"That's News to Me" - Archive #17
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Annual Roots Romp to be held May 8-9-10 in Memphis
Gibson Guitars Integral Part of
Fifth Annual Ponderosa Stomp
"I played a Fender Esquire for a little while, when I was in the Navy. But when I started
playing standing up, it wasn't comfortable - which is why I switched to Gibson. When I
was with Elvis, I played an ES-295. Today, my instrument of choice is a Chet Atkins
Country Gentleman model. I made a few changes on it. I made it feel good -- like an old pair
of house shoes, or like cuddlin' a girl up in the cradle of your arm" - Ponderosa Stomp performer
This May, the New Orleans, Louisiana-based music festival the Ponderosa Stomp - on the road
since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Crescent City and the Gulf Coast - is setting
its sights on Memphis, Tennessee. Stomp organizers the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau, a
501c3 non-profit, will descend on the Gibson Guitar Factory in downtown Memphis May 8-10
for a three-day fundraiser benefiting the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and MusiCares.
Although by the time the first performer hits the stage, the factory assembly line will
have ground to a halt for the night, a more appropriate venue could hardly be imagined:
In this monolithic building, located a block south of Beale Street, craftsmen create Gibson
ES Series electric guitars - specifically, the B.B. King "Lucille" model and the Chet Atkins model.
The roster for the 2006 Ponderosa Stomp reads like a Gibson guitar dream team of rockabilly, blues,
R&B, and soul greats:
First and foremost, there's Scotty Moore, who's been playing Gibson models since 1952. Elvis
Presley's right hand
man from the King's days at Sun Records on through the height of his RCA period (that's Scotty on
everything from "That's
Alright, Mama" to "Jailhouse Rock") Moore reinvented rock 'n' roll with his blasts of R&B infused
country riffs, jazzy vamping, and fiery phrasing. Later, he recorded the vastly underrated- - yet
aptly titled -
The Guitar That Changed the World album. A few years ago, Gibson issued twelve Scotty Moore
a modified ES-295, one of which hangs in Memphis' Rock 'N' Soul Museum today.
Memphis guitar genius Travis Wammack plays a Gibson ES-335 - practically at the speed of light. From
debut on the Fernwood Records label at age eleven through his session work at Muscle Shoals and most
gig holding down the guitar chair in Little Richard's band, Wammack has earned a reputation for
wailing that makes him a stand-alone talent. Factor in the series of recordings he cut at Roland
Sonic Studios from 1963-67, which yielded such brilliant instrumental singles as "Scratchy,"
"Tech-nically Speaking," "Night Train," "Hideaway," and "Hallelujah I Love Her So," and you'll
wonder why Wammack isn't a household name.
The six-foot, seven-inch tall Sleepy LaBeef is the ultimate rockabilly survivor, parlaying his raw
into a career that's lasted five decades. His first single, "I'm Through," was released on Starday
in '57; seven years later, he moved to Nashville and signed to Columbia. In '68, his hit "Every Day"
hit the charts, followed by "Blackland Farmer," cut for Shelby Singleton's Plantation label a year
LaBeef laid down his Gibson ES-150 to play a swamp monster in the Southern drive-in horror flick
The Exotic Ones, then moved to Sun Records to cut "Thunder Road," "Boogie Woogie Country Girl,"
and "There Ain't Much After Taxes." An indefatigable touring act, LaBeef has released a handful
of albums on Rounder Records since the 1990s.
Jody Williams, the architect of electric blues guitar, led Howlin' Wolf's band in the early '50s,
playing alongside a young Hubert Sumlin on "Evil," "Forty-Four," "Moanin' At Midnight," and "All
Boogie." He later led Bo Diddley's band and played on killer Vee- Jay sides by fellow Stomp
(and Gibson player) Billy Boy Arnold, cut his own "Lucky Lou" for Argo, and originated the lick on
Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange." Williams, who still plays Red Lightnin', his original Gibson
ES-345, recently emerged from a 30-year retirement to win a W.C. Handy Award for his comeback album
Return of a Legend on Evidence Records.
New Orleans-born Fillmore Slim grew up singing and playing the blues on his Gibson ES-335, touring
with Joe Tex and Little Willie John and cutting unforgettable--but incredibly scarce - singles like
"You've Got the
Nerve of a Brass Monkey." These days, Slim is more often recognized for his second career as a San
immortalized in the 1999 documentary American Pimp. Nevertheless, he's still got skills on the
and he'll prove it when he straps on his Gibson at the Ponderosa Stomp.
The last surviving member of the first-generation swamp blues fraternity that includes Slim Harpo,
and Lonesome Sundown, Lazy Lester, who plays a Gibson acoustic, is best known for killer cuts like
"Patrol Wagon Blues," "I Hear You Knockin'" and "You're Gonna Ruin Me Baby." Armed with a harmonica
and his trusty
Gibson, Lester brings the spirit of Crowley, Louisiana and the musical gumbo of J.D. Miller's
Excello Records genre-jumping
recording sessions to life when he hits the stage.
Just after her sixteenth birthday, Gibson L6S guitar slinger Lady Bo found herself playing on
classic Bo Diddley tracks
like "Hey, Bo Diddley," "Mona," "Say Man," "Crackin' Up," "Road Runner," "Bo Diddley's A
and "Aztec." In the '60s, Lady Bo was an esteemed sessions player who lent her skills to hits by the
Bopchords and the Continentals, as well as Les Cooper's "Owee Baby" and the Soul Rockers' "Wiggle
A rhythm guitarist in James Brown and Sam & Dave's bands, Lady Bo still - jaw-droppingly - delivers
Nashville-based R&B king Johnny Jones has parlayed his skills on the Gibson ES-335 into a life-long
as a studio musician and first-rate performer. As the founder of the Imperial Seven, Jones crossed
paths with a young Jimi Hendrix - then playing alongside future Band of Gypsies bassist Billy Cox in
Casuals - who often showed up at gigs at the New Era Club to sit in and glean tips from the master.
By the mid-1960s, Jones was playing alongside Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown on Hoss Allen's
mind-blowing TV dance
show "The!!!!Beat"; soon after, he joined the King Casuals, who were signed by Brunswick Records in
released a trio of singles, "It's Gonna Be Good," "Soul Poppin'" and a soulful rendition of "Purple
that rocked the blues world. After a few singles on Atlanta's Peachtree Records and a stint in Bobby
Blue Bland's band, Jones retired, only to resurface in the late '90s to reclaim his crown with new
on the Black Magic and Northern Blues labels.
Harmolodic guitar master James Blood Ulmer- - who plays a Gibson Byrdland model - started out with
gospel and doo-wop,
backing groups like the Del-Vikings and the Swing Kings. Early on, Ulmer relocated to Detroit to
form the progressive
jazz combo Focus Novii. A move to New York in the early '70s led to a gig at Minton's Playhouse,
where he played
with John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Larry Young, and Rashied Ali. Then the atom bomb hit: Ulmer
hooked up with
Ornette Coleman and recorded his first album, Tales of Captain Black. Opening shows for Captain
Public Image, Ltd, Jackson formed a killer band that included Ronald Shannon Jackson and Calvin
drums, trumpeter Olu Dara, and David Murray on sax. After years of riding his
synthesis, Ulmer started laying down the blues, recording two phenomenal albums, Memphis Blood: The
Sessions and Birthright.
The best guitar slinger South Louisiana has to offer, Lil Buck Sinegal - whose weapon of choice is a
ES-335 - honed his chops as an Excello session man and Clifton Chenier's longtime guitarist.
Revered for his work with Lil Bob of "I Got Loaded" fame, Rockin' Dopsie, and Fernest Arcenaux,
Lil Buck also recorded his own killer instrumentals - including "Cat Scream" and "Monkey in a Sack"
for the La Louisianne label in the late '60s. An inductee into the Louisiana Blues Hall of
Fame, Lil Buck plays with Lil Band O Gold today.
Detroit native Dennis Coffey played his Gibson ES-175 on virtually every Motown session from the
through the '70s, including the Temptations' "Cloud Nine," Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," and more
100 other gold and platinum selling hit records including the guitar-driven instrumental hit
His career also encompasses eleven solo albums and CDs, including his latest, Under the Moonlight,
which reached #4 on the New Adult Contemporary Chart and sold 50,000 copies; a movie score;
and writing credits on more than 150 songs. The author of Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars,
Coffey appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
With his quartet, he performs regularly at the world-renowned Detroit jazz club, Baker's Keyboard
Although Gibson grinder Skip Pitts played on many Stax sessions, he got his start in Washington, DC.
Before he turned
fifteen, Pitts was part of a doo-wop group that auditioned for Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic Records;
he backed northern soul great Gene Chandler on his "Rainbow '65" hit single and performed on
at the Regal album. By sixteen, Pitts was playing with the Isley Brothers, then, a few years later,
Wilson Pickett's Midnight Movers. Of course, Pitts is best known for the mighty wah-wah chords that
cut through the opening of Isaac Hayes' seminal "(Theme from) Shaft," as well as his onstage work
with Black Moses and the Bo-Keys.
Blues and soul star Syl Johnson sang and played with Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, and Junior Wells
in the '50s before cutting sides with Jimmy Reed at Vee-Jay at the end of the decade. After
solo debut on Federal, he toured with Howlin' Wolf until '62, when Willie Mitchell signed him to Hi
Johnson, who plays a Gibson ES-335, hit big with "Come On Sock It To Me, "Is It Because I'm Black?"
and "Take Me to the River" before moving to the Shama and Boardwalk labels, then Evidence, which
released his axe- slinging epic Two Johnsons Are Better Than One in 2002.
Tickets for the 5th Annual Ponderosa Stomp are available for $40 per
night at www.buyolympia.com/events/index.php?details=170 . More than 60 legendary artists - an
all-time record - will
perform on three stages over a three-night period, while the Stomp will also feature ancillary
a DJ Night, a Record Show, and more. Information about the line-up and the venue can be found at
The Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau are also presenting monthly concerts at the Circle Bar and the
of Southern Art, both located in New Orleans. The non-profit, volunteer-run organization, founded by
of rock 'n' roll fanatics to celebrate the pioneers of blues, country, swamp pop, jazz, soul, and
presented more than forty shows, helping to resurrect the careers of dozens of "lost" musical
including Howard Tate and Jody Williams, over the past five years.
Buck Owens Gone at Age 76
Buck Owens, the flashy "rhinestone cowboy" who shaped the sound of country music with hits like "Act
and helped introduce the genre to mainstream America on the long-running TV show "Hee Haw," has
died. He was 76.
Owens died early Saturday, March 25, 2006 at his home, said family spokesman Jim Shaw. The cause of
not immediately known. He underwent throat cancer surgery in 1993 and was hospitalized with
pneumonia in January 1997.
His career was one of the most phenomenal in country music, with a string of more than 20 No. 1
released from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.
They were recorded with a honky-tonk twang that came to be known throughout California as the
named for the town 100 miles north of Los Angeles that Owens called home. Outside the state, his
music was known
as country's "California Sound."
Owens' aspirations, however, were less than that afforded by such lofty titles.
"I'd like to be remembered as a guy that came along and did his music, did his best and showed up on
clean and ready to do the job, wrote a few songs and had a hell of a time," he said in 1992.
Owens played a red, white and blue guitar with fireball fervor. He and the members
of the Buckaroos wore flashy rhinestone suits in an era when flash was as important to country music
After his string of hits, Owens stayed away from the recording scene for a decade, returning in 1988
to record another No. 1
record, "Streets of Bakersfield," with Dwight Yoakam.
He spent much of his time away concentrating on his business interests, which included a Bakersfield
TV station and radio stations in Bakersfield and Phoenix.
He had moved to Bakersfield in 1951, hoping to find work in the thriving juke joints of what
in the years before suburban sprawl was a truck-stop town on Highway 99, between Los Angeles and
the San Francisco Bay area.
