Rockabilly

Junior Brown is a performer/inventor who dreamed of a sound to offset his rockabilly and blues styles. He designed a slide guitar and an electric guitar into one unit that did not require putting one down to play the other. The Git-Steel Guitar is now in production. It is his lead instrument in his...
Sonny Burgess was known as the wild man of rock and roll who brought a driving guitar style to early Sun recordings (the label that launched Elvis Presley). Among those recordings were “We Wanna Boogie” and “Feelin’ Good.” Sonny’s early days with Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, were at...
Ace Cannon grew up in Mississippi singing with his father on street corners and in church, and he knew even as a small child that he wanted to have a life in music.  When he was ten years old his father drove him to Amro Music in Memphis and let him pick out an alto saxophone by CG Conn.  Right...
Buzz Cason began his musical career as a singer in the late 1950s and early 60s.  He formed The Casuals in Nashville and later sang with a group called The Statues for Liberty.  As he continued to sing, Buzz wrote songs, some of which he would have his singing groups perform. When he teamed with...
Owen Clayton began playing the double bass while in school. At the time, he had to stand on a box to play, but he didn’t mind at all because he enjoyed the sound of the instrument and it’s role the band. In 1951, when Owen was just 14, he was playing for local dance halls in and around Liverpool,...
Bobby Crafford still has his first snare drum, the one he played when he recorded early Rockabilly songs for Sun Records in Memphis, TN. In 1957 he joined the Pacers, the band behind Sonny Burgess. Being part of the roots of rock and roll has always been a source of pride for him. Sonny split up...
Deke Dickerson began his musical career when he started playing the saxophone, but quickly realized he was much more adept at playing the guitar. As a part of the affectionately named “68 Club” Deke reflects on how his formative year coincided with the revival of Rockabilly, which provided him with...
Fred Douglas recalled picking up his first Fender Precision Bass when he was hired to record as a member of the Pacers. The Pacers were the band behind the “wild man of rock and roll” Sonny Burgess. The band recorded early Rockabilly songs for the Sun label out of Memphis, years before Elvis...
DJ Fontana drove down to Houston in a pink Cadillac with Elvis Presley after being hired as the then unknown singer’s first drummer. They pulled up to Herbie Brodstein’s Drum Shop (Herb would later form Pro-Mark Drum Sticks) to buy a kit. After playing on all of the sets Herb had out on display,...
Roy Gaines, like his brother, Grady, who played saxophone for Little Richard, made his mark in the early days of rock and roll. As a blues guitarist, Roy recorded a number of songs for RCA, which have become popular rockabilly tunes such as "Skippy is a Sissy" in 1958. He worked with a number of...

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