"That's News to Me" - Archive #14

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



"The Guys Who Wrote 'Em"
            The book is The Guys Who Wrote 'Em by Sean Egan, published by Askill. (ISBN: 0-9545750-1-6).   It features a very large section on Leiber & Stoller, who of course wrote many classic songs for Elvis. The section details the creation of several of those songs and talks about Elvis’ fifties records in depth. It also features a very intriguing part about Elvis’ thwarted ambitions to be a serious actor. Elvis is also discussed in the chapters on Tony Macaulay and Mann & Weil.
            More information on the book can be found at: http://theguyswhowroteem.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/. You can order it from Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/ - Malcolm Chapman -askill_publishing@hotmail.com




String Maker Ernie Ball Dies
            Ernie Ball, a pioneer maker of rock 'n' roll guitar strings used by legions of artists from the Rolling Stones to Merle Travis, has died. He was 74. Ball died at his home yesterday (Sept. 9, 2004) after an ongoing illness, the mortuary handling services announced. His strings and instruments were used by music stars over the past four decades, including the Stones, BB King and Metallica.
            Beginning with a small music shop in the San Fernando Valley, Ball built a business with annual sales of $US40 million ($A58 million) and a worldwide reputation. Along the way, he bucked traditional thinking in the music business.
            "He changed the way people thought of guitar accessories, and how they sold and marketed them, and to this day the Ernie Ball way is the industry standard," his son, Sterling Ball, said in a statement.
            In 1958, Ball opened a shop in Tarzana, California, that, uniquely, sold only guitars. "Sales reps would come in and say, 'Ern, you've got to sell clarinet reeds, drum sticks, valve oil, blah blah blah,"' Ball once recalled. "And I'd tell them 'I just want to sell guitars.'"
            In 1962, complaints from customers that they couldn't find lighter-gauge, flexible strings for their rock 'n' roll instruments prompted Ball to create and sell sets of strings he called "Slinkys". They were a hit. He later branched out into instruments and accessories, buying the Music Man electric guitar company in 1985.
            Today, Ernie Ball items are sold in more than 5000 music stores in the United States and exported to more than 70 countries. - www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common




Elvis Festival Facing Financial Losses
            (From: Elvis Australia) - Source: Biloxi Sun Herald - Ticket sales were disappointing this year and 2005 could be the last year for the Elvis Presley Festival, organizers say. The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association has reported a loss of $5,465 for the 2004 festival. It was sixth year of the event which concluded Saturday.
            This is the second consecutive year the event has lost money, organizers said. In 2003, the festival lost $2,642. "We can break even or make a little money, but we can't keep losing money," said Jim High, assistant director of Main Street.
            The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau cut its total allotment of contributions to the festival from $100,000 in 2003 to $50,000 in 2004. "We love festivals," said Linda Butler Johnson, CVB executive director. "And we love to help with seed money, but over a period of time we need to pull back and let them stand on their own feet."
            Gary Bailey, festival chairman, said there are no plans to stop the downtown Tupelo festival after 2005, but it's a possibility if revenues don't outpace expenditures. "It is a serious situation," Bailey said. "We have to do whatever we can to make it successful next year." Presley was born in Tupelo.
            The event has drawn some well-known musical acts in the last six years, including B.B. King and Rock-n-Roll pioneer Little Richard. High said the festival will most likely remain a two-day, ticketed event on Friday and Saturday with a free gospel program on Sunday. Bailey said the festival committee's overriding aim is to stay within its budget in 2005.




From the Pen of Jack Rhodes
            by ROB FINNIS - It all took place in a quiet corner of east Texas nearly 50 years ago. The location is the Trail '80' Courts, a motel in Mineola, a railroad hamlet about 90 miles east of Dallas. There's a train in the night and the sagebrush is tumbling across the dirt track courtyard. Inside, a bunch of good ole boys have gathered for a songwriters' jam session convened by the motel's owner Jack Rhodes, the man they look to for inspiration and guidance. A guitarist in small local country outfits, Rhodes didn't take up songwriting in earnest until the early 1950s by which time he was in his mid-forties. One or two of his songs got recorded and pretty soon he was on his way. A tie-up with a song publisher affiliated to Capitol Records opened up new vistas and in 1955 two of Rhodes' songs, Beautiful Lies and A Satisfied Mind, became major country hits with the latter attaining "standard" status, as did another of his songs Silver Threads And Golden Needles popularised by the Springfields.
            In 1956 Rhodes' Woman Love got a free ride on the B-side of Gene Vincent's million-selling Be-Bop-A-Lula. Another of his songs, Missing Persons, appeared on the B-side of Gone by Ferlin Husky, a 1957 smash on the Capitol label. Rhodes consolidated by using his influence to try and help local talent ranging from honky tonk singers to would-be Elvises and Gene Vincents. Thus for every Woman Love or Satisfied Mind, there were a dozen songs by minor artists on small labels that came and went without making much impression.
            Poorly educated but streetwise, Rhodes worked as a casual labourer for most of his early life until a serious back injury confined him to bed for months on end. He bought a guitar and worked out his first chord shapes. He wasn't far short of his fortieth birthday and had a lot of catching up to do. Jack had a role model within the family for this change of direction - his step-brother Leon Payne, a blind singer/songwriter and fiddle player who subsequently composed the country standards Lost Highway and I Love You Because. Rhodes had formed his first band (an old-timey bluegrass outfit) in 1947, called Jack Rhodes' Ramblers. With Payne as their vocalist, they cut their first sides for the Bullet label in the late 1940s.
            In 1950, Rhodes built a motel complex on the west side of Mineola near the city limits. Christened the Trail '80' Courts, it incorporated a dozen chalets, a café and a small gas station. Life revolved round honky tonks (a sort of beer joint, dancehall and eatery rolled into one) and the Baptist church. Jack saw himself as something of a hillbilly poet and wasn't about to forsake music just because he had a motel to run.
            Jack set up a demo studio in a couple of spare rooms behind the motel's kitchen using an old radio mike plugged into a Magnecord tape machine. If anyone thought they had something on the ball, Jack would ask them over for coffee and donuts and encourage them to lay down some of their material, offering pointers along the way. Rhodes didn't have too much clout beyond East Texas and northern Louisiana but to any local picker without the means to match their ambition, Jack Rhodes seemed like the Great Barnum himself.
            Rhodes enjoyed his first taste of real success when Jim Reeves recorded one of his songs on the B-side of his 1953 hit Bimbo. A year later, Jack and his fiddle player, "Red" Hayes, co-wrote A Satisfied Mind which Hayes recorded for the little Starday label out of Houston. The quality of the song shone through and pretty soon major country artists were rushing to cover it. Porter Wagoner took it to #1 on the country charts and there were also successful versions by Jean Shepard and Red Foley.
            1955-57 were Rhodes' halcyon years. All the big names on Capitol's country roster including Tommy Collins, Sonny James, Jean Shepard and Faron Young and Ferlin Husky came to record his songs. In between the album fillers and also-rans, there were the occasional smashes such as Beautiful Lies (Jean Shepard, 1955), Waltz Of The Angels (Wynn Stewart, 1955), Conscience I'm Guilty (Hank Snow, 1956).
            One weekend in March 1956, Jack asked his friend and protÈgÈ Jimmy Johnson over to demo a couple of new songs. Johnson had some sides as vocalist with Rhodes' band a few years before. Though he was a part-timer, whose few recording opportunities had arisen solely through Rhodes' patronage rather than his own initiative, Johnson was an engaging vocalist with an authoritative style. His cool, dry delivery and virile lived-in timbre seemed ideally suited to Jack's songs. They worked on Woman Love, a lascivious blues, and All Dressed Up, a Don Carter song that boasted a rockabilly groove and classic honky tonk lyrics. Johnson accompanied himself on electric guitar, playing the bluesy lead licks himself.
            Capitol A&R man Ken Nelson detected hit potential in Woman Love. All he had to do was find somebody to cut it - preferably a new fangled rock'n'roller. The dub sat in a pile on Nelson's desk for several weeks.
            Rhodes meanwhile had asked Starday Records to press up a few hundred copies of Johnson's original on its Custom series, a vanity line used as a marketing tool by amateurs looking to get on record. Starday 561 would have been hard to find even in 1956. It can be heard here directly from Rhodes' original "motel" master, together with some other equally impressive demos recorded by the mythical Johnson during that period.
            Then Nelson snapped up Gene Vincent, a hitherto unremarkable naval rating who had started performing on a radio station in Norfolk, Virginia while convalescing from a leg injury as an out-patient at the US Naval hospital. Vincent cut Woman Love at his first session in May 1956 with Be-Bop-A-Lula as the makeweight. To Nelson's surprise it was the latter song that deejays preferred and within a matter of weeks, Vincent had been catapulted into national prominence at the dawn of the rock era.
            Rhodes and his acolytes went on to pen further material with Vincent in mind including Five Days, Five Days and Red Blue Jeans And A Pony Tail and Bi-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Bo. These, and many other previously unissued sides by rockin' Rhodes' protégés such as Derrell Felts, Johnny Dollar and Johnny Fallin, together with a detailed booklet cast fresh light on a forgotten corner of 50s Americana and will delight rockabilly and Gene Vincent fans alike.




Ricky's Garden Party: Who Is "Mr. Hughes"?
            Q. In Ricky Nelson's song "Garden Party," there is mention of a Mr. Hughes who "hid in Dylan's shoes." Who the heck is this guy? I've searched and searched but I have no idea.
            A. Rico replies: Ah yes, one of my favorite songs from the 70s. I used to listen for the point about two-thirds of the way through when, instead of going to a 1-4 chord change, Nelson went to a 1-4m9 change - rather dramatic for a musician. But I digress. You're not talking about the music, you're talking about the lyrics.
            Symbolism abounds in this song. Eric Hilliard Nelson, better known as Ricky, joined the cast of his parent's ABC sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" in 1952 at age 11. A fall 1956 episode had him organizing a rock 'n' roll band in high school. Then in an April 1957 telecast he was drafted to perform with a local band and sang a currently popular Fats Domino hit, "I'm Walkin'"--which, backed with "A Teenager's Romance," promptly became a real-life million-selling record for him. Ricky went on to be one of the biggest stars of the early rock and roll era.
            His star faded in the mid 1960s. He tried valiantly to regain the top of the charts, but it seemed the British invasion was thwarting him at every turn. Ironically, however, a song he wrote in the early 1970s about his disillusionment with the music industry was his biggest hit.
            In October 1971 Rick was invited to play in a reunion show at Madison Square Garden, alongside such early rock luminaries as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and others. By this time his hair had grown shoulder length and he was heavily into the country rock genre. When he mixed in new material with his old music, the audience began to boo. Whether it was really their reaction to their idol's new look and sound, or, as one report states, "... there were reports that police were in the back moving people out, and in the political spirit of the early 70's the crowd was actually booing the police activity," Rick felt the crowd was booing him. He wrote about the experience: "I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends / A chance to share old memories and play our songs again. / When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name / No one recognized me, I didn't look the same."
            Rick realized at that point that he had to be true to himself. Hence the chorus of the song: "I learned my lesson well. You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."
            "Garden Party" was pounced on by the pundits and dissected unmercifully. Some clues were obvious. For instance, "Yoko brought her walrus" - John Lennon and Yoko Ono were at the concert. Lennon, of course, was responsible for the Beatles song "I Am The Walrus."
            The lyric you ask about, "Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes wearing his disguise," is more difficult to interpret, but I finally found it for you. ""Mr Hughes" isn't Howard Hughes, as most people think, but refers to George Harrison, the ex-Beatle. Rick Nelson was good friends and next-door neighbor to Harrison, and was also a good friend of Bob Dylan. "Mr. Hughes" was the alias Harrison used while traveling, and "hid in Dylan's shoes" apparently refers to an album of Bob Dylan covers Harrison was planning that never came to fruition. "Wearing his disguise" is more obscure, but presumably had something to do with Harrison's habit of traveling incognito.