Owens started recording in the mid-1950s, but gained little success until 1963 with "Act Naturally,"
his first No. 1 single.
Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. was born in 1929 outside Sherman, Texas, the son of a sharecropper.
With opportunities scarce during the Depression, the family moved to Arizona when he was 8.
He dropped out of school at age 13 to haul produce and harvest crops, and by 16 he was playing music
Owens' first wife, Bonnie Owens, sometimes performed with him and went on to become a leading backup
after their divorce in 1955. She had occasional solo hits in the '60s, as well as successful duets
her second husband, Merle Haggard.
One of her two sons with Owens also became a singer, using the name Buddy Alan.
He had a Top 10 hit in 1968, "Let the World Keep on a-Turnin'," and recorded a number of
duets with his father. -courtesy Greg Rislins, AP
Remembering Buck Owens
Share Your Memories of Buck
Buck Owens' Grave Site
James Burton Returns to Sugar Hill
HOUSTON, TEXAS (By Heba Kadry/Sugarhillstudios.com) - Legendary guitar master and Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame and Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee James Burton, made a triumphant return to
Studios 30 years later, to track guitars for Louisiana band The Honky Tonk Heroes.
Burton recorded guitars with SugarHill Chief Engineer Andy Bradley in Studio A and B, assisted
by Tyson Sheth. Burton tracked 11 songs with The Honky Tonk Heroes, which will be featured on
their new album, due late April 2006. Band members Larry Parcell and Kevin Rath are producing
James Burton was often seen at SugarHill in the 70's, cutting guitars on Huey P. Meaux's recordings.
Meaux owned SugarHill at the time and had a huge influence on the southern sock scene,
recording hits with Freddy Fender, Lightnin' Hopkins, George Jones and countless legends
that passed through the studios' doors.
A self taught guitar prodigy, James Burton started working when he was only 15 jump
starting his career by playing on Dale Hawkins' 1957 hit song "Suzie Q"; a record that
would become one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
His talent was soon discovered, establishing himself in the industry and leading to his
most recognized work with Elvis Presley as lead guitar player in the late 60's until Presley's
death in 1977. He has also worked with other legends including Ricky Nelson, Randy Newman,
Gram Parsons, John Denver and Roy Orbison's legendary video performance Roy Orbison and
Friends, A Black and White Night.
For more on SugarHill Recording Studios, visit: http://www.sugarhillstudios.com/
For more on James Burton, visit http://www.james-burton.net/
For more on The Honky Tonk Heroes, visit http://www.gottwang.com/
Chippenham Cochran Events,
Number One, April '06
In just 5 weeks time, Chippenham will be host to hundreds of rock-n-roll
fans arriving for the 3 day Eddie Cochran "Cherished Memories" Weekender to
be held in the Olympiad Chippenham over the Easter Bank Holiday from 14th
April to Sunday 16th April 2006. The Cherished Memories Weekender is the
first of two 'Eddie Cochran' events to be held in Chippenham this year, and
with one of the strongest line-ups ever, fans will join with performers to
pay homage to the life and music of the great Eddie Cochran.
The weekend music kicks of with the traditional warm up gig at the Four
Seasons (courtesy of Chris Mills and Anna Drewitt) and will featuring
Italian guitar virtuoso Marco Di Maggio with his band plus support, DJ and
Friday's performers include original Pirates Brian Gregg and Clem Cattini
who, with Aaron (Kidd) Kane and Joe Morretti, will re-create a stunning
tribute to the late Johnny Kidd. One of the most popular recording artistes
from the late 50's Terry Dene will be making a special guest appearance, and
Ervin Travis and his band will pay tribute to Eddie's pal Gene Vincent,
performing many of Gene's hits. Marco Di Maggio will play his second gig and
will be joined by Dutch rockabilly beauty, Sue Moreno.
US rocker Robert Gordon, the man with the power house voice, will fly in for
an exclusive appearance in Chippenham, and the world's hottest guitar
picker, Albert Lee will be on stage with his superb band Hogans Heroes. Its
a welcome return for those rockabilly rebels Matchbox and the Cherished
Memories Weekender is proud to introduce a band from France Rudy Chalard &
The Motel Men, playing their first gig in the UK but certainly not their
The finale on Sunday includes another legend - the original Shadows bass man
- Jet Harris backed by the superb Rapiers and Cliff Hall (Shadows
keyboards), then Chas Hodges Rock-n-Roll Trio will close the event with some
pounding rock-n-roll piano a great end to what is looking to be a great
Support bands over the weekend include Jack Rabbit Slim, Rockin The Joint,
Eager Beavers, Wanderers Duo, Somethin' Else and local bands Halle-Bop and
the popular Zig Zag Band. Weekender Dj's are Wildcat Pete and Rich Marsh and
BBC Producer/Presenter, Geoff Barker, will compere and Geoff's Saturday
night rock-n-roll party will be live from the venue via BBC Radio Wiltshire.
Memorabilia, clothing, record & CDs and tattooist stalls plus basket meals,
snacks and beverages, a fully licensed bar and on site camping in Monkton
Park, will available over the weekend.
For tickets please contact:
Lets Face It, 28 New Road, Chippenham, Wilts, SN15 1HS (01249 656635)
On Line: www.yourtickets.co.uk/weekender
Credit Card Hotline: 01179 118440
All info: 07879 040 723
The Cherished Memories Weekender Team comprises:
Dave & Kim Hazel, Richard Marsh, Roger L Buckle, George Steele, Alan
Lansdowne and Tony Reeve.
Event Advisor - John Knight
Chippenham Cherished Memories
Elvis Festival to Feature Variety
TUPELO, MS - The eighth Elvis Presley Festival will include a musical mix featuring gospel, hard
tribute artists, organisers said.
The Main Stage will feature rockabilly trio, The Dempseys, on June 2, followed by country singer
Jeff Bates and Travis LeDoyt, who shakes his hips like Elvis. New Orleans rockers Cowboy
Mouth will close the opening night.
The Main Stage's June 3 lineup includes country artists Chris Cagle and Chely Wright,
as well as hard-rocking Saliva. At the Fairpark Stage, the recreation of Elvis' triumphant
1956 homecoming concert will feature a trio of tribute artists, Donny Edwards, Jamie Aaron
Kelley and Brandon Bennett.
In addition, Kay Bain and The Mornin' Show Band, Sonny Burgess and The Pacers and The
Dempseys will perform.
On June 4, First United Methodist Church will host The Landmarks and LeDoyt during a
gospel show that also will include Elvis' backing vocalists, The Jordanaires.
Presley was born in Tupelo but moved with his parents in 1948 to Memphis, Tennessee,
where he later began his recording career.
Fats Domino "Alive And Kicking"
He is one of New Orleans's greatest treasures, but Rhythm and Blues legend Fats Domino was
nearly lost when Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
His 9th Ward home was flooded to the roof when the storm laid its deathblow upon the
Gulf Coast and the reclusive singer went missing. Byron Pitts reports that family and
fans alike feared that the man who'd been the musical heartbeat of the Big Easy for a half
century might have perished.
He was rescued by boat and taken to the Superdome. Eventually, he was evacuated to Baton
Rouge. He and his wife have made neighboring Algiers their temporary home.
Fats Domino is indeed alive and kicking. It is a fitting title to his brand new album -
his first in nearly two decades.
"I recorded that many years ago, but never did worry about getting it out too much,
you know?" says Fats.
He released it exclusively through the Tipitinas Foundation, the charitable arm of the
legendary nightclub of the same name, to benefit one of New Orleans's greatest natural
resource ‹ its musicians.
Nicknamed more for his sound than his size, Fats domino made his first hit in 1949
and it wouldn't be the last. His beat was big and his smile was broad. All he ever
needed was a piano and an audience.
More than 65 million records, in fact, and he's performed around the world. But nearly all
the mementos of that brilliant career were washed away by Katrina. "No, that's all gone,"
Fats is hoping to return to New Orleans some day. "I like it down there," he says
through a huge smile. Like so many here, New Orleans isn't simply his home ‹ it's his heart.
Fats turns 78 this Sunday, March 5th and like his beloved city, he's "alive and kicking."
(CBS) - For more information about the Tipitinas Foundation, visit
Clifton James R.I.P.
Clifton James was Bo Diddley's drummer. By Pierre Perrone, 28 February 2006 -
Clifton James, drummer: born Chicago 2 October 1936; married (one son, five daughters); died
Chicago 16 February 2006.
One of the stars of early rock'n'roll, Bo Diddley recorded several of the genre's defining
songs and influenced everyone from Buddy Holly to the White Stripes via the Rolling Stones
and Eric Clapton. The drummer Clifton James provided the primal beat and criss-cross rhythms
on nearly all of the singles and album tracks Diddley recorded for the Chess label between
1955 and 1970.
Not content with backing Diddley on sides such as "I'm a Man", "Diddley Daddy", "Road Runner",
"Who Do You Love", "Cops & Robbers" and "Mona", and, alternating with Frank Kirkland, on tour,
James was a mainstay with Chess Records. In that capacity, he toured and recorded with Willie
Dixon, the Flamingos, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf.
Born in Chicago in 1936, Clifton James drove his mother and 13 siblings crazy with his
drumming. "I first started learning to play drums on chair bottoms, tin cans, and anything
you know, I could find to beat on - even a few heads," he told Mick Vernon on a UK visit
to appear with Bo Diddley on Ready Steady Go in 1965. As a teenager, he played with Memphis
Slim and Elmore James. He met Diddley in 1953.
James's drumming fitted the percussive nature of Diddley's music perfectly. Having moved
from Mississippi to Illinois as a child, Diddley had been playing in Maxwell Street,
Chicago, with Jerome Green shaking a primitive type of maracas - actually ballcocks
filled with black-eyed beans - and Roosevelt Jackson on washtub bass. He recalled, "It
was just the three of us originally - Roosevelt Jackson, Jerome Green and me. I play the
guitar as if I'm playing the drums, I play drum licks on the guitar. Later we added Clifton
James on drums. He was the man who did the original Bo Diddley beat on the drums. When
I made the record "Bo Diddley" in 1955, it turned the whole music scene around."
Recorded on 2 March 1955, "Bo Diddley" and its other side, "I'm a Man", received much
airplay and helped the 45 reach No 2 on the rhythm'n'blues charts.
James played drums with Diddley for the singer's historic television appearance on The
Ed Sullivan Show in November 1955. Off air, the host argued with his guest, who had
performed "Bo Diddley" rather than the less primal "Sixteen Tons", the Tennessee Ernie
Ford song which had been requested by the presenter. When Sullivan called him "a coloured
boy", Diddley thumped him.
In 1956, James made an important contribution to the much-covered "Who Do You Love"
when he suggested the "for a necktie" lyric to complete the "I walk 47 miles of barbed
wire, use a cobra snake . . ." opening line. He also played on "Say Man", Diddley's
biggest US hit, in 1959, as well as his belated 1963 UK chart entries, "Hey Good
Looking" and "Pretty Thing" - one of many Diddley tracks which inspired the names of
British groups in the Sixties - and the albums Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger,
Bo Diddley Rides Again and Bo Diddley's Beach Party.
In January, James took part in an event to launch the book TV-a-Go-Go: rock on TV
from American Bandstand to American Idol in Chicago. He watched the clip of his
appearance with Bo Diddley on The Ed Sullivan Show with great amusement before accepting
Clifton James' obituary, Independent Online Edition:
Billy Hancock Named Top DC Area Vocalist
On February 20th, The Washington, DC Area Music Association ("WAMA") awarded Billy Hancock its 2005
Roots Rock Vocalist "Wammie" award. WAMA also nominated HANCOCK's 2005 release, "Passions,"
for its 2005 Roots Rock Album award, as well as "Frankie," a HANCOCK-written song from
that album, for its 2005 Song of the Year Wammie.
