Rockabilly Hall of Fame Legends List

"D" Artists & Songs


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* = HONORABLE MENTION
D'Amico, Guido
Jimmy Boy

D'Amico, Ted
D'Andrea, Dick
D, Jimmy Mack
D.H. & the Downbeats

D.J. & The Cats
Lightning Strikes, '58

Dadino, Bobby
Slippery Sal

Daigle, Ted
Mary Lou, '59

Dakil, Floyd
Bad Boy, '65
Kitty Kitty, '65

Dale, Alan
Dale, Gary

Dale, Dick
Marie

Dale, Gary
Pretty Baby

Dale, Jim

Dale, Jimmie
Baby Doll, '57
Darlin', '57

Dale, Kenny

Dale, Larry
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, '61
Mountain Guitar, '61

Dale, Robin
Daley, Jimmy
Dallas, Jimmy
Dallas, Larry

Dallis, Chuck
Good Show But No Go, '62
Moon Twist, '62
So Close To Heaven, '62

Dallman, Jerry
Bug, '58

Dalton, Big Lloyd
Dalton, Dusty
Dalton, Harlon
Dalton, Lloyd
Daly, Durwood

Daly, Terry
You Don't Bug Me,'58

Dameron, Donna
Damon, Mark

Damron, Dickie

Dan & The Craftsmen
Dancey, Mel
Dandies

Dane, Jimmy

Please Have Mercy

Daniel, Jay
Daniel, Stan
Daniels, Charlie

Daniels, Eddie
I Wanna Know', '58

Daniels, Jack
Daddy-O-Rock, '58
Foxy Dan, '60
Switch Blade Sam, '59


Daniels, Jeff


Daniels, Tex
Switch Blade Sam/Foxy Dan, '59

Danny

Danny & The Galaxies
If You Want To Be My Baby

Danny & The Nitro-Tones
International Whirl, '61

Danny & The Roc-Kettes
Danny & The Saints

Danny Boy
Oh Yeah, '57

Danton, Tommy

Twenty One/Oh Yeah

Darcy, Johnny
Darden, Ray
Darensbourg, Joe
Daret, Darla
Darlene, Donna

Darlin, Brenda
Rockin' Lady

Darlington, Frank
Darnell, Larry
Darnell, Ravon
Darnells
Darrell, Guy

Darren, Danny
Fool About You

Darris, Frank

Darro, George

Darrow, Ken
Darrow, Neil
Darty, Chuck
Dave & Bob
Davey & The Dolphins
Davey & The Doo Rays
Davenport, Bill


Darvell, Barry
Geronimo Stomp,' 59

Dash, Frankie
Rock Rhythm Roll, '58

Davids, Janie
Davidson, Frankie

Pix
Davies, Bob
Never Anymore, '57
Extensive On-Site Bio (includes The Rhythm Jesters) by Marc Coulavin

Davies, Cliff
Rocky Road Blues

Davis, Al
Go Baby Go, '64
Ricky Tic, '64

Davis, Bo
Drowning All My Sorrows, '56
Let's Coast Awhile, '56

Davies, Carol
Davis, Chuck
Davis, Cliff

Davis, Dale
Gotta Rock

Davis, Gale
Rock To The Moon, '63

Davis, Garland

Davis, Gene
Bad Dad, '58
I've Had It I'm Through, '59


Davis, Hank
One Way Track, '59
Woman Train, '58

Davis, Jan

Pix
Davis, Jim

Davis, Jimmie
Davis, Jo
Davis, Ken
Davis, Lamarr

Davis, Larry and Dixie
Gonna Live It Up, '58
Welcome Alaska, '58

Davis, Link
Cockroach, '56
Sixteen Chicks, '56
Slipping And Sliding Sometimes, '57
Trucker From Tennessee, '56
Grasshopper Rock

Davis, Pat
Spinner Hub Caps

Davis, Paul
Big Money, '56

Davis, Ray

Davis, Rocky
Hot Rod Baby, '59

Davis, Rufe
Davis, Sherry
Davis Sisters

Pix
Davis, Skeeter
My Last Date (With You), '60
Off=Site: Skeeter Davis Info

Dawn, Billy
Susie We Goofed Again, '58

Dawnbreakers
Dawson, Jimmie
Dawson, Les
Dawson, Ronnie
Day, Bing
Day, Don

Day, Jack
Little Joe

Day, Johnny
Day, Linden
Day, Margie

Day, Nancy
Teenage Hop

Day, Sonny
Daye, Jay

Daywins
Heartbeat, '57

Dazzlers
Somethin' Baby, '58

DeBree, Peter
Hey Mr. Presley, '57
Long Tall Lou, '57

Deacon & The Rock & Rollers
I Don't Wanna Leave, '59
Rockin' On The Moon, '59

Deal, Don
Devil Of Deceit, '57
Don't Push
She Was Here But She's Gone, '58 Unfaithful Diane, '57