Robert Gordon: 40th Annv. Concerts in Holland
            Rockabilly giant Robert Gordon ("Red Hot", "Fire", etc.) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his first single release with two special concerts in Holland. These shows will take place at the Lantaarn in Helledoorn on October 2nd and at the legendary Paradiso club in Amsterdam on October 3rd.
            Gordon, who is now receiving glowing reviews all over the globe with his new album "Satisfied Mind", promises two dynamite shows featuring many highlights from his entire career. He will be backed by the aptly named "Red Hot", a superb 4-piece band from Finland, who have earned much respect in the European rockabilly scene with their two CD releases and their high energy live-shows.
            A very special surprise is that paying visitors will receive a free 6-track promo CD containing unreleased Robert Gordon studio-recordings from the beginning of his career. This unique CD is titled "40th Anniversary Celebration" and was pressed exclusively for these two shows - it will NOT be available elsewhere later on! According to the man himself, these are his first studio-recordings, made in 1964 by a then 17-year-old Robert Gordon. Tracks include a Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired "Money (That's What I Want)", Big Jay McNeely's "There Is Something On Your Mind" and a stunning version of Gershwin's "Summertime" with some amazing high falsetto vocalizing by Gordon. This CD is bound to become a true collectors' item.
            These concerts will be professionally filmed by a 10-piece camera crew for a documentary on this great rocker, to be released on DVD next year by his current label Jungle Records.
            For more information on these shows, please contact Bas Flesseman at: bas@belmontbookings.nl Or visit the websites www.lantaarn.nl and www.paradiso.nl




Farewell Noble Watts
            Noble Watts, the blues and jazz saxophonist who led the house band at Sugar Ray Robinson's club in Harlem and played on rock 'n' roll tours with Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis, died Tuesday, August 24, 2004, close friends said. He was 78.
            Also known as "Thin Man," Watts had been in a nursing home for months struggling with emphysema and pneumonia. Watts released a series of singles on Baton Records, including the instrumental hits "Hard Times (the Slop)" in 1957 and "Jookin'" in 1961.
            Watts established his professional reputation in New York in the 1950s, where he played with the house band at Sugar Ray Robinson's club in Harlem. He also played with Lionel Hampton's orchestra and on rock 'n' roll package tours with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.
            Saxophonists from King Curtis to Bruce Springsteen sideman Clarence Clemons were influenced by his booming tenor sound.
            Born in DeLand, Watts attended Florida A&M University, where played in the marching band with future jazz legends Cannonball and Nat Adderley. Recently, Watts had been recognized as a musical icon. The African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand dedicated an amphitheater named after Watts in May. And Stetson University, where he raked leaves as a boy to pay for music lessons, gave him an honorary doctorate in 2000.>br>



The Hawk's 'Miracle' Cure
            By John Goddard - Two years ago, Ronnie Hawkins thought he was dying from pancreatic cancer. Now he's cured.
            Rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins says "the Big Rocker in the sky" cured him of terminal pancreatic cancer. Other theories abound, some of which are explored in Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive And Kickin', airing tonight at 9:30 on CTV ‹ a fascinating reminder of the mysteries of the healing process.
            An outpouring of love cured the man, some people say. Soon after the diagnosis, friends such as Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Anka and David Foster threw an exclusive party for him in Toronto. The city declared Ronnie Hawkins Day, inducting him into the Walk of Fame and staging a four-hour tribute concert at Massey Hall.
            His own party attitude healed him, others say. Ever since arriving from Arkansas in 1958, Hawkins has displayed a singular talent for having fun, and for the electrifying showmanship that earned him the nickname "Rompin' Ronnie."
            But two other theories are drawing particular attention. One comes from a top surgeon, who says the singer might never have had cancer in the first place. The other comes from a teenage healer in Vancouver, who says Hawkins did have cancer and recovered through a telepathic process explained by quantum physics. Either way, Hawkins says, "I became some kind of miracle."
            The surgeon is Dr. Bryce Taylor. He is chief of surgery and director of surgical services at the University Health Network in Toronto. He is also a top specialist in pancreatic cancer and a longtime Hawkins fan.
            Until Hawkins was declared cured, all medical evidence pointed to pancreatic cancer, Taylor says. Two years ago on Aug. 13, 2002, he opened Hawkins up and found a hardened lump ‹ like a cancerous tumour ‹ at the head of the pancreas, between the bowel and the liver.
            Taylor tried to remove it but couldn't because it was wrapped around major veins and arteries. He performed a bypass and sewed his patient up again. Hawkins declined chemotherapy and was expected to be dead by Christmas.
            Sometimes, Taylor says, pancreatic cancer is impossible to distinguish from pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. But, he says, Hawkins had "a localized lump ‹ it didn't look like pancreatitis throughout the gland." The lump also kept growing, behaviour consistent with a malignant tumour.
            "About four months later," Taylor says, "the MRI showed that the mass was bigger, which is almost unheard of with any inflammatory disease." In the TV documentary, directed by Toronto filmmaker Anne Pick, an oncologist is shown giving Hawkins the bad news.
            Not long afterward, Hawkins suffered a potentially lethal blood clot in the leg, a common ailment for people with abdominal cancers, Taylor says.
            "Everything pointed to cancer," the surgeon says. On the other hand, cancer was never proven. Three biopsies turned up no cancer cells, which didn't prove an absence of cancer, either.
            "One of two things has happened," Taylor says in the film to explain the singer's survival. "Either Ronnie did have a small cancer with a lot of inflammation around it and for some reason it has resolved, and I guess that would have to be categorized as a miracle. "Or he had an absolutely one-of-a-kind presentation of a localized chronic pancreatitis that then subsequently resolved. "Both those situations are equally rare."
            Offering a radically different view is the Vancouver healer. His name is Adam. He keeps his full identity secret and his address vague, he says, to avoid being hounded by desperate people seeking cures. He says he lives a "normal" suburban life with a younger sister and his parents Frank and Liz. At the time of the events, he was a 16-year-old high school student, not 15 as somebody says in the film.
            On Sept. 21, 2002, Adam read that Hawkins had cancer. "I had never heard of Ronnie Hawkins before that day, but my dad said he enjoys his music," Adam writes in his book DreamHealer, published last year, which includes a section on Hawkins.
            That same day, after contacting Hawkins through his manager, Adam started treatments. He arranged for Hawkins to sit upright in a chair with his feet on the floor to "ground" his energy. At the same time from Vancouver, Adam studied a colour photograph of Hawkins and visually entered the singer's body.
            "I could see a tumour about the size of a tennis ball ‹ approximately 10 centimetres," he writes. "I spent the next few weeks treating Ronnie's tumour on the energetic level, helping Ronnie's body fight off the cancer and reduce the tumour.
            "From the beginning of my treatment, Ronnie felt a quivering in his stomach area. His jaundice improved and...he no longer felt or looked like a dying man. The first time we heard that he looked wonderful was Sept. 23, so everyone was very encouraged, especially Ronnie. He told me to `keep on rockin'.'"
            On Sept. 27, Adam says he visually compared his father's healthy pancreas to Hawkins' diseased one. "I noticed that Ronnie's pancreas was blocked and my dad's had a constant drip flowing out of it," he writes. "I manipulated the energy and got Ronnie's pancreatic juices flowing. It actually started with a gushing flow." Oct. 4 was declared Ronnie Hawkins Day in Toronto. At the Massey Hall tribute, the guest of honour was already feeling well enough to get up and sing, "Hey, Bo Diddly." On Feb. 27, a CT scan showed no sign of a lump. On April 11, an MRI confirmed no trace of disease whatsoever.
            "When I look at cancer, it has a very distinct glow to it," Adam says in the film. "There was no doubt it was cancer." In the book, he writes at length about quantum physics theory, saying that some day science will be able to explain how distance healing works.
            Hawkins didn't tell the filmmakers about Adam until he was declared cancer-free. But director Pick said this week that she knew something odd was going on. "All through the filming (Hawkins) kept saying, `Man, it's like there's an alien in my stomach ‹ I feel like Sigourney Weaver is going to jump out.'"
            Pick had Hawkins re-create the scene. "I get little pulsations in my stomach," he says in the re-enactment, "like your muscles jumping a little. Not hurting but you can feel it. It's all over. You think, `Is Adam really doing this?' This is Twilight Zone stuff now."
            When asked this week whether he believes Adam cured him, Hawkins says: "I don't believe in healers too much myself. I'm from the South, you know. Only the Big Rocker can heal." Hawkins' wife Wanda sounded more appreciative this week of Adam's powers. This spring, she says, the teenager visited their home north of Peterborough, along with his parents and sister.


Red's Rod Run and Riverside Jamboree
            "Dear Friends and Fans, OK Everyone, I just wanted to let you know about the first "Hot Rod Party and Riverside Jamboree". It will be held the weekend of November 6 and 7, 2004 at the Old Truckstop Studio, Jugiong, NSW, Australia. Presented by Autone Records, it will feature along with myself artists like The Supertronics, The Knights of the Round Esky, Carol the Crooning Cowgirl, Louis King, The Burn out Kings, Los El Caminos', Reno Nervada and will include musicians like Dave Harding, Dangerous Dan Nosovich, Big Daddy Roy, Michael Vidale. Roots specialist DJ Jimmy Dee will be spinning discs and a whole lot more!
            Now about the Jamboree. I'm putting on an event here at my Old Truck Stop and Diner on the Hume between Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne ! The dates for the party will be November 6th and 7th. I'm calling it "Reds' Hot Rod Party and Riverside Jamboree" It will be an event for all my friends and fans that will allow me to present my show and my music the way I want to !! This place we have is the perfect venue. There is ample camping and accommodation facilities and the Mighty Murrumbidgee River is here to provide a bit of a recreation fun. There is Camp Draft and horse riding facilities as well. There will be the utmost consideration of custom car culture and for the people who consider rock n roll, rock 'a' billy, rhythm n blues, bluegrass, country and 50's style swing music, a lifestyle as apposed to a fashion. An experience not to be missed! There are limited tickets of 300 so I encourage early booking as there has been overwhelming response.
            To avoid disappointment and to be a part of this celebration book now ! To book send money orders or checks to the value of $27.50 to Autone Records, Lot 1 Riverside Drive Jugiong 2726 N.S.W Australia. IMPORTANT Please include your name/names and address and details of all attending ie: Adults and children We will do a family package but please email us for family size and such.There will be entertainment for kids and families will be most welcome. Also it will be a celebration of the opening of my 50s Sam Philips style recording studio and there will be tours of all the facilities. Selected items such as microphones, guitars, cars and vintage tube recording equipment will be on display and some will be for sale. This will be a value packed weekend for all those attending, make no excuses. All cars attending must register for eligibility for "Rod Party" awards. All cars will be fully Club or Road registered and owners will have comprehensive insurance.
            Thank you for all your interest and bookings sofar by logging onto www.redrivers.com Regards," Red Rivers - autone@terrigal.net.au





Remember Eddie Cochran E-update
            7 August 2004 - Hi! With this message I would like to thank you Eddie Cochran ans world wide who showed interest in "Remember Eddie Cochran". The site went live on June 25, 2003 and now after a little more than a year we have more than 18.000 visitors from all over the world! I think it shows that Eddie is still in the hearts of a lot of fans.
            As you can see in the header of this email I called it "Remember Eddie Cochran e-update". The e-update is a new initiative for Eddie's fans. In the "Remember Eddie Cochran e-update" you will find information on updates on the site, new CD/DVD-releases, books, tribute gigs or other Eddie  Cochran related events.
            Another reason to start the e-update is that "The Cochran Connection" from editor Bill Beard is planning to visit Albert Lea (Eddie's birthplace) again in 2006. I talked with Bill about this  in Albert Lea this June and offered him the help of "Remember Eddie Cochran". It would be nice to see more fans in Albert Lea in 2006. Via the "Remember Eddie Cochran e-update" I will keep you informed about all plans. So if you are interested in going to Albert Lea in 2006 there's another reason to subscribe to the e-update!
            Another feature in the e-update will be the "Fancorner". You can share your thoughts on Eddie with other members or ask for any sort of information regarding Eddie. Another feature could be your wantlist in the e-update. Send it to me and I can publish it for you. There are a lot of possiblities for the e-zine but it is the fans who decide if it will be a succes.
            If you have any ideas or contributions for the e-update please let me know! You can subcribe by responding to his email simply with "yes" and including the e-mailadress you want it send to. That's all!
            I also have some updates on Remember Eddie Cochran for you. Just click on the link and it will take you directly to the site.