Hancock, whom the Washington Post called a "musical treasure," has been a rhythmic force for over
40 years. Best known as a versatile singer, Hancock fronted and played bass for Danny & the
Fat Boys (led by guitar whiz Danny Gatton), sang and played guitar for his own world-renowned
rockabilly band, Billy Hancock & the Tennessee Rockets (on Ripsaw Records), and, along with
trumpeter Clyde Hunt, led the No Neck Jazz Band. He currently leads his own band, playing
diverse styles of roots rock 'n' roll, as well as sitting in with many renowned players.
WAMA also awarded Dave Chappell, Hancock's principal guitar player and "Passions" collaborator,
its 2005 Musician of the Year, Rock Instrumentalist, and Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Wammies, as well as nominating Barry Hart, Hancock's principal drummer, for the 2005
Roots Rock Instrumentalist award.
Everlys Walk Right Back To Their Roots
The pure country connections of 1950s pop-rock icons the Everly Brothers are deep-rooted, and
they have always provided an authentic backdrop to the performances of the celebrated duo.
The country dimension features prominently in another CD series release by Bear Family
Records of old material recorded by the Everlys and it should certainly fit the bill for
their huge legion of fans worldwide.
Brothers Phil and Don were born in Kentucky, but they grew up in Knoxville, East
Tennessee, weaned on the traditional country music that their singer-instrumentalist
father taught them.
The latest 34-track Cadence Record collection - The Everly Brothers: Studio Outtakes -
includes their close-harmony rockabilly chart-toppers - Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie,
Bird Dog, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Rip It Up and Be Bop A Lula.
But also on the play list are country classics Silver Haired Daddy of Mine, Rockin'
Alone (In An Old Rockin' Chair) and Oh, So Many Years.
One track missing, however, is the Everlys' great hit Walk Right Back! The Everlys (Don is
now 69 and Phil now 67) still operate on the American entertainment circuit and, recently,
they did a successful British mainland concert tour.
The brothers have been the focal point of many album reissues and publicity over the
past year, including the release of the first box set of their complete Warners Bros
recordings, The Price of Fame (1960-65).
Before they made the big break on to the rockabilly scene, the Everly Brothers
recorded mainstream country for Columbia Records and, today as senior citizens,
they still hanker for this genre of music.
Bear Family Records are imports distributed in the United Kingdom by Rollercoaster Records.
Rosie Flores Says Good Bye to Nashville
Clifton James (Bo's Drummer) R.I.P.
From Bo's webmaster, David Blakey -- We were greatly saddened to learn of the death of former BO
band drummer Clifton James in Chicago, IL on Thursday morning (February
16th). He was 69.
BO DIDDLEY's original drummer, Clifton began playing with the band in
1954 and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s, playing on many of
BO DIDDLEY's classic Chess recordings, including "Bo Diddley", "I'm A
Man", "Diddley Daddy", "Pretty Thing", "Bring It To Jerome", "Diddy Wah
Diddy", "Who Do You Love", "Cops & Robbers" and "Road Runner".
He was the drummer for BO DIDDLEY's landmark November 1955 appearance
on the Ed Sullivan CBS Television show, which is now widely hailed as
the earliest example of rock music on TV and for which Clifton received
an award in Chicago last month, recognizing him as a rock music-
television pioneer. He also appeared in BO DIDDLEY's highly acclaimed
live performance in the 1966 AIP movie "The Big TNT Show" and in DA
Pennebaker's 1970 "Sweet Toronto" concert film.
Throughout the 1960s, Clifton toured and recorded sessions with many of
the Chess Records greats, including Willie Dixon, the Flamingos, Buddy
Guy, the Moonglows, Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and
Howlin' Wolf, before touring with his own blues band in the 1970s.
In May 2002, Clifton was reunited on-stage with BO DIDDLEY and former
band members Billy Boy Arnold and Jody Williams at that year's Chicago
Blues Festival and in April last year he made another triumphant return
to live performance at the New Orleans 2005 Ponderosa Stomp series of
concerts, backing BO DIDDLEY's former guitarist LADY BO. He had been
scheduled to perform once again with LADY BO, Billy Boy Arnold and Jody
Williams at a BO DIDDLEY band reunion show at this year's upcoming
Ponderosa Stomp event in May.
As an integral part of BO DIDDLEY's bands in the 1950s and 1960s,
Clifton James' pioneering drumming skills, utilising complex cross-
rhythms, helped create the original BO DIDDLEY sound and thereby shaped
the beat of rock & roll. We send our sincere condolences to his family
and friends at this very sad time.
Johnny Cash "The Man In Black:
A Documentary" DVD
On 1st May 2006, Sanctuary Visual Entertainment will release 'The Man In Black:
A Documentary'; a moving, no-stone-unturned record of the life of the most
recognizable voice in country music, the legendary Johnny Cash. From his
early rockabilly days at Sun Records, to his celebrated prison concerts,
Cash was an icon of unmated talent and influence. Playing with everyone from
Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson, his impact on more than five decades
of American music is still being felt today. Indeed, the recent box
office success of the biopic 'Walk The Line', only serves to reignite
interest in John, June and a lot of great music.
This documentary takes you back to his early days as a young boy in Arkansas
and revisits the major influences and life altering events of his childhood.
From his early days spent overseas in the Air Force, to his move to Memphis
and his first brushes with success, you will see a young Cash forming the
foundation for the rest of his extraordinary life. Come along for the
ride as Cash hits the peaks of success, the lows of drug addiction,
and the joys of finding true love and salvation.
Through it all, his love for the fellow man, kind spirit and sense of humour won
of friends and fans the world over. Courtesy: jazz press service
Click on the above graphic to view the
larger version of the show flyer.
Remembering "The Day The Music Died!"
Sat., Feb. 4, 2006 - Mrs. Joan Gracie stands at the location in CLear Lake, Iowa where Buddy Holly,
Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in that tragic plane crash on February 3rd, 1959.
Standing with Joan is a good friend, Dave Baily from Wales .. the gentleman who drives the
Gracies when Charlie performs all across the United Kingdom each fall. Oh yes ... we should tell
you that Joan's husband, Charlie was one of the headliners at the Surf Ballroom this weekend,
along with the original Crickets, the Nelsons (Ricky's boys), Narvel Felts, Albert Lee and
Wanda Jackson. Courtesy: email@example.com
Roseanne Cash CD: "Black Cadillac"
Rosanne Cash has created what may be the best, most cohesive collection of songs in her 25-year
recording career. Black Cadillac, her ninth album, reflects the singer-songwriter's thoughts
and emotions following the recent deaths of her father, Johnny Cash, her mother, Vivian Liberto,
and stepmother, June Carter Cash.
The albums Cash made for Columbia Records from 1979 through 1993, reveal a talented artist
who has yet to find her voice. She finds her way in Black Cadillac. Grief and the guilt
and regret that accompanies it may have brought her there.
Now 50, Cash sings with a certainty not heard in the Columbia recordings. "I Was Watching You,"
a ballad inspired by her father, isn't a tearjerker, it's a song of realization. "I didn't know it,
but you were always there," she sings, "until September, when you slipped away, in the middle
of my life." The suddenly father-less daughter expresses her loss in another ballad, "The
World Unseen," with clarity and perception. Bitterness colors the estate-dividing tension
in "Like Fugitives," but the singer finds hope in the uplifting chorus of "Dreams Are Not My H
ome." "Like A Wave" is a sweet dream of a song.
Working with producers Bill Botrell and John Leventhal, each of them supervising six songs,
Black Cadillac avoids the studio missteps that hindered much of Cash's Columbia work. Her
daddy would be proud. - John Wirt, www.2theadvocate.com
Bobby Bare CD: "The Moon Was Blue"
Great music takes time. In Bobby Bare's case, it took 22 years. That's how long it's
been since the Nashville icon put out a studio album. But "The Moon Was Blue" is worth the
wait. Coaxed out of retirement by his son - alt-country singer-songwriter Bobby Bare Jr. -
the 70-year-old vocalist turns his rich baritone pipes to a host of country and pop
classics such as "Are You Sincere," "Love Letters in the Sand," "Everybody's Talkin'" and
"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan. "
Bare Jr. and Lampchop's Mark Nevers craft some quietly gorgeous backdrops
that tastefully support Bare's unassuming, plain-spoken delivery. It's high time Bare
came back; here's hoping he hangs around for a while.
Chuck Berry Film Going To DVD
January 26, 2006 - Image Entertainment has secured DVD rights to "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll,"
the seminal Chuck Berry movie masterminded by Keith Richards. The company will on June 27
release two-disc and four-disc editions with never-before-seen footage, documentaries,
interviews and other bonus materials.
The 1987 film, which captures a St. Louis concert commemorating Berry's 60th
birthday the year before, features such stars as Eric Clapton, Etta James, Robert Cray,
Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon.
It also incorporates interviews with an occasionally testy Berry and his family
members, the late Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springsteen, Little Richard,
the Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley.
Also featured is footage of a performance by Berry and his backup band of
the 1950s at the long-gone Cosmopolitan Club in East St. Louis, Ill. The film
was directed by Taylor Hackford, who most recently produced and directed the
Oscar-winning biopic "Ray."
The four-disc set will contain more than seven hours of new material. Highlights,
according to Hackford, include "intimate jam sessions" with Clapton, Cray, James, Richards,
Berry and Berry's late keyboardist sidekick Johnnie Johnson, extended interviews with some of
rock's founding fathers and a conversation between Berry and the Band's Robbie Robertson in
which Berry talks about his prison experiences for the first time.
Courtesy: Thomas K. Arnold, The Hollywood Reporter
In Memory of Larry Dowd, R.I.P.
Larry Dowd passed out of our world and into eternity Thursday, January 27, 2006.
Larry wanted his life to be celebrated, not mourned. Larry Dowd
was inducted, along with other members of 'Larry Dowd and the Rock-a-Tones',
into the Iowa Rock 'N Roll Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2005.
It is not known for certain just exactly how or when the members of the late
50's rock 'n' roll band known as 'Larry Dowd and the Rock-a-Tones' came
together. Dowd had written a number of songs and was mostly responsible for
gathering the musicians he felt he needed to produce the sounds he could
hear in his head. The group rehearsed them as often as they could until they
felt they had them down well enough to get a recording contract.
The solution to that desire came in the early spring of 1959 when Des Moines
' local AM Top-40 rock 'n' roll station KIOA began promoting a "Battle of
the Bands" contest for local bands with the top prize being a recording
contract with the then well known Chicago label SPINNING RECORDS. The
contest took place at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines and the
Rock-a-Tones won the top prize.
A recording session was arranged immediately at the home/studio of Vic
Blacketer and four of Dowd's songs were recorded including PINK CADILLAC and
BLUE SWINGING MAMA. Those two were to be the A/B sides of their first
release in early April 1959.
During the last week in May 1959, the annual National Disk Jockey Convention
was held in Miami, Florida. PINK CADILLAC was the #1 rated song and BLUE
SWINGING MAMA was #2 on all the charts in Miami. The record sold a little
more than 800,000 copies nationally.
Cards and memorials can be mailed to the address shown below.
Family of Larry Dowd
270 Lake Forrest Drive
Acworth, GA 30102
Let's take some time today to celebrate the life of a rock 'n' roll pioneer
named Larry Dowd. Thank you.
Mike Woltz - IRRMA Membership Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy LeVere and Her Bass
January 24, 2006 - Billy Block's Western Beat show at Exit/In, Nashville featured Amy LeVere,
an ex-Nashvillian and current Memphian whose "This World Is Not My Home" album marks her as
an emerging star in the alt-country and Americana worlds.
When LaVere lived in Nashville, she spent days working on Music Row (as a secretary and assistant)
and nights making music that was quite removed from Nashville's contemporary country.
LaVere hung out with Lower Broadway musicians and learned to play upright bass. Well, she
more than learned to play it. She learned to flat out wallop the thing.