Deal, Mike
Dealers

Dean, Al
Fragile Heart, '58

Dean, Bob
Dean, Bob & Cindy

Dean, Bobby
It's A Fad Ma, '59
Just Go Wild Over Rock & Roll, '57

Dean, Buddy

Dean, Charles
Train Whistle Boogie, '58

Dean, Danny
Dean, Donny
Dean, Eddie
Dean, Frank

Dean, Jerry
Walkin' In My Sleep


Dean, Jimmy

Dean, Junior
Chick Chick, '58

Dean, Larry

Dean, Lenny
Girl Of Mine, '59

Dean, Libby
Dean, Lorin
Dean, Nick
Dean, Terry
Dean, Tex

Pix
Deane, Wally
Born: Washington DC --- May 15, 1936 ≠ April 5, 1986
Cool, Cool Daddy - May 1956 - Globe Records
It AinĻt Fair, Baby - May 1956 - Globe Records
Drag On - May 1959 - Arctic Records
Rockin' With Rosie - May 1959 - Arctic Records
Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee - Oct 1960 - Artic Records
In The Jailhouse Now - Oct 1960 - Artic Records
Saddle Up A Satellite - Nov 1960 - Artic Records
It Should've Been Me - Nov 1960 - Artic Records
Rockin' With Rosie - Unknown - Acetate Sessions White Label
Stompin' - Unknown - Acetate Sessions White Label
I'm Tellin' Ya Baby - Unknown - Unknown

Deans
Humpty Dumpty, '61

Deaton, Billy

Deaton, Frank
Just A Little Bit More, '57

DeBerry, Jimmy

JIMMY DEBERRY ≠ Born November 17, 1911, Crumrod, Arkansas. Contracted to Sun February 25, 1953, having been introduced to Phillips by Walter Horton. Recorded with Horton and by himself.

Deb-Tones
Decades

Deckelman, Bud
Born Harrisburg, Arkansas, on April 2nd, 1927, Bud became a Memphis-based country singer from around 1950, who had a regional hit in 1954 on Meteor 5014 with "Daydreamin'" (written by Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell who also backed him as The Daydreamers) after both song and singer had been turned down by Sam Phillips. A mechanic in his day job, Deckelman is said to have repaired Meteor's delapidated tape deck before he was able to record! "Daydreamin'" was covered by Jimmy Newman on Dot and later by Wanda Jackson and Carl McVoy - a few years ago it was even converted into a deep soul classic by James Carr - and spawned at least one classic answer song - written again by Claunch and Cantrell - "Daydreams Come True" (Meteor 5027) by Buddy Bain, Kay Wayne And Merle (Red) Taylor With The Hayriders, which was also covered by Jimmy Newman and by Sue Richards at Sun accompanied by the composers. As a result of the hit, Deckelman was contracted to MGM who were still casting about for a new Hank Williams, and he unfortunately disappeared from the local scene during the important years of 1955/56, where he may have recorded some classic Memphis stuff. Despite another eight excellent Honky Tonk singles on MGM and a final try later with Eddie Bond's Stomper Time Records, another hit eluded him and he faded from the music scene to run his own interior decorating company. He resurfaced in the 1960s to run Shelman Publishing with Cantrell and played bass in the houseband on Eddie Bond's local TV Show, becoming MC of the Mid-South Jamboree in the 1970s and he died of lung cancer in Memphis at the age of 69 on February 28th 1998.
Barefoot Rock
I'll Be The One


Deckleman, Sonny
Born To Lose, '60
I've Got Love

Decker, Jodie
Dedmon, Danny

Dee Jay & The Runaways
Gee Whiz, '58

Dee & Patty

First Date, '58
Gee Whiz, '58

Dee, Billy
Baby You're Mine

Dee, Charlie
Dee, Donna

Dee, Frankie
Shake It Up Baby, '58

Dee, Jackie
Buddy, '58

Dee, Jerry

Dee, Jimmy
Henrietta, '57
I Feel Like Rockin', '59
Monster Hop
Rock Tick Tock, '59

Dee, Jimmy "French"

Dee, Johnny
A-Plus In Love, '57
Sittin' In The Balcony, '57
Teenage Queen, '57
Tobacco Road, '60

Dee, Lou

King Of The Hill

Dee, Louis
Dee, Ronnie

Pix
Dee, Tommy
Three Stars

Dee, Toni

Dee, Tonya
Shake This Town, '61

DeHoney, Jimmy
DeKnight, Jimmy
Delatones
Del Rays
Del-Rays
Del-Tones
Delaney, Danny
Dell, Bill
Dell, Jeanie

