See Paul's books available below

Spring, 2014
Paul MacPhail

Jack Scott's new studio album (first in nearly 50 years) released in April on Bluelight Records BLR 33171 in Finland.

Fats Domino had his 86th birthday on February 26. He rarely leaves his house these days.

Johnny Cash will have at least five more future albums out on Columbia of new material, and American Records is planning a second box set of unreleased Cash songs titled "Unearthed II". Cash had a storehouse of unreleased stuff in the vaults when he died.

Mickey Gilley played 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows at Palms RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona March 14, and a big show March 29 at Redneck Country Club in Stafford, Texas. He also rocks the Music Hall in Arlington, Texas on April 19. Gilley is now working on digitalizing all his Playboy/Epic recordings from 1974 to 1986. A possible box-set is in the works and it should contain unreleased recordings made during this period. Big development news! Mickey is building a new Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas, home of the original Gilley's. He turned 78 on March 9th but still plays 200 shows a year. Mickey recorded "White Lightning" in a Houston studio in March. His 2014 schedule includes:
June 25 – Stafford Center, Stafford, TX.
June 26 – Wagner Noel Center, Odessa, TX.
June 27 – Municipal Auditorium, Greenville, TX.
July – 12 days at Gilley's Theatre in Branson.
July 13 – American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA.
July 19 – Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS.
August 8 – Dakota Sioux Casino, Watertown, SD.

Jerry Lee Lewis 2014 schedule.
April 12 - Harrah's in Atlantic City, NJ.
May 3 - Beale Street Music Fest in Memphis, TN.
July 5 - Harrah's Rincon Events Center at Valley Center, CA.
Harvey 'Duke' Faglier, guitarist with Jerry Lee from 1977 to 1980 and returned in 1986 for a few months, died March 10th after a 2_ year battle with throat cancer.

Carl Mann heads to Las Vegas, Nevada, Easter weekend (April 17-20) to headline the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekender Sun Show at Orleans Casino with Sonny Burgess, Narvel Felts, and Hayden Thompson. Update on Carl's wife Joyce, seriously ill and hospitalized at General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, all December, January, and early February. She's been taking treatments for rare bone decease. She was transported to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville on February 9th, where she remained all month for a bone marrow transplant. Released early March and sent home where treatments would continue. Joyce is a wonderful person and travelled everywhere with Carl. Her hospital expenses to date topped $160,000. A benefit show took place on March 29th in Lexington, TN. With Carl Mann, Rayburn Anthony, Little David Wilkins, Double Edge Band, W. S. Holland band, and other entertainers. Cards can be sent to her care of P.O. Box 416, Huntingdon, TN. 38328.

My books can be purchased by PayPal. Because of increased production cost and postage, prices have been revaluated. Cost goes by size and weight and the prices include shipping and mailing.
Carl Mann: Last Son of Sun / Charlie Rich: Silver Linings –$40 U.S.
Brenda Lee: Golden Girl / Rick Nelson: Rickabilly / World of Mickey Gilley-$50 U.S.
The Conway Twitty Story / Little Richard: Originator of Rock-$60 U.S.
Carl Perkins: Rockabilly Ambassador / Fats Domino: Big Beat Blues-$70 U.S.
Elvis Presley: Total Day-By-Day-$75 U.S. / Jerry Lee Lewis: Ferriday Fireball-$80 U.S.





January, 2014
Paul MacPhail

Many people have been ordering my day-to-day books on the big stars from the early days of rock 'n' roll and wanted to know what one's are still available and what cost is so here is an update. All my books are still available and all have been updated to the present time. They can be purchased by PayPal. Because of increased production cost and postage, prices have been revaluated. Cost goes by size and weight and these prices do include shipping and mailing.
Carl Mann: Last Son of Sun / Charlie Rich: Silver Linings / Hank Williams: From the Cradle to the Grave –$40 Canadian or U.S.
Brenda Lee: Golden Girl / Rick Nelson: Rickabilly / World of Mickey Gilley-$50 Can/U.S.
The Conway Twitty Story / Little Richard: Originator of Rock-$60 Canadian or U.S.
Carl Perkins: Rockabilly Ambassador / Fats Domino: Big Beat Blues-$70 Canadian or U.S.
Elvis Presley: Day-By-Day-$75 Canadian or U.S.
Jerry Lee Lewis: Ferriday Fireball-$80 Canadian or U.S.


By now, everyone knows about the death of producer/engineer/guitarist Roland Janes, 80, in October in Memphis. I was fortunate to have met him four times; 1994, 2009, 2010, & 2012. We had many long conversations about his touring with Jerry Lee Lewis from 1956-late 1959, and he played on 95% of Jerry's Sun Recordings from 1956-1963. He also played on Charlie Rich sessions from 1958-1962. He engineered Charlie Rich's final album and also engineered sessions on Jerry's "Last Man Standing" and "Mean Old Man" albums. In fact, the last project Roland worked on at Phillips Studio this past summer was Jerry Lee sessions that Knox Phillips produced there on Jerry forty years ago in late November of 1973. Jerry recorded dozens of demo songs like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and many others. Knox is planning to now release this material on a forthcoming CD.

Jack Scott returned to Europe a third time in the year to play his first time ever in Austria. He and his American band played 20th September at Rockabilly Bombardment show in Hohenems, Austria. He performed a long show with all his major hits, album tracks, and even sang a rockabilly version of "Honky-Tonk Blues" from his upcoming studio album (first in nearly 50 years) set for January release.

Mickey Gilley has been on the road a lot recently. He ended the year December 27-31 at Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada, and his 2014 schedule already includes:
January 25 – Belterra Casino, Florence, Indiana.
January 29-February 1 – Gilley's at Treasure Island, Las Vegas, NV.
February 14 – Evangeline Downs, Opelousas, LA.
February 15 – Delta Downs, Vinton, LA.
March 21 - Cherokee Casino, Claremore, OK. March 22 – Cherokee Casino, West Siloam, OK.
March 30-April 2 – back to open Gilley's Theatre for his 25th season in Branson, MO.
April – 16 days at Gilley's Theatre in Branson.
April 12 – Community College, Godfrey, IL.
May- 16 days at Gilley's Theatre in Branson.
May 8-10, - three days at Cactus Pete's, Jackpot, NV.
May 16 – Wild Rose Casino, Clinton, Iowa.
May 17 – Wild Rose Casino, Emmetsburg, Iowa.
June – 13 days at Gilley's Theatre in Branson.
July – 12 days at Gilley's Theatre in Branson.
July 13 – American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA.
July 19 – Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS.

Jerry Lee Lewis' next show is to be on February 1st at Sam's Town Casino near his home in Robinsonville, Mississippi. It's rumored he may play Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia, in mid-April. Lewis will play his annual appearance at Beale Street Music Fest in Memphis, May 2.