Since then, she's moved to Memphis and made inroads in music and in film. She plays the part
of rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, and she's set
to appear in a forthcoming film called Black Snake Moan, which features Samuel L. Jackson,
Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake.
On music stages, she stands with that big bass and sings songs from "This World Is Not
My Home," an album that features lounge-y twang, jazzy country and other such fine things.
(Rockabilly Hall of Fame Photo)
Hemsby #37 is Moving to a New Venue
Please note that HEMSBY #37 dates have now been confirmed, so make sure you
put them in your diary. The dates are: 13th - 16th October 2006. HEMSBY #37 is
also moving to a new Venue, which will be SEACROFT HOLIDAY VILLAGE, BEACH ROAD, HEMSBY.
However, HEMSBY #36 from 5th - 8th May will still be held at PONTINS HOLIDAY CENTRE,
HEMSBY as in the past. Details of this event can be found at:
Janette Carter Passes Away
Despite heroic attempts to save her life, Janette Carter, 82, beloved
matriarch of the Carter Family, passed away at 6 a.m. Sunday, January 22, at
Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee. She had been unconscious
since Tuesday evening (January 17), when her health took a major turn for the
worse. She had endured a combination of chronic illnesses, several surgical
procedures over the last several years, and Parkinson's Disease. Prior to being
rushed to the hospital's emergency room Tuesday, she had been in a nearby
rehabilitation facility following a fall in her home Christmas day.
Daughter Rita Forrester reported Thursday that her mother, while still
critical, had begun showing some signs of improvement. Other complications
overnight Friday, however, required emergency surgery Saturday despite Janette's
weakness and medical instability.
Over the next 24 hours, two Code Blue events occurred. A team of physicians
revived her after the first event but were unable to bring her back after the
As for the future of the Carter Fold, Rita Forrester says her mother's
policies, goals, and ambitions will continue as before.
Janette Carter was one of three children born to A. P. and Sara Carter. A. P.
Carter was the founder and leader of the history-making trio that began
recording in 1927. Three daughters born to Maybelle Carter, the other member of
the original trio, have also passed away. With the passing last March of her
brother Joe, Janette remained the last surviving child of members of the
original Carter Family.
Janette followed her father's last wishes‹to do all she could to preserve not
only Carter Family music but also the old-time folk and country music of the
Appalachians‹by presenting country music performances at the site of the
general store her father operated in his final years. Over the next several
decades, those performances grew to become the Carter Family Fold, centerpiece of
the not-for-profit Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc. The Saturday
night performances have become the region's top visitor attraction.
Janette's lifetime of hard work and struggles brought her countless awards
and phenomenal national and international recognition. The latest, and among
the most significant, occurred last September when she was presented with the
National Endowment for the Arts Bess Lomax Hawes award in honor of her
lifelong efforts in the preservation and performance of Appalachian music.
Janette Carter's parents A.P. and Sara and her Aunt Maybelle Carter produced
a legacy of music that is regarded as pivotal in the establishment of the
country music industry and have been in the Country Music Hall of Fame since
Robert Gordon / Chris Spedding Tour Continues
The second Robert Gordon / Chris Spedding Reunion Tour is now nearing,
and it looks like it will be yet another triumph for the two legends. Both
Robert and Chris are very excited about the upcoming tour, and Robert
says,"I can't wait to do it again. Together with Chris, Todd and Greasy (our
new bassplayer), plus some great new material, this upcoming tour is gonna
The final dates are as follows:
Jan 26 - Tobakken, Esbjerg, Denmark;
Jan 27 - Katalin, Uppsala, Sweden;
Jan 28 - Mejeriet, Lund, Sweden;
Jan 31 - Rock Bottom, Oslo, Norway;
Feb 1 - Nevada, Porvoo, Finland;
Feb 3 - Hotel Sokos Night Club, Lappeenranta, Finland;
Feb 4 - Rockin' Race Jamboree, Torremolinos, Spain;
Feb 5 - Plato, Helmond, Holland;
Feb 7 - Spirit of 66,Verviers, Belgium;
Feb 10 - Club Ydrogeios, Thessaloniki, Greece;
Feb 11 -Club Another, Athens, Greece.
For the latest info please check www.robertgordon.dk -
Especially the shows in Greece are getting a lot of media attention, as
the country is right in the middle of a big rockabilly revival. There will
be radio- and magazine interviews, as well as a television appearance.
Local promotor Steve Tsichlis says that the interest for the two shows is
huge, and adds that, "You wont believe to your eyes for how many fans are
waiting for these two concerts!".
The prestigious French label Last Call will release "Live at the
Paradiso" shortly, a CD/DVD documenting their tremendous September 10, 2005 gig at
this legendary rock venue. This release will contain all the songs that
were added to the set list for the reunion tour, including Johnny Burnette's
"Dreamin'", Dale Hawkins' "Susie Q" and the Honeycombs' "Have I The
In addition, Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding will release two unique
collectors' CDs containing unreleased material, pressed in a very
limited quantity of only 500 copies. These CDs will only be available on tour,
and are bound to become true collectorsý items.
Finally, a surprise for U.S. fans: Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding will
make an exclusive appearance at the Hootenanny Festival at Oak Canyon
Ranch in Orange County in early July 2006!
BR549 Regroups Again
If BR549 were like most country bands, it would have busted up a long time ago.
It would have splintered under the pressure of touring schedules that kept the roots-savvy
ensemble on the road for as much as 300 days a year.
It would have dissolved when, after a favorable patch of major record label popularity,
two of its members (including one its lead singers) jumped ship. And it certainly would have
packed things in when its core players pursued projects of their own.
But then, if you've ever heard BR549's muscular, traditionally flavored honky-tonk music,
you already know how drastically it differs from today's slicker Nashville sound.
Its records abound with country heart and soul, but there are elements of swing, rockabilly
and vintage rock 'n' roll.
"We've always thought of ourselves as a country band with rock 'n' roll leanings," said
founding guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Chuck Mead. "But that rock 'n' roll comes out of
the country. Everything comes out of country - rhythm and blues, show tunes, everything.
It's all pretty much American music, but that's too broad of a stroke to use in describing
what we do. So I always tell people we play good rockin' country music in the old-school way."
The band had solidified a lineup prompted by the 2001 departures of singer Gary Bennett and
bassist Jay McDowell. The revamped roster with guitarist-vocalist Chris Scruggs
and bassist Geoff Firebaugh toured as vigorously as the band had in the early '90s, when its
rootsy country sound became a performance staple at Robert's Western Wear in Nashville.
Roughly a year after 2004's "Tangled in the Pines," Scruggs and Firebaugh left amicably.
That left the core trio lineup of Mead, drummer Shaw Wilson and multi-instrumentalist Don
Herron. Then, Mead began performing solo shows, Wilson moved to Arizona, and Herron was
recruited for Bob Dylan's touring band. But none of the three wanted to leave BR549.
So, working primarily around Herron's commitments with Dylan, the trio welcomed
bassist Mark Miller (formerly of indie Americana unit Ex Husbands) and remained a quartet,
with Mead tackling all guitar chores. They recruited producer John Keane and
convened in Athens, Ga., to record a new album called "Dog Days."
"It was a weird recording process for us because it was so disjointed," Mead said.
"Donnie was off playing with Dylan. Shaw was in Arizona. That just left Mark and
me up here. So the record has kind of a different feel for us. Playing lead guitar again
changed the dynamic a bit, too. But that was great. It was time to change things up."
"Dog Days" boasts a leaner sound, with more emphasis on acoustics. But the band's
sterling vocal harmonies on Tim Carroll's "After the Hurricane" (augmented nicely by
Miller) are as infectious as ever. There's also a '50s-flavored blues Mead co-wrote
with famed Texas songsmith Guy Clark that features gorgeous pedal-steel guitar and
fiddle support from Herron. And for those thinking BR549's rocking side has vanished,
check out the Everly Brothers-flavored remake of Dave Edmunds' "A-1 on the Jukebox."
"We're lucky enough to be among people who really don't have to work for a living,"
Mead said. "We play music. We've been able to travel the world with it. We've played
huge arenas and really great theaters along with some of the stinkiest holes you can
imagine. But the music is always there. That's what shapes us. That's the
way we express ourselves."
Courtesy: Walter Tunis - Lexington Herald-Leader
Reviews from "Gritz" (Southern Rock Site)
-Michael Buffalo Smith, www.gritz.net
Town Hall Party
Leave it up to those cool cat Daddy's at Sundazed to put out a slab of genuine rock n'
roll history on vinyl and in the original mono. Remember mono? Culled from three of his
dates at Town Hall Party, the legendary Gene Vincent is backed by three different line ups,
including a 1958 date with Blue Cap Johnny Meeks on guitar and one in 1959 with none
other than Merle Travis picking lead.
Electrifying performances here include Vincent's biggest hit, "Be-Bop-A-Lula,"
and excellent covers of Little Richard's "Rip It Up," Check Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven,"
and a Jerry Lee Lewis - inspired version of Hank Williams' "You Win Again."
To many, Gene Vincent was the very epitome of rock and roll - even more than
Jerry Lee or Elvis. His raw energy and passion rocked a generation. The Beatles
idolized him, and with good reason. Long before punk rock, he had the attitude. He
was a living, breathing rock-n-roll role model. That energy is captured here, live,
for posterity, the way it was meant to be played. On vinyl. Dig that crazy beat.
Original Sun Singles '55-'58
Before Johnny Cash was a country superstar, he was a rock-n-roller. No big secret,
especially after the widespread popularity of the recent movie "Walk The Line," that
showed everyone how Cash came to record his first sides for Sam Phillips'
legendary Sun Records in Memphis.
The rockabilly runs deep on this two record vinyl set that collects 28 classic Cash
recordings, including "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk The Line," "Cry!Cry!Cry!," " Get Rhythm,"
"Luther Played the Boogie," and "Big River," and those are only a few of the titles.
This is vintage rockabilly, roots country, rock-n-roll, all rolled into one. These are classic
tracks from a real honest to God musical giant. Put it on the turntable, crank it up and dance.
Bear and The Essentials
Two Time Fool
Man oh man, what a great sound. Bear, along with Ethan Shaw on upright bass
and Doug Strahan on lead guitar have delivered a simply great disc filled with
rockabilly goodness reminiscent of 1950's Sun recordings. Good originals like
"Your Heart Won't Love" and "You Coulda Been The Lucky One" mesh well with a rockin'
Hank Snow "Golden Rocket" cover and a nice take on Cowboy Jack Clement's "It's Just
About Time." Cool stuff.
Dickie Harell and Friends
A Tribute To Gene Vincent
(Rockabilly Hall of Fame)
Dickie Harrell, the drummer for rockabilly legend Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps, has
assembled a roster of major rockabilly talent under the direction of Rockabilly Hall
of Fame Curator Bob Timmers to record an awesome tribute to the late great Gene Vincent.
Vincent's signature song, "Be Bop A Lula," is done with suave coolness by the great
Narvel Felts, who also delivers the goods on "Dance To The Bop." Ten hot tracks featuring
the talents of Billy Swan, Tracy Nelson, Rosie Flores, Roman Self, and Larry Merritt -
Oh, and Mr. Dickie Harrell himself (the one and only, accept no substitutes). Don't wait -
"Git it" - "Right Now"!
Ricky Nelson Makes Highest Chart Debut in 34 Years
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 4 - Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing and the Rick Nelson Company
proudly announce that Ricky Nelson: Greatest Hits CD, released December 27, has entered
Billboard's Top 200 Album chart at #102, making it Nelson's highest-charting debut since
Garden Party's 1972 entrance at #65. Ricky Nelson: Greatest Hits' first week sales tally
totaled 18,000 units, marking Nelson's best retail week since his Playing To Win album
(Capitol) reached #153 in 1981. Since then, Nelson's music has not sold more than 2,300
units in any single week until this week's debut. A companion DVD, Ricky Nelson Sings,
also released December 27, is currently among Amazon.com's Top 50 DVD titles, with more
than 2,600 units sold in its first week.
