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Rockabilly Hall of Fame: Legends of Rock-a-billy Perform a Once in a Lifetime Show in New Orleans, Stomp 2002 Review

Legends of Rock-a-billy
Perform a Once in a Lifetime
Show in New Orleans

In a small renovated movie theater on Constantinople Street in New Orleans, on May 1, 2002, five legends of fifties rock n roll performed to a very enthusiastic audience. The Fine Arts Theater, a small night club hidden away from all the action of the Big Easy, in a residential area where tourist never venture came these legends. They parked on a very narrow street and entered almost unnoticed. Inside your were far away from anything resembling Harrah's or any Las Vegas casino. This was almost honky tonk atmosphere taking you back to the days of Hank Williams and some place he might have played after he was booted off the Grand Ole Opry.

        The people in attendance would witness a miracle in promotion. Doing the impossible was Dr. Ike and the Knights of the Mystic Mau Mau calling the event the Ponderosa Stomp. Surely it couldn't have happened any place but New Orleans the city of Voo Doo magic, cats paws, frog skins, and Cajuns. How The Mystic Knights, pulled this off only they will ever know and they weren't talking. Some very unusual things it is whispered in certain circles do come down the Mississippi River on a foggy night into the Big Easy that no one can or ever will explain. From this environment came the Ponderosa Stomp. The Mystic Knights got Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, James Burton, Paul Burleson, Dale Hawkins, Lazy Lester, Warren Storm and rock-a-billy band that was the best I've ever heard.

        The entire event should have been filmed and shown around the world it was that good. Lazy Lester began the evening doing some of his recordings that included blues, rock, and country. His performance was nothing less than outstanding and the audience shouted their approval. Warren Storm gave one of his best performance belting out his hits of the past in grand style, the audience loved it.

        Dale Hawkins came on and tore the crowd up with some of his hit recordings then brought the house down when he and James Burton went into Suzie Q the crowd refused to let him quit. Finally Dale just said good night that's all thank you very much.

        Paul Burlison has to be the one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have never meet anyone more friendly than Paul Burlison. Paul was easy to approach and not knowing me from Adam's house cat was more than happy to autograph the rock n roll trio album on Coral Records I had brought with me he gladly posed with me to have my picture taken with him. What a great human being. I had always wanted to meet him ever since, I heard his guitar playing with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette's recording of The Train Kept a Rollin, Honey Hush, and Tear It Up.

        Rocky Burnette closed the show with Scotty, D.J., Paul, and James all on stage together making it a historical event. Rocky did all of his dad's hits Tear It Up, The Train Kept a Rollin, Your Sixteen Your Beautiful and Your Mine. Rocky not only sounds like his dad Johnny Burnette, but has many of his mannerisms. Rocky closed the show with Heart Break Hotel and called on Scotty to do the guitar break as Scotty broke into his guitar solo, Rocky reminded the audience you better get up here now with your cameras and take a picture of these legends on this stage together, because you will probably never see them on stage together again. Then he called them out by name Mr. Scotty Moore, Mr. D.J. Fontana, Mr. Paul Burlison, and the one and only Mr. James Burton. Ladies and gentlemen you have just experienced a rock n roll show that will never pass your way again. God bless you and good night.
        Rocky was right, what that small audience in New Orleans had seen and heard that night would most likely be never seen again. When those legends walked out of the door and into the night a part of rock-a-billy history left with them for ever. Hail, Hail rock n roll! Posted May, 2002

-- Wildmac Clark, Rockabilly Hall of Fame
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