Big news for Johnny Cash fans is that Columbia will release a new album by him in March that was recorded in 1984 and produced by Billy Sherrill. Titled "Out Among the Stars" it is reported to be one of the better albums he recorded in his final days with the label and leans towards the pop-country sound. The CD features a dozen unreleased songs, two of which were written by Cash. Titles include the title song "Out Among the Stars" and such goodies as "Baby Ride Easy (with June)", "She Used to Love Me a Lot", "After All", "I Drove Her Out of my Mind", "I'm Movin' On (with Waylon)", "If I Told You Who It Was", "Call Your Mother", "Tennessee", "Rock 'n' Roll Shoes", "Don't You Think It's Come Our Time (with June)", and "I Came to Believe". Black and white cover shot shows Cash standing with guitar from 1984.

Carl Mann wraps up a bad year. His brother Harold, 81, was in a bad automobile accident in early November, and was transported to the Medical Center in Memphis with crushed ribs and punctured lung. A month later he died. He was buried November 30th in Bruceton, Tennessee, near where he lived in Hollow Rock. December 1st, Carl's wife Joyce, 60, took deathly ill and he drove her to Jackson General Hospital in Jackson. They gave her two pints of blood and an EKG. She has a rare blood disorder. They nearly lost her. December 9th, she was allowed to return home for the holidays but if the treatments don't cure her, they will move her to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville for bone marrow transplant. Not a good Christmas for the Mann family.





September, 2013
Paul MacPhail


Carl Mann, Jack Clement, James Van Eaton, Charlie Rich Jr.

Carl Mann after a year of health problems is back on his feet so to speak. He played the annual (unofficial) Rockabilly Hall of Fame's festival in Jackson 10th August backed by the Cadillac band from Sweden. He said it was a mess as they didn't know his music. He plays Crider Arts Center in Paris, Tennessee, September 7th. He has been spending a lot of time at Studio 19 in Nashville working on new recordings with producer Larry Rodgers. In mid-June he recorded a song with Charlie Rich Jr. on piano. July 25th he was back in studio again. Carl's sidekick, Rayburn Anthony returns September 7th to our 2nd annual local Shakedown Rockabilly Festival booked by Davey Lee Goode in Amherst, Nova Scotia, along with Johnny Powers and over a dozen other rockabilly bands. Good news is that I have Carl Mann booked there next year. He's very anxious to make his Canadian debut and not only that, get to our home. We'll be his host.

Jack Clement, 82, died of liver cancer at his Nashville home on 8th August; another Sun Records pioneer gone. He recorded Carl Mann's first Sun recording and pushed it to Sam Phillips in early 1959. He was also the first to record Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun and worked with Jerry, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Billy Lee Riley and Johnny Cash at Sun. He even wrote hit songs for Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee. Later he produced Mickey Gilley on Paula Records in 1968. When Johnny Cash went to Columbia Records, Clement was back in the 80s producing him again, and wrote more songs for Cash during his Columbia period.

Ronnie Hawkins whom recently received the Order of Canada Award has put his Hawkstone Mansion up for sale at Fifteen million dollars near Peterborough, Ontario. It's a huge estate complete with tourists' cabins on a huge lake with a spectacular view. The house has nine large bedrooms and six bathrooms. It takes the biggest John Deere lawn tractor working steady all summer just to cut the lawn. Many major stars have stayed at this estate through the years. Ronnie and wife Wanda plan to move into smaller digs in Peterborough closer to hospitals and such. He's received offers from around the world including a good one from a guy in Holland.

Little Richard at age 80 and in declining health played his final curtain call last March in Las Vegas, a fitting place to end a 65 year career in show business. He's now enjoying the quiet life at his country estate in Tennessee. He joins Fats Domino who played a final show in 2007.

Johnny Rivers returned to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville August 17th for his third appearance. He sang a new ballad with "By Your Side" (Sade) and one of his earliest rock hits "Maybelline" in a slower country-style. Jack Scott played a big festival in Pakefield, England on 6th July. He played a show for the Virgin Oil Company in Helsinki, Finland, 10th of August. While in Helsinki, he and his four-piece band recorded his first new studio album in 47 years August 12-16th. It will be released January, 2014 on Mika Myyrylainen's Bluelight Records.

Jerry Lee Lewis, who played his own Beale Street club on July 27th in a 45-minute show, looked amazingly fit dressed in black trousers, white shirt, red sport coat and white buckskin shoes. His energetic performance opened with "Down the Line" and he sang blues, country ballads, and rock 'n' roll through to his major hits. Famed Memphis deejay George Klein attended along with 300 other patrons. August 30 Jerry played the Dognvill Festival at the Valhall in Tramso, Norway, in his first European engagement in almost three years. Linda Gail is his opening act. This is in the far north of Norway and is almost Arctic. Jerry celebrates his 78th birthday on 29th September, and plays the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, 12th of October in a rare appearance. It is his first public appearance outside the Memphis area in almost two years.

Mickey Gilley played the Old-Time Country Festival at Le Mars, Iowa, August 31st, and will play Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa, on 21st September.





Summer, 2013
Paul MacPhail

Jerry Lee Lewis played Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN. May 5. He performed a dozen songs in a 50-minute show singing old rockers, top ten country hits, and blues. Piano playing was quite good for the 77-year-old who was playing his first major concert in 1_ years. He was dressed neat in black tux trousers, white buck shoes, and cream color dinner jacket with black lapels. The songs were from his basic repertoire of the past 15 years. Ray Gann, who played bass in the group in 1990-1991, is back on bass replacing the late B.B. Cunningham. It seems he had more family members on stage than band. Lewis should have a new album available by the time you're reading this, titled "Rock and Roll Time". On the evening of June 27, I was saddened to hear the news on the death of Jerry's life-long friend Cecil J. Harrelson 78, at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Louisiana, after an extended illness. He and Jerry were best friends from school days in 1950 when they met at age 15. Cecil was Jerry's closest friend throughout his life and road manager to him from 1960-1975. Jerry was devastated by the news.

Little Richard was back in his birth town of Macon, Georgia, 11th of May to receive an honorary Doctor of Humanitarians degree from Mercer University at the campus' graduation.

Mickey Gilley tour 2013:
July 5, Mickey's new TV show "Gilley's Place" shifts over to the RFD-TV network and more people will be able to get it. It will be shown weekly at various times Fridays and Saturdays. The big news from Gilley is that he will be rebuilding 'Gilley's Club' in Pasadena, Texas, and it will be an up-dated version of the original. Construction begins this year. July 27-Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS.
August 24-Sugar Creek Casino, Hinton, OK.
October 19-Gilley's Club, Dallas, TX.