JD
Dell, Jimmy

Dell, Jovan
Dell, Richie
Dell, Roy
Dell, Wailin' Bill

Dell, Danny
Froggy Went A'Courtin', '60

Dell, Jimmy
I've Got A Dollar, '58

Delmore Brothers

Delmore, Alton
Delree & The Encores
Deltones

Demar, Jerry
Cross-Eyed Alley Cat, '59
Lover Man, '59

DeMarino, Ronnie
DeMarr, Jerry
DeMatteo, Nicky


Demirdjian, Mike


Dempsey, Little Jimmy
Bop Hop, '58

Denhams
Dennis & Devins
Denny, Al
Denny, Dave
Denny, Galen

LD
Denson, Lee
Heart Of A Fool, '57
Devil Doll, '58
New Shoes, '57

Denton, Bob
Skinnie Minnie, '58
Playboy, '58
Thinkin' About You, '61

Denton, Johnny
Denver, Danny
DePaul, Ray

Deran, Richie
Girl And A Hot Rod

Derek, Tommy
DeRieux, Larry

Derksen, Arnie
She Wanna Rock, '59

DeRose, Marty
Derrick, Jack
Derrick, Vernon
Derringers
Derrs
DeShannon, Jackie

DeSoto, Bobby

Cheater, '59

Devlin, Johnny

DeWitt, Bobby

Annie Mae, '59

DeWitt, Fay
Dexter, Al
Dial-Tones
Diamond Jim & Brother Bob

Diamond, Larry
True Love, '59
Young Pipeliner

Diamond, Lee
Mama Loochie, '58

Diamond, Ronnie
Life Begins At Four O'clock, '59

Diante, Denny


Dias, Carlos
Sugaree

Dickens, Doug
Raw Deal, '59

Pix
Dickens, Little Jimmy
(I Got A) Hole In My Pocket, '58
Hey Worm
Rockin' With Red, '53
Salty Boogie, '55

Dickey, Milt
Dickie & The Gees
Dickerson, Dub
Dickinson, Jim

Pix
Diddley, Bo
Off-Site Page


Dietzel, Elroy
Rockin' Bones, '57
Teenage Ball, '56

Diggs, Jimmie
Dills, Delane

Dill, Danny
Hungry For Your Lovin', '56

Dillon, Zig

Dingus, Bob
Step It Up And Go

Dinkins, Tim
Dinning, Ace
Dinning, Jean

Pix
Dinning, Mark
Teen Angel, '59

Dino, Bobby
Dion, Jerry
Dishaw, Tommy
Dixie Drifter
Dixie Drifters

Dixieland Drifters
Uncle John's Bongos, '61

Dixielanders
Dixon, Dicky
Dixon, Helene
Dixon, Mason
Dixon, Ted
Dixon, Walter
Dixon, Webb
Dlouhy, Gene
Dobbs, Martha

Dobkins, Carl Jr
Take Hold Of My Hand, '57
That's Why I'm Asking, '57
Carl's Rockabilly HOF page

Dobro, Lon

Dobson, Leroy
I Wanna Make Love

Doctor Rock
Dodgers
Dodo, Joe


Doggett, Ray
Go Go Heart, '56
Love Is Made Of This, '57

Dolan, Ramblin' Jimmy
Hot Rod Race, '50

Doll, Andy

Dollar, Johnny
On-site Rockabilly HOF web page

Dollins, Bobby
Dolton, Billy

FD
Domino, Fats
Off-Site Bio


Dom, Lee

Don & His Roses
Don & Dewey

Don & Neal
One Kiss From You

Don & The Dominos
Just Let Me Be, '62

Don's Rockers
Moonlight Stroll
You're Just Right For Me

Donald, Charlie
Donalds, Joe

Donegan, Dorothy
Roll 'em D.D.

*Donegan, Lonnie

On-Site Bio (Sorry 'bout that Marc)
Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group page

Donley, Jimmy

Donn, Johnny


Donn, Larry
Baby Let's Play House
Blue Moon Of Kentucky
Down The Line
Good Golly Miss Molly
Great Balls Of Fire
Honey Bun, '59
I'm Left You're Right She's Gone
Milkcow Blues
Mystery Train
Shake Rattle And Roll
She's Mine
Skinny Minnie
That's What I Call A Ball, '59

Donnell, Ray

Pix
Donner, Ral
Girl Of My Best Friend, '61
She's Everything (I Wanted You To Be), '61
You Don't Know What You've Got, '61

Donny & The Duke
Dono, Eddie
Dooley, George
Dorchesters
Dorety, Dee Dee

Dorman, Harold
I'm Stepping Aside, '57
Mountain Of Love, '60

Dorn, Dick
Dorn, Jerry

Dorn, Lee
Rockin' Daddy

Dorsam, Tom
Baby of Mine

Dorsey, Ray
Dortch, Slim

Doss, Bob
Don't Be Gone Long, '56

Doss, Jan
Dotson Brothers
Dotson, James
Dotson, Jimmy
Dottie Mae
Doubles

Doughboys, Light Crust

Dougherty, Bob
Douglas, Davy
Douglas, Dick
Douglas, Glenn
Douglas, Harry
Douglas, Oscar

