Also see Arvel Jr. Stricklin's page about Johnny
Johnny Carroll epitomized the sound of rockabilly. His classic fifties sides for the Decca label such as Crazy, Crazy Lovin, Wild, Wild Women and Hot Rocks could be considered pre-punk nuggets. Anyone who has witnessed his amazing performance in the teen juvenile delinquent film classic Rock Baby, Rock It knows Carroll was a rock and roll wild man.
His real name was John Lewis Carrell. Decca Records misspelled it, and Johnny failed to correct it. Despite being considered a rock and roll icon by the European rockabilly audience, Carroll never really achieved stardom in the States.
Rollin'Rock records honcho Ronny Weiser recalled how blown away he was upon first hearing Carroll. It was like listening to Little Richard for the first time. It was with the help of Mac Curtis that that Weiser located Johnny in 1974. Weiser flew to Dallas and recorded the immortal Gene Vincent Rock (also released as The Black Leather Rebel). Composed by Weiser, this fanatical tribute came closer to capturing Vincent's sound than any other record. At the time Weiser didn't realize the close bond between Carroll and Vincent. They had worked together in Dallas during the late fifties and often shared band members. Carroll composed the song Maybe on Vincent's fifth Capitol album.
In 1977 Carroll came to the famous "Rollin' Rock" studios in Van Nuys, California to record the album Texabilly. It was a marathon 27 hour recording session over two days. Weiser remembers the energy level being unbelievable. Carroll rekindled his desperate fifties rock and roll sound. The results feature some amazing guitar work by Carroll who learned under the tutelage of Scotty Moore while playing on the Louisiana Hayride. Rounding out the sound is Ray Campi on slapping bass giving this the classic Rollin' Rock Sound. this album plus carroll's entire recording output for Rollin' Rock Sound. This album plus Carroll's entire recording output for Rollin' Rock are included on this CD including some unrleased gems. Sadly, Carroll passed away on January 13, 1995 due to liver failure.
by: Allen Larman, 1997