Johnny Rivers' new single (released mid-April) is a bluegrass version of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". Johnny's new album is "Johnny Rivers Live at Cache Creek". He has recorded many live concerts in his day but the audience response is the wildest on this CD from a show in Brooks, California. An interesting blues version of "Rooster Blues" is on the disc. His new single is a bonus track. Rivers was guest on the "Marty Stuart Show" on RFD-TV 18th of May, singing his #1 hit "Poor Side of Town" and another top ten hit "Summer Rain", backed by Marty's band.
July 19, Rivers plays the Moondance Jam in Walker, MN.

Fats Domino made a rare appearance May 23 as a volunteer honorary co-chairman of 'The 19 Fund' at Tipitina's Club, at an all-star benefit for victims of the Mother's Day shooting in New Orleans.

Jack Scott records his first studio album in 47 years in August. It will be released January, 2014 on Bluelight Records.





April, 2013
Paul MacPhail

Jerry Lee Lewis will open his fifth venture into the club business April 20 at 310 Beale Street in Memphis with manager Bud Chittom, called Jerry Lee Lewis Café and Honky Tonk. It will feature rock 'n' roll music and Lewis memorabilia like his motorcycle, piano, posters, and stage clothes. His past Memphis Club ventures all ended after short runs, the Oriental 1963, Nightlighter 1973-1974, Thunderbird 1975-1976, and Jerry's Place 1993 (also on Beale), which lasted four months and declared bankruptcy. He will drop by from time to time to visit with customers, sign an autograph, and may even give a mini-concert there a couple of times a year. May 5, he will play Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN.

Jerry Jaye, rockabilly artist who recorded with his band the Jaywalkers for Hi Records in Memphis in the 1960s, spent the last two weeks of February in hospital having open-heart surgery. One may remember his hits, one of which was "Hello Josephine". While I was in Nashville this past October, I spent some time at Studio 19 with producer Larry Rodgers. In the control booth we spent several hours talking about different subjects, one of which was Jerry Jaye. Larry gave me a CD on Jaye that he produced for Lynn-Lou in the late 80s in Nashville, titled One More Time! A great rockabilly artist and with only 4 pieces…two guitars, bass, and drums. Amongst the 10 songs are a new cut of "Hello Josephine", a cover of Johnny Rivers self-penned #1 hit "Poor Side of Town", a cover of Billy Riley's "Red Hot", and a rockin' "Bad Moon Rising".

Jack Scott at 77 gave a top ranked performance of rockabilly 10th February at the Rockin' Race Jamboree in Spain. Backed by his Top Rank band all dressed in black and featuring drums, guitar, standup slap bass, and sax, Scott still has it as he poured through 16 songs in 41-minutes. He had the crowd shouting and screaming for more.

Mickey Gilley tour 2013:
May 4-Prairie Knight Casino Resort, Fort Yates, ND.
May 11-Wild Rose Casino, Emmetsburg, IOWA.
July 7-Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS.

Johnny Rivers tour 2013:
Good chance Johnny's new single will be a bluegrass version of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" that he recorded in January in Los Angeles. This is a total new style for Rivers on the Hank Williams written country hit of the early 50s, later recorded rockabilly by Sonny Burgess on Sun and by Ricky Nelson on Imperial, who made a pop hit out of it in 1958. May 3-Chrome Showroom of Santa Fe Station Casino, Las Vegas, NV. May 5-Anderson Theatre, Marietta, GA.

December 2,
Dr. Rock "Charles White" on BBC Radio in Yorkshire, devoted the complete 1-hour show to Little Richard on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Songs played were "King of Rock 'n' Roll/All Around the World/Tutti Frutti/Long Tall Sally/The Girl Can't Help It/Lucille/She's Got It/Babyface/It's Real/A Little Bit of Something/Get Down with It/I Don't Know What You Got/Keep A-Knockin'/Great Gosh A'Mighty/Good Golly, Miss Molly".

March 3, Dr. Rock devoted his 1-hour BBC radio show to Fats Domino who turned 85 on the 26th of February. Songs played were "I'm Walkin'/Swanee River Hop/Please Don't Leave Me/ My Girl Josephine/I'm In Love Again/Honeychile/I Can't Go On/Don't Blame on Me/Blue Monday/Blueberry Hill/Whiskey Heaven/What a Party". Dr. Rock is still playing the best music in the universe.

Carl Mann, who had his left knee replaced last November, had his right knee replaced February 18th at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. His wife Joyce tells me he is doing well and is already in therapy at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, TN. Carl himself says he is like a new man. Before entering hospital, Carl got some recording in at Studio 19 with producer Larry Rodgers. He recorded a single and a couple of album tracks for Jaxon Records. Carl's son Richard was also at the studio.





January, 2013
Paul MacPhail

Jerry Lee Lewis' bass guitarist of fifteen years, B. B. Cunningham, played an outdoor show with Carl Mann at Rockabilly Park in Jackson, TN. August 11th.


I received a mentioned on Trevor Hyland's Rock 'n' Roll Party on Rock-It Radio December 3rd from Victoria, Australia. Trevor played three tracks from Carl Mann's new Jaxon album with "Bull O' the Woods", "Mona Lisa", and "Danny Boy", and mentioned my autobiography on Carl and about Carl and I on a book signing tour in the South during the autumn. He then played Carl's first Jaxon single "Gonna Rock 'n' Roll Tonight". Carl had a Jaxon recording session at Studio 19 with producer Larry Rogers on 15th January, doing tracks for a new single. One of the songs is an old Elvis Presley early rockabilly thing.
December 21, Carl met up with Scotty Moore at the Studio 19 Christmas party in Nashville. They talked old times. Scotty owned Studio 19 in the late 60s to 1980s when it was known as Music City Recorders. Scotty had worked with Carl Mann at Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis back in 1961-1962. When Carl got out of the Army in 1966, Scotty recorded a demo session for Carl that led to his signing with Monument Records that year. Carl had a left knee replacement operation in November and was still using a walker, but he has since graduated to a cane and should be walking on his own by March.

Jerry Lee Lewis tour 2013:
April 26-Rio Vista Outdoor Amphitheatre, Laughlin, NV.
April 28-Empire Polo Field, Indio, CA.
April 30-Casino, Pala, CA.
May 3-Beale Street Music Festival, Memphis, TN. Mickey Gilley's new half-hour TV show began October 3rd on the MAV-TV network and runs every Wednesday evening. It's titled "Gilley's Place" and he sings his own songs and has guest stars each week. Big news from Mickey is that he is building a new Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas, and it will open late this year.

