sip on a jug with Tim, Steve, Roy and Rob as they hurtle down the lost highway. 'The Parramatta Hotrodman' will be in hot pursuit. They'll try and 'Hail Bop Comet', but beware of 'The Creature' it'll be running out from the smoke produced by the 'Cane Cutter Boogie' - "Groove Juice" new album available June. 10 new originals and 8 superb renditions, yes 18 wonderful tracks to be released in June 2000 @ Wintersun! Coolangatta Festival/Queensland, Australia

Contact Tim or Susanna for bookings on 02 95192703
PO Box 350 Camperdown 1450 NSW Australia
mailto:dizzyland@ozemail.com.au




BOB TIMMERS, RAMONA DeSALVO and KITTRA MOORE met on Music Row June 14th, to discuss the many projects the Rockabilly Hall of Fame will initiate now that the the Hall of Fame's office is located near Nashville in Burns, Tennessee. Photographer: Bob Moore



RCA to Offer Elvis '70s 3-CD Box Set Never at a loss for new ways to repackage its Elvis Presley catalog, RCA Records this year is reissuing "That's the Way It Is," originally a single-disc soundtrack to the MGM movie commemorating Presley's 1970 concerts at the MGM International Hotel in Las Vegas. But the new version will be a $49.98 three-CD box ($39.98 for three cassettes) and will be marketed with the full-out international push traditionally given the label's franchise rock 'n' roll artist. According to RCA senior vice president of strategic marketing Mike Omansky, the package, which will be released worldwide July 11, will include everything Presley recorded in Vegas between June and August 1970, "the peak of his career as a vocalist and in popularity - while he was alive." -Billboard



Chris Watson, 'The Piano Killer' Chris Watson (Mr Pumping Piano) -together with his band; double bass, lead guitar and drums, brings a rough and 'rocking' show like Jerry Lee Lewis, without being a Lewis impersonator. People who've seen this performer for the first time, cannot believe their ears and eyes. Systematic he can get everybody rocking. During his concerts he's not only improvising the most incredible piano solos with his fingers but also with the tips of his western boots, his elbows and sometimes even with his fists. A Chris Watson show brings You back to the glory years of the 'Sun label' with a good mix of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Little Richard and many others. Great artists he played with - Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Sonny Burgess, Nancy Holloway, the Magic Platters and the Jordonaires - called his performances fantastic and impressive. In Europe Chris Watson regular appears on television, together with many famous artists.  For more information: +31 181 324310 - Or: www.gocatgo.nl/rock.htm




Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll"

A&E, June 18, available on home video in July
Directed by Morgan Neville, written by Peter Guralnick, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, this 90-minute documentary again and again trumpets the magical ear of the great Memphis producer and Sun Records founder -- but the words that explain how Phillips captured varieties of American speech at their fullest, through such mediums as Howlin' Wolf, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Junior Parker, Pat Hare and countless more, don't make it into the film. Instead there are the results, and wonder.

Visiting the ruins of the penitentiary where, at the age of 17, in 1943, he was sent to serve 99 years for rape, Johnny Bragg of the Prisonaires -- the group he formed in prison -- describes the genesis of his lovely R&B hit "Just Walking in the Rain." Now he's very old, nattily dressed, and, talking about what it meant to glimpse the rain from the inside, he begins to sing. He's absolutely glorious. The song expands, taking in anyone's aspirations for what they can never have. "I always had hope," Bragg says. "Of getting out. You know why? I was innocent." Phillips got him down on tape in 1953, 10 years into the 24 Bragg would eventually serve.

Shaking their heads in awe are, most notably, R&B singer Roscoe Gordon (Phillips "could reach the soul of man through that board"), Sun producer Jack Clement ("He scares the heck out of some people. He's telling you something, and you know he's full of ... prunes, but it's profound, whatever it is. He can have you believe in something and you know it's not true. For a while") and Memphis musician Jim Dickinson. With typical eloquence he sums up Phillips' achievement by describing a 1954 show at Memphis' Overton Park Shell, where with one "Ellis Presley," billed below country ham Slim Whitman, the crowd found itself faced with the future. "It forced the listener to make a choice, simply to accept it or reject it, if nothing else. What followed that choice was freedom, because of course that's what follows a choice."




Billy Hancock Track to Run Wild Records

RIPSAW RECORDS announces that it has licensed "Alley Cat", a song written and performed by BILLY HANCOCK, to RUN WILD RECORDS for inclusion on RUN WILD's "Friday Nite Rumble, Volume 5" CD, a 10 song rockabilly compilation album (catalog no. RW 911; total playing time 21:38). The CD's expected release date is July 1, 2000. RIPSAW is predominantly a roots rock 'n' roll and rockabilly label. It has released critically acclaimed recordings, not only by HANCOCK, but also by THE UPTOWN RHYTHM KINGS, TEX RUBINOWITZ, MARTHA HULL, BOBBY SMITH, and KID TATER. Recorded in 1983 at the now defunct TRACK RECORDERS in Silver Spring, Maryland (MARK GREENHOUSE, engineer), "Alley Cat" is a previously unreleased rockabilly number that is so hot that RUN WILD decided that it should be the CD's lead off cut. The recording was mixed at HIT & RUN RECORDING in Rockville, Maryland (STEVE CARR, engineer).