Douglas, Tony
Geronimo, '59

Dove, Jerry

Dove, Johnny
I Gotta Go, '59

Dove, Ronnie
Lover Boy


Dowd, Larry
Blue Swinging Mama, '59

Downbeats

Downing, Big Al
Down On The Farm, '58
Oh Babe, '58

Downing, Wayne

Downs, Tommy
Big Indian

Pix
Down Yonder

Doyle, Dickie
Dozier, Billy
Dozier, Rudy

Draggon, Duffis
Tracks in the Sand (joke)

Drake, Larry
Draper, Joseph June
Draper, Robert

Pix
Draper, Rusty
Seventeen

Dreamers

Dresser, Lee

Drexel, Steve
Dropouts
Du'Ambra, Joey
Duane, Billy
Dubois, Morey

Dudley, Dave

Rock 'n' Roll Nursery Rhyme, '56

Duff, Arlie
Alligator Come Across, '56


Duffill, Tam

Duffett, Johnny


Dugosh, Eddie
Strange Kinda Feelin', '56

Duke & Null
Duke, Billy
Duke, Denver
Duke, Denver & Jeffrey

Duke, Roy

Dukes
Dukes, Aggie
Dukes, Earl

Dunavan, Terry

Rock It On Mars, '58
Rockin' At School, '58

Duncan, Bill
Duncan, Don
Duncan, Ferrell


Duncan, Herbie
Escape, '58
Hot Lips Baby, '58

Duncan, Jimmy

Duncan, Johnny
Blue Blue Heartache

Duncan, Lanny
Duncan, Tommy
Duniven, Bill

Dunlap, Gene
Made In The Shade, '58

Dunn, David

Rock Me

Dunn, Webster, Jr.
Dupree, Lebron
Durant, Don
Durant, J.
Durden, Tommy
Durham, Jerry
Durhan, Charles

Durham, Paul
Mean Woman Married Man Blues

Duron, Mario
Dusters
Dusty, Slim


Duvall, Huelyn
Fool's Hall Of Fame, '58
Friday Night On A Dollar Bill, '58
Hum-M-M-Dinger, '58
Pucker Paint, '60
Teen Queen, '57
Three Months To Kill, '59
On-Site Mini-Bio

Dycus, Connie






BIG AL DOWNING, born January 9, 1940; birthplace Lenapah, Oklahoma. Al Downing joined a pre-existing group called the Poe-Kats, fronted by Bobby Poe (Bobby Brant) and Vernon Sandusky, and essentially took over - they were billed as "Big Al Downing and the Poe-Kats" by the time they cut their first record, "Down On The Farm" / "Oh Babe!" in 1957 for the White Rock label in Dallas, Texas. After the record caught on locally, it was reissued on the Challenge label. Downing and the Poe-Kats then toured with Wanda Jackson and appeared as session players on some of her recordings. They were unable to continue the momentum started by their first record, and Downing bounced along for the next two decades recording in a variety of different styles, including a disco period. But in 1978 Downing returned to his country roots and has charted a dozen minor hits on Billboard's Country charts since then. In the years since its release, "Down On The Farm" has been considered a rockabilly standard, covered by countless others. -Jeffrey Scott Holland

HUELYN DuVALL, born unknown; birthplace Stephenville, Texas. Huelyn Duvall was a young country musician until 1956 when he changed to rock and roll. He got a job doing Danny Wolfe's demos for him, including "Modern Romance" (which was picked up by Sanford Clark), and "Double-Talkin' Baby" (recorded by Gene Vincent, and much later by the Stray Cats). The Challenge label, owned by Joe Johnson and Gene Autry (though Autry was largely a silent partner), gave Duvall a recording session in 1958 at Wolfe's behest. The first single, "Comin' Or Goin'", was not a hit but more sessions were held and Challenge continued to hold out hope for Duvall. Most of Duvall's tunes were penned by Danny Wolfe, including "Comin' Or Goin'", "Pucker Paint, "Three Months To Kill" and "Friday Night On A Dollar Bill." Duvall's recording sessions included such luminaries as Grady Martin and Hank Garland, as well as a couple of members from The Champs, but chart success evaded him and after his contract expired, he gave up music for a career in data processing. -Jeffrey Scott Holland


ROCK TO THE MUSIC: THE STORY OF BOB DAVIES AND THE RHYTHM JESTERS, 1996, by Marc Coulavin. For many years, Canadian musicians have had to find fame abroad before being acknowledged at home. Quite a few of Canada's most famous performers have had to head South in order to get any kind of recognition. Bob Davies is no exception. Accordingly, he went to New York City to make his first recordings and had a brief brush with notoriety. When he returned home, however, he faded into relative obscurity until a few years ago, when some of his early material was compiled for a reissue album. Bob Davies was born in Montreal, Quebec, on May 3, 1937, and grew up in the Verdun neibourhood. He was the only child of Mildred and Cyril Davies (not the famous British blues musician). Although his father came over from England and his mother up from the United States, both lived the rest of their lives in the Montreal area. Cyril Davies worked for the Canadian Army, as a purchasing agent for the hospital in his later years, while his wife worked for the Bank of Montreal.