Nelson was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of
Fame, and the
Rockabilly Hall of Fame®. Artists as diverse as Paul McCartney (who was in discussions to produce a
John Fogerty, and even some of his own heroes, including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and
admired and respected him. Although he made his last recordings more than 20 years ago, Ricky
Nelson's music remains timeless.
There is no question that Ricky Nelson remains one of the most intriguing American icons of the 20th
Racin' The Devil, the new CD from
Stray Cat bassist Lee
Alligator Records kicks off its 35th anniversary year by setting a January 31 release date
for RACIN' THE DEVIL, the new CD from Stray Cat bassist Lee Rocker. With musical muscle from
his road-tested band (guitarists Brophy Dale and Buzz Campbell and drummer Jimmy Sage) RACIN'
THE DEVIL is Rocker's most diverse album yet, and an Americana music fan's dream come true.
The CD features twelve rootsy songs of scorching rockabilly, roadhouse romps and straight-ahead,
old-school rock 'n' roll, highlighted by nine originals that are by far the strongest of his
career. And his reinventions of The Stray Cats mega-hit Rock This Town and his first post-Cats
band Phantom, Rocker & Slick's Runnin' From The Hounds are foot-stomping and ecstatic statements
of pure joy.
The Chicago Tribune describes Rocker's playing as "muscular and passionate." The Washington
Post says his music consists of "impressive, catchy, driving original songs, frantic romps,
finger-snapping swing and brooding slow blues." Rolling Stone declares, "Lee Rocker's singing
naturally captures the spirit of rock 'n' roll. His catchy, well-written songs are very difficult
to get out of your head."
Born Leon Drucker in Massapequa, Long Island in 1961 to world-renowned classical musician
parents, Rocker grew up with music all around him. He began taking classical cello lessons
at age eight and initially hated them, but ultimately grew to enjoy playing. As his ears
widened into rock 'n' roll, he picked up the electric bass, and quickly mastered the instrument.
During grade school, his close friends included Jimmy McDonnell (later to become
Slim Jim Phantom) and Brian Setzer. The three jammed together often, playing a wide variety
of rock 'n' roll, before discovering classic blues musicians like Muddy Waters and rockabilly
giants like Carl Perkins. Rocker picked up the acoustic bass to emulate the sounds he heard
on those records, and the band began playing more and more roots music. By 1979, this trio,
now known as The Stray Cats, began to single-handedly revive rockabilly music in the U.S.
and eventually around the world.
Adding a contemporary punk attitude to traditional slap-bass, twangy guitar and drums,
The Stray Cats headlined famous New York haunts like CBGB's and Max's Kansas City, drawing
overflow crowds every time they played. They moved to London in 1980 and became an even
bigger success, even attracting The Rolling Stones to their shows. The group's first
American album, 1982's Built For Speed, became a huge hit, and held the #2 spot on the
Billboard chart for 26 weeks, right behind Michael Jackson's Thriller.
By 1984 the group was exhausted and decided to temporarily call it quits. But the
furious touring of the early 1980s turned Rocker into one of the best showmen working
in any genre. In 1985 Rocker and Phantom hooked up with ex-David Bowie guitarist Earl
Slick to form Phantom, Rocker & Slick, scoring a minor hit with the song Men Without Shame.
The Stray Cats reformed in 1986, performing together briefly. Rocker never stopped rocking,
as he befriended and collaborated with his hero Carl Perkins as well as with Dave Edmunds,
Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jeff Beck and Willie Nelson.
Rocker's solo career took off in 1994 with the release of Big Blue and in 1995 with Atomic
Boogie Hour, both on Black Top Records. Four more releases followed, and Rocker toured
relentlessly, becoming one of the premiere Americana/ rockabilly/ roots artists in the
U.S. and Europe. In 2002, Rocker toured the U.S. with ex-Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty
Moore. His 2003 CD Bulletproof found a large and appreciative audience, as he continued
to perform all around the country. That same year, The Stray Cats reunited for an 18-city
tour of Europe, culminating in a filmed show at London's Brixton Academy. The show was
released on DVD as Rumble In Brixton in 2004.
With RACIN' THE DEVIL, Rocker has made the best solo album of his career. From
garage rockers and deeply textured roots anthems to the rockabilly sounds he helped
reinvent, the album is a rich piece of Americana, as timeless and unique as the music
Rocker fell in love with as a youngster. The originals bite with a powerful snap, the
covers become his personal statements, and the playing is first-rate, raucous, rocking
and fun. A full tour calendar will bring Rocker's high-energy live shows to
fans across the country.
Courtesy: Jazz News
What Do These Artists Have in Common?
Deke's Guitar Geek Festival
Friday Jan. 20th 2006
at the JOLLY ROGER HOTEL BALLROOM
640 W. Katella, Anaheim, CA
Featuring a huge night of guitar rockin' acts!
DEKE DICKERSON & THE ECCO-FONICS
LOS STRAITJACKETS - TRIBUTE TO LINK WRAY
DON RICH (Buck Owens guitarist) TRIBUTE WITH BILL KIRCHEN & DAVE BILLER
SUPER-PICKER SHOWDOWN WITH THOM BRESH - (Merle Travis' son!) & BRIAN
LONBECK - (world's best Joe Maphis style player!)
MARK NEILL - (legendary producer & guitarist)
MICHAEL "ANGELO" - heavy metal double-neck guitar shredder #1!
DAVE "D.B." BERZANSKY - San Diego pedal steel guitar whiz kid!
THE SHADDICTS - America's only Shadows tribute band!
and a whole lot more!!!
Check out all the info here:
Buy tickets now as this event will sell out! We've got people flying
in from Europe and all over the USA!
Ferlin Husky Undergoes Heart Surgery
Country Music Legend Ferlin Husky underwent successful heart surgery
on Tuesday morning (December 27) in Springfield, Missouri.
Doctors found two of his arteries ninety nine percent blocked. Two
were placed in those arteries and doctors expect a full recovery.
will be released from the hospital on Wednesday.
"Ferlin looks just great," Leona Williams said. "They brought him
the recovery room at about 12:30 PM and he looked great and said he
good. He should be up walking and back to singing soon."
Husky was born in Flat River, Missouri, on December 3, 1925. His
record was a duet with Jean Shepard on "Dear John." That was
followed by a
string of songs that topped both the Country and Pop charts including
"Timber I'm Falling" "Gone" "Country Music Is Here To Stay" "Little
Feel Better All Over" and "Once."
Husky had his biggest success in Country Music with the multi million
selling "On The Wings Of A Dove" in 1960. It stayed at the number one
position for over ten weeks and reached number twelve on the pop
Husky has just signed with Heart of Texas Records based in Brady,
will return to the studio in late January to begin recording his
country studio album in over ten years.
"We are very pleased with the surgery," Heart of Texas Records
Tracy Pitcox said. "Ferlin was having some difficulty breathing
last few shows and on a recent celebrity cruise. The blocked
the problem. We are excited about the new album and about Ferlin
some additional dates in the future."
Cards can be sent to: Ferlin Husky P.O. Box 777 Vienna, Missouri
65582. For more information concerning the Ferlin Husky/Leona Williams
show, please call (325) 456-5316.
Tribute Concert in Honor of Link Wray
January 15th at El Boqueron II 1330 Gude Dr., Rockville MD
(the club is underneath Joe's Record Paradise)
Doors Open at 6:00
Show time 7:00-1:00
Richard Harrington the main critic for the Washington Post, who
presented the lifetime achievement award to Link Wray, will also speak.
Rare footage of Link dating to the 1950's will be shown - some of
which has never been broadcast!"
Musical guests for the evening will include:
Former Wraymen : Richie Mitchell, Ed Cynar, Johnny Sneed
Jack Casady & the Triumphs - The Triumphs are the group Jack &
Jorma Kaukonen played with when they were youngsters in DC, prior
to moving to California and founding the Jefferson Airplane.
The Triumphs opened for Link Wray in the local DC clubs in the early
1960's. The band will be comprised of Jack Casady,
Ron McDonald, Johnny Sneed, and Joe Stanley.
It has to be some 45 years since a Triumphs performance has taken
Anton Fig ( Link Wray, Robert Gordon, Currently with the David Letterman Show)
Robert Gordon (played with Link Wray in the late 1970's early
Eddie Angel (Tex Rubinowitz, Switchblade, Billy Hancock, the Planet
Rockers, the Neanderthals, Eddie Angels Guitar Party, Los
Billy Hancock (Saxtons, Fallen Angels, Roy Buchanan and the Snake
Stretchers, Danny and the Fat Boys, Billy Hancock and the
Tennessee Rockets etc....)
Joe Stanley (Saxtons, Roy Clark, the Orioles, Big Joe Turner, Sam
Cooke, Little Anthony, Lloyd Price, The Drifters, Jackie Wilson, Dion
and the Belmont's, Freddie Cannon, Dale Hawkins, The Rainbows
with Don Covay Marvin Gay and Billy Stewart, Charlie Daniels, Danny
and the Fat Boys, the Dynaflows and Big four Combo, etc..)
Norton Records, The A-Bones (Billy Miller) special Guest Jerry (The
Daryl Davis (Muddy Waters, The Jordanaires, The Coasters Pinetop
Perkins, Johnny Johnson, Chuck Berry etc..)
Switchblade( yes all the original members of the group, named after
the Link Wray Hit)
Plus other local guests.
All of these musicians played at one time or the other with Link Wray.
Tickets $20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door.
If you have any questions concerning your ticket purchase please call 301-315-2235 or e-mail
email@example.com and we will be glad to assist you.
All prepaid tickets will be held at the door on the day of the show. You can print up an
online conformation If you pay with Paypal. go to
Shadows Member, Tony Meehan, Dies
November 28, 2005 - Tony Meehan, one of the founder
members of the Shadows died at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in
the early hour of this morning after suffering an accident at home. Tony
leaves behind his wife Sue five sons and two daughters.
Tony played drums on all the early Cliff Richard and the Shadows hits
and also played on the early hits the Shadows had as an instrumental
Brief Biography -
Tony Meehan was born in Hampstead on 2nd March 1943. He was only ten
years old when he became interested in playing the drums. By the time he
was 13, Tony had his first job with a band playing in a dance hall at
Willesden, London. He also played tympani with the London Youth
Orchestra. When he was 15, Tony was set on becoming a lawyer and did not
want to leave school for another three years but he was offered a job at
GBP 25 per week in a touring show. He asked for and was given six months
holiday. The tour never materialised but Tony did not go back to school.
Tony was never short of work, playing cabaret at places like Churchill's
and the Stork Club. He also played with Jet Harris in The Vipers.
Tony joined the legendry line up of the Shadows in 1958, they went on to
make some of the most memorable records of the era. Tony left the
Shadows in 1961 and went to work at Decca Records. He subsequently
teamed up again with Jet Harris and as a duo had great success, with Jet
playing guitar and Tony on drums. As a session musician, Tony played on
records by John Leyton, Frank Ifield and Billy Fury.
Tony spent the last few years pursuing his interest in psychology and
Further information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
LEO'S DEN MUSIC
THE Cliff Richard & The Shadows Worldwide Mailing House
P.O. Box 4088, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1YP
Tel: 01258.820134 Fax/Tel: 01258.821341
Web site: www.leosden.co.uk Sound site: www.shadsandcliff.com
Leon "Love-A-Rama" Bass CD Available
Finally available, direct from Leon. All songs written and performed by Leon Bass.
"Love-A-Rama" sound sample
"Country Hick" sound sample
"Come On Baby" sound sample
$16 USA - $23 overseas
3 County Rd. 116
Cornith, MS 38834
Johnny Cash & the Louisiana Hayride
On December 3, 1955, fifty years ago, Johnny Cash made his debut on the Louisiana Hayride at
Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium. He was billed as Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two.