Albert Lea 2004. Five pages about my trip to Albert Lea, Minnesota and Clear Lake, Iowa in June this year.

Darrel Higham. Darrel Higham, who has done so much to keep Eddie's name alive, was in the Netherlands in July for a short tour. Of course I went up there to meet him and took some pictures and you can see on the new pages. I also added a short discography. Tributes. I've added Darrel's Cochran Connection Vol2 to the tributes page. This is a magnificent CD! Thank you all for now and don't forget ... et's keep Eddie Cochran remembered!

Antoon van Olderen - Amsterdam
For the latest news go to the: The Eddie Cochran Connection
This email is send to you by: Remember Eddie Cochran




"Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive and Kickin'"
            After almost two years on the Ronnie Hawkins project the producers have finally delivered their film to the broadcaster thanks to the co-operation and talent of a great many people. CTV will be premiering "Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive and Kickin'" on Friday, August 20 at 9.30pm. Ronnie Hawkins is a rock and roll legend in his own right and as David Foster says in the film, "It will be decades before we see the contribution that he's really made. And it's not just in music, but a larger than life figure. Someone who just came and became king of his own world".




Wildwood '50s Weekend:
October 15-17, 2004 - The Wildwoods, N.J.

            The first Wildwoods Fabulous '50s Weekend will be a musical celebration of Wildwood's role in the birth of Rock and Roll, and the 50th anniversary of "Rock Around the Clock," the groundbreaking song by Bill Haley and the Comets.
            Events include a Fabulous '50s Rock and Roll Show, America's Salute to the 50th anniversary of "Rock Around the Clock," starring: Charlie Gracie, the Dovells, Danny's Juniors, the Orlons and Bill Haley's Original Comets who performed with the late Bill Haley when he played Wildwood's HofBrau Hotel in the summer of 1954. (Click here to purchase tickets online through Ticketmaster.) According to a published interview with Haley, and confirmed by members of the Original Comets, that's when and where he first played "Rock Around the Clock" in public.
            Guests who purchase accommodations packages receive a welcoming package of 1950s-era candies, tickets to all events and tours (preferred seating for the Fabulous '50s Rock and Roll Show), and a Wildwoods souvenir wind-up, talking tram car.

Tentative Event Schedule:
8:00pm to Midnight
Fabulous Fifties Record Hop, Wildwood Convention Center Hosted by popular '50s disc jockey Jerry "The Geator" Blavat

Saturday, October 16
10:00am to 6:00pm
Fabulous Fifties Street Fair, Wildwood Boardwalk, Burk to Andrews Avenue
"Mr. Fabulous, Charlie Gracie
Rip Chords
PhillyCuzz, food and merchandise vendors, Hula-Hoop contests, look-alike contests (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley), dance contests and '50s fashions. Free.

11:00am to 8:00pm - Retro Antiques and Reproductions Show, Wildwoods Convention Center A exhibition and sale of antiques from the 1950s, '60s and '70s, as well as retro reproductions of furniture, fixtures and housewares inspired by the period. Free admission.
1:00pm - Ceremonial Unveiling of Historical Marker, Wildwood Boardwalk at Andrew Avenue. The Original Comets, five musicians who performed with the late Bill Haley in 1954 when he first performed "Rock Around the Clock" in Wildwood, will be on hand to unveil an historical marker designating Oak and Atlantic Avenues as the site where the song was introduced. Members of Bill Haley's family are also expected to attend the ceremony. Free.
1:00pm & 2:00pm - Wildwoods DooWop '50s Trolley Tours. Tours depart from the Fabulous '50s Street Fair, Burk Avenue and the Boardwalk, Wildwood Grab your poodle skirt and wing tip shoes for a rock-around-the-clock good time on the Doo Wop Œ50s Tour of the Wildwoods. It's swell! Hop on the Doo Wop bus to experience the wet Œn wild never mild pastels and neons of the 1950s, Elvis-era architecture that juts, slopes, curves and slices and a whole twist of doo-wop'n details that make Wildwood, New Jersey the hoppin' place of 1950s America. 
Tickets for adults are $10 from Cape May and $8 from the Wildwoods, children ages 3-12 are $5 from Cape May and $4 from Wildwood. Tickets may be purchased in Cape May at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street and in Wildwood at the Fabulous Fifties Street Fair. For more information call the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts at 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.
7:30pm - Concert: Fabulous Fifties Rock and Roll Show with Fabian, The Dovells, The Orlons, Danny and the Juniors, and The Original Comets in America's Salute to the 50th anniversary of "Rock Around the Clock," Wildwoods Convention Center.
Sunday, October 17, 1pm
Wildwoods Music Award Presentation to Charlie Gracie, 12th and New Jersey Aven ues (adjacent to Cool Scoops), North Wildwood. There will be music and entertainment. Free.

Background
            As noted above, based on Bill Haley's own account, "Rock Around the Clock," was first performed publicly in Wildwood in 1954, at the Hofbrau Hotel, Oak and Wildwood Avenues. It was in Wildwood in 1950 that Bill Haley encountered the legendary R&B group The Treniers. Haley was so influenced by their sound, that he decided to take his Western Swing band, The Saddlemen, into an R&B direction. As a result, you have the birth of Bill Haley's Comets, and the dawn of what we now consider to be Rock and Roll.
            Wildwood continued to be a focal point for Rock and Roll invention in the summer of 1960, when Chubby Checker introduced "The Twist" song and dance craze, at the Rainbow Club at Spicer and Pacific Avenues. The Wildwoods have a unique and influential place in music history that has been largely ignored outside the island. The Wildwoods Fabulous '50s Weekend will change all that.
            The first Wildwoods Fabulous Fifties Weekend, October 15-17, 2004, at the Wildwoods Convention Center is a collaborative project of the Wildwoods DooWop Preservation League, Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority, Coastal Broadcasting (98.7FM The Coast and 94.3FM Slammin' Gold), the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Wildwood Hotel and Motel Association and Main Street Wildwood.
            The Wildwoods Fabulous Œ50s weekend is partially funded by the New Jersey Office of Travel and Tourism - www.visitnj.com - the City of Wildwood Tourism Development Commission and the Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.
Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce
3306 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, NJ 08260
609-729-4000 - FAX: 609-729-4003
Contact




"Sweetie" Jones R.I.P.
            Mr. James R. "Sweetie" Jones, 62, passed away on July 21, 2004 in his home.   Services were held at 2:00 p.m. on July 23 in the chapel of McCullough Funeral Home.    Interment was private.   Memorials may be made to Southern Care Hospice, 3330 Northside Drive, Suite 106, Macon, GA  31210.





Don Rader Dies
            The Legendary Don Rader, Detroit's first Rock artist, lost his battle with heart disease at the University Of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor on July 5th. He was 66.
            Don Rader was born in Royal Oak Township, (Now Hazel Park) on December 15, 1937. He has been writing, recording, and performing since he was a teenager. Don Rader is well known for songs like "Rock And Roll Grandpap," and "Goodbye, I Hate To See You Go." In 1959, Don moved to Chicago, and later moved to Florida to host his own T.V. show. A few years later, Don moved to Nashville, and recorded his Country hit, "Goodbye, I Hate To See You Go." Don then moved back to Michigan, and wrote, and recorded many more songs, and records.
            Don Rader was still writing, recording, and performing around the Detroit area until his death. A tribute show is scheduled for Wendsday, July 28th at Memphis Smoke, in downtown Royal Oak, at 9pm, and is open to all ages. Guests include Scott Campbell, Carl Bradychok, Dave Rowe, Mark Pazman, and many more guests. For more information about Don Rader's life and music, contact: RockinCarlB@aol.com.





Jerry Lee Lewis at Colston Hall, Bristol
            14 JULY 2004 - Long time fan Terry Adams reckoned it was the best show of the tour.A great venue,the Colston Hall Bristol, England, good sound and very friendly staff. Nice to find that the box office phone staff actually understood what "left of centre,looking along the keyboard" actually meant. Sitting within 2 metres of the piano is my idea of heaven. Nice to chat to Barrie Gamblin, Terry and Tony Houlton beforehand, the social side of the Lewis scene is very important too.
            Opening act Sugar Creek Trio were full of rockabilly flash and pizazz, guitarist played some cool Gallup licks on the Vincent songs and two dazzling instros by Link Wray and Joe Maphis. Tall cool one on bass looked and sounded sharp on the Horton songs, fine versions of Slim Harpo and Diddley classics, a bit more stage craft and eye contact with the large audience needed but a great 50 minute show. Shuddering memories of awful JLL openers in the past evaporated, roll over JD Sumner and tell Johnny Dumper the news
            Kenny and the Kennyettes strolled on to great applausea around 9:15, Kenny's opener of the old country classic Columbus Stockade Blues was a delight, Robert romped through Lonely Weekends in fine Animal of the Muppets style and BB showed old Chuckles how to tackle his catalogue, appearance of JW, Phoebe and Linda Gail at the side of the stage removed any lingering doubts about the great man's presence. Also the shuffling entry behind me of messers Gamblin & Adams meant it was showtime.
            Looking sharp and focussed the Fireball strode on to a standing ovation and with a "well we finally made it" type aside bestrode the piano stool romped into Drinkin' Wine, a fine opener. The pale looking legend asked Kenny to sort out his microphone lead being short due to it being stuck under the front monitor, the sound man came out to help Kenny before JLL grinned and said "that's ok Killer just leave it" proving how relaxed he was. The opening chords of Lucille prompted a nudge from Shaun as he knows it's not one of my favs or to be precise the plodding usual mid tempo stage version isn't, I always liked the studio version. I was delighted when this version rocked and was more uptempo than the norm. Next we were "running out all over Bristol" and I love You still, pause "but not TOO still" on a stellar version of ole Hank's You Win Again, dazzling solo on this, turning into a great show now.
            To Pat Wall's delight a fine Before The Night Is Over was next, contrary to Lucille the current stage version knocks spots off the old Mercury discofied version. With a quick "well Chuck ain't here tonight so we'll do one of his" we rapidly zipped into a rattling good take on Sweet Little 16 lively shoulder work and plenty of high treble hammering showed the songwriter who's boss on this song. My thoughts went back to April 1960 and wondering whether Eddie Cochran had sung this on the same stage at his final gig. My personal highlight of the night was No Headstone, as good a version as he did back in Gulfport, plenty of pyrotechnics in the solos and a well controlled and intense vocal with a great roar from the nearly sold out venue for the "monument" line.
            The current version of Roll Over Beethoven is a bobbydazzler, my attempts to lure Linda Gail out with a few pleading gestures met with giggles off stage. Her older bro' Lewis again took quality solos as the band cooked on this. Kenny played the licks he left the Five Jets for and Robert grinned and pummeled the skins in his great lively manner, the more stoical BB and Bill chug along as one.
            To keep them in their place JLL caught them out with an abrupt ending to Chantilly Lace, met with a great roar from the fans, stopping after the stuttering Nekkid, Nekkid bit whilst the band played on before the boss said hey we finished that one, embarrased grins all round. Straight into the uptempo version of Mexicali Rose making Mr Hall shed a few pounds as he pounded, a slower ending where the band stopped unsure before Jerry told Robert you can join in if you want to!
            Somewhere along the way we had the great "everyone thinks he's Sam Phillips" line hurled at the sound crew, the instrumentation and vocals all sounded fine from my close seat.
            A superfine laid back bluesy CC Rider gave the old Regular Stud vocals a breather before the fans erupted for what I now reagrd as the two song closing encore, fans piled forward in the aisle as the hallowed opening chords of Sun 267 lead the way to easy now and finger wingling, thunderous ovation at the close, just over the half hour mark. Sun 281 had some awesomely concentrated stiff wrist hammering with that oh so cool half smile/half sneer look on the Lewis lips sort of "not bad for a 68 year old living legend huh"?
            With a huge grin at the end of a lengthy work out on this show stopper (and indeed it is these days) JLL acknowledged us all with a wave and off he strode to the welcoming arms of his daughter and younger sister. They looked as enthralled as the rest of us. Overall a great show, no surprises in the catalogue but all the songs were performed with panache, no faking show biz chat but some dazzling keyboard work, what more could an ageing rocker want? Felt like one of the old 70s Rainbow shows.
            Probably my most favourite UK show since the legendary Kings triple header. Whilst Blackpool and Manchester were great on the previous tour, the stage lighting was brighter here and the piano was closer to the stage front so there was more of a rapport with the crowd.
            Jerry's relaxed demeanour coupled with the pride in playing and singing to the best of his ability augurs well for the future. This is down to Phoebe's TLC and its wonderful to see JLL and Linda together again. Enjoy Croydon guys and the upcoming French dates as well.Mr Lewis is a man with a mission, rock n roll IS something special
            p.s. nice to meet up with lil' Bro Davies, Pat, Scott, Rocky N Lulu and the rockabilly Taffia too.Rockin Ron Gregory said he was in Cloud 10. Look forward to seeing Shaun's digi pics once he returns from his upcoming Stray Cat pilgrimage. The cockney Kalin twins aka Barrie and Terry were still grinning from ear to ear when we met them Waitin' For A Train. Phil Davies





