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School Me On Rockabilly Music

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by FenderGyrl, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    Years ago I air commuted to the Hollywood area weekly doing consulting work. One night I stopped by this dusty roadhouse in San Fernando valley. The place was totally packed and Deke Dickerson was playing. I had never heard of him. The dancers were wild! It was great fun.
    RomanS and 6stringcowboy like this.
  2. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    There sure are a lot of different ideas about what rockabilly is.
    william tele and LGOberean like this.
  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I wouldn't argue as to what guitars were more highly represented in the genre. All I said was "I'm sure in some cases teles." I sure knew that Buddy Holly used a Strat. I'd have to look up other guitarists to see what their axe of choice was back in the day.

    My main observation was that in the earliest days of the genre, before the invention of the humbucker, guitars with single coils were used. And a lot of them were Gisbons with P-90s. Carl Perkins guitars from that time were Gibson LPs and an ES-5, all equipped with P-90s. Scotty Moore's guitars were Gibsons: ES-295, L5 CESN, Super 400 CESN, again, all with P-90s. The recording of "Rock Around the Clock" featured session guitarist Danny Cedrone playing a Gibson ES-300 equipped with one P-90. Franny Beecher The Comets' lead guitarist, played a "Black Beauty" LP with P-90s in the mid 1950s.

    It's both interesting and confusing as to what gets called "Rockabilly" and what gets called "Rock 'n' Roll." There is a lot of overlap of songs ("Hound Dog," "That's Alright, Mama," "That'll Be the Day," "Summertime Blues") and artists (Elvis, Buddy Holly, Cochran, etc.) variously claimed in both categories. On the Ted Mack Amateur Hour in 1956 the Johnny Burnette Trio was billed (billed themselves?) as The Rock 'n' Roll Trio. BTW, Paul Burlison was playing an Esquire on that show.
  4. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I know, right? It's so uncharacteristic of the Bad Dog to have so many differing opinions...
  5. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Deke is a bad ass!
    RomanS likes this.
  6. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    Two cents....

    One cent: I use this delay for slapback thing. Cheap and dirty...


    Check this British band...

    FenderGyrl likes this.
  7. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Meister

    Nov 1, 2017
    Helsinki, Finland
    I think that part of the "tele success" from some period came from LP album covers where Paul Burlison had a tele and Gene Vincents guitarist had a tele, but neither one played a tele on the -56 recordings. And I really don't think that Gene Vincent was actually so "rockabilly". I think that most rockabilly (from that short era) had some wild singing with hickups, a slapping bass and often raucous biting guitar works. An excellent example of "true rockabilly" could be Charlie Feathers:
    RomanS likes this.
  8. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Meister

    Nov 1, 2017
    Helsinki, Finland
    One funny thing.. I was at Deke's gig and bought one of his CD:s. He would have had the same album as a vinyl LP, but I can't play that thing in my car, so I bought the CD. Later I heard that the LP would have contained some "extra material". Normally it is the other way around...
  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    While we're on the subject...I thought I'd throw this in.
    Me with Dibbs Preston and Charlie Gracie backstage.
    A great memory!
    I got to tell Dibbs how much stuff I stole from him with my college band!
    FenderGyrl and RetroTeleRod like this.
  10. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    It's more confusing what gets called rock and roll or r&b. Unless you know why.

    Do you think any of the rockabilly guys in the 50s wanted their music called "rockabilly"? Probably about as much as they'd like to be called a "hillbilly", or "white trash".
  11. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 3, 2009
    Suffolk Coast
    Jim Weider's Rockabilly Guitar DVDs are fascinating. Lots of info about how the top players got their sounds, the equipment they used and how they played, put across with lots of enthusiam and knowledge. It's one of the rare instructional DVDs I would recommend to anyone interested in music whether they are a guitar player or not, everyone would get something from it.
    RomanS likes this.
  12. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Holic

    Feb 18, 2018
    5 pages in, and this is the first mention of Rev. Horton Heat or Billy Zoom.

    I know I ain't no purist. But when I think of rockabilly, it's all about the punk.

    Billy Zoom? Y'know, just that guy from a little band outta LA called X, and who also happened to work on Brian Setzer's and Mike Ness's bassmans. Yeah.

    About 3:35.

    RomanS, Sollipsist and 6stringcowboy like this.
  13. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Good call! I love that video, watch it frequently.
    basher and Whatizitman like this.
  14. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    One of the coolest of all time:

    Another Sid King:

    And Dibs Preston & The Detonators that Charlie Chitlin mentioned:

  15. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    Jimmy Lloyd

    Ricky Nelson played good rockabilly.

    FenderGyrl likes this.
  16. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    If you want original rockabilly artists, here is a partial list:

    Jack Scott
    Bob Luman
    Bunny Paul
    Warren Smith
    Ersel Hickey
    Boyd Bennett
    Carl Mann
    Rose Maddox
    Buddy Knox
    Sparkle Moore
    Sanford Clark
    Mac Curtis
    Wayne Cochran
    Glen Glenn
    Johnny Carroll
    Ray Campi
    Johnny Powers
    Joe Clay
    Curtis Gordon
    Sleepy LaBeef
    Ray Smith
    Eddie Bond
    Roy Hall
    FenderGyrl likes this.
  17. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    You NEED to get (at least some of) the Bear Family Records "That'll Flat Git it" albums. I believe they are up to 28 volumes. At least get the first 10 to get you started.

    That right there should keep you busy for 6 months to a 1 year depending on how committed you are.
    RomanS likes this.
  18. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Huntington Beach, CA
  19. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    My opinion of rockabilly is that it's such a weird second-generation bastardization of other types of music. In very broad terms (so broad that the following sentences may not even be historically accurate), rock-and-roll came from white people singing the gospel, jazz, and blues of the blacks...and country came from the collision of folk, bluegrass, and white peoples' gospel music. Rockabilly is what happened when rock-and-roll folded back into country.

    It's hard to drive a tack into where rockabilly ends and all those other types of music begin. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Lee Lewis each had moderate success in both the rock scene and the country scene. Hell, even the Beatles had a slight skiffle sound early on, which is a type of music that I see as woven into the fabric of rockabilly.

    Having said that, when I think of modern rockabilly, I think of bands like The Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Stray Cats, Reverend Horton Heat; I can definitely see influence in bands like Social Distortion and The Kentucky Headhunters; and even solo acts like Ricky Van Shelton, Marty Stuart, Chris Isaak, and Hank Williams III.
  20. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015

    Lemme tell you what just happened.

    A guy walked into a room and said "there sure are a lot of banjos in here", and you said "hold on", and got yours out of it's case.

    Historically, and culturally, your synopsis is way off. I don't mean any offense. It just can't be reconciled with the records I own, much less all the ones I don't.

    I can't write a book here, but I'll just say that rock and roll was not especially white, and leave it at that.
    screamin eagle and Boomhauer like this.
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