Update: September, 2006Mike Vincent Merchandise
Mike was introduced to the music scene early in life. Mom and dad always had music going in the house. Mom was a dance instructor and taught the popular dance steps of the day. Mike would go out in Chicago and buy 78s to play and then came the 45s and albums. By 1954 he was a teen and this guy Johnny Ray was hitting the airwaves. At this point, he and a friend named Dan who played keyboard used to frequent the sleasier parts of Chicago inner city seeing the likes of Howlin' Wolf (who told him and Dan to come inside and listen. We were the only white guys in the bar, but it didn't matter). Also Muddy Waters and Little Milton and Jimmy Reed and a different type of music was born. In 1956, Mike heard this guy from Memphis named Elvis Presley and he was a hit with everybody. One day he was working in this factory and he heard this wild sound of a guy screaming and playing a wild piano on the radio - the song was "It'll Be Me." The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis definitely caught his attention.
MIKE VINCENT RECORDS IN NASHVILLE. Jan, 2001 - Pictured left to right: Karen Fontana, D.J. Fontana, Bob Timmers, Mike Vincent, bassist Goeff Firebaugh, Bob and his daughter Stacy (studio owners).
Mike and DJ Fontana
Sandy, Bob Timmers, Mike
Also in '57 this guy came to town that Mike really liked. Gene Vincent was his name, he was playing at the Aragon...The first rock'n'roll venue to play in this world famous ballroom where my mon and dad had once taught dancing. Mike and his friend Red went to see Gene and what a show it was. Here is this man in orange drapes with white stitching over black down the sides and a black shirt running down this aisle to the stage. The girl in front of me was jumping up and down so crazily and continually landing on my feet. We had snuck backstage before the show and saw his dressing room. He had a picture of what looked like Diana Dors on his table. His leather coat was around the chair and here he comes and says "Can I help you fellas?" Wow, were we nervous. Mike said "Gene we just wanted your autograph." He was so pleasant and he gave us both one...this all while he was going on stage....as he walked out to the wings he stopped, turned around with his famous smile and said, "Hey you guys are staying for the show, right?" We said "Heck ya." He smiled and ran out to his waiting audience...and Mike has been hooked on Gene and rock'n'roll ever since. Mike would see Gene once more live, in 1958. By 1960, rock'n'roll was in full swing and at this time Mike had a 2,000 album record collection and had seen many concerts.
In 1961 he went to this bar in Logan Square in Chicago and he and his friends met a man that kinda was going to turn his rock'n'roll world around. He was a guitarist - Blues and Rock'n'Roll and was great. All of Chicago thought so too. His name was Larry Dale. From 1961 to 1969, Mike, through Larry was about to meet some of of rock'n'roll's top dogs. Just for starters through Larry he met Charlie Rich, The Everlys, and then on a summer day in 1962 he met Jerry Lee Lewis, who back then was playing the night club circuit for $600 a night. (Rock'n'roll isn't always fair). Jerry stayed at Larrys'house and so did Mike. What a day - Mike and Jerry and Kenny Lovelace and his wife Kerrie are friends to this day. Jerry Jewrry cooked breakfast, can you dog it?
He also met Ace Cannon through Larry whom Larry was going to Memphis to play with. Ace was great, he wanted Mike to move there along with Larry. Larry did two albums with Ace. In 1960 Mike started taking keyboard lessons from Leon Berry, master of the pipe organ and known worldwide. At the time, Mike was a roller skater along with hundreds of other friends that worked at Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago. Mike operated the Bobs At The Park for 11 years to date. According to the Smithsonian Institute is the 3rd best rollercoster of all time. Aside from music his love for rollercoasters goes on to this day. Mike was taught by leon Berry on the Beast In The Basement. Affectionately known as a conglomerate of a one man band with real instruments all hooked to the organ, bells, pipes, drums of all sorts. Mike learned the instrument. By 1963 Mike was playing pretty good and in 1966 he started playing local venues, bars, rinks and weddings and the garage band scene.