Davies's father played the harmonica and would quiz young Bob on the tunes he was playing, but that was the extent of his musical upbringing. The boy showed an early interest in music and entertaining, singing at Cubs and Life Boy camps. Unlike many musicians of his generation, he never got involved with the school band at the high schools he attended, Woodland and Verdun High. Instead, he was prompted to get his own guitar, at the age of fourteen, when a friend showed him his new guitar. Davies convinced his parents to let him acquire an instrument from Peate's Music Store on an installment plan. In the early stages, the money from his paper route went towards payments, but his parents soon had to assume them. The youngster taught himself to play through numerous hours spent practising at home, strumming along to the record player.

Davies left school after grade ten and got a job at the stock market working as a marker-board boy. In 1953, he formed his first group, The Down Yonder Boys: Brian Kempster on Hawaiian (lap steel) guitar, Fred Curry on lead guitar and himself on rhythm guitar and vocals. Davies then teamed up with Norm "Curly" Robertson, who, according to Davies, just materialised one day: "When you're playing guitar on the porch, kids walk by. Curly was French-Canadian and spoke broken English. He said he had an accordion and could he get his accordion." Davies replied that he didn't like accordion, and that he wanted a bass player. "A week later he showed up with a bass. He had traded his accordion in. So we started practising together. He played slap bass and before long we were singing harmony and auditioning for shows." They joined an amateur troupe called The Blue Sky Revue, as a country and western musical comedy duo, under the name Slim and Curly (Davies being "Slim," of course). As part of that outfit they garnered some attention: "When I was seventeen, in 1954, we had the opportunity to audition for a night club called the Hale Hakala and we got the job. We started playing weekends at the Hale Hakala and then touring through Quebec." They entertained at such local venues as the Siscoe Club, t he Caf« Domino, and the Morocco Club in Val d'Or, Quebec. Their hillbilly repertoire included songs like The Browns' "Looking Back To See," and Webb Pierce's "More And More" and "He's In The Jailhouse Now," as well as songs that Davies had written. Slim and Curly got on Opportunity Knocks - a radio talent show that catered mostly to highbrow classical acts, opera singers and the like. Nonetheless, they came in second place. Davies took that (and the fact that he was making a month's salary in one night) as a sign that he should pursue a career in entertainment.

In 1955, Davies's friend Danny Smith introduced the pair to Rick Munro, from Ahuntsic (a northern neighbourhood of Montreal). Munro initially joined them on lead guitar for a weekend gig in the Laurentians, but fit in so well that they decided to continue as a trio. Montreal photographer Johnny O'Neil was about to print up a batch of promo photos for the group and was going to put their name at the bottom, so they had to come up with one on the spot. The idea came from a newspaper article which had called them "full of rhythm and energy" and from the fact that Robertson did a lot of comedy, bringing to mind the word "jester." Thus, they became The Rhythm Jesters. The Rhythm Jesters were doing quite well in night clubs in the Montreal area, where they were sometimes billed as "The Rock'n'Roll Kids." One of the local newspapers inevitably pegged Davies as "our town's answer to Alvis [sic] Presley" on account of their set, which included covers of Presley's versions of "Baby Let's Play House," "That's Alright, Mama" and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky," as well as current favourites by other artists such as "Tutti Frutti," "Be Bop A Lula" and "Shake, Rattle And Roll." The Rhythm Jesters also appeared regularly on a Friday night show, The Hometown Jamboree on CFCF radio, whipping the studio audience of - mostly female - fans into such a frenzy that, the first time, they had to be escorted away by Montreal's finest. About that time, CKAC producer Lucien St Amand tried unsuccessfully to pitch some of their demo tapes to Montreal-based Canadian RCA Victor, then a major country label in Canada, whose roster included both Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) and Hank Snow.