Stage of Stars Museum in Historic Municipal Auditorium
            The Stage of Stars Museum, an exhibit showcasing the history of Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium, opened to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2004. The date marked the start of guided tours of the Auditorium, which is located at 705 Elvis Presley Avenue in Shreveport.
            The exhibit, sponsored by the nonprofit Friends of the Municipal Auditorium, features hundreds of photographs and memorabilia, which have been loaned or donated by numerous individuals. Museum chairman Betty Jo LeBrun-Mooring has led the effort to collect and display the historic items in the exhibition room, located just off the Municipal Auditorium's main lobby.
            Many of the performers who appeared on the Municipal stage over the past 75 years are featured in the museum. They include stars from the Auditorium's most fabled era, when it was home to the widely broadcast Louisiana Hayride - Elvis Presley, Hank Williams Sr., Charley Pride, Kitty Wells, Johnny Horton, Nat Stuckey and others. But they also include greats from before and after that era who appeared at the auditorium - from Lionel Barrymore, Eleanor Roosevelt and Sergei Rachmaninoff, to Dolly Parton, Van Cliburn, Nat King Cole and Bob Dylan.
            The exhibit also includes rare photographs of the area before the Auditorium was built, as well as pictures of the building under construction prior to its opening in 1929.
            Guided tours of the Auditorium are led by members of the Caddo Council on Aging's Retired Senior Volunteer Program. The 30-minute tour highlights not only the building's performing history, but also its prized Art Deco architecture and fixtures. A donation of $2 per person is suggested, but not required, for taking the tour. Tours may also be scheduled by appointment by calling Teresa Micheels at 318-632-2112. (Note: "Micheels" is correct spelling.)
            Also in the works is a bronze sculpture of Elvis Presley, created by Eric Kaposta, an artist with Shreveport roots. The sculpture has been approved by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis. The "Elvis Angels" fan club is helping raise funds for the sculpture.
            Municipal Auditorium, designed by internationally known Shreveport architects Samuel G. Weiner and Seymour Van Os, was built by the City of Shreveport and dedicated "To the Veterans of the World War" when it opened in 1929 on what was then known as Armistice Day.
            Friends of the Municipal Auditorium, headed by President Johnny Wessler, is a nonprofit organization with membership open to anyone. Its mission is to preserve and promote the Auditorium, as a continuing performance venue, as an educational opportunity, and as a tourism attraction.




DJ Bill Randle Passes
            Bill Randle, one of the first and most influential rock 'n' roll disc jockeys, died Friday, July 9, 2004 in Cleveland at the age of 80. He worked most of his career in Cleveland, where he was on the air playing big bands right up through last week, but back in the '50s he also did a weekend pop/rock show on WCBS-AM (880).
            Randle owned a nightclub at which he hired a young Malcolm X as a bouncer, but he was better known as one of the first jocks to play Elvis Presley records. In a sense, that was ironic, since Randle's own taste ran more to Johnny Ray and the Crew-Cuts, both of whom he helped promote into stars. He described himself as "a businessman" whose job was to find and sell hit records.
            Once Elvis exploded, Randle's standing also soared, and Time magazine called him the No. 1 deejay in America - a title he relished..."






Johnny Powers Powers Over Motown
            Reported by Barry M. Klein (bmk@bmkre.com) - July 9, 200 - On July 7, at Bullwinkles, in the Detroit suburbs, Johnny Powers made a rare but significant musical appearance in his home town area. Backed by the Starlight Drifters, a band which has worked with Johnny for years, it was a night of Johnny Powerful music.



            Chris Casello, the Lead Drifter from Ann Arbor who now resides in Nashville, assembled a rhythm section consisting of Mike King from Chicago on bass, and Mike Kissick of Royal Oak Michigan on drums. Mike Kissick has been playing drums for Johnny Powers for many moons, and this line-up treated the audience to a strong first set. Chris, of course, is a guitar impresario who can play any guitar, horizontal, vertical, or double-necked.
            Johnny Powers performed for almost 90 minutes, getting the crowd roaring and dancing to such tunes as "Evil", "Lonely and Blue", a rockabilly arrangement of Hank Williams' "You Win Again", some newer songs like "I Was There When it Happened", and many of his 50's hits, including "Me and My Rhythm Guitar" (covered by the Stray Cats), "Rock Rock", a great song that has for too long only been known as the flip side of his set-ending classic, "Long Blond Hair".
            Whew! That powerful voice and his commanding stage presence had the audience dancing, drinking, and moving. Even the bar maids started to bop while transporting the beverages.
            The audience consisted of some Bullwinkles regulars, and plenty of Powers fans and rockabilly people. Some of the folks included Craig "Bones" Maki, Del Villarreal (www.wcbn.org), Alan Contino of 89.3 FM radio (www.whfr.fm), and Keith Jason of WSDS radio (www.wsds1480.com). Even the early-to-bed guy, me, had to stay for the Grand Finale, which had more fireworks than I saw in Naples, FL last weekend.




Rock-it Radio Produces 1000th Show!
            Rock-it Radio the popular internet radio station playing 1950's Rock and Roll, Rockabilly and Doo Wop this week has just completed their momentous 1000th broadcast. No other internet Radio Station has completed such a task and the station remains committed in keeping the music of the first decade of Rock and Roll alive. Over twenty five musical celebrities from Gary U.S. Bonds, Cleve Duncan lead singer of The Penguins to Brenda Lee gives a heartfelt congratulations to Rock-it Radio in this special 3 1/2 hour broadcast that also features the DJ's that are all volunteers and music collector's themselves from around the globe.
            Rock-it Radio is a free service and all that is required is the Real Player software in your computer to play the programs. Rock-it Radio also hosts an online listeners club of over 3700 listener's and it's main location is in Ventura, California and is run by Bennie Dingo a Ventura native.
            Rock-it Radio's historic 1000th broadcast tells the interesting story of it's beginnings as a syndicated radio program to Radio Station IRRS in Milan, Italy in 1995 and WRMI in Miami, Florida to beginning broadcasting over the internet back in 1997. Rock-it Radio is listed as the first station to broadcast Rockabilly Music of bands today and yesterday over the internet. If you wish to check out Rock-it Radio we invite you to check us out at: http://www.rockitradio.net
            And if you wish to tune into the historic broadcast of Rock-it Radio's show #1000 by going to the archived show page at: http://www.palmsradio.com/rockittext.htm and clicking to show #1000




Elvis: A Musical Inventory 1939-55
            ISBN 0-9519888-7-5 {paperback, 264 pages} By Richard Boussiron, RRP; £17 99. The book has a fascinating history and contains a wealth of original research and previously inknow facts about Elvis' early life and career. It also contains. for the first time anywhere, complete details of all the legendary Sun sessions, taken directly from the personal files of the labels' administrator, Marion Keisker. It is available by mail. Order from: Music Mento Books, 69 Station Road, Upper Popplerton, York Y026 6PZ UK> Price UK £20 34; Europe £21 32; R O W £23 62 or can be ordered on line at: http://musicmentor0.tripod.com.




Photos from the Tennessee Club's (UK)
"Wildest Cats In Town" - 2nd to 5th July 2004

Courtesy: Rod Pyke

The Original Comets having just landed by helicopterin Lowestoft, UK for the Wildest Cats In Town Weekender


Frankie Ford, Saturday, July 3rd

 
Jason D. Williams - Huelyn Duvall


Ervin Travis & The Virginians, Sunday, July 5th





Rhythm Train & Rockabilly from Switzerland: Vinyls & CD's

10'' Vinyl - Rhythm' Train - Road to nowhere - 2002 - 10 songs
1. Road to nowhere (U. Odermatt/S. Valente), 2. Two red lips and warm red wine (J. Horton), 3. She's a bitch (U. Odermatt/S. Valente), 4. Tank town boogie (H. Harroll), 5. Steelin' home (N. Boggs), 6. Undefeat feeling (U. Odermatt), 7. I ain't never (W. Pierce), 8. Crazy world (U. Odermatt), 9. Seven nights to rock (M. Mullican), 10. Cocaine blues (T. J. Arnall)

7'' Vinyl - Rhythm' Train - Rhythm' Train Boogie - 2003 - 4 songs
1. Rhythm' Train boogie (U. Odermatt/M.Brun), 2. Greatest bike (U. Odermatt/N. Müller), 3. Cherokee boogie (M. Mullican), 4. Little Lisa (W. Hancock)

CD - Rhythm' Train - Back on track - 2004 - 17 songs
Night Train to Memphis (R. Acuff), 2. Live fast, love hard, die young (J. Allison), 3. You nearly lose your mind (E. Tubb), 4. Greatest bike (U. Odermatt/N. Müller), 5. Play the music louder (T. Fell), 6. Slip, slip slippin' in (R. Belyeu/C. Wright), 7. Lookin' better every beer (B. Setzer), 8. Settin' the woods on fire (Rose/Nelson), 9. Crazy baby (U. Odermatt), 10. Rootie tootie (F. Rose), 11. I'm so lonsome I could cry (H. Williams), 12. Movie Magg (C. L. Perkins), 13. A jack is true (W. Thut/M. Brun/U. Odermatt), 14. Long black train (C. Twitty), 15. It's driving me crazy (R. Edenton), 16. Leave me alone (U. Odermatt/L. Steele), 17. Rhythm' Train boogie (U. Odermatt/M.Brun)