He appeared there as a regular for the next six months before graduating to the Grand Ole Opry
in July 1956. Shreveport was the setting where he started a career that would dominate
the music charts for the next 50 years.
Other regular performers of the Louisiana Hayride at the time were, Elvis Presley,
Johnny Horton, David Houston and Billy Walker. Former stars included Hank WIlliams, Sr.,
Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce and Faron Young, just to name a few.
To celebrate this historic date in music history, The Friends of the Municipal Auditorium
will give free admission to "The Stage of Stars Museum" and tours of the building from
11 AM till 4 PM on December 3, 2005 to everyone with a ticket stub from the movie "Walk the Line."
Normal tour hours are, Wednesday through Saturday from 11 AM till 4 PM and Sunday from
1 PM till 4 PM. Cost is a $2.00 donation. Guided tours last about an hour.
For more information, contact Johnny Wessler at 318-220-9434
Shows: Tales From The Woods Presentations
Two forthcoming UK shows to salivate the rockin' music glands.
Saturday, 28 January 2006. '50 Years of Skiffle; starring Chas 'Freight Train' McDevitt and
surprise guests. Tickets are priced at £8.00 in advance or £10.00 on the door.
Sunday, 12 February 2006. Direct from the USA, Barrence Whitfield with The Hemsby House
Band along with The Houserockers. Tickets are £15.00, advance or on the door.
The venue for both of the foregoing is The Water Rats, 328, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London,
For tickets and/or more information, contact Keith Woods at
Keith can also be contacted by telephone on (0)794 154 0574 or (0)20 8460 6941
This is a historical place called THE TWIN BARS - where Rock & Roll was created in 1951 &
I checked it out to see if there were any possibility of The Comets doing a show there for history.
It has been gutted and looks nothing like it did then. The Twin Bars inside are gone, but the
building is still there, and the side door is sealed up with bricks. This is where we did
5 - 45 min. shows a night 6 nights a week, plus a one hour LIVE Radio Show everyday. Billy,
Johnny, and I, all made $60.00 per week except Bill got leaders pay of $90.00. Oh yes, those
were days my friend. The COMETS, are taking a little time off until New Years Eve,
when we Start up again at the Cherekee Casino in TULSA OK. A big year 2006 looks like our
best and busiest ever. Jan. 13, 14, 15, will be back in SAN FRANCISCO.
Then The www.oldiescruise2006.com from Jan.
29th thru Feb. 5th ... ome JOIN us for a great time. Then we play the Celebrity Theatre at
The Mohegen Sun Casino in Unicasville, CT. Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11, &12. Then it is off to BRANSON,
for a grand opening on March 17th you can check our schedule at
We are really excited about our 2006 schedule. We hope you will be able to catch THE
ORIGINAL COMETS at one of the above locations. Still Rockin. We Love You All.
Marshall for The Original Comets.
Billy London's "Rockabilly Radio Show"
List of performers for the Rockabilly Radio Show, season #1
BROADCAST DATES on WAKM 950 am radio, Franklin, TN:
Oct 1st - Bob Timmers/founder of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame
Oct 8th - Gail Lloyd and the Tricksters/Rockabilly Gal
Oct 15th - John Jarvis/ 2 time Grammy winning piano player
Oct 22nd - Stephen Bishop/ musician- hit songwriter
Oct 29th - Deke Rose/ classic saxophone player
Nov 5th - Ben Reno/ 16 year old singer/guitar player, up and coming rockabilly star
Nov 12th - Al Perkins/ world famous Dobro player & session musician
Nov 19th - Walter Egan/musician- hit songwriter - guitar player
Nov 26th - Chris Casello and the Starlight Drifters/ Nashville's top guitar player
Dec 3rd - Mark Winchester/ famous stand-up bass player
Dec 10th - Mark Horn/ Drummer for the Derailers and Starlight Drifters
Dec 17th - Grant Grieves/ A classic performer/inductee in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame
Dec 24th - Rick Vito/ swing-rock and R&B guitar player ... the Christmas Show
Remaining Taping Dates at the Hillsboro School, 5412 Pinewood Road, Franklin, TN for 2005: all
starting times are approximately 1 pm
Chris Casello, Mark Winchester and Mark Horn.
All three of these musicians will tape a show on Saturday November 19th starting at 1
pm with separate interviews for each person. This trio of players called the Starlight
Drifters will also perform 9 songs.
Dec 3rd: Grant Grieves - Grant is a classic rockabilly performer who dates back to the
50's and recently became an inductee in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Grant can sound "exactly"
like Johnny Cash and may prove it on Saturday December the 3rd, live on the Hillsboro
Dec 17th: Rick Vito will be the guest for the Rockabilly Radio Show's Christmas
Show, and final show of the season. Christmas songs with children singing Carols will
also be a feature.
E-mail Billy London
Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks Johnny Cash Tribute
Jerry Lee Lewis stole the show from Norah Jones and Kid
Rock when the musicians performed at a taping of a Johnny Cash tribute.
Lewis teamed with Kid Rock on the Cash classic "I Walk the Line." An
upcoming biopic that goes by a similar name and stars Joaquin Phoenix and
Reese Witherspoon will be released in theaters Nov. 18.
Lewis later returned to the stage of the Pantages Theater in Hollywood,
where the performances were taped Tuesday night for "I Walk the Line: A
Night for Johnny Cash," airing Nov. 16 on CBS.
Waiting for stagehands to make adjustments, a few fans yelled out to Lewis
to perform his hit "Great Balls of Fire."
"I know what you'd like to hear. I know what I'd like to do," said the
70-year-old singer. "They got me down for a little bit lower key."
To entertain the restless crowd, Lewis started in on "Will the Circle Be
Unbroken." After a few verses, the stage crew cut him off and the audience
It was just a false start, though. Once the cameras were ready, Lewis played
the entire song, with the crowd on its feet, clapping and singing along.
"I guess that was a take," Lewis said, smiling.
Jones was accompanied by Phoenix on guitar as she sang "Home of the
Blues." Kris Kristofferson and Jones sang "Guess Things Happen That Way."
Shooter Jennings and his mother, Jessi Colter, who was married to Waylon
Jennings, teamed up for a rollicking version of "Jackson." Other
performers tackling Cash tunes were Martina McBride, Allison Krauss and
Also on the show are Sheryl Crow, Coldplay, U2, Brad Paisley and Montgomery
It's the second time the network has organized a music special tied to a
major movie. CBS also promoted Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning portrayal of Ray
Charles with a star-studded tribute show. (AP)
DJ Fontana, Millie Kirkham Sign On With
John Krondes and The Elvis "Hit Making Team"
No Short of a Miracle, The Divine Rock 'n Roll Mission of The Elvis "Hit Making Team" Keeps
Elvis and His Dream Alive! Is it the second Comeback for Elvis Presley? However you brand it,
believe it, or see it; The Dream Lives! Over the last year and half, the young singer/songwriter
John Krondes continues to beat the odds and the laws of the universe. After meeting the
Jordanaires in Las Vegas a few years ago, and recording his Dad's song "The End,"
Krondes has found a new beginning both for himself and Elvis in music. The very same
song "The End" that Elvis sang to Priscilla on the night they met has become the seed
that harvested the return of All The King's Men to the studio. The music making
relationship of John Krondes and The Jordanaires has mushroomed to include now
virtually all of Elvis Presley's original "Hit Team."
The laws of nature have been suspended in this remarkable story of John Krondes and the
Elvis "Hit Making team". The supernatural powers at be in Rock 'n Roll heaven continue to
shun the nay sayers and disbelievers as the dream lives on. Many of the faithful Elvis
followers now see these fateful series of meetings between the King's men and John
Krondes as occurences that are above nature and above man. For the very first time
since Elvis died in 1977, through this eerie "whatchamacallit" project, The "TCB"
Band, Elvis' Memphis studio band "The Memphis Boys", the Sweet Inspirations, Jordanaires,
Elvis Writers, Producers, and Elvis' best friend Joe Esposito have flocked
together to make new music.
Guiness Book of World Records watch out. This past week has witnessed the new addition
of D.J. Fontana and Millie Kirkham to the Elvis "Hit Making Team." Elvis Presley's very
first drummer and Elvis singer Millie Kirham rocked with John Krondes and Elvis
Presley's "Memphis Boys" band at Masterfonics recording studio in Nashville last week.
Just months shy of completing the first compilation of new music in nearly 30 years together,
the addition of D.J. and Millie completed the Elvis circle and sent a few new shock waves
through the Elvis World.
Elvis composer Paul Evans wrote two new songs with singer/songwriter John Krondes for the
latest Nashville sessions and pulled a couple more rabbits out of his hat. The Evans/Krondes
team wrote a new arrangement on Paul Evans song "Something Blue" which Elvis recorded in
1962. Both D.J. Fontana and the Jordanaires with Millie Kirkham performed on the original
version with Elvis. "Something Blue" was never released in the U.S. as a single but has
found new life in this new recording by John Krondes with D.J. Fontana, Millie, the
Jordanaires and the "Memphis Boys". The "Hit Team" was joined last week as well by Elvis
Pianist Bobby Ogdin. Ogdin played live and on recorded music with Elvis in the
1970s. Evans as well provided the "Hit Team" with two additional songs that Elvis
was planning to record.
D.J. Fontana and Miss Millie Kirkham answered Heaven's call and have become
part of our Miracle and Dream Come True. Both D.J. and Millie were part of Elvis
Presley's beginning and remained a vital part of the Presley team for many years.
D.J. Fontana, began his historical stint with Elvis in 1954 at the Louisiana Hayride.
Fontana worked as a staff drummer with Elvis at the Hayride. More notably, D.J.
Fontana drummed up a hit with Elvis in 1956 with "Heartbreak Hotel" the first of
17 number one hits. Fontana played on all the Elvis Movie tracks, appeared in four
movies, "G.I. Blues", "Loving You", "Jailhouse Rock" and "King Creole". D.J. as well
appeared with Elvis on all TV shows through 1968 including the "'68 Comeback Special".
D.J. Fontana can be seen playing with Elvis on shows such as Ed Sullivan, Milton
Berle and Steve Allen. D.J.'s amazing career continued to include work with Paul
McCartney and The Rolling Stones, and a Grammy Nomination in 1998 with Scotty Moore.
As for little Miss Millie, Rock 'n Roll Heaven has called on this Angel to help keep
the dream alive. Elvis Sopranoist Millie Kirkham began her association with Elvis in a
1957 recording session. That session yielded "Blue Christmas" and other classics sung
by Millie Kirkham and the Jordanaires. Millie can be heard on other Elvis standards
such as "The Wonder Of You," "How Great Thou Art," "Surrender," "Don't" amongst many
other greats. Millie worked with Elvis on recordings as late as 1975, just two years
shy of Elvis' passing.
After breaking the Top-40 Charts in the U.S. with "Vegas In The Morning," John Krondes
has just released "Indiana Girl" which FMQB has shown to have been the #1 Most Added
new song in the U.S. for two straight weeks. To hear "Indiana Girl" by John Krondes
go to FMQB.com and then look for "Indiana Girl" on the AC Home Page or click this link:
Look for the release of the new CD "If I Can Dream" by John Krondes and The Elvis "Hit
Making Team" in early 2006. Music by John Krondes and The Jordanaires is available at
Amazon.com and other fine internet retailers.
The Elvis World welcomes D.J. Fontana, Millie Kirkham and Bobby Ogdin to the history
making music venture by John Krondes and the Elvis "Hit Making Team". History
continues to repeat itself in this magnificent musical undertaking by the Elvis "Hit Team."
The music world can look forward to many new and exciting recordings with D.J.
Fontana on the beat again with John and The Jordanaires. Elvis lives as his
memory is in our hearts, thoughts and the souls of John Krondes and the Elvis "Hit Making Team."