Mickey Gilley tour 2013: February 16-Gilley's Lounge at Treasure Island Resort at Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. February 19-24, a week at the Celebrity Theatre at Riverside Resort in Laughlin, NV. March 31-April 3, the 23rd season opening at Gilley's Theatre in Branson, MO. Mickey will play four shows a week here for remainder of year, Sundays thru Wednesdays. April 24-28, he plays five days at River Run in Laughlin, NV.
Both Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley were seen on "Sunshine by the Stars" LPB-TV on 3rd December singing "You Are My Sunshine", the official State song of Louisiana. Jerry's part was taped at his ranch on 12th of September. Wearing a white suit, he is in his den at piano, backed by a wall of gold records and other awards, and sings the song as a duet with his sister Linda Gail. His band backs him featuring bass guitarist B.B. Cunningham in his final appearance a month before his murder. Mickey's part was also taped in September on the stage of his theater in Branson, backed by his band and female vocalists. Both artists have recorded the song in the past. The hour-long Special featured many artists singing the same song. The show hosted by Harry Connick Jr. celebrated Louisiana's Bi-Centennial.

Johnny Rivers tour 2013:
January 11-Johnny played the GRAND OLD OPRY on WSM from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. He sang two of his million-selling ballad hits with "Summer Rain" and "Swayin' to the Music (Slow Dancing)".
January 18-Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort, Mescalero, NM.
March 2-Island View Casino, Gulfport, MS.
March 9-Morongo Casino Resort, Cabazon, CA.
April 19-Mt. Grand Event Center, Deadwood, SD.
April 20-Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Welch, MN.
April 27-Ventura County Blues Festival, Moorpark, CA.
May 3-Chrome Showroom of Santa Fe Station Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
May 5-Anderson Theatre, Marietta, GA.





November, 2012
Paul MacPhail

ß I arrived for the fifth time in Tennessee October 1st, and the wife and I spent two weeks with Carl Mann and his wife Joyce from October 4-19th. We traveled with them to Nashville one day and visited Larry Rogers at Studio 19. Larry produced the great rockabilly album by Ricky Nelson for Epic in 1979 in Memphis that returned Ricky to his original style. He also produced a recent album of rockabilly on Jerry Jaye who used to record for Hi Records in Memphis.

Larry is now Carl's producer and did a great production job on Carl's new Jaxon album. Carl is scheduled to return to Sweden in February and will return to England for the first time in three years in mid-July, 2013. Carl's "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows" is getting a lot of airplay in the south (97 plays in 1 week on various stations). He sings it at every concert. His favorite song on the new album is "Hillbilly Boy with the Rock and Roll Blues." DJ Trevor Hyland in Melbourne, Australia, is playing Mann regularly on his Rockit Radio Show. Trevor has my book on Carl and Carl also mailed him the new CD while I was there.

A project I am working on with Carl is a new gospel album "The Old Mann is Dead". It will contain 14 new gospel songs. The songs with music backing have already been recorded. We shot about 15 photos of Carl for the album cover at his hometown church in Huntingdon, TN. We will use two for the album jacket cover.

Carl and I spent an afternoon at Steve Patterson's Country Highway Crossroads store in Jackson, TN., autographing many copies of Carl's new autobiography THE LAST SON OF SUN. We got to talk to many people including Nancy and Bill Hall who worked for Carl Perkins in the 80s.

Another interesting man we met and interviewed about Perkins was Hershel Collins, who was with Perkins as a roadie/gopher from 1955 to the end. He supplied us with many previously unknown stories about Carl on the road and about how he wrote many of his songs, and about many unreleased songs Perkins has like "Somebody's Bride" with a steel guitar in it. I will add these to my Carl Perkins book in its next printing.

At a show at the VFW Hall in Jackson on October 15th, Carl and I again had a book signing autograph session where we sold many books and copies of his new CD. One lady had her photo taken with us. She was very tiny and thin, and we were on both sides of her. Her name was Darlene and we almost crushed her. Photographer Bob Evans kept telling us to get closer. She was sandwiched between us. W.S. Holland and his wife Joyce attended this show but had to leave early. He had his manager Ron Haney with him.

We met many old friends there that we met on previous visits to the Jackson area. That evening Carl Mann opened his show with a wild version of "Keep A-Knocking". With pianist Larry Meggs on the keyboard, he did a very long version of "Whole Lotta Shaking Goin' On" which had everyone up dancing and "That's Alright Mama". From his new CD he performed "Maybe Baby" and "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows". He also includes in his stage act lately, the old Elvis rockabilly tune "My Baby Left Me" that producer Larry Rogers wants to include in Carl's next album. He sang several of his own hits with "Mona Lisa" and "South of the Border", and slow ballads like "It's Such a Pretty World Today" and "Four Walls". When he ended with "I'll Fly Away", everyone in the hall stood up and sang with him to the beat. Then the lights came up.

Interesting thing about the clubs and dances in Tennessee, they all begin around 7 p.m. and end at 10:30. Many places kids can go with their parents. No booze sold in most dancehalls, and the VFW Halls only sell beer. October 27th Carl played an outdoor concert on a flatbed trailer in Alamo, TN from 6-7 p.m., and then rushed by car to Jackson to play the VFW Hall with Rayburn Anthony from 7:30-10:30 p.m. W hile we were in Ashland City visiting country singer Johnny Seay's friend William Akins, he drove us south of Nashville one day to see Big East Fork in Franklin. We see songwriter John Hiatt's farm. A great writer, he wrote "Memphis in the Meantime"-Carl Perkins, and "It Hasn't Happened Yet", Doll Hospital", and "Radio Girl"-Ricky Nelson. Hiatt has a long driveway up to his house, and it features a little wooden covered bridge at the road end. We also drove through beautiful countryside of rolling hills and valleys to Turnip Seed Road west of Nashville to visit songwriter Johnny MacRae's farm. Johnny wrote Conway Twitty's #1 hit "I'd Love to Lay You Down", as well as many other hits for other singers. He is 80 now and in bad health. We saw many Peacocks in his yard. He has a sprawling log home with a long carport up to it. That day we also got to see Louise Mandrell's ranch near Ashland City. She no longer is in the business.

Another interesting country rockabilly entertainer we ran into in Nashville was Little David Wilkins who wrote many hit songs for other entertainers such as Brenda Lee-"Coming on Strong", Mickey Gilley-"One Monkey Don't Stop No Show", and Conway Twitty-"Georgia Keeps Pulling on my Ring". Little David gives a great show and plays piano. He was born in Parsons, Tennessee, only 7 miles from where his friend Carl Mann lives. In 1976 he produced a recording session on Carl, and they recently played a show together.

Jerry Lee Lewis' bass guitarist of fifteen years, B. B. Cunningham, 70, was gunned down early morning of October 14th in Memphis. He was working as a security guard. Little Richard will star at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend at Orleans Hotel & Casino on 28th March, 2013. The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to spend $10 million to mitigate the impact of widening Interstate 75 in Macon. Those plans include buying the small two-bedroom home where Little Richard's family lived in up to 1956. The home on Fifth Street will be moved four blocks and renovated as a community service center and museum honoring Richard. The homes present owner is Andre Coquerel. Fats Domino appeared on "Treme" on HBO-TV October 28th. This drama series centers on residents of New Orleans and their lives after the Katrina flood of 2005. It began in 2010 and this is third season. Each show features lots of New Orleans music.