(Photo: Pastime Lounge crew with Mike Vincent and Woody Mills Band)
In 1969 he was to make a move to Southern California that would yet further enhance his musical career. So 1969 saw Mike Vincent and a few of his friends in torrance, California just a little south of the Beach Boys'famous homes. In his California years he was to meet so many stars and producers. His first recordings were with Crystal Mansion (Carolina On My Mind), a James Taylor song they had a hit with. Mike was on the live studio take version. After that he made a record at Valentine Studios in 1970. he cut 11 tunes - the title of the album was - "Comin' Into los Angeles", a pop tune at the time by Arlo Guthrie. In the year of 1971 not far from where Mike lived, Gene Vincent passed away. Mike took this hard - he was so devoted to Gene that even in Gene's waning years in music, 1964 to 1968, Mike would look and hope to see a new Gene Vincent release. In 1968 he got his wish, Kama Sutra and Challenge put out some material and to a Gene Vincent fan it was great, but to the public they didn't go over well.
Mike pushed on - he had met "Rockin'" Ronny Weiser, Gene's best friend and got some input. From 1972 to 1979 he was seen living back in Chicago doing local gigs and a new thing from 1973 on he has done a Elvis memories show with him doing the styling of Elvis (he doesn't like the word impersonator) and doing the keyboard stylings of the "Killer". After Elvis' death in 1977, again Mike was dealt a serious blow and now more than ever prompted him to go further with the rockabilly theme. Also in 1963, Mike had the fortune of becoming friends with Ral Donner, a local star - "Girl Of My Best Friend" (which Elvis recorded but Ral sold more). Ral was so good that Elvis' mom Gladys thought he had a new song out and hadn't told her about it. Ral also died in this period of cancer. In 1980 Mike again cut a double album of 28 cuts including about 4 medleys. The album title was "Woman Love". Some good Elvis sound alike on here.
Mike picked the name of this album because of Gene's "Woman Love" being the first song to be banned on the radio. Shortly after this recording, Mike had gotten to know some of Elvis' entourage, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito (grew up at chicago and Kostner in Chicago) and Vester Presley. Mike liked Vester a lot and did a picture with him for his "Woman Love" album. In 1988 Mike was married at Elvis presley's Chapel in Tupelo, Mississippi and shortly afterwards was to have something great happen. On a concert at a lounge he was meeting D.J. fontana, Elvis' drummer for 15 years. At this point after meeting D.J. he had asked if D.J. would do a album with him after dinner and seeing him the next night he agreed. In 1988 Mike recorded at Sun Studios, Memphis, Tennessee, where it all began.
DJ, Johnny Meeks, Marcus Van Story
He did an amazing 42 cuts from 7 p.m. on the night of the 22nd to 8 a.m. on the 23rd in August. (Right after his wedding) In 1990 he went back to Sun, this time with D.J. fontana and Johnnie Meeks from Gene Vincent's band, a dream come true for Mike. Part of Elvis' band and a part of Genes' band and what a night on April 16th and 17th Sun Studio rocked again with 14 tunes by the legends of Rock'n'Roll and Mike Vincent. The CD is finally coming out. Mike was applauded by D.J. saying after hearing Mike's composition of Elvis, Gene and Jerry Lee a solid rocker saying, "Damn Mike you don't need to do no more, that's the best here. Considering we did a few of Elvis' and Gene's and Jerry Lee's that was a compliment extreme. At the syudio, he was so proud to meet the late great Marcus Van Story and the late great Paul Burlison ... 2 beautiful men.
Then in 1991, '92 and '93, songs were also added. A total of 25 songs were done in this period at Dr. Caw Studios in Northbrook, IL. One of which was a overdub of Mike doing "Over The Rainbow" with Gene Vincent. A very nice courtesy of Capitol Records. Out of the Sun sessions and Dr. Caw sessions came 2 CDs, the first raucous entry. A mix of everything containing 25 songs, the second Sun sessions containing 18 great mostly rockabilly hits with his 2 legendary friends DJ and Johnnie. At present he is working on a new CD. Most having been done at the DNA Studios in Chicago. So far 22 cuts are done for this CD. A video of 4 parts was done for the raucous entry album. To date, Mike has penned over 60 songs and played venues throughout the U.S. and Hawaii and his tireless work goes on to continue what Gene Vincent and Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis have started - the best music in the world, Rockabilly. Recently, he had watched the admission of D.J. Fontana entered into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tenn. as he stood by his side. Along with Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and so many others and of course Elvis. Mike's theme is to make it sound like the old days heavy, raunchy and as his drummer Gus says, hitting from the first note to the last.
Mike Vincent Discography
1970 - Valentine Records, North Hollywood California.
Mike Vincent and Rocks Back Band.
Side A Evil Ways, Comin' Into Los Angeles, Somebody Saw Ya, I want To Take You Higher, Solitary Man, Will I Ever Remember.