CD - Swiss Rockabilly Sampler - 12 great bands from Switzerland - 2004 - 25 songs
1. Do You Know what I mean (Kendy Toms & The Red Boots), 2. Switzerland rock (The Reptiles), 3. Long black train (Rhythm' Train), 4. Bop-A-Lena (TheSun Skippers), 5. Southern Belle (Jackalopes), 6. Seven Nights to Rock (The Rubbernecks), 7. I feel lonely (Willie And The Poor Boys), 8. Dance The Bop (Flagstaff), 9. Texas Special (The Tumbleweeds), 10. Gina Wild (Rockin' Carbonara), 11. Bs. AS. Boogie (Hamp goes Wild), 12. True Love Ways (Rockabilly Five), 13. Wash machine Boogie (Kendy Toms & The Red Boots), 14. The wild ones (The Reptiles), 15. You Nearly lose your mind (Rhythm' Train), 16. Hey Porter (The Sun Skippers), 17. Real gone Daddy (Jackalopes), 18. True Love (The Rubbernecks), 19. Rip it up (Willie and The Poor Boys), 20. Cherokee Boogie (Rhythm' Train) 21. Now dig this (Flagstaff), 22. Il Rock m'insegna d'Amare (Rockin' Carbonara), 23. Whole lotta Shakin' goin' on (Hamp goes wild), 24. Bonapart's Retreat (Rockabilly Five), 25. Bad To the Bone (Unknown)

Buy ithem from: Urs Odermatt
Kehrsitenstrasse 18
CH-6362 Stansstad, Switzerland
rhythm_train@hotmail.com - www.rhythmtrain.ch




TY Guide, Elvis and Sun Records
            Sun Entertainment Holding Corporation is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with TV Guide for the use of the Sun logo on a series of 4 TV Guide covers starting July 1, 2004. The four covers will involve approximately 2 million magazines.
            In celebration of 50 years of Rock 'n' Roll, TV Guide will be issuing four commemorative covers for its July 4th issue (on newsstands July 1st). Each of the four covers depicts Elvis Presley during a different phase of his legendary career and all newsstand copies will be affixed with a mini Sun CD featuring a never-before-released version of Elvis's first single at Sun, "That's All Right."
            The Sun CD is inserted in a clear plastic sleeve on the outside of the cover so the see-through will prominently display Elvis Presley on the Sun label. The July 4th version of TV Guide will be available in hundreds of thousands of retail outlets throughout North America.
            Sun Entertainment Holding Corporation has the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and distribute the recordings containing the performances embodied in approximately 7000 Master Recordings including Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Elvis Presley and others,
            For further information contact Terry O. Lashman or Todd S. Weigel at (800) 665-2454 or Shelby S. Singleton or John A. Singleton at (615) 385-1960 or visit Sun's official website - http://www.sunrecords.com




Ray Charles Obit
            10 June 2004 - Ray Charles, the Grammy-winning crooner who blended gospel and blues in such crowd-pleasers as "What'd I Say" and ballads like "Georgia on My Mind," died. He was 73. Charles died at his Beverly Hills home surrounded by family and friends.
            Charles' last public appearance was alongside Clint Eastwood on April 30, when the city of Los Angeles designated the singer's studios, built 40 years ago in central Los Angeles, as a historic landmark.
            Blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15, Charles spent his life shattering any notion of musical boundaries and defying easy definition. A gifted pianist and saxophonist, he dabbled in country, jazz, big band and blues, and put his stamp on it all with a deep, warm voice roughened by heartbreak from a hardscrabble childhood in the segregated South.
            Charles won nine of his 12 Grammy Awards between 1960 and 1966, including the best R&B recording three consecutive years ("Hit the Road Jack," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Busted"). His versions of other songs are also well known, including "Makin' Whoopee" and a stirring "America the Beautiful." Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell wrote "Georgia on My Mind" in 1931 but it didn't become Georgia's official state song until 1979, long after Charles turned it into an American standard.
            He was happiest playing music, smiling and swaying behind the piano as his legs waved in rhythmic joy. His appeal spanned generations: He teamed with such disparate musicians as Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan and Eric Clapton, and appeared in movies including "The Blues Brothers." Pepsi tapped him for TV spots around a simple "uh huh" theme, perhaps playing off the grunts and moans that pepper his songs.
            Charles was no angel. He could be mercurial and his womanizing was legendary. He also struggled with a heroin addiction for nearly 20 years before quitting cold turkey in 1965 after an arrest at the Boston airport. Yet there was a sense of humor about even that -- he released both "I Don't Need No Doctor" and "Let's Go Get Stoned" in 1966. He later became reluctant to talk about the drug use, fearing it would taint how people thought of his work.
            Ray Charles Robinson was born September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia. His father, Bailey Robinson, was a mechanic and a handyman, and his mother, Aretha, stacked boards in a sawmill. His family moved to Gainesville, Florida, when Charles was an infant.
            Charles saw his brother drown in the tub his mother used to do laundry when he was about 5 as the family struggled through poverty at the height of the Depression. His sight was gone two years later. Glaucoma is often mentioned as a cause, though Charles said nothing was ever diagnosed. He said his mother never let him wallow in pity.
            Charles began dabbling in music at 3, encouraged by a cafe owner who played the piano. The knowledge was basic, but he was that much more prepared for music classes when he was sent away, heartbroken, to the state-supported St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind. He learned to read and write music in Braille, score for big bands and play instruments -- lots of them, including trumpet, clarinet, organ, alto sax and the piano.
            His early influences were myriad: Chopin and Sibelius, country and western stars he heard on the Grand Ole Opry, the powerhouse big bands of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, jazz greats Art Tatum and Artie Shaw. By the time he was 15 his parents were dead and Charles had graduated from St. Augustine. He wound up playing gigs in black dance halls -- the so-called chitlin' circuit -- and exposed himself to a variety of music, including hillbilly (he learned to yodel) before moving to Seattle.
            He dropped his last name in deference to boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, patterned himself for a time after Nat "King" Cole and formed a group that backed rhythm 'n' blues singer Ruth Brown. It was in Seattle's red light district were he met a young Quincy Jones, showing the future producer and composer how to write music. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
            Charles developed quickly in those early days. Atlantic Records purchased his contract from Swingtime Records in 1952, and two years later he recorded "I Got a Woman," a raw mixture of gospel and rhythm 'n' blues, inventing what was later called soul. Soon, he was being called "The Genius" and was playing at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival.
            His first big hit was 1959's "What'd I Say," a song built off a simple piano riff with suggestive moaning from the Raeletts. Some U.S. radio stations banned the song, but Charles was on his way to stardom. Veteran producer Jerry Wexler, who recorded "What'd I Say," said he has worked with only three geniuses in the music business: Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Charles.
            Charles released "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 and 2" in the early '60s, a big switch from his gospel work. It included "Born to Lose," "Take These Chains From My Heart (And Set Me Free)" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," some of the biggest hits of his career.
            He made it a point to explore each medium he took on. Country sides were sometimes pop-oriented, while fiddle, mandolin, banjo and steel guitar were added to "Wish You Were Here Tonight" in the '80s. Jones even wrote a choral and orchestral work for Charles to perform with the Roanoke, Virginia, symphony.
            Charles' last Grammy came in 1993 for "A Song for You," but he never dropped out of the music scene. He continued to tour and long treasured time for chess.




"Be-Bop-A-Lula" Publisher Dies at Age 79
            Lowery, 79, of Atlanta died Tuesday, June 8, 2004 of cancer at Haven House Hospice. The body has been cremated. For 52 years, the Lowery Group published music hits such as the rock classic "Be-Bop-a-Lula," country hits "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" and "Games People Play" and the disco staple "I Love the Nightlife."
            The Lowery Group office is lined with gold and platinum albums and other awards. And in 1969, Broadcast Music Inc. named the group the No. 1 music publishing house in the country. His company's catalog of 7,000 songs includes songs by such writers as Joe South, Mac Davis, Jerry Reed and Buddy Buie.
            Lowery is survived by his wife, Billie Lowery; a son, two daughters, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.




Colonel Robert Morris Receives Major
Endorsement Deal from Glen Morgan Guitars

            Colonel Robert Morris has entered into an endorsement deal with Glen Morgan Guitars located in Oklahoma. Glen Morgan is in the process of designing, and building a custom accoustic guitar for the Colonel.
            Afterwards, Glen Morgan's Guitar is designing and building the "Colonel Robert Morris Signature Electric Guitar". Glen and his daughter, Alisa Everitt are hands on luthiers, working side by side creating master guitars. Glen is also a great songwriter.
            Colonel Robert & Glen Morgan are working with a new artist, Glenn Bennett, also from Okahoma. Glenn Bennett is a very talented singer, guitarist, and songwriter as well. Look for great things from this young man.




New album by Alvin Lee with Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana
            We'd like to bring your attention to a wonderful new album by former Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee, titled Alvin Lee in Tennessee with Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Pete Pritchard and Willie Rainsford. Best known as a poweful blues rock guitarist, Alvin has long been a fan of roots rock and roll - Scotty was his childhood hero and his greatest inspiration when he was learning guitar. The album, was recorded last year at Scotty's home studio, is a wonderful collection of rockabilly and roots rock. All of the songs are new and written by Alvin Lee, but they pay homage to and recreate the wonder of the 1950s. Visit: www.scottymoore.net/alvinlee.html or www.alvinlee.com/intennessee.htm.




Elvis' Music Publisher Dies at 95
            Julian Aberbach, founder of a music publishing company that owned rights to Elvis Presley compositions, died May 17 in New York. He was 95. Aberbach was born in Vienna in 1909. In 1939, after founding a music publishing company in Paris, he fled the growing Nazi power in Europe for the United States. He later joined the U.S. Army and returned to Europe during World War II.
            He and his brother, Jean, launched Hill and Range in 1943, with an emphasis on country music. Jean died in 1992. In 1956, Aberbach contracted with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips to transfer the songs Presley had recorded for Sun to Hill and Range, subsequently called the Aberbach Group of Music Publishing Cos. That same year, Aberbach facilitated the transfer of Presley's Sun contract to RCA Records for $40,000, along with a contract making Col. Tom Parker Presley's manager. That deal gave Parker 25% of Presley's income for the duration of the contract.
            Aberbach also organized the Elvis Presley Music and Gladys Music publishing companies. Presley owned half of each, with Aberbach and his brother splitting the other half. "I gave Elvis a check for $2,500, an advance against royalties of his stock ownership," Aberbach told Billboard in 2002, "and he promptly went to the Cadillac dealer and got a pink one -- his first."
            Luigi Creatore of the Hugo & Luigi songwriting/production team says of Aberbach, "He started out in the business here with country music, which was surprising -- the brothers from Europe going into country music. But they were essentially businessmen, and they spotted trends and rode them. They were very, very clever. - Bill Morrison




