Best Dance in Town: Rockabilly
This array of rockabilly Hall-of-Famers includes:
The Collins Kids:
50’s TV faves, this brother/sister duo features double neck guitar pyrotechnics.
Siblings Larry and Lorrie Collins may have looked like sweet-faced teens when they blew onto the country music scene at ages 11 and 13, respectively – but their sound was anything but precious. The Collins Kids unleashed their sound on the world for the first time in 1954, when they won a talent contest on the California-based syndicated radio and TV show Town Hall Party. Their twangy, white-hot rockabilly act, anchored by Larry and his mentor Joe Maphis’ dueling double-necked guitars tore up the Southern circuit throughout the 50’s, before either Collins was old enough to buy a beer. The group signed with Columbia in 1955. More info.
Sun Records artist had his first hit with Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”.
The youngest million selling star in Sam Phillips’ Sun-helmed stratosphere of genius, few rock ‘n’ roll singers matched the relaxed vocal style of Carl Mann. Not so much the anarchy-fuelled rockabilly that was Phillips’ regular calling card, Mann’s lilting approach was completely original, drawing listeners in rather than simply knocking them down. Raised in the backwoods of rural Huntingdon, Tennessee, by 1952 guitar-picking Carl, who later picked up the piano as well, had his own radio spot on Jackson’s WDXI station. He soon picked up the piano and formed his first band, whose radio popularity led to an audition with Jimmy Martin’s now-legendary Jaxon label. His first Sun single, “Mona Lisa,” made it to Billboard’s top twenty. More info.
New Orleans’ proto-rockabilly genius, appeared with Elvis.
New Orleans rockabilly wild man Joe Clay, born C.J. Cheramie, has crossed paths with Elvis Presley more than once – literally and figuratively. Clay sat in on drums with Elvis’ band for a New Orleans gig when regular drummer DJ Fontana was unavailable. Before Elvis filmed his infamous from-the-waist-up performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Clay recorded his own – but the New Orleanian’s hip-shaking antics were considered too hot for TV and never aired. Clay, who still puts on a frantically energetic show, recorded several scorching rockabilly numbers for RCA’s subsidiary Vik in the 50’s, and spent the 60’s playing a regular gig on Bourbon Street in a band that included Freddy Fender, Joe Barry and Mac Rebennack. Clay retired in the later part of the decade, and was rediscovered by rabid British fans in the 80’s, driving a school bus. More info.
Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics:
the nitro-charged country and rockabilly specialists.
Hailing from the wilds of Missouri, guitar wizard Deke Dickerson is that ultra-rare example of a true blue rock 'n' roller who has not only mastered every important element of the genre, but made a huge contribution to the music's evolving tradition by keeping it simple and doing it right. As a teenager, Dickerson helped to pave the way for the surf craze of the '90s with his seminal frat-rock band the Untamed Youth. Deke later struck musical black gold again with the Ecco-Fonics. The double neck Mosrite guitar that is his trademark dispenses licks worthy of Dick Dale and Link Wray as well as Joe Maphis and Jimmy Bryant. The band boasts mastery of every important sub-genre of rock 'n' roll from New Orleans R&B to Western swing. The Ecco-Fonics are an indispensable weapon in the Ponderosa Stomp arsenal and one of the show’s hardest-working regular backing bands. More info.
Friday, July 17, 2009 at 6:30 PM
Dance Lesson at 6:30, Live Music at 7:30 PM
175 West 62nd Street
62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam
Purchase tickets to all three Ponderosa Stomp @ Lincoln Center events (July 16, 17, and 19) for $50!! To receive the discount, simply place all three events into your shopping cart.
Click to purchase tickets.