Side B Get Back, Lodi, Slippin' And Slidin', Bye Bye Johnny, Tuexdo Junction.
1971 - RCA Records Hollywood, California
Mike Vincent with Crystal Mansion
Live studio takes: Carolina On My Mind, Me And You And A Dog Named Boo, Some Day Soon.
1972 - UCLA Campus Los Angeles, California opener for Deep Purple.
1980 - Sunland Records, Mike Vincent and Cyclone Alsip Il Album; Woman Love.
Side A - Patch It Up, Mary In The Morning, I Know Its Only Rock'N'Roll, I Am I Said, Mid Town American Gang, When I'm Over You, Gene Vincent Tribute (woman Love, Lotta Lovin, You Are The One For Me, The Night Is So Lonely, Cruisin, Time Will Bring You Eferything, Peace of Mind Dance In The Street, Be Bop A Lula.
Side B - Wang Dang Doo, How Great Thou Art, (Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute, Down The Line, There Stands The Glass, Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On), Free Delivery, That's Allright Mama, My Baby Left Me, Queen Of '59, Elvis Rock'N'Roll Lullaby.
Side C - (Elvis Tribute: Jailhouse Rock, Big Hunk Of Love, I Got Stung, Trying To Get To You, As Long As I Have You, I've Lost You, It's Easy For You, It Hurts Me, Little Sister, Elvis, Gene and Jerry Lee, You Gave Me A Mountain), We've Got Such A Long Way To Go, Love Isn't Here.
Side D - (John Lennon Tribute - Imagine, Nobody Loves You, Woman), Lovers Never Say Goodbye, Breathless, Moody Blue, Love Me Tender, help Me Lord, Stranger In The Crowd, Guitar Man.
1988 - Sun Studio Records, Memphis Tennessee.
Sun Sessions Number 1, Mike Vincent And The Woody Mills Band>
King Of The Blues, Highway 78, Rocker Turns 50, Pink Thunderbird, She's Everything, Stranger In The Crowd, I'll Never Cry, Elvis, Gene, Jerry Lee, I Wonder, Rock'N'Roll, Piano Man, It's Midnight, Heart Of Saturday Night, Rainy Night In Georgia, This Must Be The Night, Red Haired Beauty, You Lied, Slow Times Comin', Loveless life, I Got Burned, Hitchhike, Since I Don't Have You, Step By Step, Talk To Me, You Want Love, Dear Lady Twist, Somebody's Baby, The Fool, Is Male, Rock, Somethin' Else, I Believe What You Say, My Buckets Got A Hole In It, Too Much, I Want You - I Need You - I Love You, I Beg Of You, Mystery Train, '56 or Nothin', Park Is Gone, All Over Again, Move Two Mountains, You've Got What It Takes, Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu.
1990 - Sun Studios Sessions Number 2 With Legends D.J.Fontana and Johnnie Meeks.
I Got A Baby, High School Confidential, Lotta Lovin', Dance To The Bop, Peace Of Mind, Slow Times Comin', Keep My Motor Runnin', too Much, Elvis, Gene and Jerry lee, Mystery Train, I Beg Of You, Believe What You Say, Pattie Sue, The Fool, Pink Thunderbird.
1991/2 - Dr. Caw Studios, Northbrook, IL. Mike Vincent And The Courtland Street Band
King Of The Blues, Highway 78, Suspicious Minds, Somebody's Baby.
1991/11 - I Found A Song, We Watched 'Em Rock, Wonder What She's Doin' Tonight, Be Bop A Lula, Midnight Moon, Guitar Queen, She's Everything, Gas City, Jonesboro And Me, Hitchhike, Heart Of Saturday Night, Pattie Sue, Red Haired Beauty.
1992/11 - Love's A Loaded Gun, Wild Weekend, Forever, Love me like You Did Before.
1993/5 - Right Now, Trouble, Stay, Over The Rainbow.
1998 - DNA Studios, Chicago IL, 3 Sessions in 1998 - Mike Vincent And The Courtland Street Band.
1998/1 - Blue Angel, Rock Star Supreme, Lady Oh, You Are Everything, I've Lost You.
1998/3 - Dance With Me, My Maria, Marie's The Name, Midnight Moon, When I Think About Love, No More Cryin', Infatuation, Where Could I Go.
1998/9 - Shot In the Dark, The Night, Young Heartbreaker, Heart Of Stone, Detroit Diesel, Little Sister, Betcha By Golly, Wow, Fine.
