Articles and thoughts from the mind of Deke
Gene Vincent was an iconic rock and roller, with his tortured facial expressions, classic greasy coif, perfect cat clothes. And yet, from his very first session to his last, he loved to sing ballads.
Faron Young’s hillbilly boogie songs of the early and mid-1950s, with their braggadocio-laden lyrical content and aggressive boogie-woogie guitar-based sound, were highly influential to the new crop of rockabillies.
Johnny Paycheck spent years making a slew of brilliant honky-tonk, near-rockabilly, and stone country records, some of the best records he would ever make, under the forgotten nom de plume of Donny Young.
A little-known Italian country musician named Rex Gallion holds the distinction of being the man who suggested to Leo Fender in 1953 that the new instrument he was designing could have body contours for comfort in playing.
While it is true that Orbison himself preferred the softer songs and the pop ballads, and certainly that is where he found his greatest chart success, Roy Orbison’s veins pulsed with the blood of a rocker.
The story of Hallmark guitars and its namesake Joe Hall is an interesting, if obscure, tale in the history of the electric guitar.
The news is out that my friend Ray Campi has passed away. Ray was an original 1950s Texas rocker who kept the flame alive during the dark ages of the 1960s and 1970s, aided and abetted by Ronny Weiser and his DIY record label Rollin’ Rock Records.
Our story concerns a very important city at a very important time—Los Angeles, California, in the 1950s—and two energetic young musicians who came of age during this exciting period: Glen Glenn and his guitar-playing compatriot, Gary Lambert.
Fans have long admired the technical excellence of Gene Vincent’s recordings, especially the Capitol albums from 1956 to 1962. But the documentation and details of how these recordings came about have been somewhat shrouded in mystery.
Freddie Hart will always be remembered for his runaway 1971 number one hit “Easy Loving.” But he had one of the longest and most arduous climbs to the top of any country music star in history, having begun his recording career almost twenty years earlier.