Belfast Rockabilly Roots Round-Up
            Barrow Square, Belfast July 2-4th 2004 - Celebrating 50 years of rock n roll - We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of rockabilly music in Laganside's Barrow Square. Artists from the United States, Europe, the UK and Ireland are coming together in Belfast with their individual brands of modern rockabilly music as a living art form. Rockabilly - that mixture of blues, country, hillbilly and gospel music that came together and started the musical revolution we now know as rock n' roll.
            Historians may never agree about when and where rock n roll was born. But all historians do agree that the Sun Studios, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee began a revolution that spawned a legacy which still resonates today. Sun Studios was responsible for some of the legends of modern music: Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Howlin' Wolf, Roy Orbison, B.B. King but on July 5th, 1954, Elvis Presley recorded That's Alright Mama in Sun Studios and created a world of rock n roll music.
            Nic Roulette & the Blue Moon Boys - From Fort Wayne, Indiana. If you didn't experience Elvis in the fifties, experience Nic Roulette now. This is high octane rockabilly, rooted in the fifties sound and equally loved by the punk and psychobilly audience.
            The Rimshots - Proving once again that you don't have to come from Memphis to make good rock n roll. These Welsh hillbillies will root and toot their way through their classic repertoire and Belfast will resonate with the cheer of lechyd Da!
            The Sabrejets - hard boiled, no holds barred, no punched pulled, low-down white-knuckled, revved up hot rodded rockabilly from Belfast's greaser kings. The biggest and baddest band to come out of Belfast. Screaming guitars and lots of attitude are what to expect from this outfit.
            Ponchartrain - A four-piece outfit fronted by Paul Godden, specialising in vintage (almost acoustic) country music with Cajun, Tex-Mex and a whole mess of influences thrown in for good measure. Joining Paul in the line-up are fellow "Rimshots" John Lewis and Mandy Davidson on guitar and vocals and double bass respectively (not forgetting Paul's wife Jean on fiddle and accordion).
            The Ranch House Favourites - From Holland, formed in 1992 and influenced by the great western swing bands of the 1940's and 1950's, this 5-piece outfit achieve a sound that is at once authentic and timeless. Over the years, the band has grown to become one of the hottest European retro outfits to burn up a dance floor.
            The SureShots - Countless are the legends related to this quartet from the North East of England -   this band is one of the hottest rockabilly outfits on the rockin' circuit, and, beside Newcastle Brown Ale, one of the most important exports from Newcastle!
            Oona Fortune and the Millionaires - From Dublin, Oona has sung with some of the most entertaining bands in Ireland. She's put together an all-star cast of Dublin rockabillies for her Belfast appearance. Mixing up hillbilly and rockabilly, Oona kick starts Sunday afternoon's show.
            Tickets £12 per day ticket. £20 for a two day pass. And can be bought in advance from the Belfast Visitor Centre: Tel: 02890 246609 or info@belfastvisitor.com - Loud Promotions, 45 Bayside Park, Dublin 13, Tel: +3531 839 6428
http://www.kilkennyroots.com
http://www.belfastroots.com




No Lubbock Music Festival this Year
            May 25, 2004 - They talked about it so long, that they ran out of time. Lubbock's Annual Music Festival has been cancelled this year, because naming negotiations ran too long. According to the Entertainment Task Force, the City has granted money for an annual music festival. And for years, it has been called the Buddy Holly Festival, but due to the cost of using Buddy Holly's name, the City has decided to call it instead "The Lubbock Texas Music Festival".
            "There's a lot in the name. And a lot of music festivals go by the name of the city it's in. Everyone's heard of the Newport Jazz Festival, it's world famous. Why not call the festival, The Lubbock Texas Music Festival. And now that the Council seen fit to really try to reinvigorate this I think we can make it bigger than it's ever been," said Don Caldwell, Chairman of the Entertainment Task Force.
            Chairman organizers say that this year, time ran short to thoroughly plan the event, so the task force is looking ahead to planning a show for the Fall of 2005.




Ersel Hickey News
            May 22, 2004 - Great news! Ersel Hickey is back home and feeling better. He is slowly gaining back the weight he lost. He said "I was grateful for the well wishes forwarded to me via email. It really picked me up when I needed it. Thank you everyone". I was thrilled to receive Ersel's call, he was very happy. There is a new Ersel Hickey project in the works. I'll keep everyone posted - Johnny Vallis. Messages can be forwarded to Ersel at: erselhickey@hotmail.com




'Gatemouth' first to play blues at Carnegie Hall - 'Mr. Beale Street' also was preacher
"Gatemouth" Moore R.I.P.
            May 20, 2004 - By Jon W. Sparks (Commercial Appeal) - Rev. Arnold Dwight 'Gatemouth' Moore, a music pioneer who was the first bluesman to perform at Carnegie Hall, died Wednesday at Kings Daughters Hospital in Yazoo City, Miss., of natural causes after a long illness.
            Rev. Moore, 90, was a Memphis performer who in 1939 was named "Mr. Beale Street." He wrote several blues standards, including "Did You Ever Love a Woman?"
            According to Louis Cantor's book "Wheelin' on Beale," the singer was on a Chicago stage in 1949, ready to deliver a blues number, when he had a visionary conversion and instead sang the spiritual "Shine on Me." Rev. Moore left the stage to study theology, became a preacher and was hired as the first black gospel programmer on WDIA in Memphis.
            His popularity as a preacher was assured with his charismatic voice and stunts that included lying in a coffin next to his "dead" sins or allowing hound dogs to roam the church to illustrate a point.
            Rev. Moore was born Nov. 8, 1913, in Topeka, KS. He claimed he earned the nickname 'Gatemouth' because of his loud singing and speaking voice. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis in 1938. Rev. Moore was one of the few survivors of the infamous "Natchez Rhythm Club Fire" in 1940 in which more than 150 died, including other members of his band.
            He recorded gospel and blues albums into the 1970s. He recorded his last record in 1977, Great R&B Oldies, on Johnny Otis's Blues Spectrum label. Rev. Moore was given a United Music Heritage Pioneer Award in 1992, and in 1996 he received a brass note on Beale Street.
            At the time of his death, Moore was pastor of the Lintonia A.M.E. Church in Yazoo City. Survivors include his wife, Walterine.




From Billy & Sharon Stewart:
"Tennessee Waltzing in the Kitchen"
            In the very near future we are putting together a cookbook titled, "Tennessee Waltzing in the Kitchen"   (Recipes from friends of Redd).
            As you may already know, Redd was always big on helping others in the music business, and Billy and I want to carry on this mission. Our thoughts for doing this cookbook were to not only have a great cookbook filled with recipes from around the world, but also to help promote some of the upcoming country musicians, and/or help keep the older traditional country musicians names out there, too. We also welcome any family, friends and/or fans of Redd's to submit their recipes!
            What we will be doing is placing your recipe, along with your picture and web site address and/or e-mail address on the page, and possibly a little bit about you under your picture to help promote your name,  music, and/or organization. We'd love for you to send us your favorite recipe (country style of anything!) and we will add yours to the book. This would be a great way to let others know about you!
            We're planning on having about 300 recipes in this book, so please let us know if you're interested - first come, first served!! We look forward to hearing from you!!
Thanks, Billy & Sharon - sharon@reddstewart.com
www.reddstewart.com




Chess Studio Back in Session
            Bluesman Johnnie Johnson and Styx have recorded at Chess Records Studio, marking the first time in 15 years Chicago's landmark studio has been used. Johnson, a legendary blues player, and the members of Styx were at Chess Wednesday to record several blues tunes for a Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation benefit project, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday. The recordings were the first made at Chess since 1989 when John Mellencamp recorded Jackie Brown, whose proceeds also benefited the legendary blues singer/songwriter's charity.
            In 1997, the foundation run by Dixon's widow made Chess its home. The organization exposes children to blues, assists young musicians with business matters and provides emergency medical financial assistance to musicians. Chess, where many blues classics were recorded between 1957 to 1967, and Johnson are both key to blues music history. Forty-six years ago, Chuck Berry recorded a tribute to Johnson, who gave Berry one of his first jobs, a tune titled Johnny B. Goode..." (Big News Network.com)




Barney Kessel R.I.P.
            Barney Kessel, one of the most influential and innovative jazz guitarists of his time, has died at the age of 80. Kessel died Thursday, May 6, 2004 at his San Diego home of a malignant brain tumor. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke 12 years ago.
            Kessel worked with a veritable who's who of jazz that included Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Artie Shaw, Shelly Manne and fellow guitarist Charlie Byrd. From the 1940s to the 1960s, he was frequently rated jazz's top guitarist by such magazines as Down Beat, Esquire and Playboy.
            One of the pioneers of electric guitar, Kessel recorded and appeared in concert with fellow guitarists Byrd and Herb Ellis as the "Great Guitars" and with Manne and bassist Ray Brown in a groundbreaking piano-less trio. He appeared on more than 50 albums, either as a band leader or sideman, working not only with jazz greats but rockers like Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and the Beach Boys. He also worked with pianist Liberace and played on the soundtrack for the Paul Newman film "Cool Hand Luke."
            In the late 1960s, he owned Barney Kessel's Music World in Hollywood, which attracted such customers as blues guitarist Eric Clapton and the Beatles' guitarists George Harrison and John Lennon. He published the instruction manual "The Guitar: A Tutor," in 1967.
            Kessel, who was self-taught, originally modeled his style on that of fellow Oklahoman Charlie Christian. He was still in his teens when he became the only white musician in Ellis Ezell's band in 1937, touring black clubs throughout Oklahoma. Within a year, he'd switched from acoustic to electric guitar. Soon after that, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for the Chico Marx Orchestra and later the Shaw and Charlie Barnet bands.
            In 1944 he appeared in the Oscar-nominated short feature film "Jammin' the Blues," where he was, again, the only white member of the band. He also worked on the 1950s films "The Wild Party" and "Hot Rod Girl" and the television series "Johnny Staccato..."
            Kessel is survived by his wife, Phyllis; his sons guitarists Dan and David Kessel; three stepchildren; and five grandchildren.





Charlie Gracie performs in Wilmington: "To me the biggest accomplishment is I never had to work a day job," the South Philly native says.