Mickey Gilley's new hour TV show began October 3rd on the MAV-TV network and runs every Wednesday evening. It's titled "Gilley's Place" and he sings his own songs and has guest stars each week. Gilley's tour:
November 10-Auditorium, Grove, OK.
November 15-Stafford Center, Stafford, TX.
November 16-private party, Houston, TX.
December 31-private New Year's Party, Monroe, LA.

tour 2013:
April 20-Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Red Wing, MN.
April 27-Anderson Theatre, Marietta, GA.







September, 2012
Paul MacPhail
E-mail address for book orders: p5macphail@hotmail.ca

We attended Eastern Canada's first big rockabilly weekend Sept 7-9 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Billed as Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown it featured bands from all across Canada and also headliner Sun artist Rayburn Anthony from Jackson, TN on September 8 and also Joe Clay from New Orleans, LA. We spent mid afternoon and evening with Rayburn. Carl Mann was first choice to play the show but he sent Rayburn. I presented Rayburn with autographed copies of both my Carl Perkins and Carl Mann books, both of which he contributed to. Rayburn had dozens of little kids to grownups dancing in front of the stage to songs like "On the road to Gothenburg" (a song he wrote in Sweden), "There's No Tomorrow", "Jackson was Jumping", "Hambone", "My Baby is Car Crazy", "St. Louis Blues", "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It", and my favorite; "Boom-Chicka-Boom". He also did a duet of "Jackson" with a lady named Gail. Mann is booked for the show next year. I talked to Carl by phone that morning, and he said if he had known it was only 80 miles from my home, he would have been there. I'll be spending three weeks with Carl Mann and Rayburn in Tennessee in October. Got to mention a great rockabilly band named the Memphis Nights from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They were the best I've ever seen and played before Rayburn came on. Each act did a full hour. This band did Chuck Berry songs and Gene Vincent songs better than the originals. They rocked "Maybelline", "Johnny B. Goode", "Sleepwalk", "That's Alright Mama", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Blue-Jean Bop", "Pretty Woman", "Honey Don't", "Oh Boy!", and some others. Many people at the festival wearing Sun Record t-shirts. Also discovered many of them read my column in FBM or on the Rockabilly Hall website. In fact, the promoter of the show, Davey, a tall lad from England who came to Amherst 3 years ago, organized the show. He noticed my Carl Mann t-shirt and I gave him my card, and he said he knew me because he reads my column. Never thought he'd get to meet me. We got along fabulous and I'm working with him on getting talent for next year's festival. He played lead guitar backing Rayburn, and wore a symbol drape coat as in UK. I sold some books and signed many autographs. Felt like a star. Rockabilly music is alive and well in eastern Canada.

Carl Mann played September 2nd at the Southern Folklore show at the Goldsmith Building in downtown Memphis, TN. September 29th he plays Depot Days Festival in Newport, Arkansas. Carl will return to England for the first time in three years in mid-July, 2013. He will play the Americana International Festival at the County Fairgrounds in Newark, Nottinghamshire the week of July 11-15.

Jerry Lee Lewis was honored at a tribute at the New Daisy Theatre on Beale in Memphis 23rd of August. At his first stage show in almost nine months, he looked slimmer and trimmer and he played with gusto. Backed by his Memphis Beats band he gave a brief 20-minute performance of five of his best sellers with "Down the Line/You Win Again/Over the Rainbow/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/Great Balls of Fire".

Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry's sister, played Canada's biggest Canadian rockabilly festival in Montreal, Quebec, 30th August. She led off the 4-day festival at the Golden Lion.

Brenda Lee, the original female rockabilly singer with a total of 57 pop hits in her career, and with record sales over 110 million discs, heads into the end of the year with the following shows.
November 14-Kewadin Casino, Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
November 28-Seneca Allegheny Casino, Salamanca, NY.
December 16-Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel, IN.

Mickey Gilley tour:
October 6-Civic Center, Wharton, TX.
October 13-Carl Perkins Civic Center, Jackson, TN.
October 27-Benefit, Monroe, LA.
November 9-Civic Center, St. Joseph, MO.

Little Richard, who turns 80 on 5th of December, will play Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend at Orleans Hotel & Casino on 28th March, 2013.

Chuck Berry tour: October 17-celebrates his 86th birthday (a day early) in a hometown gig at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, MO.
October 20-Argosy Belle Casino, Alton, IL.
October 27-Playhouse Square Theatre, Cleveland, OH.

Johnny Rivers rocks the L'Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles, LA on October 6th.






July, 2012
Paul MacPhail
New e-mail address for book orders: p5macphail@hotmail.ca


Carl Mann played his first show in six months March 30 at Country Crossroads at Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee. He was backed by bass guitarist Rayburn Anthony and guitarist Steve Patterson. Carl made a rare appearance with the Sun Studio All-Stars May 18 at the Barbeque Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. He was backed by drummer James van Eaton and guitarist Travis Womack. June 22 he played a benefit at the Armory in his birth town of Huntingdon, TN., and July 15 he rocks the VFW Hall in Jackson, TN. Carl's new album on Jaxon Records is simply titled "Carl Mann". The label was not too inventive coming up with a cover jacket design and simply put his name in huge rose-color letters on a black and white checkered background. However, inside the jacket for the CD are ten great rockabilly and ballad tracks with "Bull o' the Woods/Alone with You/Maybe Baby/It's Just a Matter of Time/Where the Rio de Rosa Flows/Memphis Hair/Hillbilly Boy with the Rock and Roll Blues/Danny Boy/Till the End of Forever", and last but not least…another cut on "Mona Lisa". Personally, I think he could have done without this last track. It has been on every album he's ever recorded in many versions. Several songs were written by Carl. "Maybe Baby" is the Buddy Holly hit, and the ballad "It's Just a Matter of Time" is the old Brook Benton hit. Carl does well with Benton's material. "Endlessly" proved that on a recent album. "Memphis Hair" is a great rockabilly tune about Elvis, and "Where the Rio de Rosa Flows" was on an early Carl Perkins album. "Hillbilly Boy with the Rock and Roll Blues" was a 1987 John Schneider recording suited to Carl's vocal style, and features great guitar picking from him. Conway Twitty stole Carl's "Mona Lisa", so here Carl steals Conway's "Danny Boy" in a similar arrangement. Hey, that's fair! "Till the End of Forever" is a new cut on the last song Carl ever recorded for Sun in 1962, and it's a beautiful love ballad.

May 16, Jerry Lee Lewis' former bodyguard/chauffeur since the early 60s, Dick West, died after a long illness.