Funky Sound of America
Rock 'n Roll News Desk
Elvis "Hit Making Team"
Ray Price Exhibit
NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 21, 2005 - The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will pay tribute to
architect Ray Price with an exhibit, tentatively titled Ray Price: The Cherokee Cowboy, opening in
Museum's East Gallery in August 2006 and running through June 2007.
Price, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996, will celebrate his 80th
birthday on January
12, 2006. "Ray Price is a man of singular and enduring artistic vision whose role as an architect
and savior of country
music is too little appreciated," said Museum Director Kyle Young. "The 'Ray Price beat' is
it, country music would certainly be incomplete. He is a central figure in the 20th Century history
American popular music."
Following a tour of duty in the U. S. Marines during World War II, Price aimed for a veterinary
and enrolled at North Texas Agricultural College. Supplementing his formal education with a little
nightlife singing in a local establishment, and with encouragement from Dallas recording
Beck, the young Texan made his first record, "Jealous Lies," for the Bullet label in January 1950.
His singing on Dallas radio programs earned the notice of Troy Martin, an executive at the
powerful publishing house Peer-Southern Music, who guided him to a contract with Columbia Records in
1951. His first Columbia release, "If You're Ever Lonely, Darling," written by his chart-topping
mate Lefty Frizzell, didn't make any money and failed to chart.
In the fall of 195l, Hank Williams took Price with him on tour and wrote a song, "Weary Blues (From
Waiting)," which he gave to his new pal to record. The song did well enough to garner Price an
invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry in January 1952. When Price moved to Nashville the same year,
he and Williams roomed together. Williams let Price use his band, the Drifting Cowboys,
which is part of the reason Price's recordings sounded so much like Williams' for a few years.
However, Price wasn't just any Hank Williams sound alike. Blessed with a drop-dead tenor voice and
eagle eye for great songs, the balladeer delivered two Top Five country hits for Columbia in 1952:
"Talk to Your Heart" and "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," (which would later become a #l pop
hit for Perry
Como). He returned to the Top Five again in March 1954 with "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)."
Though "I'll Be There" continued to shadow Hank and Lefty, Price was clearly showing signs of his
own musical coming of age.
With his recording of "Release Me," a 1954 Top Ten, Price further framed his soon-to-be-signature
sound by adding
session musicians like guitarist Grady Martin to a core group of Drifting Cowboys, embroidering his
usual honky-tonk style with threads of western swing.
In 1956, as Price began to enjoy success with his personally branded honky-tonk, rockabilly cats
Presley and Carl Perkins were suddenly jitterbugging past superstars like Eddy Arnold and Red Foley
dominate the upper echelons of the country music charts and to preside over what looked to be the
of traditional country music. Some country stars began to emulate the rockabilly sound, but Price
already learned the limitations of imitation. Instead, when he and his band, the Cherokee Cowboys,
entered the studio in March 1956 to cut "Crazy Arms," they created a new sound, incorporating both
an acoustic and an electric bass to lay down a 4/4, dance-friendly shuffle rhythm that worked like
Evinrude behind Price's imposing tenor and harmonized choruses. The sound became known as "the
Ray Price beat," and it catapulted honky-tonk high enough and far enough to land and endure in
the 21st century. "Crazy Arms" neatly knocked Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" off its #l aerie
and remained in the top slot for twenty weeks.
Fledgling honky-tonker Price was now a fully feathered star, who helped give wing to the careers of
At various times, the Cherokee Cowboys included Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck (known
Donnie Young), Johnny Bush, Jimmy Day and Buddy Emmons, among others. He championed talented
Bill Anderson, Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, Roger Miller, Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson and Kris
Price's 1959 Top Five recording of Howard's "Heartaches by the Number" helped establish the young
professional credentials, while his 1958 #l hit-and-runner "City Lights" did the same for Anderson.
which memorializes the alienation of countless rural southerners who abandoned dirt farms for
in the industrial states in the '50s, is a clear example of the special way country records document
By the early '60s, Price was edging toward a more polished, uptown sound, which reached full flower
with his acutely emotional 1967 interpretation of the Irish standard "Danny Boy." The recording
found its way
to the country Top Ten, but many disc jockeys rejected it as a pop-oriented "sell-out." Done with a
orchestra, the song alienated many Price fans, but it won him new devotees as well.
Price returned to the top of the country chart in 1970 with Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good
The song also went to #11 on the pop chart, and was Kristofferson's first #1 country hit. "For the
modernized country lyrics for a new generation and united Price's early fans with new ones. The
merited recognition as the Academy of Country Music's l970 Single and Song of the Year and won a
Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The For the Good Times album, on Columbia, garnered
Album of the Year accolade. In 1971, the Country Music Association voted Price's I Won't Mention It
of the Year. The title song followed "For the Good Times" to the top of the country chart.
Between 1952 and 1989, Price scored a whopping 108 chart hits including eight chart-toppers and two
dozen Top Five classics.
Price's recordings for various labels since the 1970s have included the critically acclaimed Time in
2002 and Run That
by Me One More Time, a collection of duets with Willie Nelson, in 2003. In 2003, the Academy of
presented the versatile singer with the Pioneer Award.
Price's membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame is deserved recognition for a man who has used
resources of talent, will and taste for the betterment of the genre. Well before his recordings
evolved from the
barroom to the showroom, the versatile Price was making music that borrowed from jazz, blues, pop
His innovative honky-tonk beat, designed for roadhouses located a long way from church, and the
strings that helped to carry his story songs heavenward, attracted new audiences to country music
and have become
staples of modern country.
His hits helped draw pop stars to the song catalogs represented by Nashville publishers, and his
is synonymous with the rise of Nashville as a recording center. Many of those he helped along the
his longtime producer Don Law, are now themselves members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Like
his voice and
his ear for powerful songs, his skill as a bandleader and his will to make music the Ray Noble Price
way is undiminished.
Price still regards Nashville and its music industry as a key part of his career. He continues to
travel here to
record, valuing the players who live here and the studios available here.
Earlier this year, Price told CMT.com columnist Chet Flippo that he wanted to be remembered as "the
singer ever." Ray Price: The Cherokee Cowboy will be another step in that direction.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of FameÆ and Museum is
the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the
state of Tennessee
in 1964. The Museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular
music rooted in
southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the
Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print.
The Ford Division of the Ford Motor Co. is a Founding Partner of the $37 million Country Music Hall
and Museum, which opened on May 17, 2001. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame
is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.com or by calling (615) 416-2001.
Sonny Fisher Dead at Age 73
By ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA, Houston Chronicle -
Therman "Sonny" Fisher, a rockabilly artist in Houston during the '50s, died Oct. 8. He was 73.
Fisher only made a few recordings with Starday Records in Houston during the mid-'50s, most
notably Rockin' Daddy and Hold Me Baby, but he left a lasting impact in Europe.
With his trademark jaw-length sideburns and slick pompadour, Fisher embodied the spirit of Texas
during its infancy to his many European fans.
"For Europeans, it was the first time they heard people like him," said Jacky Chalard, of Big
Beat Records in Paris. "Nobody in Europe had seen a man like Sonny. That was magic for people in
Fisher was born Nov. 13, 1931, in Chandler. His family later relocated to Tacoma, Wash., but Fisher
moved back to Texas, settling in Houston.
He was drawn to music by his father, who played guitar and sang cowboy songs. Fisher eventually
would start his own band, playing hillbilly music.
Later, he would say, the band became influenced by Joe Turner, Fats Domino and B.B. King.
He also became an early fan of Elvis Presley and saw him at the Texas Korral in Houston.
Fisher was signed by Jack Starnes of Starday Records, who saw him perform at the Cosy Corner
in Houston. Starnes was a business partner of H.W. "Pappy" Daily, who later recorded the Big Bopper,
J.P. Richardson and George Jones.
His first recording session was in early January 1955 at Bill Quinn's Goldstar Studio in Houston.
Nicknamed the "Wild Man From Texas" Fisher was an original rockabilly, Chalard said.
Fisher never achieved great fame in the U.S., Chalard said, because he was never able to move beyond
a regional recording label. But his career was revived in the 1980s when he was invited by
fans in England and then France.
Fisher would later record an album with Sleepy LaBeef in Spain in 1993 with the Spanish group, Los
While in France during the early '80s, Chalard said Fisher stayed at his home and appeared on French
Chalard produced an album, Texas Rockabilly Period by Fisher at his Davoust Studios in Paris.
Chalard last saw Fisher in 1982 or 1983 when they parted at an airport in Paris. He said Fisher
to return to France because he believed he still had a lot to offer there.
"He said, 'I'll telephone you,' and never heard from him again," Chalard said. "We shaked hands and
he called me, 'son.' "
Chalard said he repeatedly tried to track down Fisher. Concert promoters in France were eager to
him. But he was never able to reach him and assumed he had died in the more than 20 years since
"In one week (after he left) we don't have any more news. I tried to contact people in America,"
said. "Sonny is like a gypsy man, he changed his house all the time. It was impossible to contact
Survivors include three daughters, Vickie Daigle; Kimberlerly Eason; and Felisha Evans; four sons,
Gary Bennett Fisher; Tony Wayne Fisher; Gordon B. Fisher; and Wendell C. Fisher; a sister,
Judy Webber; and two brothers, Charles Frieley; and Carl Frieley; nine grandchildren; and
seven great grandchildren.
Joe Vincent (Treniers) R.I.P.
YISKLA ADIAKIA-HANNA a.k.a. JOE VINCENT -
Yiskla Adiakia-Hanna, 63, passed away peacefully at his home in Hesperia, California on
October 5, 2005. He was the husband of Lynn D. (Viero) Adiakia-Hanna for 16 years.
Joe was a member of the trailblazing Rock n' Roll group called the Treniers, some of you
out there may remember the group from the movie "The Girl Can't Help It", featuring Little
Richard and Marylin Monroe.
Joe was born February 17, 1942. As he was a man of diverse interests and talents, he
touched the lives of many people. Joe was perhaps best known for his love and active
participation in the music and entertainment industry. His career as a musician in his early
years blossomed later in his life to his establishment of SSV Music Publishing and Production
Co., where he was a driving legal advocate for the rights and recognition of original artists.
Out of his avid interest in Egyptology, ancient peoples, cultures and religions, Yiskla
established the Shem Su Hru Foundation, Inc. which upheld the beliefs and ways so dear to him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed to the Shem Su Hru Foundation, Inc. at 20162
Hwy 18 Ste G-233, Apple Valley, CA. 92307
Rock & Roll Classic Film Released on DVD by Arcanum Entertainment
"Rock Baby Rock It" - 1957
"Rock Baby Rock It is required viewing for every American" - Reviewer Marshall Crenshaw
in his book Hollywood Rock.
When the film Rock Around The Clock burst upon the World, it was almost as if a whistle
had been blown to signal the beginning of a short, but dynamic period of 'B' grade movies.
Most of these films have acquired cult status. But the film, Rock Baby Rock It,
has acquired an even greater status; because it simply disappeared! It was in fact the
second rock and roll film to ever be made. The dancing and music of this rare and
authentic 50s rock movie are the most authentic visual records of the teenage movement
of the mid-1950s.
The point of this 1956 masterpiece is that it has rock and roll in it - tons of rock and roll!
Crafted at the precise moment that rock and roll was boiling over, this film contains an
incredible swath of rock music - what a lollapalooza it is! Boogie from Preacher Smith;
brilliant Texas doo-wop from the Five Stars: mad Memphis blues from rock and roll
legend Roscoe Gordon; and white vocal group stylings from Don Coats and the Bon-Aires.
But wait, there's more notably, the incredible Elvis-fueled rockabilly of 19-year old
Johnny "Hot Rock" Carrol. Rock Baby Rock It also stars Kay Wheeler, the president of
the National Elvis Presley fan club and a hot-bopping kitten in her own right who is
billed as the "Queen of Rock and Roll". The digitally re-mastered classic film also
includes an alternative, contemporary version of the film with audio commentary recorded
by star, Kay Wheeler.
