Monday, October 01, 2007

The train kept a-rollin'

Here's a couple more rockers that haven't made it past the Hall of Fame's quality control committee:

Wanda Jackson is the greatest female rockabilly singer ever. Of course she’s not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She’s not in the Country Music Hall of Fame either but I’m not worried about their lack of respect or taste. Jackson’s not overlooked completely though, she is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, The Gospel Hall of Fame and the German Country Music Hall of Fame. Germany has a Country Music Hall of Fame?

Jackson started singing professionally for Hank Thompson while she was still in high school. She was dating Elvis Presley and he convinced her to start singing Rock and Roll. In 1961, Jackson switched back to country. In 1971, she became a Christian and switched to gospel. After Rosie Flores invited Jackson to sing on an LP in 1995, she decided to return to rockabilly and has recorded several fine LPs. In addition to Flores, Jackson has recorded with Elvis Costello, The Cramps and Dave Alvin. She’s still out playing shows, go see her!

Johnny & Dorsey Burnette grew up Memphis’ Lauderdale Courts where one of their neighbors was Wanda Jackson’s future boyfriend, Elvis Presley. Both Dorsey’s were amateur boxers and Golden Gloves champions but a broken nose and a small paycheck convinced Johnny that rock & roll might be a better line of work. The brothers formed The Rock & Roll Trio with a third boxer named Paul Burlison on drums.

After a move to New York City and several winning appearances on the Ted Mack Amateur hour, The Rock & Roll Trio signed to Coral Records. Three singles were released but none were hits. The band toured constantly, this led to internal squabbles and the end of the group in 1957. The Rock & Roll Trio was years ahead of their time. Never mind the Yardbirds and Blue Cheer, heavy metal started here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Burlison was the lead guitarist for the Rock 'N' Roll Trio I believe. I remember reading an interview in Guitar Player where he described how he got the fuzz sound for "Train Kept A-Rollin'".

8/10/07 4:22 AM  

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