In the summer of 1956 they ran into Emmett McGoogan, who played drums and acted as a tutor for a child singer named Little Billy Mason, also originally from Verdun. Mason didn't have a band at the time so they all joined forces. George Goldner of Rama Records, in New York, had spotted the Frankie Lymon-soundalike Mason on a talent show and wanted him to cut some records. Initially, Goldner took them into the RCA Victor studios in Montreal, but he didn't like the sound. So they packed all their equipment into a rented trailer, hitched it to Munro's convertible and headed for New York City. Goldner booked them into Bell Sound studios, which he used for many of his acts. Davies remembers Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers coming in right after them. The three or four hour session yielded four sides. "I Love My Baby" and "Make Me Your Own," both written and later recorded by Davies, were issued as by "Little Billie Mason" (perhaps mimicking the "ie" in Frankie). Goldner, hedging his bets, pulled the classic move of also putting out a single by the group at the same time. It paired a Bob Davies/Rick Munro collaboration called "Rock To The Music" with The Rhythm Jesters' version of the New Orleans classic "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It" (via the Hank Williams interpretation), retitled "Hole In The Bucket" for the occasion. Interestingly, the label on this record would have you believe that these are instrumentals, which they are most definitely not! Both discs were on the market by November 1956, just in time for the Christmas rush. Billy Mason's was also issued in Canada by the Compo Company on its Apex label, while The Rhythm Jesters did not get the benefit of a domestic release.

Immediately following their initial singles, Little Billy Mason and the Rhythm Jesters were featured, both as a solo artist and as a group, in an Alan Freed Rock & Roll Revue at The Apollo Theatre (a year before Buddy Holly made his famous appearance), along with The Moonglows, The Cleftones, The Harptones, Eddie Cooley and His Dimples, The Pretenders, The Angels, The Lanes, The Joytones and Sonny Knight. On many shows, Mason would perform as a separate act backed by the Rhythm Jesters, who would also play under their own name. Around this time, the Rhythm Jesters also appeared on Paul Winchell's nationwide ABC TV show Circus Time, where they were spotted by Frank Sinatra's agent. He decided that they would be the perfect warm-up act for his artist's tour "down under." The Rhythm Jesters were working at the Holiday Tavern in Toronto, Ontario, when they got the news. "It was kind of a grungy little place, but they featured rock'n'roll acts like Bo Diddley and others, and they payed well. We got the call from our agent, Paul Kalet, late at night and we were pretty excited." remembers Davies. The ads for the February 1957 Australian shows, produced by Lee Gordon, billed them as "America's newest rock'n'roll sensation." The only other artist on the bill was American singer Patti Jerome. The Rhythm Jesters arrived in Sydney, via Chicago and Honolulu, and waited for Sinatra to appear. While they waited, they played on the radio, and received many offers from local clubs. Unfortunately, due to the terms of their visas, they were unable to accept them. In the end, Sinatra never showed up and the tour had to be cancelled.

Shortly after their return to North America, the Rhythm Jesters and Billy Mason headed back to the Bell Sound studios for their second session and cut four more sides. The top side of Billy Mason's single was another Bob Davies-penned tune: "Thinking Of You," which Davies also later recorded himself and Mason re-recorded (for Barry Records). The flip was a version of the old Jimmy Davis chestnut "You Are My Sunshine," set to a calypso beat. The other disc came out as by "Bob Davies and The Rhythm Jesters" and featured two originals: a slow burner with an infectious guitar riff called "She'll Never Know," and a steady medium tempo rocker with a hypnotizing beat, emphasized by the crack of McGoogan's snare drum, titled "Never Anymore." Both records were released on Rama in the U.S. and Apex in Canada. Following the release of their second efforts, Mason and the Rhythm Jesters appeared on Alan Freed's Easter Jubilee of Stars at the Brooklyn Paramount on the same bill as Charlie Gracie, Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen and The Rhythm Orchids, The Cellos, The Cleftones, Bo Diddley and His Band, Anita Ellis, The G Clefs, The Pearls, The Heartbreakers, The Harptones, Bobby Marchan, The Rosebuds, The Solitaires, The Dell Vikings and Alan Freed's Rock'n Roll Band with Sam "The Man" Taylor, Big Al Sears, Panama Francis and Freddie Mitchell: quite a bill! There is a picture of the marquee for this show in Norm N. Nite's Rock'n'Roll Yearbook. The Rhythm Orchids and The Rhythm Jesters, attracted to each other by the similarity in their names, became fast friends at this show. Davies recalls jamming with them and Bo Diddley in their dressing room, and going to parties with Jimmy Bowen and Buddy Knox.

On account of legislation designed to protect children, Billy Mason could only perform in theatres and similar venues. The Rhythm Jesters, however, were not fettered by such limitations, and Paul Kalet booked them on a twenty date tour across the United States, hitting places like The Canyon Lake Club in Rapid City, South Dakota - where Davies was billed as "Canada's own Elvis Presley" - The Crossroads Inn, The El Capitan Club in Hawthorne, Nevada, and Wally Jacobs' Desert Inn in Tucson, Arizona. After the tour, the Rhythm Jesters returned to their home base and continued to play at various clubs around Montreal: the El Morocco, the Top Hat Caf«, the Hale Hakala, the Bellevue, the Beaver Club and Vic's Caf«, as well as the Bal Tabarin and Chez Ímile in Quebec City. They shared the bill with Mel Torm« and Sarah Vaughn when these artists appeared at the El Morocco. A review of one of their many return engagements at the Top Hat Caf« in Montreal, in early November 1957, describes their act this way: "They electrify their audiences with wild rock'n'roll songs, leaving the younger ones screaming in a high pitched frenzy. One of the best features of the act is a hilarious Elvis Presley impersonation handled very capably by Bob Davies, who looks and acts more like Elvis than Elvis does."