1999/3 - CD - Raucous Entry, Dr. Caw Studios, Northbrook, IL, Mike Vincent And The Courtland Street Band.
Right Now, Wonder What She's Doin', Tonight, Love's A Loaded Gun, Love Me Like You Did Before, It's Midnight, Forever, Wild Weekend, Hitchhike, Rainy Night In Georgia, Elvis, Gene and Jerry Lee, Pattie Sue, High School Confidential, Red Haired Geauty, I Got A Baby, King of The Blues, Guitar Queen, I'll Never Cry, Keep My Motor Running, Too Much, Rock'N'Roll Piano Man, Trouble, Stay, Gas City, Jonesboro And Me, She's Everything, Suspicious Minds.
1999/3 - CD - Sun Studio Sessions with D.J. Fontana and Johnny Meeks and Mike Vincent and the Courtland Street Band/Dr. Caw Studios, Northbrook, IL, Sun Studios, Memphis, Tenn.
I Got A Baby, Elvis, Gene And Jerry lee, High School Confidential, peace Of Mind, Right Now, The Fool, Mystery Train, Dance To The Bop, Keep My Motor Runnin', Lotta Lovin, Trouble, You Lied, too Much, Slow Times Comin', Pink Thunderbird, Never Got Paid, Over The Rainbow, I Found A Song.
1. Will I Ever Remember, 1969
2. Ronna, 1971
3. Mike's Rock'N'Roll Revival, 1971
4. A Journey So Long, 1970
5. Monnie, 1972
6. Boppin' The Blues, 1972
7. Song For Mikie, 1974
8. Elvis, Gene And Jerry Lee, 1980
9. Elvis, Rock'N'Roll Lullaby, 1980
10. Free Delivery At 2424, 1980
11. The Ride's Are Gone, 1982
12. Things That Matter Most To Me, 1982
13. Precious memories Of Elvis, 1982
14. Brothers One Day, 1983
15. Highway 78, 1984
16. King of the Blues, 1984
17. Still A Rocker At 50, 1984
18. Pink Thunderbird, 1984
19. Red Haired Beauty, 1985
20. All Over Again, 1984
21. 56 Or Nothin', 1985
22. Who'll Sit In The Honky Tonks, 1985
23. You Lied, 1986
24. Pattie Sue, 1986
25. We've Got The Night, 1986
26. Please Come Back, 1986
27. Please Hold Her Heart For Me, 1986
28. Thats Tina, 1986
29. Precious To Me, 1989
30. Elvis Narration Over Loving You, 1990
31. Where The Action Is, 1990
32. Gas City, Jonesboro And Me, 1990
33. Rock On Without You, 1991
34. Never Got Paid, 1991
35. Pain, 1993
36. Forever, 1993
37. One Moment In Time, 1992
38. I found A Song, 1993
39. I Got Lucky, 1993
40. I Was There When It Happened, 1993
41. Young Heartbreaker, 1994
42. In Your Arms Is Where I Wanna Be, 1994
43. It Isn't The Same, 1994
44. F-I-N-E (New Lyrics), 1994
45. No More Cryin', 1994
46. Written On A Corner Wall, 1995
47. I Know How To Touch You, 1995
48. Angel Of The West Side, 1995
49. H-E-R-O-I-N, 1995
50. For The Last Time, 1995
51. Free, 1997
52. It's You, 1997
53. '57 Oldsmobile, 1998
54. Rock Star Supreme, 1998
55. Jenny With The Smiling Face, 2000
56. Your The One For Me, 1999
57. Be Bop A Lula 2000, 2000
58. Louie And Diane, 2000
59. Chicago Christmas, 2000
60. Love You In The Same Old Way, 2000
61. Ridin' The Cyclone, 2000
62. Tupelo Memphis Express, 2001
63. Gotta Be Selfish, 2001
64. That is Where They Are, 2001
65. Maxwell St. Blues Band, 2001
66. When Jesus Comes Home, 2002
67. Were Proud to Be American, 2002
68. Let's Fall in Love Again, 2002
69. The Dancer, 2003
70. Boppin' the Blues (2), 2004
71. The Hawk, The Fox ans Billy Lee
72. I Can Dance (For Mom(, 2005
73. Lookin' for the Killerman, 2006
74. Northshore Line, 2006
75. West Virgina Men, 2006
76. Ne Bop A Lula (50 Yrs. Later), 2006
77. It's Not Dark Yet, 2006
78. Boppin' Rockin' Nol
Johnny Meeks, Scott, DJ Fontana