About Billy Poore
International recording star, Author, songwriter, promoter and producer Billy Poore has lived his life immersed in the vibrant rockabilly world. As a dancer on the Milt Grant TV show in the 50's, he met the big-name stars and musicians of the day. Since then, he has founded the Renegade Records label and a BMI affiliate music publishing company called Rollabilly Music, written for many magazines and liner notes, and produced several music documentaries.
Hailed as the World expert on Rockabilly and Roots Music.
Resides in Linden, Tennessee - 90 miles from Nashville.
Career began in 1958.
Close friend with all of Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly's most legendary players.
Written over 500 songs since 1958.
Recorded for Nationally known Rumble, Challenge and Tilt Record labels between 1959 & 1962. Resulted in 5 record releases between 1960 & 1963. Toured nationally with Dion, Gary U.S. Bonds, Del Shannon, The Drifters, Charlie Rich, The Coasters, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles, Bobby Lewis, Roy Orbison and many other top recording stars of that era during 1961 & 1962.
Had the foresight during the summer of 1963 to enter into partnership with two other local Washington, D.C. area music promoters who also wanted to be the first to bring an unknown British band called the Beatles to America for their first live appearance ever on U.S. soil.
Booked promoted and hosted Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly shows at various venues in the Washington, D.C. area between 1963 and 1967. Top recording stars included Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Link Wray and the Wraymen, Charlie Rich, Ray Smith, Bob Luman, Conway Twitty and more.
Moved to Nashville, TN for one year 1968 and worked as an outlaw gunfighter actor at Frontier town in Madison, TN.
Attended 38 Elvis Presley concerts in 14 cities across the U.S. between Sept. 4, 1970 and June 25,1977.
Met and had a sit down discussion with Elvis Presley on Sept. 8, 1970 in Las Vegas. This would be the first of seven private conversations (some as long as 6-hours) that would take place up and through Feb. 21, 1977 in five cities in the U.S. and at Graceland. These meetings and discussions led to a true, binding friendship between Elvis Presley and Billy Poore.
Worked for Col. Tom Parker from Nov. 1, 1977 to Oct. 31, 1978.
Booked, promoted and produced Rockabilly shows and Festivals in the U.S. between 1977 & 1992.
Produced recordings on Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly legends as well as Country and Bluegrass stars and also nurtured and recorded young, talented, unknown artists for his Renegade Records label and for licensing in numerous foreign countries between 1977 & 1994.
Booked and produced "Guitar God" Danny Gatton between 1981 & 1988 which resulted in a long lasting close friendship with Danny up until his untimely death on Oct. 4, 1994.
Exclusively managed Charlie Feathers, Kelly Willis, Johnny Seaton, LesLee "Bird" Anderson and various unknown artist.
The first promoter to organize and produce the first Rockabilly Festival in the U.S. with an all-star line up from June 16-20, 1983.
Guest speaker at numerous Elvis festivals and fan club events from 1978 to 1990.
Written liner notes for countless Independent and Major label releases over the past 20 years.
Owns Renegade Records label, first started in 1981, which has had 28 45,LP and CD album releases through 2001.
Owns Rollabilly Music Publishing Company, an affiliate of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) first started in 1983 and has since published 29 songs.
Toured Europe on Rockabilly Festivals and shows in 1984 and 1997.
Hosts and emcees Rockabilly Festivals and shows.
Hosted 2 weekly radio shows, "The Rockabilly-Hillbilly Rock Hour" and "The Elvis Gospel Hour" on WPFD, 85 AM in Fairview, TN in 1992 & 1993.
Contributor and researcher for historical recording projects by the Smithsonian Institued of Recordings, Elektra Records, Time Life Records, The Country Music Foundation and Rounder Records.
Research historian for the Broadway production of "Elvis Mania" which ran for 16-weeks on Broadway in New York City during the Summer and Fall of 1984.
Publisher and editor of the quarterly publication, "Rockabilly Revue" from 1989 to 1994 (had subscribers in 44 states and 17 foreign countries).