In 1958, the three original Rhythm Jesters split from Billy Mason and Emmett McGoogan, who was replaced by Dave Holtzman for another tour across the United States. They hit many of the same spots their previous tours had taken them to and appeared on KOTA-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota. After the tour, Holtzman surrendered his drum stool to Dick Grant. A little later that year, Curly Robertson joined the U.S. Air Force and was replaced by Lloyd Hiscock, who in addition to bass, also played trumpet and piano. This lineup played a lot around Quebec - including the Musicians' Union Labour Day Festival at the Montreal Forum - as well as in Ontario and throughout the United States, but they never recorded. In 1959, while they were playing at a club in Hawthorne, Nevada, the Rhythm Jesters received a call from Billy Ward - who managed The Dominoes, of course, but also The Champs, riding high in the charts with "Tequila" at the time. He had heard about them through a mutual friend. It was arranged for Ward to see the group perform at the Heralds Club in Reno. Having witnessed their show, he offered to take them back to California with him, produce them and get them into the movies. But Davies had been planning to get married after the tour, so they turned Ward down and went home to Montreal instead. As it turns out, the group disbanded shortly after anyway. Davies pursued his career as a solo act, taking part that year in Talent Caravan, a national show on CBC TV.

Davies married Celina on July 11th and took up a residency as the Master of Ceremonies at the Cavendish Caf«, a job he would keep until 1964. Also in 1959, he wrote "Come On Don't Be Mean", with his friend Bob Ouimet from Verdun, and recorded the song as a duo with Joyce Germain, a friend of Ouimet's (Germain later went on to make several singles of her own, including one backed by The Beau-Marks and a Beatles novelty). This song, which includes both frantic Elvis-influenced sections and contrasting slower parts, was recorded at the RCA Victor studios in Montreal, with former Rhythm Jester Rick Munro on bass, and the guitarist and drummer from another local outfit - The T-Birds. The flip side is a nice ballad titled "That's How Young Love Should Be." The record was released on the local Zirkon label. The ballad side made the local charts besides tunes such as "Clap Your Hands" by fellow Montrealers The Beau-Marks, "Muleskinner Blues" by The Fendermen, " Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison, and "Because They're Young" by Duane Eddy. Later that year, Davies was featured on many of the vocals for a budget album of country covers recorded by local outfit Wayne King and his Country Boys (Rod Gordon, Pee Wee Lafleur, Geri O'Brien and Bruce Applebee). Meanwhile, Davies was still appearing nightly at the Cavendish Caf«, where he was billed as "The Canadian Jellyhips," in a lighthearted reference to Elvis. During his years there he had the opportunity to hire an old country artist, who had fallen out of favour. This person turned out to be none other than Zeb Turner, of "Chew Tobacco Rag" fame. Davies would also occasionally go on short tours of Quebec and Ontario, or play out-of-town dates. He appeared regularly on the Jimmy Tapp and Like Young TV shows, and he would sometimes drop by The Monterrey or The Blue Angel taverns, on his night off, to do Elvis covers with the Stoltz Brothers ("Rock'n Roll Riot"), Scotty Stevenson ("Red Hot Boogie") or the Hachey Brothers.

Davies' next recording venture - and biggest hit - was a tribute to hockey star Gordie Howe. The song came about as Davies was sitting around with some friends watching a game on TV. "That Howe's great." someone said. "The greatest of them all" Davies added, and he had the chorus for his song. He went over to his neighbour Moe Chapman's apartment, where they finished off the lyrics. Davies recorded the tune for Globe, who released as by Big Bob & The Dollars in 1963; its flip side was a fast pop-rocker titled "You." The record was a sizeable hit in Montreal, Toronto, Detroit and other hockey towns, where it was sometimes played in arenas before games (indeed, I have heard it a couple of times on the radio in Toronto, in recent years!). There was a French language cover by Les Baladins around the same time (London FC 598) and Davies himself re-recorded it at least once. The song didn't make Davies any wealthier, because the label owners apparently absconded with the money. It did, however, gain him quite a lot of publicity, and a certain amount of fame. This single was also the first record to feature The Dollars, who would back Davies on many of his future recordings. The Dollars comprised Hugh Dixon on guitar, ex-Rhythm Jester "Curly" Robertson on bass and the previously mentioned friend Danny Smith on drums. Davies had first met Dixon in Quebec City, while on tour with the Rhythm Jesters. He was a young radio announcer, who had come down to see their show. After the show, he invited the Rhythm Jesters back to the radio station where they jammed and made tapes. They became friends and when Davies was about to cut his record he called on Dixon, who, by then, had moved to Montreal. Dixon is an accomplished guitarist and has had several albums and singles issued under his own name.