May 26, Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin presided over a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Will Haney's Big House Music Hall. The original club burned down in 1966 and featured many black artists from 1940-1966. It was one of the starting places for artists like B.B. King, Ray Charles, & Fats Domino in the 50s. After the Ferriday mayor opened the new venue, he presided over the grand opening of the Jerry Lee Lewis Rockabilly Park and Plaza in Ferriday, Louisiana.

Jerry Lee Lewis has not played a concert date in eight months, and it's now obvious his final tour outside the United States was in Europe in late 2010.

Little Richard replaced Lewis in his first stage show in over 2-1/2 years when the 79-year-old rocker temporarily came out of retirement May 6, and played Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Richard also replaced Lewis June 14 at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City, and June 16 at Howard Theatre in Washington, DC.

Mickey Gilley tour:
June 1-grand opening of the new Gilley's at Choctaw Nation in Durant, OK.
June 16-he played the New Barn in Renfro Valley, KY.
July 21-Isle of Capri, Lulu, MS.
July 26-Rock County 4-H Fair, Janesville, WISC.
July 27-Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, IOWA.
August 24-Country Tonight Theatre, Pigeon Forge, TN.
August 25-Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS.
September 8-Hot Springs Village, Hot Springs, AR.
September 29-Carl Perkins Civic Center, Jackson, TN.

Johnny Rivers tour:
September 14-Aliante Station Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
September 28-B.B. King's Blues Club, New York City, NY.
October 6-L'Aberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles, LA.





May, 2012
Paul MacPhail
New e-mail address for book orders: p5macphail@hotmail.ca

Well, guess we all know by now about Jerry Lee Lewis' 7th marriage on March 9 in Natchez, Mississippi. Jerry, 76, married Judith Ann Brown, 63. For those that do not know, she was the former wife of Robby (Rusty) Brown, who was the younger brother of Jerry's 3rd wife Myra Gale Brown. Both were second cousins to Jerry, and their father was J.W. Brown, first cousin to Jerry and his ex-father-in-law and former bass guitarist. Rusty is Jerry's ex-brother-in-law and a former drummer in his band. Y'all got that now! Jerry Lee and Judith spent five weeks back in his old hometown, Ferriday, Louisiana, from February 24-March 30. Jerry spent the first two weeks in Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday taking physical therapy for a back ailment. It was a small private wedding across the river from Ferriday in a friend's house on a bluff overlooking Ferriday. Jerry's sister Frankie Jean and her husband Marion were the only family members attending. Jerry and his bride returned to their ranch in Nesbit, MS. on March 30th. Lewis had not been back to Ferriday in years and they spent three weeks honeymooning there. Jerry showed Judith where his mother's house had been, the farm he bought his father, the family cemetery in Clayton, and all the old haunts where clubs once stood that he played before becoming famous. Lewis played his last show on December 3 in Chicago, Illinois. At this writing, it could possibly be the final show of his long career. Every artist eventually plays a final curtain call. All shows have been cancelled in the first six months of 2012. Jerry broke his lower right leg 30th March upon his return from honeymooning in Ferriday. It was put in a cast and shows were then cancelled until at least mid-June. He spent twenty-three days in rehab and was released April 22nd. He now has physical therapy three days a week. Jerry Lee Lewis tour:
June 23-Hard Rock Hotel Casino, Biloxi, MS.
July 30-Sporting Club, Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Little Richard replaced Lewis in his first stage show in over 2 years when the 79-year-old rocker temporarily came out of retirement May 6, and played Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Richard will also replace Lewis June 14 at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City.

Mickey Gilley tour:
May 12-Paragon Casino, Marksville, LA.
June 16-The New Barn, Renfro Valley, KY.
July 21-Isle of Capri, Lulu, MS.
July 26-Rock County 4-H Fair, Janesville, WISC. July 27-Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, IOWA.

Johnny Rivers tour:
June 12-benefit concert for Summit Elementary School, Upper Ojai, CA.

Carl Mann played his first show in six months March 30 at Country Crossroads at Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee. He was backed by bass guitarist Rayburn Anthony and guitarist Steve Patterson.





March, 2012
Paul MacPhail
New e-mail address for book orders: p5macphail@hotmail.ca


Jerry Lee Lewis tour:
April 14-Bearcreek Farms, Bryant, IN
May 7-Beale Street Festival, Memphis, TN
May 18-Howard Theatre, Washington, DC
June 12-Grand Rex, Paris, France
June 16-Stadium, Cannes, France

Mickey Gilley tour:
March 15-Lady Luck Casino, Caruthersville, MO
April 1-5-season opener at Gilley's, Branson, MO
May 5-Firelake Grand Casino, Shawnee, OK
June 16-The New Barn, Renfro Valley, KY
July 21-Isle of Capri, Lulu, MS
July 30-Sporting Club, Monte Carlo, Monaco
July 26-Rock County 4-H Fair, Janesville, WISC.
July 27-Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, IOWA.



February 29, in the early morning hours, a tornado ripped through Branson, Missouri. It went straight down the strip hitting music theatres, diners, and restaurants. Homes were destroyed and one person was killed, while 33 were hospitalized. Mickey Gilley was not at his condo at the time but rockabilly artist Brandy Roberts was in town at his home. He immediately got in touch with me to say he is okay. The Rt. 76 strip was devastated but Gilley's Theatre and Texas Café one of the few that was untouched. It happened during the night and no one was in the theatres. Actually, it was not the tourist season and the theatres were still closed for the winter.

Mickey Gilley is set to begin taping his own RFD-TV 1/2-hour show at his Gilley's Texas Cafe in Branson on March 21. Different guest artists will appear on the shows, like Johnny Lee, Moe Bandy, and rockabilly pianist/singer Brandy Roberts. Six TV shows set for April debut will tape that day.

A new book titled "Unconquered" is set for May 1st release, by author J.D. Davis. It is on the lives of three Ferriday star ... Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, and Jimmy Lee Swaggart. These three piano-playing cousins were all born within a year and Jerry went on to rock 'n' roll fame, Mickey to country music fame, and Jimmy to gospel music fame.

Johnny Rivers tour:
March 24-Buffalo Thunder Casino, Santa Fe, NM
April 13-Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AR June 12-benefit concert for Summit Elementary School, Upper Ojai, CA
June 16-Wolf Den of Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT. (I'll be there)

Chuck Berry cancelled his show 4th of February at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Columbia Records release Johnny Cash's "Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth" on 1st April. This two CD set contains 51 gospel songs (only 11 never previously released) from 1975 to 1982. CD-1 contains the 20 tracks from the 1979 double album "A Believer Sings the Truth" and 4 songs from this session not previously released with: "Didn't It Rain/He Touched Me/I'll Have a New Life/Truth". CD-2 contains an unreleased 1975 album session with the only new tracks being "Back in the Fold/Would You Recognize Jesus/That's Just Like Jesus/Keep Me From Blowing Away/Don't Give Up on Me/Our Little Old Home Town" and ten tracks from the 1983 album "Believe In Him", plus 4 songs from a 1982 session with the only new one being "Never Grow Old". If you are a Cash collector, this set offers very few unreleased tracks but is a must have if you want all Cash product. Let's hope Cash Bootleg V offers more unreleased material, as Columbia still has a vault full of his songs. This autumn, Columbia will also release a huge box set on Cash.