SUGAR MAMA MUSIC (BMI), a RIPSAW affiliate, is the publisher of "Alley Cat". RUN WILD is a predominantly rockabilly label that has released several hot rocking CDs, in addition to its "Friday Nite Rumble" series. RUN WILD's contact person is MIKE LYNAM. He can be reached by email at mike@blast.net. RUN WILD's address is Box 123, Lebanon, NJ 08833. Its webpage is http://members.aol.com/BluTwang. HEPCAT RECORDS, Box 1108, Orange, CA 92856 will be distributing the CD. HEPCAT may be reached at (800) 404-4117 or by email at customerservice@hepcatrecords.com.

Performers on the CD other than HANCOCK include The Luxurious Panthers (Texas), The Atomics (Virginia), Wild Bob Burgos (UK), King Kerosene (NJ), The King Drapes (Finland), Nobody's Business (Michigan), The Uncool Hillbillies (Sweden), Ellis & the Angry Teens (Finland), and Steve Hooker & the S.T.s (UK). Reviewers, radio stations, and other distributors wishing further information or copies of RW 911 should contact RUN WILD's LYNAM.

This deal is not the first collaboration between RIPSAW and RUN WILD. In 1993, RUN WILD licensed "Christmas in Tennessee" performed by BILLY HANCOCK & THE TENNESSEE ROCKETS for the "It's A Rockin' Christmas" CD (catalog no. RW 500). In 1998, RIPSAW licensed "Marie, Marie" performed by HANCOCK to RUN WILD for its "Blastered" CD (catalog no. RW 903). Also, in 1995, SUGAR MAMA MUSIC and ROLLABILLY MUSIC licensed the song "It's Not the Presents under My Tree (It's Your Presence Next To Me)" written by BILLY POORE and TEX RUBINOWITZ to RUN WILD for inclusion on its "Another Rockin' Christmas" CD (catalog no. RW 600). The late EVA CASSIDY was that song's performer on that CD.




Lou Hobbs Goes Public with Parkinson's Disease

A joint press release from the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the American Festival.
Sunday, June 11, 2000 - Lou Hobbs is member of Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Legend section. Lou has had more chart records in Europe in 1999 then any other artist on the Stuart Cameron's Hot Disc. A CD comp. disc was mailed to over 800 radio stations, magazines, and music agents in Europe, saturating the European market.

Lou has decided to announce to Europe that in 1998 he was diagnosis with Parkinson's disease. He started working on the Europe market in 1995 after finding he had fans from songs he had recorded in the 1960's in Memphis Tennessee. "Not many people in Europe knew of his disease." said Chris and Bev Jackson, owners of the Americana Festival, one of Europe's largest and most prestige's festival showing the American life style in Europe.The Jacksons had become fans of Lou's music through the Country Hot Disc. Chris Jackson called Stuart Cameron told him he would like to have Lou on the Americana Festival 2000 along with Narvel Felts, Gale Davies, Linda Gail Lewis and a host of great other performers from the USA and Europe. Lou did back flips! After trying for 5 years to figure out a way to get on this event that hosted over 40,000 people last year they had called for him. Lou contacted Chris Jackson very excited, thanked Chris and said he would love to except, but wanted him to know he had Parkinson's and every day was a challenge for him. Chris said "Never you mind mate, come on, our people will except you, your music, Parkinson's disease and all."

Inspired by the Jackson's understanding and at the same time depressed by other parts of the business Lou wrote a song titled "Parkinson's Disease Blues" to be released on none other then Chris and Bev Jackson's record label Americana International Records in the July issue of the Country Hot Disc to the European market. The CD album, titled "Lou Hobbs Presents My Songs", contains twelve songs all written and sung by Lou. Track twelve is a song titled "I'll See You At The Americana". The Jackson's and Lou have become great friends and are looking forward to there meeting in July at the Americana Festival. Lou will be performing with the fantastic Landon's, a high energy country rock n roll group that can do it all.

Chris, Bev and the Jackson family say: "See you at the Americana!"




Special Performance by the Nelsons to Kick
Off New Relationship With Elvis Presley Enterprises

WHAT: The Rick Nelson Company L.L.C. has retained Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. (EPE) as its licensing agent in areas relating to the name, likeness and image of the late superstar. This marks the first-ever expansion of EPE's licensing activities beyond Elvis. To kick off and celebrate the newly formed relationship, the musical group The Nelsons (Matthew and Gunnar Nelson) will perform a special show featuring the music of their father Rick Nelson, who was recently named "Teen Idol of the Century" by People Magazine. Joining them will be their sister Tracy and brother Sam.
WHO: Tracy, Gunnar, Matthew and Sam Nelson Elvis Presley Enterprises representatives.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 13 at noon
WHERE: Elvis Presley Enterprises Booth No. 1117- The Licensing Show 2000, Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center, New York City




Dragstrip 77 "Rockabilly Daze" CD

Ronny Weiser announces: Dragstrip77 new sizzling Rollin' Rock CD, "Rockabilly Daze", Rollin' Rock CD - 107, will be available for shipping on June 13. There are plenty of exciting songs on this one, all the way from "traditional" and very catchy rockabilly numbers such as "Lady Luck", "Rockabilly Daze", and "My Heart's Achin' For You", to scorching haunting Cowboy Psychoticbilly ravers like "Twilight Zone Rock", "Only The Good Die Young" and "El Vampiro" which combines Western, Spanish and psychobilly. I finally found some "pychobilly" that really sends me!(That's right, I usually ain't a fan of psychobilly!)After hearing "Only The Good Die Young" a few times, I was so terrified by those macabre vocal gymnastics that I considered jumpin' off the Stratosphere's Tower, but then I realized that I wouldn't be able to hear the song again, and so I changed my mind!!! :-) :-) :-( :-0

A very cool ballad "Lonely Teardrops" (not Jackie Wilson's song) highlights Andy Lopez' soulful vocals.And for you greasers, "Switchblade Pompadour" is on it too!! Get it at your fave Bop Shop on the Net or off, or directly from me, for $13.98 + $2 S&H (foreign $4), Ronny Weiser, 2460 Casey Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89120.