Lasting Impact
Charlie Gracie, a chart-topper back in 1957, has never stopped rocking. The influential guitarist is set to receive a Philly Music Award.
            By Tom Moon Inquirer Music Critic (posted May 7, 2004) - Charlie Gracie doesn't much care whether people who come to hear him know what happened in 1957. Sure, it's nice if they recognize the hits he had that year - "Butterfly," which sold three million copies and knocked Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" from the top of the charts, then "Fabulous" and others. But he doesn't go around telling people how he was the second American rocker, after Bill Haley, to perform in Europe, how guys like Graham Nash revere him, how George Harrison, in a 1996 Billboard magazine interview, described Gracie's guitar technique as "brilliant."
            Gracie will receive what some say is a long-overdue tribute at the sixth annual Philly Music Awards on Tuesday night at the Electric Factory. Yet, to him, the important part of the Charlie Gracie story is that after a decades-long odyssey of rags to riches to a long stretch of semi-obscurity, he's still rocking.
            "I'm just out here trying to let my candle shine, that's all," says the animated South Philly native, who now lives in Drexel Hill and performs an average of 100 times a year here and in Europe. "I'm lucky I can still play the guitar, and still sing a little bit," he adds with a twinkle in his eye, changing clothes backstage after a recent performance at Kahunaville in Wilmington. There, working with a band called Full Blown Cherry from South Jersey he had rehearsed exactly once, the 67-year-old entertainer lit up a "Rock N' Rods" hot-rod car gathering with an hour of music that was nothing like your father's oldies set.
            Wielding his Guild electric guitar like a blowtorch, Gracie sent a jittery twitch through "Go Man Go" and interpreted "Shake, Rattle and Roll" with the barely contained hip-moving frenzy that first made rock- and-roll such cultural dynamite. He played a slithering lead on "Tequila" that far surpassed the tiki-bar kitsch of the original. He whispered the vocals of "Fabulous" while maintaining a brisk giddyupp backbeat on the guitar. He sang a song he dedicated to the late Eddie Cochran that includes the line "You know you gotta go but you don't know when, so you keep on rocking till the very end."
            Here, on an early spring Saturday night in 2004, was some of that wildcat energy and runaway exuberance that was so prevalent during the early days of rock. Here was somebody still believing in the animating ideal of the music, who was not content merely to dust off classics but determined to shoot new life through them.
            "Hey, look, it's rock-and-roll," Gracie says after the set. "This is all I know how to do. I'm a survivor, for whatever reason. And to me the biggest accomplishment is I never had to work a day job. I supported my family playing music... now sometimes it was in joints you'd be scared to go into. But it was work."
            Charlie Gracie has reason to be bitter. Though his success happened before the Frankie Avalons and the Chubby Checkers and the Bobby Rydells, he's rarely mentioned in the same breath as the city's rock pioneers. He doesn't have the name recognition, doesn't have the deep discography. Although Abkco Records is planning to reissue the hits he recorded on Cameo-Parkway, he's not exactly waiting around for a full-scale revival.
            But Gracie, who grew up around South Eighth Street and attended Southwark elementary school and Southern High, also knows he made a contribution. When he recorded "Butterfly" in December 1956, the 5-foot-4 Gracie was already a young artist on the rise, a visible part of the Paul Whiteman revue who'd won the family its first refrigerator in a talent contest, and was developing a reputation via rockabilly-tinged singles recorded for Cadillac.
            At that time, Cameo was one of a bunch of fledgling independent labels trying to break into rock-and-roll; it hadn't had a hit of any consequence yet. "We opened the door," Gracie says flatly. "If we don't have that hit, none of the other things that came along at Cameo-Parkway would have happened." Including, later stars such as Chubby Checker.
            "Butterfly" rocketed up the charts. By March 1957, it had displaced "All Shook Up" at No. 1, and inspired a copycat version from pre-rock star Andy Williams (whose recording also went to No. 1). Gracie followed that with the B-side, "99 Ways," and then other singles, including "Fabulous" and "Cool Baby".
            Pretty soon, Gracie was making money: He bought a Cadillac with his first royalty check, and moved his parents to a house in Havertown. The whirlwind landed Gracie on Alan Freed's rock-and-roll revues, American Bandstand, and The Ed Sullivan Show, where he performed several times. Then, it took him to England and Europe, where Gracie made his most lasting impression.
            Rock-and-roll was just beginning to spread, and when an American rocker visited venues such as London's Hippodrome, it was an event. Gracie recalls being swarmed by fans as soon as he arrived. In Gracie's audiences that year were some youngsters who would change rock-and-roll: Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Harrison and Nash. Years later, Nash surprised Gracie by producing a Camel cigarette butt from his wallet that he said Gracie, who still smokes, had flicked outside a club in Manchester when he performed there in 1957.
            What happened next was all too predictable. Gracie discovered he wasn't getting the royalties he felt were due him from his singles. Cameo disputed this. There was a long legal battle, and eventually Gracie settled out of court for $50,000.
            He left Cameo, and though he made records for other labels, he never again had hits. He doesn't think it was a coincidence, given the old-boy character of the music industry in those days: "Word went out that I spoke up for my rights," Gracie says, with no trace of animosity. "Once I left Cameo, I could never get my records played anymore."
            When the fame faded, Gracie didn't wallow in self-pity. He played gigs on the nostalgia circuit for a time, set up a summer residency at Moore's Inlet in North Wildwood that's been going for more than 20 years, and went back to being an often-anonymous journeyman musician.
            Still, every now and then there would be a call from Europe, a promoter or record producer wondering if the guy Melody Maker called "a Northern rocker with a Southern soul" was still active. Gracie returned to Europe in 1979, after 21 years, and discovered that there were still record-collecting fans carrying the torch. He recorded with a band in Italy, and began to meet some of the now-famous rockers he inspired long ago. He recorded a song with Nash singing backing vocals, "Little Too Soon To Tell," did the tour with Morrison, and gradually began to understand that though his fame didn't last long, his influence, remarkably, still endures.
            "Having Paul McCartney say how important I was to him, that was amazing," Gracie says. "I had no idea. That's what's most amazing about this business. It's hard work and there's bad breaks, but it's also like going on a honeymoon every night."
            Asked if he really still thinks of it that way every night, even playing the slow gigs for the nostalgia set, Gracie pauses for a minute. "God doesn't owe me a thing," he says. "I've been lucky all my life, and that's how I feel now. I can still play... I might not be the world's greatest guitar player, but I'll put my right-hand rhythm up against anyone's."





Yep Roc Signs Reverand Horton Heat

         NEW STUDIO ALBUM, REVIVAL, OUT JUNE 29 - First pressing to include bonus DVD with three live tracks and "Roots of the Rev" interview.
         TX: Returning to his roots in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas, Jim Heath (aka the Reverend Horton Heat), Jimbo Wallace and Scott Churilla got down and dirty recording a new studio release at Last Beat Studio, only a block from where they played their first show back in the mid-'80s. Titled Revival, the album's 15 tracks were produced by the Rev along with engineer Dave Allen, who is also the trio's live soundman. (Who better to capture the feel and sound of Reverend Horton Heat show?) The good Reverend and company have built a devoted following as much for their showmanship and balls-out live performances as their recordings, and Revival is the perfect meeting of the band's live and studio personas. The bonus DVD, included in the first pressing, includes live performance footage of the group as well as an interview/walking tour of the Deep Ellum area, "Roots of the Rev," featuring Heath, where he talks about his old stomping grounds and his early shows. The session also reunited the band with legendary producer/engineer Ed Stasium, who was brought on board to mix the album.
         Says Stasium: "Wow, Revival is what real Rock 'n' Roll is all about: raw, stinging emotional output from one of the hardest-working touring bands in the world. This is no slaved-over-a dusty-recording-console-for-a-year album here; these guys went in and knocked it out in a week. That's the way heartfelt music should be ... Scott is sweatin' and slammin', Jimbo Wallace is slappin' and spinnin' and Jim Heath is riffin' and wailin'. Jim is the music world's most underrated guitar player on the scene today." - Ed Stasium, Durango, CO. April 2004
         Revival, the trio's first release for Yep Roc Records, is a return to Heath's roots - musical and geographical. "I got this lick called the 'hurricane,' and I call back on the hurricane on this album for the sake of keeping things really rockin,'" he says. (The "hurricane" is a trademark Heath lick where he's playing lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously to give the trio a full live sound.) He's also got a top-secret lick he'll introduce on this disc - it's so top secret that he won't even divulge the name, but listen up for it. Lyrically, the album's themes run "from death to silliness," says Heath, who lost his mother earlier this year (the track "Someone in Heaven" is written for her). "Indigo Friends" deals with a friend's heroin addiction, while "Calling in Twisted" is about calling in sick to work and "using the fake cough."
         It's been an almost 20-year journey for the Rev, whose country-flavored punkabilly and onstage antics have brought the band a fan base that ranges from hardcore rockabilly/roots-rock fans to guitar geeks, skatepunks and recovering metal heads. Now respected elders in a scene where they can still blow the shorts off the new generation of bands, the Rev and company still bring their gospel of good livin' and hard rockin' to the masses a goodly portion of the year, and Revival is the band at their most primal ­ what you hear on disc is what you'll witness on stage.
         For additional information, contact Yep Roc Records: Angie Carlson (Publicity); 877-733-3931 x209, angie@redeyeusa.com - Joe Swank (Radio): 877-733-3931 x223; joe.swank@redeyeusa.com




Spotlight on Ace Cannon

Ace Cannon and Bobby Stewart


         Sam Phillips, the legendary Memphis record producer and owner of Sun Studios once said, "Ace Cannon is the greatest saxophone player who ever lived, but then he came out of the same stables as Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee and Bill Justice." Dubbed the "Godfather of Sax," by Phillips and Joe Coughi of Hi Records, Cannon is best known for his instrumental hit, "Tuff," which he recorded in 1962.
         On Saturday April 24, Tate Countians got the chance to hear the virtuoso saxophonist along with local favorites Bobby Stewart and Logan Country at "Pickin' in the Park" from 1-5 p.m., sponsored by Sycamore Arts.

Ace in the Hole
         Cannon was born in Grenada, learning to play the saxophone at age 10. He first came to prominence with the well-known Bill Black Combo in 1959, appearing on the popular television shows of the time, such as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Merv Griffin Show, and "American Bandstand."
         He has recorded over 50 albums and has been nominated for Grammy awards for his instrumental recording of "Blues Eyes Crying In the Rain" and for his work with the Bill Black Combo on "Going Back to Memphis," which appeared on the 1997 Elvis tribute album "All the Kings Men."
         In 1986, Cannon was asked by Dick Clark to join the All Star Country Band for the "Country Music Academy TV Special." That year he recorded "The Class of '55" with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. He has recorded several albums that are sold on television, including one with trumpet legend Al Hirt, which is one of the biggest "TV albums" in history. Although he started as a Rockabilly performer, Cannon's repertoire contains everything from rock and roll to country, pop, blues and jazz, so there is something for everyone. Cannon was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2000.
         Two of his regular band members, Bill Tharpe who plays keyboards, and his manager and drummer Carl Griffin will perform with him at the concert in Senatobia. Also joining Cannon for this show will be Mike Lamb, guitar, and Bobby Stewart, bass.
         These days, Cannon spends a lot time on the road playing concerts, festivals, corporate functions, and fairs all over the U.S. and in the Carribean and Bahamas, according to his manager, Griffin. He is currently working on a new album, "Ace and Friends," which is due to be released in September of 2004.




Glen Glenn at Elvis' 37th Anniv. Concert at Annenberg Theater
            ELVIS HONEYMOON WEEKEND PALM SPRINGS, CA (Saturday May 1, 2004) -   Re-live Americas greatest era with Elvis during this year's "Elvis Honeymoon Weekend", 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The concert features Marlon- "The ultimate Voice of Elvis", the Suspicious Minds Band, Glenn Glenn a "Rockabilly Hall of Famer" and the holder of this years #1 oldies CD and Alan Clark and Russell Scott. The Honeymoon Hideaway has been noted as one of the outstanding homes of the world and tours of this estate are part of the anniversary celebration.
            Anniversary tours of the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway will be conducted Saturday, May 1 from 10:00 am to 5:00 PM. Free transportation from the museum.
            For tickets, times of events and hotel information, contact the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism located at 777 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 101, Palm Springs, CA (760) 327-2828. For further information regarding the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway you can call (760) 322-1192 or visit the website at www.elvishoneymoon.com. Proceeds will benefit the Aids Assistance Program.




Charlie Feathers and the "Kill Bill" Movies
            The Quentin Tarantino Archives is where you can find out all the latest information on Kill Bill vol. 1 & 2. http://www.tarantino.info/.
            Kill Bill - Vol. 1 will be released on Video & DVD April 13, 2004.
            Kill Bill - Vol. 2 in theaters April 16, 2004. http://www.kill-bill.com/
            Feathers on 'Kill Bill 2' - Quentin Tarantino apparently can't get enough of seminal Memphis rockabilly yelper Charlie Feathers, whose music showed up on "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and now gets an encore appearance for "Kill Bill Vol. 2." This time it's the King Records nugget, "Can't Hardly Stand It," which joins an eclectic track list by the likes of Johnny Cash ("A Satisfied Mind"), RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Ennio Morricone and others. Feathers, who died in 1998, had his song, "That Certain Female," appear on screen and in the soundtrack of "Kill Bill Vol. 1," as did a tune by Stax great Isaac Hayes, "Run Fay Run." -Bill Ellis





GRAMMY Related Event, Tuesday, April 13, 2004 in Memphis, TN
Memphis Heroes Award Artists Named

Scotty Moore, Bill Black & D.J. Fontana
When Elvis, Scotty & Bill's Sun record of "That's All Right" hit the Memphis airwaves, it was the opening shot heard round the world for the rock 'n' roll revolution. In 1955, their Sun hits burning up the region, they hit the Southern circuit and added young Louisiana drummer D.J. Fontana. The great rock 'n' roll equation was complete: two guitars, bass and drums. That was the team Elvis brought up to the majors in 1956, taking the revolution nationwide on RCA with such seminal rockers as "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel" and "Heartbreak Hotel".

Ike Turner
Guitarist, pianist, bandleader, talent scout, A&R man - Ike Turner did it all, and did it all so well that he helped created some of the most important blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll records of all time. He first recorded at Sun Studio in March 1951, with his band the Kings of Rhythm. Their "Rocket 88", released on Chess Records under the name Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, raced to the top of the R&B charts. Ike played piano on that first session, and was soon recording with some of the greatest bluesmen of all time, including B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James and Little Milton.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Louisiana-born, Texas-raised multi-instrumentalist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown is a living monument to the melting pot of American music, dishing up a personal gumbo of blues, R&B, country, swing, bebop and Cajun for more thatn half a century. His main instrument is guitar, but he doubles on fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, viola and just about anything else with strings. His "Okie Dokie Stomp: remains a swinging blues standard, performed by guitarists the world over. His disciples include Eric Clapton, Lonnie Brooks, Joe Louis Walker and the late Albert Collins and Frank Zappa.