Rock Baby Rock It is especially popular in Europe as well as with the former Soviet
Union who had outlawed all western music and films during communist rule. The movie provides
the Russian you an authentic a time capsule to see the birth of rock and roll and
the teenage phenomena of the 50s.
The under-21ers are Texas bopper teenagers dressed in their authentic 1956 street clothes,
whose awkwardness and sincerity make this one-of-a-kind film instantly loveable.
The DVD is distributed by Koch Entertainment and is available through Turner Classic Video,
Amazon.com, and other DVD/video outlets worldwide. Additional Information and photos: Call
408-504-1468 or email: email@example.com -
Branson: Rockin' Around the Clock with The Comets
Branson, MO - Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater will open with a bang
next spring, beginning with morning shows by legendary rockers, The Comets. Dick Clark's
American Bandstand Theater is scheduled to open March 17, 2006, and The Comets are expected
to bring the house down when they perform the beloved hits that made them famous, such as
"Rock Around the Clock," "Shake Rattle n' Roll," and "See Ya Later Alligator" to name just a few.
"Rock Around the Clock is the national anthem of rock 'n' roll," Dick Clark has
said in reference to The Comets' famous hit, which was the first rock 'n' roll song
to be featured in a major motion picture, Blackboard Jungle. Formed in 1952, during
what many consider to be the birth of the golden era of rock 'n' roll, The Comets,
together with then front man Bill Haley, was the first band to fuse two fundamentally
different music styles-country and western with rhythm and blues- to create the distinctive
rock 'n' roll sound we know and love today.
"There's an awful lot of people who consider them the first rock and roll band, and
their hit song 'Rock Around the Clock' to be the most influential song of all time,"
says Chris Lucchi, Managing Partner of Belair Holdings, LLC., one of the groups
developing the project. The Comets includes all five surviving members of Bill Haley
and The Comets, who counted Elvis Presley among their opening acts in the 50s.
The Comets, legendary performers of Bill Haley and The Comets, have been performing
concerts all over the world, including Europe where they are hailed as legendary
musical pioneers. And now they're coming to Branson, Missouri.
"These guys have caught their second wind. I wish I had their energy," says Lucchi,
noting that they will perform at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater at 10:00 a.m.
every morning except Sundays, for a total of 174 shows.
To learn more about the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater, please call
1-877-LUV-1957 or visit
Hemsby #35 Headliners
Photos: Rod Pyke
Narvel Felts bids farewell to his audience after his stunning performance at
Hemsby 35, Saturday 1st October 2005
Narvel Felts with Tipton Brian at Hemsby 35, October 1st 2005
Pat Cupp on stage on Saturday
Crazy Cavan at Hemsby 35, October 1st 2005
Andy Anderson appearing on stage at Hemsby 35, Friday 30th September 2005
Ian Wallis, Johnny Powers and Chris Caselo at Hemsby 35
Chris Caselo and Willie Jeffery, Hemsby 35
Buddy Holly Songwriter Records at SugarHill
HOUSTON, TX. (SugarHill Studios) - Former Buddy Holly backup singer John Pickering and
songwriter Sonny West, were recently at SugarHill Recording Studios completing West's
new album with SugarHill Chief Engineer, Andy Bradley. They completed mixing and tracking
vocals for 6 songs with Bradley in SugarHill's Studio B.
Sonny West grew up in, Lubbock Texas (Buddy Holly's home town) where he released his
own records and co-wrote the rock 'n' roll classics 'Oh Boy!' and 'Rave On' that were
eventually covered by Buddy Holly, becoming massive hits in 1957.
West continues to appear in larger roots music shows, and is a member of the Rockabilly
Hall of Fame (Inductee No 38), He is also a recipient of BMI's Million Airplays Award
where 'Rave On' is in the Top 200 of Rolling Stone Magazine's 'Greatest Hits of All Time.'
John Pickering (formerly of the backup group The Picks) made rock 'n' roll history when
they recorded the vocal backup harmonies for many of Buddy Holly's most famous releases,
including "Oh Boy", "Maybe Baby" and "Tell Me How". Buddy Holly & The Picks were voted
Best and Most Promising Vocal Group of 1957 in both the USA and Great Britain.
'It was amazing to hear John (Pickering) sing all the various harmonies and parts
instantaneously', commented Chief Engineer Andy Bradley. 'We recorded like these
guys did in the old days, where singers sang all the way through with hardly any
cutting and pasting'.
Both Sonny West and John Pickering are featured in the new DVD "The Music of
Buddy Holly and The Crickets" released in June 2005 in the UK and Europe and
is scheduled to be released in the US very soon.
For more on SugarHill Recording Studios, visit: www.sugarhillstudios.com
Rhythm Riot New Orleans Fund
Robin, Colette and Jerry, organisers of the Rhythm Riot 1950s Rhythm & Blues and Roots Rock'n'Roll
Weekend, are launching a fund to raise money for the displaced musicians of New Orleans.
Many of you will have spent many happy hours listening to the great recordings of Smiley Lewis,
Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Frankie Ford, and so many others who have
come out of the Crescent City.
Now, New Orleans is empty and the musicians are going to need a lot of help to get back on
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, a genuine New Orleans legend, played at the Rhythm Riot last year -
and was absolutely fantastic. He was greeted like a hero and gave one of the best shows ever
seen at the festival.
We know that Clarence and his family are, thankfully, all OK - but their home has
suffered extensive damage.
Many others, like them, are now unable to return to their homes, out of telephone and email
contact, and facing an uncertain future.
We are launching our fund with $1000 and we will add $5 for every person booking for
the Rhythm Riot in October (our busiest month of the year), which should add another $3000.
Ace Records have made a very generous donation and have matched our initial $1000.
We will also be arranging a collection at the Rhythm Riot in November, with the intention
of closing the fund on 1st December, to send the money in time for Christmas.
We will announce the grand total, after that, on our website at www.RhythmRiot.com
Anyone wishing to add to our fund, should send donations to us at:
PO Box 2149
London W5 3GP UK
Your support is greatly appreciated.
Very best wishes.
Robin, Colette & Jerry.
Tel: 020 8566 5226
Several locally-based New Orleans funds have been set up.
They are listed at www.wwoz.org/music_give.php
Money raised by our appeal will go to one or more of these funds.
Biopic on country singer loaded with history, rogues' gallery of Sun era
Cast Cteeped in Cash
September 14, 2005 - Before his death, Johnny Cash was aware of Walk the Line, the biopic that would
star Joaquin Phoenix as the Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon as his wife, June Carter
Cash. And he had only one demand.
"He said, 'Tell whoever plays me not to hold the guitar like a baby,' " director James
Mangold told a Toronto film festival press conference yesterday.
As it happened, Phoenix had already seen Cash play the guitar up close and personal. But he
hadn't been studying his guitar technique, he'd been watching his eyes.
"I was invited to dinner at his friend's place in L.A.," Phoenix said, "and what I took
from it in hindsight was seeing John and June together and this really special dynamic they had.
"After dinner, John came in the living room and picked up the guitar and started strumming a bit.
"And he leans over and says, 'Y'know, I'm waiting for June to get my nerve up.' And June came in
and he said, 'June, would you sing a song with me?'
"And they sang On the Banks of the River Jordan, an amazing song. And there's like six of us
in the room, and they're looking into each other's eyes. And I'm kind of cynical about married
people singing duets. I think of, like, Sonny and Cher. But there was such truth and honesty
and beauty, and you really got the sense this was what they were like at home."
What Johnny and June were like away from the stage, and particularly what they were
like in their youth, was paramount to Mangold.
His film centres on the kid who grew up picking cotton, then became one of the young
rockabilly legends who sprang out of Sam Phillips's Sun Records in Memphis.
It was during this period that he met the love of his life (June Carter of the famed
Carter family) and the bane of his existence (speed, the victory over which provides
the movie's dramatic arc).
In fact, the film is a veritable rogues' gallery from the era with music by T-Bone
Burnett and actual musicians getting the nod for some roles - including John-athan
Rice as Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings's godson Waylon Payne as Jerry Lee Lewis (and
Jennings's son Shooter playing his old man).
"It was a real community because at the end of the day (shooting in Memphis) there'd
be this little hootenanny at the Holiday Inn."
With all that, Mangold says, it was imperative that both Phoenix and Witherspoon
become proficient enough musically to perform their own songs.
"I found his speaking voice through his singing voice," says Phoenix, whose delivery
as Cash "creeped me out," Witherspoon says.
Witherspoon, who grew up in Nashville and "always fantasized about being a country
singer," enforced a regimen of music lessons - autoharp for her, guitar for him.
"The hype was it could go either way, it was 'to be decided,' " Phoenix said. "But
by the time we got to L.A. and sat in with T-Bone ...."
"Maybe they told you," Witherspoon interrupted, "but I was sure they were going to have
Lee-Ann Rimes dub my part." Adopting a Southern accent, she added, "Ah love hurrr.
She's so nahss."
There's a fair bit that will be news to all but the most ardent Cash fans - including
Cash's proposal to June onstage in London, Ont. and June's famous parents, Maybelle and
Ezra Carter, standing vigil with a shotgun at his house keeping drug dealers
away while Johnny detoxed.
But, according to Mangold, the two things that surprise most people about Johnny
and June are that he didn't do hard time (Folsom Prison Blues notwithstanding)
and that June wrote Ring of Fire. "But John had a hole in his heart. And in a way
he did do time - and June was the warden who let him out."
-Coutesy By Jim Slote, www.edmontonsun.com
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown R.I.P.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer and guitarist
who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music,
died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he had gone to escape
Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.
Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill
health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent.
He was completely devastated," Cady said. "I'm sure he was heartbroken,
both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the
hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul.
Although his career first took off in the 1940s with blues hits "Okie Dokie
Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," Brown bristled when he was labeled a
In the second half of his career, he became known as a musical
jack-of-all-trades who played a half-dozen instruments and culled from jazz,
country, Texas blues, and the zydeco and Cajun music of his native
Brown's versatility came partly from a childhood spent in the musical
mishmash of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. He was born in
Vinton, La., and grew up in Orange, Texas.
Brown often said he learned to love music from his father, a railroad worker
who sang and played fiddle in a Cajun band. Brown, who was dismissive of
most of his contemporary blues players, named his father as his greatest
Brown started playing fiddle by age 5. At 10, he taught himself an odd
guitar picking style he used all his life, dragging his long, bony fingers
over the strings.
In his teens, Brown toured as a drummer with swing bands and was nicknamed
"Gatemouth" for his deep voice. After a brief stint in the Army, he returned
in 1945 to Texas, where he was inspired by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker.
Brown's career took off in 1947 when Walker became ill and had to leave the
stage at a Houston nightclub. The club owner invited Brown to sing, but
Brown grabbed Walker's guitar and thrilled the crowd by tearing through
"Gatemouth Boogie" - a song he claimed to have made up on the spot.
He made dozens of recordings in the 1940s and '50s, including many regional
hits - "Okie Dokie Stomp,""Boogie Rambler," and "Dirty Work at the
But he became frustrated by the limitations of the blues and began carving a
new career by recording albums that featured jazz and country songs mixed in
with the blues numbers.
Brown - who performed in cowboy boots, cowboy hat and Western-style shirts -
lived in Nashville in the early 1960s, hosting an R&B television show and
recording country singles.
In 1979, he and country guitarist Roy Clark recorded "Makin' Music," an
album that included blues and country songs and a cover of the Billy
Strayhorn-Duke Ellington classic "Take the A-Train."
Brown recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and others, but he
took a dim view of most musicians - and blues guitarists in particular. He
called B.B. King one-dimensional. He dismissed his famous Texas blues
contemporaries Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland as clones of T-Bone
Walker, whom many consider the father of modern Texas blues.
Survivors include three daughters and a son.