Elvis -- King of the Welsh Valleys?

LONDON - For all Elvis Presley fans who thought the King's musical roots lay in the American Deep South, Cardiff University lecturer Terry Breverton has a big surprise. Ever thought of the valleys of south Wales which are famed for their male voice choirs? Breverton had identified the rock star's ancestors not only as coming from the Presili hills but as having links with a nearby chapel dedicated to St Elvis, "the only one known in Britain". Breverton, who has published an A to Z of Wales, believed there were other facts which pointed to ties with Wales. "His dead twin, Jesse Garon Presley, had a Welsh second name, and his mother Gladys had a Welsh name too," Breverton said. "His grandmother Doll Mansell may have come from the famous family of Mansel from Oxwich on the Gower peninsula."




Willie Nelson Releases Interactive CD

Luck Records delivers an innovative new album from country music pioneer Willie Nelson. The premiere release, Me and The Drummer, marks another milestone in one of the most important American musical careers.Me and The Drummer by Willie Nelson and the Offenders features a who's who of country music including Willie, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Kinky Friedman, Terry Lickona of Austin City Limits, Texas Governor George W. Bush, Former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and John Mellencamp among others. The interactive CD Extra allows explorers the opportunity to see excerpts of a video about Willie's early life to discovering why his grandmother was upset about his first road gigÖ.almost 8 miles from his hometown. An interactive collage interface lets explorers rummage through Willie's stuff while learning about different facets of his life. Just about every item yields a WAV or AVI when clicked. Explorers can listen to Willie talk about Farm-Aid, the July 4th Picnics, his star-studded 60th Birthday party, his personal life, why Willie wanted his car driven INTO a burning house, and why it is sometimes more important to be last than first.
Willie Nelson and The Offenders are:
Willie Nelson - Guitar and Vocals
Jimmy Day - Steel Guitar
Johnny Bush - Drums
David Zettner - Bass Guitar
Floyd Domino -- Piano
For more information on Me and The Drummer, review CD, or interview contact:Joe Soto, Webster & Associates Public Relations - 615.777.6995




Dave Edmunds Joins Ringo for All-"Starr" Tour

May 30, 2000 - by Charles Earle [In Review] - As if it isn't cool enough to have a Beatle in town this week, Ringo is bringing one of my all-time guitar heroes to the Gaylord Entertainment Center when he plays his highly anticipated show on Wednesday. When you're a former Beatle, I suppose you can bring whomever you want with you. But in the case of Ringo Starr, he will have respected guitarist Dave Edmunds in tow when the show kicks off Wednesday evening. Edmunds, a highly influential producer and guitarist over the last 30 years, will be cranking out some very characteristic licks as the night progresses. Many of you may know him for his enduring performance of "I Hear You Knockin'," though Edmunds first recorded that trademark song in 1970 as a little-known British rock artist. But it will likely be his work as a player during the 1970s English rockabilly pub-band period for which serious rock & roll scholars will remember him. Edmunds is also remembered for his crisp, searing guitar work with the semi-legendary band Rockpile, which featured Nick Lowe, Terry Williams and former Nashville resident Billy Bremner. And though they didn't last long, that band's history is the stuff that any fan will always remember. After almost two decades of listening to his work, I got to chat with Dave Edmunds over the phone last week about the Ringo tour and his distinguished career. Here's how it went:

Earle: So how did you end up on this tour? You went out with Ringo before, didn't you?
Edmunds: Yes, I was the guitar player on an earlier tour in 1992, and he invited me out again. This is my second time with him.

Earle: So what's it like touring with Ringo?
Edmunds: It's great, just great. There are some different people to play with from the last time and some different songs, but it's still good stuff. There's a lot for me to do on this tour since I am the only guitar player. So for that reason, it's naturally great for me.

Earle: What's the set list like for this tour? What are we going to hear if we come to the show?
Edmunds: We do Ringo's solo stuff and some Beatles stuff as well. Also, we'll do a couple or three numbers each from the guys in the band.

Earle: So you're doing some of your solo stuff?

Edmunds: Oh, yes.

Earle: Talk about the guys you're playing with on this tour. How is that going for you?
Edmunds: It's going well. We've got Jack Bruce [Cream], who I had never worked with before. We've got Eric Carmen [The Raspberries] out with us, who I also had never worked with or even met before. Simon Kirke [Bad Company, Free] is somebody I had worked with before. Mark Rivera [Billy Joel] is on saxophone and lots of other stuff each night. He's been on a few Ringo tours before this one, and he's sort of the bandleader. He's really great.