Wrote the critically acclaimed book "Rockabilly - A 40 Journey" between 1993 & 1998. First published in June of 1998 and distributed worldwide by the Hal Leonard Corp. Still in print and being purchased by new generations of young music fans. This book is considered by music critics and fans worldwide as the complete bible on Rockabilly music.
Returned to the studio in 1993 & 1994 after a 30-year absence and recorded new original Rockabilly type music which resulted in 45 single releases in 1994 & 1995 both Japan (Blue Moon Records) and here in the U.S. (Rock-A-Billy Records, Denver, CO).
Went back to live performing in 1993.
Guest speaker at Universities across the nation on Rockabilly Music and it's history.
The 53rd member inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame on April 23, 1998.
Had his first million selling song as a songwriter during the 2001 Christmas season when "BMG" and "Universal Music" Records released "It's Not the Presents Under My Tree, It's Your Presence Right Here Next to Me" by international recording star Eva Cassidy. In 2002 "EMI Records also licensed this song and it went on to sell over 300,000 copies during Christmas of 2002. His song is now considered a Christmas classic and is licensed at present by 4 major labels through 2007.
One of the first original 9 members inducted into "Sun Records Hall of Fame" on August 8, 2002. Presented with the lifetime achievement award by Shelby Singleton and Sam Phillips for his dedication to Rockabilly music since 1954.
Deemed the world official goodwill ambassador for Sun Records and Rockabilly Music by Shelby Singleton (owner of Sun Records since 1968) in March, 2003.
Project coordinator, co-producer with Ray Walker (bass singer with the Jordanaires) and songwriter of 9 of the 12 songs on the soon to be released "Baby I'm Back" album by Canadian tribute artist Danny Boy Squire.
July 5, 2004 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the first time Rockabilly Music was captured on tape by Sam Phillips at his small "Sun Records Studio" in Memphis, TN the artist was Elvis Presley. The songs were "That's All Right Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" the Sun Rockabilly sound was invented. Elvis Presley the first Rockabilly star at 19-years of age had just begun his 23 year recording career which would lead him on to become the greatest artist and performer of the 20th Century. This date will also mark the worldwide release of the much anticipated book, "Why It Had To Be Elvis" by Billy Poore.
v Project coordinator, co-producer with Ray Walker (bass singer with the Jordanaires) and songwriter of 9 of the 12 songs on the soon to be released “Baby I’m Back” album by Canadian tribute artist Danny Boy Squire.
v July 5, 2004, marked the 50th Anniversary of the first time Rockabilly Music was captured on tape by Sam Phillips at his small “Sun Records Studio” in Memphis, TN; the artist was Elvis Presley. The songs were “That’s All Right Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky”. The Sun Rockabilly sound was invented. Elvis Presley, the first Rockabilly star at 19 years of age, had just begun his 23-year recording career which would lead him on to become the greatest artist and performer of the 20th Century. On this date Billy Poore was one of the select group of artists and performers who were asked to perform Rockabilly songs on a stage in the street in front of the original Sun Studio at 706 Union Ave., Memphis, TN. Other performers included Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Sam the Sham, Ronnie McDowell, Isaac Hayes, Justin Timberlake and many others between 12 noon and 12 midnight. Over 3,000 screaming fans attended this event.
v July 5, 2004: Billy Poore performed with other notables at the Overton Park Shell (an outdoor venue where Elvis Presley first performed 50 years earlier).
v June 23, 2005: Billy Poore headlined the Friday night portion of the 13th Annual “Rockabilly Rebel Weekender” in Indianapolis, Indiana, in front of a capacity crowd. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame Band backed Billy up.
v October 2005 & October 2006: At England’s prestigious Oxford University, Billy Poore was asked by the head of their music department to come over and lecture, do his favorite reading and conduct music seminars on his book, “Rockabilly – A 40 Year Journey” which has been used each year since 2003 by the Oxford University Music Department as the best resource in the world to teach future generations about American popular culture, slang and music during the mid to late 1950’s and beyond.
v 2007 & 2008: Billy Poore continues to travel to many states in the U.S. to perform and meet new generations of rockabilly music fans.