Through Dixon, Davies met Roger Miron, who ran Rusticana and Click Records. His Bob Davies sings Bob Davies LP appeared on Rusticana in 1963. For this release, Danny Smith's brother Billy took over on drums and Davies's old band mate Rick Munro joined The Dollars on bass, replacing Robertson. In spite of the late recording date, the songs on this album are surprisingly good rockers. Cashbox reviewed "Rock'n Roll Show" and "With You Tonight" (album tracks issued as a single on Click), giving both cuts the nod with a B+ (their highest grade). London Records expressed some interest in releasing this record in the States, but, unfortunately, Miron apparently never pursued it. It was, however, released on that label in the United Kingdom. Other tunes off the album also made Montreal radio station CKGM's Super Six charts. During this time, Davies continued to play clubs around Quebec, including Le Baril d'Huitres, Le Bal Tabarin and Chez Ímile in Quebec City, as well as Ottawa and Toronto, also doing the occasional TV show. In 1964, Davies re-formed The Bobsmiths. He and Danny Smith had performed briefly under that name for about a year, in 1961 and 1962. The reunited duo toured a lot, doing Beatles take-offs and hockey and boxing skits, as well as playing Davies' compositions and hits of the day. They were extremely popular in clubs, so Davies assembled an album with songs culled from his Bob Davies sings Bob Davies LP and some new material he had written. This "new" album was also issued on Rusticana and titled, with a tip of the hat to the mop tops, Meet The Bobsmiths. The new songs were cut with backing provided by The Dollars. Davies and Smith moved to Ontario in the late sixties and carried on with their club work in much the same fashion. They put out an album in 1971 - the same year they split. Recorded live at The Derby (a club in Toronto) it is an accurate reflection of what their shows were like then. After that, Davies continued performing on his own. In 1977, he took a year off to recuperate from the toll taken by his many years on the club circuit. These days he is still entertaining, occasionally playing at charity events and sometimes in lounges, on the weekend.

Davies' great recordings have languished in obscurity for far too long. Fortunately, a few years ago Redita Records of The Netherlands (P.O. Box 23812, 2502 GV Den Haag) released a full album of his best rockers titled - appropriately enough - Rock To The Music. With acknowledgements and thanks to Bob Davies. -THE BOB DAVIES / RHYTHM JESTERS DISCOGRAPHY, 1 996, by Marc Coulavin.



LONNIE DONEGAN

Songs include: Rock Island Line (1956) - Stewball (1956) - Lost John/Stewball (1956) - Skiffle Session (1956) - Bring a Little Water Sylvie/Dead or Alive (1956 and 1957) - Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O (1957) - Cumberland Gap (1957) - Jack O' Diamonds (1957) - Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight)? (1959) and many more....

As pop writer Paul Flattery put it, Anthony Donegan "didn't so much start the skiffle craze; he *was* the skiffle craze." "Skiffle" brings blank looks to US record purveyors, but in England, when Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan were part of Ken Colyer's "pure" jazz band in 1955, there would often be a musical break between standard Dixieland renditions (Barber, Donegan, and another band member named Alexis Korner---the father of British rhythm and blues---would predominate here.) "Skiffle" was a British term of the twenties, describing the replacement of legitimate jazz instruments by washboards (percussion), tea-chest-and- broom-handle bass, guitar and kazoo. The musical sources were primarily American black and folk idioms.

Young Anthony (having taken the name Lonnie from bluesman Lonnie Johnson) and Colyer were at odds when Donegan's skiffle-session break became the audience favorite. Donegan left the band and started his own purely skiffle group and had a string of hits starting in early 1956. Skiffle itself swept the country. Groups like the Vipers and Chas McDevitt (with singer Nancy Whiskey) also rose to fame; American black singers and bluesmen were championed by their new fans; skiffle clubs opened and closed, creating a popular coffee-bar mentality. And youngsters like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, thrilled to the marrow by singers like Presley and Chuck Berry, were nevertheless heavily influenced by skiffle. It was the fact that *anyone* could play, apparently regardless of musical talent, that brought so many young amateur musicians into the streets, seeking the spotlight of fame.

Another innovation was the television show "6.5 Special", which presented the remarkable vision (to Britain, at least) of teenagers *dancing* to music played in the studio, much of it skiffle. A talent spot was added and young bands from all over England tried out. Skiffle maintained its lead in popular music until about 1957; Donegan, probably due to his disarming talent and charming presence, survived much longer by incorporating English music-hall styles and reviving native pride in same. He still records today.