Earle: And it's working well playing with all of those guys, I suppose?
Edmunds: Oh, yeah. I think we've all been at it for such a long time that we really understand what each other is trying to do. So yeah, it's good. I'm enjoying it.

Earle: Considering where you grew up and your music history, I would have to think that it's pretty exciting to go out and do Beatles material.
Edmunds: Yeah, it's a good gig in lots of ways, and that is definitely one of them. Of course, I mean, it's an obvious musician's delight to be doing that stuff. It really is. I'm from Cardiff, which is in Wales, Britain, and it is not an area that is necessarily known for its musical natives. And so it really is kind of weird. I'm in America with Ringo touring for the second time. It's great.

Earle: What are some of the songs you're enjoying the most each night from the set you're playing?
Edmunds: Well, we're doing some Cream songs with Jack, and I wanted to keep it pretty close to what Eric [Clapton] did on that stuff. As we're doing those songs, I always think the live performance should sound as close to the recorded performance as possible. That's my personal thing. But it's fun doing that material. It's a slightly different style for me. I'm more of the James Burton and Chet Atkins type of player. I'm a big Merle Travis fan, as well. We get to do some solo spots during this tour on various nights, and I've been going out with an acoustic guitar and doing some Merle Travis and Chet Atkins types of things.

Earle: Well, since I'm calling from Nashville and you're talking about a local hero of ours in Chet, I'm wondering if you know him and if you've played with him?
Edmunds: Yes, actually, he's called me up on stage a few times when he was out in California. I had never met him before at that time, but we played together at those shows. And I've also gotten to be friends with Tommy Emanuel, the Australian guitar picker who made an album a couple of years ago with Chet. Tommy talked me into coming down to Nashville to attend the Chet Atkins convention thing that happens in July. I got up with Tommy there, and we both did some finger picking stuff. That's my greatest guitar love, that style of playing.

Earle: While we're talking about Nashville, I'm thinking back to a solo album you did in the early 1980s where you did a cover of "The Race Is On" by George Jones.
Edmunds: Oh, yes (laughs).

Earle: It seems like you have strong feelings for American country music. Is that correct?
Edmunds: Oh, yes. Well, it's American music all around really, from the New Orleans stuff to the Nashville and Memphis stuff. It's quite incredible. That actual song was a bit of fun I had in the studio when I was producing The Stray Cats. I recorded it with them backing me up, and we weren't even thinking of it being released when we did it. We just did it for a bit of fun. It turned out OK, so we did release it, and it did pretty well. But it certainly wasn't a career move. It was for fun, and it was a tribute to George, really.

Earle: I guess I've always thought that in the 1960s, most English bands were influenced by American blues music. But in the 1970s and early 1980s, bands like Rockpile and some of the others were influenced by American country and rockabilly music. Is that the music you heard growing up?
Edmunds: Yeah, actually we did. It came first as rock & roll. In England, rock & roll got imported in 1956 or 1957. We wouldn't hear it on the BBC, though. There was a radio channel called Radio Luxembourg, and they used to play all of the rock & roll hits from America. It was all of the pioneers at that time. The Everly Brothers and Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, Elvis and Chuck Berry. And then I discovered George Jones. I got his album New Favorites of George Jones, and I think it must have been pre-Beatles when I got that. I was absolutely mesmerized by that record. But I never heard anyone else ever mention him. It was like I discovered him before anyone outside of America knew about him.

Earle: Let's talk a little bit about Rockpile. I've always wondered why the band didn't do anymore records?
Edmunds: Well, that was an accidental thing, that whole situation. I was signed to Swan Song Records, which was Led Zeppelin's company. Nick Lowe was a sort of friend and colleague at the time, because I had produced an album for his band Brinsley Swartz. That band broke up, and he got signed to CBS. We put the band together just to play in some London venues, and for something to do, really. It all went backwards, really. Instead of a band getting together to get a record deal, we had two record deals and no band (laughs). Next thing we knew, we were offered a spot supporting Bad Company on tour. Eventually we made the Rockpile record. I didn't think it worked so well then, and we all wanted to go on and do other things. It was never meant to carry on, and I'm amazed it lasted the four years that it did.

Earle: Do you ever get interest from people who want you guys to tour or record again?
Edmunds: Yeah, but that won't happen. It's too long ago and too far away.

Earle: Do you still spend time with Nick?
Edmunds: No, we don't see each other at all, really. I did produce a record for him in about 1989 or so. He's a nice guy. But he had a manager I don't particularly get along with, so it's never really gone anywhere.

Earle: What do you have in the coming months besides the work with Ringo?
Edmunds: I don't know, really. I just did a Swedish tour with Billy Bremner. That finished a few weeks before I started this one. I might go back to do what they call the folk parks in Sweden. That's really good, playing those big open-air gigs. But I don't really have any long-term plans. I never have, actually.

Earle: Besides the people you've mentioned, who are some of your other favorite guitar players?
Edmunds: Well, Jerry Reed has got to be one of the most innovative players ever. I've studied his stuff so much. I would have to put Eric Clapton on my list. I'd also have to put Albert Lee on my list, as well.

Earle: For the guitar players out there, what kind of gear are you using these days?Edmunds: I'm playing a reissue Telecaster through a reissue Fender Bassman with some pedals that I threw together myself. I'm using a Gibson Les Paul through another Fender called a Blues Deville on the Cream stuff. And I'm using a Gibson EC-10 acoustic/electric for my picking.





