Rockabilly: The Twang Heard %E2%80%98Round the World%E2%80%94The Illustrated History

Edited by Michael Dregni, foreword by Sonny Burgess. Voyageur, $30 (232p) ISBN 978-0-7603-4062-2
Born out of Elvis Presley’s improvisational cut of That’s All Right recorded at Sun Records in 1954, Rockabilly’s time under the spotlight was brief, but its reverberating influence still rings true. This illustrated history, much like the music, is a frantic journey, full of passion and charisma. A blend of bluegrass, jazz, and Hillbilly that predates both rock ’n’ roll and country, the origins of the term “Rockabilly” eludes even its most famous figures. Burgess’s tales of touring with Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison make clear that showmanship was prerequisite to the style that encompassed such greats as Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Interviews with lesser known musicians like Charlie Feathers give the story a personal touch. In varying manifestations, bona fide Rockabilly principles have endured from the 1970s European revival, through the brash “Psychobilly” of The Stray Cats and The Cramps, and on to the current new wave. Over 600 photographs and images of original tour posters, vinyl sleeves, and paraphernalia provide an electrifying account orchestrated with an authenticity that only adds to its already overwhelming worldwide appeal. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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