Catch That Rockabilly Fever

Personal Stories of Life on the Road and in the Studio

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About the Book

Rockabilly, a musical designation coined by Billboard magazine in the mid–1950s, is a rambunctious rhythmic style combining the liveliest elements of country, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Popularized by such performers as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson, rockabilly has been a major influence on the music of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen (among many others).
This book captures the essence of life on the road and in the recording studio through interviews with many of rockabilly’s foremost artists. Among those sharing their experiences are Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis of the Crickets, Sonny Burgess, Wanda Jackson, Glen Glenn, the Collins Kids, Charlie Gracie and Deke Dickerson. Also included are several rare publicity photos.

About the Author(s)

Journalist Sheree Homer ran her own music magazine, Rockabilly Revue, for two years. Since 2006, she has contributed articles to various publications, including Blue Suede News. She lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Sheree Homer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3841-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5811-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Ken Burke      1
Introduction      5

ONE: SUN LEGENDS
Sonny Burgess      11
Ray Smith      18
Hayden Thompson      22
Dickey Lee      27
Ed Bruce      31
Carl Mann      36
Johnny Powers      42
Jack Earls      47

TWO: LOUISIANA HAYRIDE STARS
Wanda Jackson      52
Bob Luman      57
Maddox Brothers and Rose      64
Elvis Presley      70

THREE: ARKANSAS ROCKABILLIES
Larry Donn      78
Pat Cupp      82
Bobby Lee Trammell      86
Ronnie Hawkins      91

FOUR: TEXAS ROCKABILLIES
Buddy Holly and the Crickets      95
Sonny West      102
Gene Summers      107
Lew Williams      109
Huelyn Duvall      115

FIVE: CALIFORNIA ROCKABILLIES
Ricky Nelson      120
The Collins Kids      129
Glen Glenn      134

SIX: ROCKABILLY PIONEERS
The Rock and Roll Trio      142
Narvel Felts      148
Art Adams      153
Laura Lee Perkins      157
Big Al Downing      162
Charlie Gracie      168

SEVEN: ROCKABILLY REVIVALISTS
Martí Brom      174
Go Cat Go      178
Josie Kreuzer      182
The Dave and Deke Combo      187
High Noon      193
Tex Rubinowitz      199

EIGHT: TODAY’S SENSATIONS
Kim Lenz      205
The Casey Sisters      209
Carl Sonny Leyland      213
Eddie Clendening      215
Ruby Ann      220
Sue Moreno      222
Dawn Shipley      224
Buddy and Suzy Dughi      227
Cari Lee Merritt      230
Cole      235

Chapter Notes      239
Bibliography      247
Index      251

Book Reviews & Awards

Finalist, ARSC Award for Excellence
“Homer is an expert in the area of rock and roll roots music. Her books are filled with painstaking research, accurate assessments, and first hand recollections via interviews. This is an intelligent, insightful, fascinating examination of just what makes this music tick…highly recommended”—Examiner; “this book should definitely be part of your library”—Keep Rockin’ Magazine; “her interviews with these ’50s innovators result in fascinating insights into their creative energy bursts, as well as charming personal anecdotes. A satisfying read for any rock fan, it’s a must-have for rockabilly aficionados”—Pop Culture Classics; “a great book…heartfull tribute to rockabilly music and its performers…stunning”—Rock and Roll Revue Magazine; “a well constructed and literate salute to the music loved and cherished by many”—American Music Magazine; “your front and center concert seat to some hard-driving, classic music! Make this one a part of your music library!”—Echoes of the Past; “an informative read”—Now Dig This; “has encapsulated ‘why’ there is rock music. And more importantly, the people who REALLY made that happen…essential…Sheree Homer has written one of, if not ‘the’ best book on the subject of ‘Rockabilly’ music ever!”—DiscoveringElvis.com; “straightforward…interesting details. Bottom line. You’re gonna need this book”—Blue Suede News; “she has brought out a labor of love that is hard to put down…a valuable reference work that goes well beyond what has been published before”—UK Rock (England).