Benefit for Billy & Pepper Poore

The Town of Linden, Tennessee held a fund raising benefit Sunday May 21, 2000, at Veterans Park in Linden. The event offered entertainment, food, drink, pony rides, fea market and an autction. Billy and Pepper's daughter Stacy was the emcee and did a wonderful job. Pictured above are (top row): Becky Hobbs, Lesslee "Bird" Anderson, Billy Poore singing "Shake Rattle & Roll", Matt Lucas. Bottom row: Mark Kinnaman, Crossfire, Ben Alder, Sun's Ronnie Smith and Billy. Also in attendance: Lou Hobbs.




Is This the King on CD?

An amazing 45-year-old discovery from the vaults of a Texas Radio Station! Now out on a unique CD release titled: Long Lost Demos, containing two songs that were considered "lost", until now. "Uncle Pen" b/w "Give Me More, More, More Of Your Kisses".

"I cut a session on him at a Texas radio station in 1955. Some tough goddamn stuff, baby", rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers said in an interview in the early 70s. Whether the material on this release comes from that session is anyone's guess, but we're pretty sure that you'll agree that this is "some tough goddamn stuff, baby". This acetate was purchased from a retired Texas discjockey, who is pretty sure that it was recorded in 1955. It was discovered recently during a major renovation, still in its original brown envelope. The well-worn disc reveals nothing about the identity of the singer. We haven't been able to come up with any facts surrounding this session, or why this song was recorded. Forty-five years is a very long time, certainly for what back then was considered a routine-session on just another upcoming hillbilly singer. It's likely that it was recorded for the station to promote an upcoming show. We wanted to make this unique recording available to the fans, although we cannot make any statements about the identity of the singer due to legal reasons. It's up to you, the listener, to do the detective work!

For those interested ... it's packaged in a beautiful authentic 50's styled cover, this limited edition release is bound to become a true collectors' item that any Elvis and rock 'n' roll fan will want to own. Order your copies now while stock lasts. Special wholesalers' price: 35.-dkk. Plus postage. Records & Books, Tranevej 10, 8870 Langaa, Denmark. Tel.:+45 8646 9214 - Email: elvis@post7.tele.dk




New Country Music Museum Update

May 26, 2000 NASHVILLE, TN. - The new home for Naomi Judd's old washing machine, Elvis Presley's Cadillac and Dolly Parton's scribbled lyrics to "Jolene" is shaping up nicely in downtown Nashville.The new Country Music Hall of Fame is set to open in May 2001. Designers of the $37 million building hope to create a tourist attraction that tells the cultural story behind the gritty, working-class music."Through these folks, we can tell the story of American life and struggle for success, and larger issues that transcend the subject matter," said Hall of Fame director Kyle Young.The new downtown Hall of Fame will replace a much smaller building that opened in 1967 on Music Row, a three-block area where most of the Nashville music industry operates.The building has been under construction for a year. From different angles, it looks like a piano, a railway station or a giant musical note. From the air, it looks like a pile of stacked records.There will be room in the museum's 40,000 square feet of exhibit space to display much of the collection that has rarely been seen by the public."If we really do our job right, we would like to think that we will not only be connecting the present with the past, but also to the future," Young said.

Among the more interesting features: Visitors will be able to make a customized CD of the songs they enjoy during the tour. They can also visit a booth where they can experience a blast of applause. The admission ticket, costing about $15, will resemble a laminated backstage pass. With it, visitors will be able to take an elevator ride to the top of the building.The three-hour tour will start with a series of giant mazes, where visitors walk through the early history of country music.Artifacts will be placed along the way to help tell the story."There will be headsets so you can listen to the music, and there will be video scrapbooks as a way of showing off our film and still photograph collections," he said.The mazes will end at a gateway marked by Presley's Cadillac. Visitors will then be able to view a display of stage outfits, including those worn by Reba McEntire, that trace the evolution of a country star's image.

Next comes a 21/2-story spiral staircase that leads to a room displaying every gold and platinum album in the history of country music. There are about 900 albums.This part of the museum also includes a display of private memorabilia collected by singer Marty Stuart and the office of Owen Bradley, producer for Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, who died in 1998. The structure also includes a theater where songwriters can demonstrate their craft and space for rotating exhibits.The actual hall of fame will be in a rotunda at the top of the building. -Jim Patterson




UK's Tennesse Club Relocates

Ritchie Gee who runs the world famous Tennessee Club in London announced this weekend that the Tennessee Club is moving to a brand new location. Having spent many successful years in the White hart Lane area of London it is now relocating to the fabulous Vardon Banqueting Suite, Trent Park Golf Club, Bramley Road, Oakwood, London N14.
The Grand Opening Night will be on Friday 23rd June 2000 featuring from Wales the UK's No.1 Awaed winning 5 piece band - THE RIMSHOTS. Plus from Scotland - 1st gig in the South of england, It's the band they're all talking about - HI VOLTAGE an exclusive one off show from this talented 5 piece band.
From London special guest MOUSE ZINN (Red Hot and Blue/Space Cadets).
Plust MYSTERY GUEST ARTIST.
Hot Rocking DJ's - COSMIC KEITH and WILDCAT PETE
Bar and Music plus Hot Food - 8.30pm - 2am.
The Club has its own private floodlit car park with security cameras and can accomodate up to 200 cars.
USA/KUSTOM/HOT RODS & UK CLASSIC XARS are all welcome at the Tennessee.
How To Get There:
TUBE - Turn right out of Oakwood tube station(Piccadilly Line, the club is 50 yds down on the left.
ROAD - The Club is just off the A111, 2 miles from Junction 24 of the M25.
MINI CABS - Mini Cab Office situated on sita at the Tennessee Club.
RAIL - British rail Stations, New Barnet or Enfield Chase are 2 miles away.
NIGHT BUS - The N91 runs 14 and 44 minutes past the hour, all night, into London.
BUSES - 121 & 307 to Oakwood Tube Station.
HOTELS/B & B - Send s.a.e for info of 50 Hotels/B & B.