Big Star
The quintessential American power-pop band, Big Star remains one of the most mythic and influential club acts in rock history. The group took some of the most compelling elements of the British Invasion era and wed them to the soul-influenced Memphis Sound. Recorded in the first half of the '70s, #1 Record, Radio City and Sister Lovers became alt-rock touchstones, inspiring R.E.M., the Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, dBs, Marshall Crenshaw and countless others. Another generation got a little Big Star when the band's "In the Street" (re-recorded by Cheap Trick) became the theme of TV's enormously popular That 70s Show.

The Recording Academy and its Memphis Chapter

            Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, dedicates itself to positively impacting the lives of musicians, industry members and our society at large.
            Conceived as a way to create a real recording industry community, and address concerns of its members, the Recording Academy was born and the GRAMMY Awards process began. The GRAMMTY's are the only peer- presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.
            As the "parent organization" of the charitable MusiCares Foundation, the Academy works to ensure that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical or personal crises.
            The Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, through its extensive program of initiatives, member benefits and education programs, plus the music community together by developing local pride in the rich musical heritage of the region, and by offering opportunities to young people interested in pursuing careers in music. These programs also provide avenues for our music community leaders to give back to a community that embraced them.
            Specific Programs the Memphis Chapter offers include Studio Pro Series: a regional series of studio workshops; GRAMMY Showcase: a seminar and concert showcasing emerging talent of all genres; Heroes Awards: the Chaper's gala celebration honoring the music heroes of our region; Demo Review & Contest: a contest featuring emerging artist demos that are critiqued by industry experts; Musicians Health Fair: a free health and wellness fair in partnership with MusiCares; GRAMMY In The Schools, a career day for high school students focusing on the various careers available in the music industry; In The Mix, a networking event for the recording industry; On The Record, a quarterly newsletter announcing events, activities and discussions of issues relevent to the recording community; and, the Memphis Chapter Internship Program: offering paid internships for college students preparing for careers in the music business.
            For more information, please contact the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, 168 Beale Street, 2nd Floor, Memphis, TN 38103. Phone (901) 525-1340 / fax (901) 521-6553 / e-mail memphis@GRAMMY.com or visit www.grammy.com and click on "Memphis".

Memphis Chaper of the Recording Academy Board of Governors: Nancy Apple, Jim Bateman, Carlos Broady, Jaosn Clark, Kurt Clayton, Jack Cooper, Richard Cushing, Joe Dixon, David Farrell, John Fischbach, Dino Gankendorff, Jim Holt, Kevin Houston, Wayne Jackson, Jackie Johnson, Susan Marshall, Jason McEntire, Pat Mitchell, Tommie Pardue, Rose Phillips, David Porter, John Sanders, Steve Selvidge, Jay Sheffield, Terrance Simien, David Spencer, Rachel Van Voorhees, Charlie Wood, Mark Yoshida.






Ervin Travis & the Virginians and Sherri Vincent
            If you want value for money then make sure you catch Ervin Travis and the Virginians next time they come to your town. Recently in London, at the famous Ace Cafe, they excited a large crowd with 105 minutes of high energy Rock 'n' Roll and tear-jerking ballads, all performed in the style of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. They covered the entire range of Gene's material from Be - Bop - A - Lula to I'm Going Home and all done, note for note, as Gene and the band would have done them. I can only imagine the hours of rehearsing they must have had to put in to get the songs sounding so perfect.
            The highlights for me were, I Knocked and I Knocked, Sexy Ways, Right Now, My Heart, Born To Be A Rollin' Stone, Bird Doggin' and far to many more to mention. Special mention must go to Ervin's renditions of Gene's ballads, Over The Rainbow, You'll Never Walk Alone and Lavender Blue, they made the hairs on the back of ones neck stand up. Gene's daughter Sherri Vincent was among the audience and she was called up on stage, thanked everybody for coming along and helping to keep her fathers name and music alive. This was the first time she had seen the band perform and when I spoke to her afterwards she said that she was overwhelmed by Ervin's performance and could feel her fathers spirit coming from him. Whilst on stage Ervin and Sherri did a very moving rendition of Be-Bop-A-Lula with the entire audience joining in.
            If I had to pick one song that was my highlight for the night it would have to be Baby Blue, this was wild and took my memory back decades to when I was lucky enough to see Gene perform it on stage. I can't finish off without giving mention to Ervin's great band, Gene would have been proud of them, all excellent musicians in their own right. Philippe Fessard (Lead Guitar) Cliff gallup, Johnny Meeks and Jerry Merritt, all rolled into one. Romaine Decoret (Bass) excellent on both electric and slap bass, The Dickie Harrell of the Drums, Arnold Brule who gave an energetic 5 minute drum solo, while Ervin changed into his leathers. Last but not least the youngest member of the band, Alaine Neau (Keyboards & Rhythm Guitar) remember this name, this guy has a great future ahead of him.
            I know I am a big Gene Vincent fan and probably a bit biased but to me this is the best and most exciting band in Europe at the moment. If you are not old enough or never got the chance to see Gene perform live on stage then make sure you get out to see Ervin Travis and the Virginians when you get the chance. I know it has been said before but this is Gene reincarnated. It was especially nice to see so many French bikers who had made the trip from France especially. Visit Ervin's website at: http://www.ervintravis.com/index2.htm.
-Rod Pyke





PHILLY'S FIRST ROCK 'N' ROLL SUCCESS TO BE HONORED, MAY 11TH!
Rock on Charlie!
            South Philly- born rockabilly pioneer, Charlie Gracie will be honored at the sixth annual Philly Music Awards, at the Electric Factory (7th and Willow) May 11th, in addition to the Hooters, who will receive lifetime achievement awards.
            Longtime Gracie fans, Paul McCartney and Graham Nash will provide video tributes. When Nash and Gracie met a couple years back, Nash whipped out a Camel he'd been saving for more than 40 years. Gracie had tossed it outside a 1950's gig in England and Nash picked it up and has saved it since.
            Full sets from Gracie and the Hooters are not scheduled, but they are expected to be a part of an all-star jam! Tickets for the event are $12 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. (Dan Gross)




Ex-Cricket, Niki Sullivan, R.I.P.
            Niki Sullivan passed away in his sleep on April 6, 2004 in Sugar Creek, MO. He had no known health problems. He and his wife, Fran, were out playing golf the night before and he seemed just fine. He performed on many of the early hits and appeared with the group on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (Niki was the OTHER Cricket who wore glasses!). Sullivan recently recalled the uniqueness of Holly's early music when The Crickets' recorded such enduring rock-and-roll hits as "That'll Be The Day" and "Maybe Baby," on which Sullivan's voice can be heard in the original version. Sullivan toured with The Crickets through 1957 but left the band when it became apparent Holly did not need a second guitarist. Sullivan also had his own musical aspirations but met with little success, forming The Plainsmen and The Hollyhawks. He had just retired from Sony Electronics and was an avid golfer. He is survived by his wife, Fran; his twin sons, Eryn and Marty; his granddaughter, Holly Erin, and a sister, Renette Kay Jeans and her husband, Tim. He was a very modest person, generous, kind, funny and just an all around great guy to hang out with. Condolences can be sent to the Sullivans at: 12403 Silver Lane, Sugar Creek, MO 64054




News from Shreveport, Louisiana, USA ...
Elvis is Back in the Building
            Elvis has come back to the building where his career really started. The place is the Stage of the Stars music museum at the Municipal Auditorium. Elvis Presley first performed there on the Louisiana Hayride in 1954. To commemorate his electric onstage presence and trend-setting performance, the Friends of the Municipal Auditorium have opened the Stage of the Stars to show the country and world the music giants who performed on the Louisiana Hayride.
            The Hayride was associated with the "Muni" from 1948 until the mid 1960s and became known as the "Cradle of the Stars" because of the many noted country-western, rockabilly, and early Rock-'N'-Roll performers who launched their careers there. The Hayride, a creation of local radio station KWKH, was a three-hour show that aired every Saturday night at 8 p.m. Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, and Slim Whitman, to name a few, all performed on the Hayride.
            The museum has exhibits and never-before-seen photos of these stars on the Hayride. Visitors can even hear recordings of the first time the words "Elvis has left the building" were uttered at Hirsh Coliseum in Shreveport, while touring the facility.
            The museum is located on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Shreveport is the only other city outside of Memphis that has a street with Elvis' namesake. The controllers of Elvis' estate thought it appropriate since Shreveport first shined the spotlight on the then Memphis truck driver.
            Later this year, there will be a 50th anniversary party of Elvis' first performance at the Municipal. Details will be provided later..."




Singer Jan Berry Dies ("Jan & Arnie" & "Jan & Dean")
            March 27, 2004 - Jan Berry, part of the Jan & Arnie duo who released "Jennie Lee" in !958 and a member of the duo Jan & Dean that had the 1960s surf-music hits "Deadman's Curve" and "Little Old Lady from Pasadena," has died. He was 62.
            When they did Jennie Lee in the garage, it was Jan Berry on piano and Arnie Ginsberg tapping drum sticks on a baby's high chair and singing his song. They did it on a small home recorder. Jan Berry sure did strengthen that sound and went #1. Jan and Arnie also did Gas Money. I like that song, too. Fun. A lot of sound for 2 guys.
            Berry had a seizure and stopped breathing Friday at his home. He was pronounced dead that evening at a hospital, said his wife, Gertie Berry. He had been in poor health recently from the lingering effects of brain damage from a 1966 car crash.
            Jan & Dean had a string of hits and 10 gold records in the 1960s with their tales of Southern California. Among them were 1964's "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena," about a hotrod racing grandma, and "Surf City," with its lines about taking the station wagon to a place where there are "two girls for every boy."
            With Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, William Jan Berry co-wrote the lyrics for "Surf City" and "Deadman's Curve," which featured the driving guitar licks and falsetto crooning of the wildly popular surf music. Berry's hit-making career with high school friend Dean Torrence was cut short in 1966 when Berry's speeding Corvette hit a parked truck and he suffered severe brain damage that left him partially paralyzed and unable to talk. His recovery was slow, but eventually he was able to resume singing and writing songs.
            In addition to his wife, Berry is survived by his parents, William and Clara Berry of Camarillo; three brothers and three sisters.




Siblings Sue Over Big Bopper Royalties
            March 27, 2004 - The Big Bopper's only son has been sued by four of his half-siblings, who say he has unrightfully claimed all of the royalties to his father's songs. The four siblings are the children of Adrianne "Teetsie" Wenner, who had a son and a daughter with the Big Bopper before he died in a plane crash on Feb. 2, 1959, that also killed musicians Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. After the Big Bopper's death, Wenner remarried and had four additional children.
            When the Big Bopper, born J.P. Richardson, died he left half the royalties from his songs, such as "Chantilly Lace" and "White Lightening," to Wenner, 25 percent to his son and the other 25 percent to his daughter. When Wenner died in January, she left 10 percent of the royalties to each of the four children from her second marriage and 10 percent to her only son with the Big Bopper. However, in the days after Wenner's death, J.P. Richardson Jr. sent a letter instructing a record company to send all of his father's royalties "now and forever to me," according to The Beaumont Enterprise. Attached to the letter was a 1994 document signed by Wenner giving all of her rights to J.P. Richardson Jr.
            Last week, the four children from Wenner's second marriage sued Richardson Jr., saying he tricked his ailing mother and swindled his siblings. Attorney Mitchell Toups, who is representing the four children, said the royalties are worth about $100,000 a year. "The Big Bopper wrote dozens of songs, many of which no one has ever recorded but him," Toups said. "If some big star starts singing one of his songs, it could be worth millions."