Apr 19, 2018
By Gene Stevens
If you’re a true blue rock’n’roll fan, you gotta love ‘rockabilly’ – and I am, and I do. So, my next ‘Vintage Favourites’ show is a special treat for me – and I expect, for you too. ‘The Rockabilly Edition’ is the latest in my year-long exploration of various music genres. In recent weeks I featured big band swing, retro-swing, rhythm & blues, soul, doo wop and novelty songs.
This time, I’ll dig deep into the roots of rockabilly with pioneers like Bob Wills, Hank Williams and Bill Haley, when his ‘Comets’ were still ‘The Saddlemen’. Of course I’ll play you some of the superstars like Elvis, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronnie Hawkins and Jack Scott. I’ll also spotlight some ‘Rockabilly Gals’ like Wanda Jackson, and long-lost Canadian rockabilly artists like Ray St.Germain, Buddy Burke & The Meteors, and The Blue Tones, along with some of the retro-rockabilly acts like Robert Gordon, The Stray Cats and our own Handsome Ned and Big Rude Jake. Can I go ‘deeper’ ? Sure – I’ll also play some local up-and-coming acts like The Millwinders and Greasemarks … and a very special treat – the legendary, yet mysterious ‘Harry Hepcat’.
‘The Vintage Favourites Rockabilly Edition’ on Sunday April 22nd just happens to coincide with the giant annual ‘Viva Las Vegas’ rockabilly weekend in Las Vegas (April 19-22) – where some of this year’s performers include legends like Jerry Lee Lewis and Duane Eddy as well as our local modern rockabilly band – ‘The Millwinders’. And, here in Toronto,’The Greasemarks’ headline the Cadillac Lounge Farewell Saturday Night club-closing show April 28th.
A few years ago my girlfriend Trudy and I had a driving vacation visiting some ‘music meccas’ like New Orleans, Cleveland, Chicago, Nashville and Memphis – while there, we did all ‘the Elvis stuff’ – including Graceland, Humes High School, Beale Street, the Overton Park bandshell, and of course SUN Studios. So check out a few pics at SUN, including touring the recording studio and standing on the very spot (marked on the floor) where Elvis stood recording the historic ‘That’s All Right’ in the summer of ’54 – ‘the big bang of rockabilly and rock’n’roll’. I can’t take you there myself – but I’ll do the next best thing – play 3 dozen rockabilly gems on this Sunday’s ‘Vintage Favourites’ from 2:00 to 4:30pm. Cheers, Gene.