STAN PERKINS and MARTY STUART on stage at the Jackson, TN Rockabilly 2000 Fest.

"Pilgrims, Sinners, Saints, and Prophets"

By Marty Stuart - Rutledge Hill Press, $29.95, 1999
This collection of photographs and commentary from hillbilly country singer Marty Stuart follows closely on the heels of one of the best albums of his career, "The Pilgrim." The CD was a rarity in country - a conceptual CD. "The Pilgrim" is the story of a down and outer from his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss., who married a pretty woman he probably ordinarily wouldn't have because of her need to sow her wild oats. The relationship wasn't meant to last, but the music and story certainly is.In this book, Stuart brings to life some of the small town folks of his upbringing and his entire history in music ranging from joining Lester Flatt at age 13 to a six-year stint with Johnny Cash to going out on his own. The book does not parallel the CD, but covers some of the same issues everyone faces in life

While not professionally trained, (in fact, he credits his mother with being his influence photographically speaking) Stuart certainly has a good eye for capturing attitude and emotion whether in the shots of family members (a photo of Stuart's father on retirement day from his factory job with a U.S. flag hanging from the ceiling is particularly poignant) or the one-legged peanut salesman in Philadelphia or the shot of Connie Smith getting into her car after coming or the local Choctaw Indian Fair (the story here is most interesting because not only was Smith Stuart's mother's hero, but because "On the way home I told momma I was going to marry that girl. I did - on July 8, 1997.") or many photos of Cash (not all of them making him look particularly good) or the Sullivan Family gospel group, Steve Earle, Dolly Parton or a visit by Hank Williams Jr. with his daughter to the grave of his father with the words "Praise the Lord/I Saw the light" etched on the stone. Stuart turns in some wonderful photos of Waylon and Willie as well with both quite photogenic.

"A Day in Poor Valley, Virginia" is excellent at showing the simple life of Janette and Joe "Bull Carter," the guardian angels of the place where country music was born, the homestead of A.P. and Sara Carter. Stuart, of course, has a direct connection to the Carters through by marriage to his first marriage Cindy Cash, daughter of John and June Carter Cash.

The photographs are spiced with little vignettes about such luminaries as Bill Monroe, who gave Stuart the stamp of approval with "You learned good, boy" just a short while before his death, Harlan Howard, Haggard, Merle Travis and on and on.Stuart does not tell the stories in a braggadocio, egomaniacal manner. Stuart imbues the book with a strong sense of history taking place, making it clear that he is participating in and recording it, not necessarily making it.These were people he really did know, who influenced his life both musically and spiritually.

Given the title of the book, it's no surprise that Stuart isn't afraid to portray those who shaped him with a few warts and all.While it would be unfair to call Stuart a chronicler of late 20th century country music in all its forms (not surprisingly, there are no pictures of Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and the like, but, of course, that is not what Stuart is into musically), he turns this into a masterful job of relating experiences of those with whom his musical and family life intersected.This is an easy read, perhaps a few hours worth to do the reading and look over the photographs. The time spent is well worth it to gain further insight not only to Stuart, but many greats of country music.
- Jeffrey B. Remz





Johnny Faire on stage at Hemsby 24, Friday 12 May 2000.
Tommy Sands at breakfast in the Raynscourt Hotel, Great Yarmouth, Friday 12 May 2000.




Announcement:
Collingwood Rocks with Elvis Fan Club

Kathleen DeNike, President, Collingwood Rocks With Elvis Fan Club:
"We hope all Elvis Fans will be rocking along with us in Collingwood, Ontario Canada at our 6th annual Elvis Festival July 28, 29, 30, 31, 2000! Rocking along with us this year will be D.J. Fontana, Joe Esposito, Darwin Lamm, Marion Cocke, Jerry Schilling and approximately 60,000 FANtastic Elvis Fans from around the globe. Please visit our new web sites at www.collingwood.net/elvis and www.tvband.com".




The Best of Merle Travis:
Sweet Temptation, Merle Travis

Peerless Picking But Too Few Barnburners - (Razor & Tie)
By Bliss - Merle Travis' seminal style of fingerpicking - in which the right indexfinger picks out melodies while the thumb strikes syncopated basslines - has been the standard for so many years among country, bluegrass and folkguitarists that it's easy to take his contributions for granted, or evenoverlook them entirely.

Travis counted Chet Atkins among his protégés, and it was after Travisthat Doc Watson named his son Merle (after whom, in turn, MerleFest isnamed). Faithfully presenting his radio hits, The Best of Merle Travis:Sweet Temptation (1946-1953) chronicles the often-troubled musician'speriod of greatest popularity. The tunes sparkle with his superbfingerpicking throughout.