Carl Mann is in poor health and all his shows have been cancelled since last October. Suffering from bad knees he can only walk short steps before running out of breath. They can't operate on his knees because of a heart condition, high blood pressure and diabetes. Very likely he will not be touring overseas again. Carl is only 69. I'll be visiting with Carl from March 20-April 6. We'll be promoting his new album and autobiography. Jaxon Records is setting several autograph sessions up and the album is set for mid-March release.





January, 2012
Paul MacPhail


Brandy Roberts and Mickey Gilley: Both play Branson, Missouri 8 months of the year.

Mickey Gilley accepted a Victory Award at the National Rehabilitation Hospital's 25th Anniversary Gala Victory Awards Banquet at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Five people who made comebacks from crippling disabilities receive the award each year. Tickets to the event were $500 and it sold-out.

Rockabilly piano man Brandy Roberts invited on stage by Gilley at Gilley's Theatre, and both artists really struck it off. Brandy played Gilley's "Object of my Affection", backed by Gilley's Urban Cowboy Band, and then played Jerry's "Great Balls of Fire". He stood throughout both songs. Brandy sang and then Gilley sang. Both Gilley and his band were fascinated by Brandy's bang-on renditions. Mickey even stood up from his chair and did a little dance on stage. Mickey honored Brandy by telling him he sounded more like Mickey and Jerry Lee than they did. Looks like Gilley and Brandy were on the Jim Williams TV show in Branson and they will be doing more things together in the New Year. Both of these songs are on Brandy's latest CD "Rockin' the 88s". Preston Roberts, Brandy's manager, phoned me on December 6 raving about the show, and then he sent me a DVD of Gilley's complete show with Brandy for Christmas. The 2-hour show featured Mickey singing six of the songs from his Christmas album. Dejavu.

Mickey Gilley tour:

February 11, a 7 p.m. show at Nutty Jerry's in Winnie, Texas.

February 18, Ballroom of Treasure Island in Las Vegas, Nevada.

February 21-26, a week at Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada.

Jason D. Williams tour:

February 2-Buddy Holly Festival at Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa.

February 11-Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

February 18-Norristown, Pennsylvania. 

March 17-Sunshine Opry, Eustis, Florida.

Jack Scott to play the Blue Monday Festival at Attignat, France, April 28.

Barbara Orbison, 60, widow of Sun pioneer star Roy Orbison, died of pancreatic cancer December 7, (23rd anniversary of Roy's death) in Los Angeles, CA. She had been hospitalized since May. She was buried alongside her husband Roy. They are survived by three sons.

Little Richard celebrated his 79th birthday in Macon, Georgia, 5th December. Returning to his birth town, he visited an ailing cousin. Driving out of Macon the following day in his chauffeur driven black SUV, he stopped at noontime for hot dogs at Nu-Way Wiener, where he ate as a kid.

Jerry Lee Lewis tour:

April 6-B.B. Kings Blues Club in New York City, NY.

May 7-Beale Street Music Festival, Memphis, TN.

May 18-Howard Theatre, Washington, DC.

June 10-Cultural Theatre, Bucharest, Romania.

June 12-Grand Rex, Paris, France.

June 16-Stadium, Cannes, France. 

Jerry Lee Lewis: Black & Blues. Live at Third Man Records album recorded last April live in Nashville has finally been released in very limited production. Contains 12 tracks from "Down the Line", "I Wish I Was 18 Again", "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye", "You Belong to Me", "Sweet Little 16 (for the 100th time), to "Mexicali Rose". Picture sleeve features black and white photos from the show with stage and crowd shots.

Only available to U.S. citizens and all first copies go to folks who attended show when they bring in their receipts. Most fans will not have this in their collections.

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ALL MY BOOKS! NOW AVAILABLE BY PAYPAL... p.macphail@hotmail.com

It is with great sadness that I have to take the Jerry Lee bio FERRIDAY FIREBALL off the market. It outgrew itself. Going over the postal weight restriction to mail, the last copies going out in December cost $33 surface and $50 air. To delete material would be senseless, since that would defeat the purpose of the publication. To raise price to $100 a copy would be criminal. It was like mailing the New York City telephone directory.

FERRIDAY FIREBALL (NO LONGER AVAILABLE) – SOLD OUT!

FATS DOMINO: BIG BEAT BLUES.        LITTLE RICHARD: ORIGINATOR OF ROCK. RICKY NELSON: RICK-A-BILLY                                    THE WORLD OF MICKEY GILLEY.             

CARL PERKINS: ROCKABILLY AMBASSADOR           THE CONWAY TWITTY STORY.

CARL MANN: THE LAST SON OF SUN**                 CHARLIE RICH: SILVER LININGS**                 BRENDA LEE: GOLDEN GIRL        HANK WILLIAMS: FROM THE CRADLE TO GRAVE.

My day-to-day books contain all shows, tour dates, singles, albums, chart positions, t-v shows, movies, homes, cars, health problems, family life, and sexcapades/booze/drug problems.  

All books sell for 45 Euro, 35L UK, or $50 US or CAN (Postage included).  

**New CHARLIE RICH or CARL MANN (postage included) $40 each US/CAN or EURO 35.

Paul MacPhail, 34 Mt. Herbert Rd. Stratford, PEI, Canada C1B 2S4







It has been a poor year for the bigger names still surviving from the golden years of rock 'n' roll. New releases on disc were few and far between. Show dates were down. Rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry played fewer shows than at any other time in their career. and Brenda Lee are no longering tour and television guest shots are rare.

Of all the name stars that came out of the '50s, many are retired or semi-retired. The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll is shutting down. A scheduled movie bio on Carl Perkins by Fairlane Productions has apparently been scrapped. There still is some lesser known Rockabilly artists out there (most in their 70s or 80s), many who never made the charts, playing local clubs for little pay. There is a cut-off time when an artist should just retire.

We now have deaf Chuck Berry playing poor quality performances at age 85, guitar out of tune and voice off-key. Little Richard makes an odd TV appearance now and then, being wheeled out in a wheelchair. Fats Domino rarely steps out of the house these days or answers his phone, because of Alzheimer's. Jerry Lee cancels half of his very few scheduled performances because of various health problems.

We will always remember a young Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly, as we did not have to see them try to perform in their late 70s or 80s. As much as we would like our stars to perform forever, there is a cut-off time.

Carl Mann has recorded the old rockabilly song "Where the Rio De Rosa Flows" for his new album on Jaxon. His friend featured it on a 1958 album and in a movie 'Hawaiian Boy' in 1959. Mann has also recorded a new song "Memphis Hair". This is pure rockabilly.

