MY TOP 10 ROCKABILLY ALBUMS

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Supersonic Gal by Maryann & The Tri-Tones from 2015 on Rhythm Bomb Records.  I only just recently discovered Maryann & The Tri-Tones, a band from Estonia. The group formed after the break-up of The Jumpin’ Wheels when singer/songwriter Maryann Lants sent the group a demo in 2011.  Supersonic Gal is their debut album and was recorded in Berlin.  While a group like The Stray Cats or The Pole Cats add more of a modern groove to Rockabilly, here the sound is a faithful re-creation of just what it was like in the 1950’s.  The group has a jazzier tone more instep with Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps.  Supersonic Gal was first self released by the band and only a few hundreds copies were made, but was luckily discovered by Rhythm Bomb Records has been reissued to a larger audience.
Maryann has a great country twang to her voice (odd for someone from Estonia) and doesn’t fall into the bad habits of most female Rockabilly singers by doing a bad Wanda Jackson impression.  In fact, I would say she’s one of the best female Rockabillies I’ve ever heard.  Right up there with Janis Martin or Sparkle Moore.  My favorite track is the ballad Angel Of The Desert with its heavy cowboy feel it sounds like the Hank Williams song Ramblin’ Man.  There are some great rockers on here too! Continue reading

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Feb. 3rd, 1959 has been called the “day the music died”.  Perhaps instead of talking about how “the music died”, one should focus on the events the led to the demise of three of the most talented musicians of the 1950’s.  The Winter Dance Party tour didn’t lead to “the day the music died”. The Winter Dance Party tour was simply “the tour from hell”!

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GENE VINCENT: THE BLACK LEATHER REBEL

The following blog is taken from an article I wrote in the March 15, 2004 issue of Wadi Magazine. Wadi was a Bi-weekly free magazine in my hometown of Richmond, Va. We can hardly keep anything like this going for too long here, and this magazine was short-lived. However, I had a blast as one of two music journalists for the magazine!

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JANIS MARTIN: THE FEMALE ELVIS

In 2004, I worked for a free bi-weekly magazine in Richmond, VA called Wadi. I was one of two music journalists, and I mainly covered the history of rockabilly and country music in my hometown.  The following is an article I wrote from April 5, 2004 on one of the first female rockabillies, Virginia’s own Janis Martin. Some information has been updated. Enjoy!

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ELVIS: GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT (1990)-TV SERIES REVIEW & INTERVIEW WITH CAST MEMBER JESSE DABSON

A favorite show of mine growing up, and one that I really wish would come out on DVD, is the short-lived 1990 ABC series Elvis-Good Rockin’ Tonight. It only lasted for 10 episodes with three unaired episodes, and was later edited into one long, (4 hours) film Elvis: The Early Years. It follows a young Elvis from his days in Tupelo to the end of his days at Sun Records. The series stared Michael St Gerard, (Link in the original Hairspray), Jesse Dabson, Blake Gibbons, and Millie Perkins, (The Diary Of Anne Frank). I’m posting this here because I always hear people say “well, they’ve made Walk The Line, and Ray, why has there never been a production on par with those two for Elvis? Well, there has! This is Elvis: Good Rockin’ Tonight!

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EDDIE COCHRAN-THE FINAL TOUR

As Billy Joel once sang only the Good die young. At 21 years old, rock star Eddie Cochran was unfairly taken from us in the late evening of Saturday, April 16, 1960 while on a UK tour.  He left behind such rock & roll classics as “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody”.  He influenced such musicians as The Beatles, The Who, The Sex Pistols, and Brian Setzer.  Cochran’s death was the final nail in coffin of the early rock & roll era.  Little Richard had left music to become a preacher, Chuck Berry violated the Mann Act and was sent to prison, Elvis had been drafted, scandal had ruined the career of Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper had died in a plane crash.  Following Eddie’s demise we were left for a time with teen idols that had good looks but not much else.  Then The Beatles saved us all!  What may not be understood about Eddie Cochran’s final tour was that perhaps Eddie had more influence on the next wave of rock & roll then we give him credit for.

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