Raised in the heavily coal-mined county of Muhlenberg, the Kentucky-bornpicker learned the local playing style from family friends Mose Rager andIke Everly (father of the Everly Brothers). By 1939, Travis wasperforming on radio shows; after being discharged from the Marines, hemoved to California, in 1944, where he found work in clubs and eventuallysigned with Capitol Records in 1946. The album opens with two songs herecorded for the label in March of that year: "Cincinnati Lou" and "NoVacancy," both of which made it to the top five on the country charts.

More familiar are Travis originals such as "Sixteen Tons" and "CannonballRag." Travis' vocals are warm and eminently likable, especially on coversof Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 1" and "Re-Enlistment Blues" - memorably featured in one of the barracks scenes in the 1952 film "FromHere to Eternity." His easy style of singing belies the thematicundertones shadowing his lyrics.

Conspicuously absent are other Travis classics, such as "Nine PoundHammer," "I Am a Pilgrim" and "Dark As a Dungeon." Travis reprised thelatter two on the landmark Will the Circle Be Unbroken album, with theNitty Gritty Dirt Band, in 1972. NGDB also recorded "Wildwood Flower" forthose sessions, a song with which Travis and Hank Thompson scored atop-five hit in 1955. Unfortunately, none of those tunes is includedhere.

The only other real complaint to be raised, and it's not an insignificantone, is that there aren't enough of the blistering instrumental passagesthat sealed Travis' reputation as one of the greatest guitarists of 20thcentury American music. Despite Sweet Temptation's considerablepleasures, here's hoping another, more instrumentals-focused compilationis in the planning stages.




Silver Heat Records Releases
17th Edition of "The Country Hotdisc"

The Hotdisc continues to attract the top acts and labels from all over theworld, and the CDs are sent out to the largest country mailing list inEurope. Over 800 DJs and media people receive the Hotdisc, ensuring that thetracks on the CD saturate the European airwaves each month. Cuts from the Hotdisc have charted in both the American and EuropeanIndependent Charts, and the latest issue is another mix of familiar namesand fresh new talent from all over the world. The current release features THE BELLAMY BROTHERS, FREDDY FENDER, JOE DIFFIE, SAWYER BROWN, GLEN MITCHELL, NARVEL FELTS and WADE HAYES among the line up. There is also a three-part radio interview with LONESTAR's Richie McDonald and Michael Britt.
THE JUNE ISSUE (#18) IS CURRENTLY IN PRE-PRODUCTION. AMONG THE ACTS APPEARING (SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION) ARE:-
ERNIE ASHWORTH - This Ole Boy
LOU HOBBS - Lady Lost In The Spirit
THE JUDDS - Stuck In Love
KASEY CHAMBERS - Cry Like A Baby
THE JAYHAWKS - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
MARIETTA STATION - Running On Love
SUE JAMES - Baby You (And Your Baby Blues)
ROCKIN' ROARY - Rock n Roll Devil
GEORGE ALLISON - Pretty Lady
SCOTT PERRY - Her Name Is
MERV & MARIA FUTTER - Beatin' My Head Against The Wall
KINLEYS - She Ain't The Girl For You
GERRY FORD - I Wish That I Could Fall In Love Today
GENE AUSTIN - It's Your Baby
AMANDA NORMAN SELL - Ever Fallen In Love With Someone
DANIELLE REDDIN - Was He Just A Dream
KAREN FLYNN - Honkytonkified
MARSTON FERRY - Big Boned Baby
RAGING FLAMES - Dreaming Of You
LEROY JAMES - TBC
DANNI LEIGH - Honey I Do

THE JULY ISSUE (#19) IS SELLING OUT FAST. AMONG THOSE APPEARING ON THIS CD (SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION) ARE:
DENNIS LOCORRIERE - Shine, Son
GLEN MITCHELL - Brand New Track TBC
MIKE HEADRICK - TBC
COWBOYS NIGHTMARE - If I Could Only Win Your Love
LOU HOBBS - Parkinsons Disease Blues
SOUTHERN DRAWL - Walking The Night
VERONICA CAPALDI - Nobody Cares
GARY ROBERTS - Sunshine On My Face
BLUERIDGE - Country Girl
CHERYL K WARNER - TBC
STEVEN McCLINTOCK - Knock Knock
WILL GLOVER - Standing In The Line Of Fire
ROXANNE BREON - Makin' Plans For Leavin'
BILLY PAYNE - No Limit On Love
SOLAR - The Bowman Way
LEE MARKWELL - TBC
CHRIS NOEL - Matter Of Survival
JOHNNY PENN - Honey Do List
J.W. HOUSTON - TBC
Plus major acts to be confirmed. There will also be a Special Summer Radio Country Hotdisc released inJuly/August. This will contain 40 tracks featuring some of the most populartracks released by independent artistes via the Country Hotdisc so far. Thetracks will all be specially edited for radio - all under 2 minutes - forDJs only. This is in response to requests by DJs who are always looking forshort cuts to take them up to the end of their hour. Now, with the aid ofthis special CD, they will be able to select a short track immediately fromthis CD. The running order will be determined by time order - the shortesttrack will be first and the longest last.

If you would like to appear on a future edition of the Hotdisc, get in touchat the address below. A lot of effort is made to provide each client with anexceptionally professional service which they will benefit from.
Silver Heart Records
PO Box 5685
Daventry, Northants NN11 3ZD
Phone: 01327 264337
Fax: 01327 264322
E-mail - country@hotdisc.net




Fender, LiveOnTheNet.com Partnership Puts
Island Blues Festival to the Internet

Entertainment Site to Provide First-Ever Webcast of Annual Blues Event
May 10, 2000 -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporationannounced today a partnership with LiveOnTheNet.com. The Internet entertainment site will provide a webcast of theFourth Annual Fender Catalina Island Blues Festival, bringing the event to a worldwide audience for the first time. Under the terms of the agreement, LiveOnTheNet.com will stream some performances from the three-day event live andrecord others for on-demand viewing. Performers include noted blues musicians Buddy Guy, Paul Rodgers, Indigenousand Savoy Brown, as well as up-and-coming artists such as Deborah Coleman and Ronnie Baker Brooks. This year's festival features a tribute to blues legend Muddy Waters, who will be the first musician to be inducted intothe Fender Hall of Fame at a ceremony during the festival. Big Bill Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters, and BobMargolin, Muddy's guitarist, will also be performing together. The festival takes place May 12-14 on Catalina Island offthe California coast. It can be seen at http://www.liveonthenet.com





photo: Johnny Vallis




Wynette's Daughter Stand by Her Mom

By Arlene Vigoda - To this day, Tammy Wynette's daughter Jackie Daly believes her mother's death two years ago at the age of 55 could have been avoided. She chronicles the circumstances surrounding Wynette's April 6, 1998, death, as well as the country singer's rags-to-riches life, in Tammy Wynette: My Mother's Story (Putnam, $24.95), out today."She didn't have to die," Daly says softly. "She was overmedicated, and we're still trying to find out what really happened that night."Daly and two sisters, Tina Jones and Georgette Smith, filed a $50 million wrongful-death lawsuit last year against Wynette's doctor, Wallis Marsh, and her fifth husband, George Richey.They have dropped the lawsuit against Richey, but he will have to answer questions in a deposition today about whether Marsh prescribed medication that may have triggered Wynette's death. Says Daly: "Dr. Marsh needs to be accountable for what he did or didn't do, and questioning him and Richey is the only way we knew to get these answers."




Freddy Fender Scholarship Winners Announced

On Thursday, May 4, 2000, legendary music entertainer Freddy Fender held a press conference and reception for the official announcement of 5 Freddy Fender Scholarship winners. The press conference took place at the San Benito CISD, 240 North Crockett St. in San Benito, Texas. Recipients of the Freddy Fender Scholarships are:
Yvette Moncada - Nicki Rowe High School, McAllen, Texas
Yanira Martinez - Raymondville High School, Raymondville, Texas
Melissa Ruiz - Hanna High School, Brownsville, Texas
Christopher Acosta - Rivera High School, Brownsville, Texas
Micheal Cruz - San Benito High School, San Benito, Texas
** 2000 marks the sixth-year that country-tejano-pop entertainer Freddy Fender has awarded deserving students scholarship opportunities. "I have been blessed with an awarding career and have been able to send my children to college, so I want to help others have a chance to go as well," say Fender. "Maybe with this little money, it will give them the drive to do their very best."
Students were required to write an essay about plans they had for the future and why they deserved the scholarship. In excess of thirty-five essays were received and five were chosen for 2000.
For press information or interview contact: Kirt Webster; Webster & Associates Public Relations 615.777.6995




Another Rock Museum Planned

SEATTLE - Metallica, Patti Smith, James Brown, Beck, Bo Diddley and Alanis Morissette are booked for a three-day music festival kicking off the opening of Paul Allen's new rock museum. About half the events are free at the festival, which begins June 23. None of the performances will be in the interactive Experience Music Project museum being built by the Microsoft co-founder at the base of the Space Needle. The building, with dramatic metal loops and swirls, was designed by architect Frank Gehry. "You're going to be able to do things in this facility that you're not able to do in any other museum," said Kathy Scanlan, the museum's deputy director, referring to interactive features that will enable visitors to listen, watch and even play along with their favorite musicians. The museum is expected to open on the first day of the music festival.




Just part of the Saturday Night line-up on the VLV 2000's West Lounge stage
See Barry Klein's Viva Las Vegas 2000 Report w/Photos




FRANKIE FORD HAS SURGERY

May 4, 2000 - GRETNA, LA - Frankie Ford, the legendary New Orleans entertainer and pianist, underwent corrective hand surgery this morning at East Jefferson Hospital. Dr. Harold Stokes performed the hour and a half surgery, necessary to remove cartillage that inhibited his piano playing, according to Ford's manager Ken Keene. Ford performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Friday (April 28) and in New York at the Nassau Coliseum on Sunday (April 30).





BOBBY LOWELL and SENATOR BOB KERRY.
Photo taken in Lincoln, Nebraska, December, 1999.
NOTE: May 11th is Bobby's 63rd birthday. Bobby (Nebraska first R&Roller and the cat that had the first 45-rpm record released in the state) is fighting cancer and wasn't even supposed to be around in 2000. Well, he's beating the odds, thank the Lord. We encourage you to send Bobby a birthday card. If you can, throw in a $ or two to help his medical bills
Bobby Lowell
2833 Torchlight Lane
Lincoln, NE 68521 USA




For More, Go To
That's News to Me: Archive #1




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