Billy Diamond, the man that gave Fats Domino his nickname back in 1947, when Fats joined Billy's band in New Orleans at age 19, has died in Los Angeles 20 in October, just two weeks after his 95th birthday. When Fats became famous in 1950, Billy joined his band as bass player. He later became the best road manager Fats ever had. He managed Fats' career until 1965 then he moved to Los Angeles, to manage the 5/4 Ballroom where Fats played many times through the 1950s. All now left of Fats original band are Dave Bartholomew, 90, and Herb Hardesty, 86.

Mickey Gilley
November 14, Mickey guest on 'Gene Williams Country' on TV singing duet with Jana Evans on his #1 hit "Paradise Tonight".

January 21-26, 2012, Gilley and his complete road show perform on a cruise ship from Jacksonville, Florida to Nassau and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, and back to Jacksonville.
Early April, Gilley will return to his Branson Theatre playing Sunday-Tuesday evenings, and Wednesday afternoons.

Johnny Rivers
November 26- Cache Creek Casino, Brooks, California.

Jerry Lee Lewis
December 3- Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois.





October, 2011
Paul MacPhail

THE FOUNDING FATHERS
OF ROCK AND ROLL

I had this idea to honor the early artists who first paved the musical way by taping a summit in New Orleans. Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino. Chills ran through me but there were limitations. Chuck, was hard of hearing and too vain to wear a hearing aid and he is in his 80's. So you can imagine what Little Richard was like. He looks great but he didn't want anyone to see him in his wheelchair.

Jerry Lee was having a bad reaction to cortisone and he was puffed up like one of those blowfish. Fats has had Alzheimer's for the last couple of years and everyone made a huge fuss over him and it was so beautiful it warmed your heart.





September, 2011
Paul MacPhail

Brandy Roberts from Shreveport, Louisiana, is a young rockabilly singer one needs to get acquainted with. He sounds and plays piano very, very similar to Jerry Lee Lewis. I've heard all the imitators and this guy definitely is the closest thing to a young Jerry Lee on the planet. His stage act is like the Jerry Lee of the 50s-60s, and wherever he plays the audience goes nuts. With four CD releases in the past 12 years, and a string of dates in Korea, Japan, Norway, and casinos from the Dakotas to the Deep South, this piano rockabilly is building a name for himself. He records much of the Killer's material along with hits of Carl Perkins, Mickey Gilley, Chuck Berry, Charlie Rich, and others. His repertoire consists of rockers, blues, and ballads, and his stage performance is wild. He rocks out on "I'm on Fire", "Nothing Shaking But the Leaves on the Trees", "Great Balls of Fire", "Nadine", "Down the Line", and his own composition "Boogie Child", and his ballads are beautiful with "You Win Again", "Sunday Morning Coming Down", "Somewhere over the Rainbow", and "Behind Closed Doors". A whiz on the piano, he tears into "High School Confidential", "I'm Ready", and "Sea Cruise", before slowing it to blues like "Who Will the Next Fool Be" or the up-tempo "Goodnight Irene" and "Mexicali Rose". For CDs ... P.B. Enterprises Inc. P.O. Box 18423, Shreveport, LA. 71118  www.brandyroberts.com 

Bob Timmers runs the www.rockabillyhall.com website out of Tennessee. It is full of news that is Rockabilly on the web. If you've never been to this site, check it out. You will be fascinated. One more thing, if you like this site, please contribute to Bob. Details on site. It's non-profit and he only depends on contributions to keep it going. Send $5 or whatever-keep this site active. One more thing ... my column is now on this site. Do it for Bob, do it for me, and do it for Rockabilly.

Jackson, TN. Features a new recording studio at 215 West Lafayette, and it's named Jaxon. The original Jaxon Records and studio was owned by Jimmy Martin who ran it from his house in Jackson in the late 1950s. Carl Mann made his first rockabilly record there in 1957 (and has signed with new label in mid-August) and Carl Perkins made many demos there of songs he had written from 1956 to 1958. Jimmy Exum, producer Larry Rodgers, an ex-Sun singer Rayburn Anthony are partners in the new venture which officially went into service in August. They want to record new talent in the West Tennessee area. It's a digital world now and studios have to conform to it, if independent artists want any chance at success. Major record companies no longer sign up artists as that has ended. Music retail stores are fast going out of business. Independent artists now make their own CDs and promote them on tour.

Carl Mann is back! During Elvis week in Memphis August 9 he played Levitt Shell at Overton Park in Memphis, his first show in a year. That same week on August 12 he played Stop 345 Club in Memphis just a few doors down from Phillips Recording Services where he recorded in the early 60s. August 16, he recorded 3 songs produced by Larry Rodgers at Jaxon Studio in Jackson. In late August he returned for a second 4 song session. August 27, he played the state-of-the-art Renaissance Center in Dickson, Tennessee. He had his original drummer W. S. Holland on these shows and guitarist Ron Haney. Carl performs at Green Bay, Wisconsin, 13 September.

Such is the case with even some big artists like Johnny Rivers who was smart enough to see the future of the music industry and began his own Soul City label back in the late 80s. Since then he has released seven CD albums and several singles, his new single is "I've Got to Use my Imagination". His discs are still big sellers compared to other artists who came out of the late 50s-early 60s. Rivers dropped by Blueberry Hill in St. Louis July 18 to have a great talk and lunch with Chuck Berry whom he had not seen in four years since they played a twin bill in Westbury, New York. Johnny had his photo taken across the street in front of Chuck's new statue.

Johnny Rivers
October 20 - Antone's, Austin, Texas
November 25 - Murat Theater, Indianapolis, Indiana.

A bit of sad news, Marshall Grant, who played bass with the original Tennessee Two from 1955-1980 with Johnny Cash's band, died at age 83 on August 7. I first met him in May of 1958. He introduced me on stage to Carl Perkins in 1967. Grant was a real nice gentleman.

Johnny Cash
Bootleg 3: Live Around the World, will be released by Columbia/Legacy in mid-October. The 2 CD set contains rare performances all recorded live in concert at the BIG ÔD' JAMBOREE in Dallas, Texas 1956 -3 songs, New River Ranch in Rising Sun, Maryland 1962 -7 songs, Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island 1964 -8 songs, NCO Club Long Bin, Vietnam 1969 -9 songs, White House, Washington DC 1970 -12 songs, Osteraker Prison, Sweden 1972 -3 songs, CBS Record Convention, Nashville 1973 -1 song, Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, Virginia 1976 -2 songs, WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia 1976 -3 songs, Exit Inn, Nashville 1979 -2 songs.

Chuck Berry
September 16 - Performing Arts Theatre, San Bernardino, California.
November 5- State Theatre, Easton, Pennsylvania.
December 31 - B.B. King's Blues Club, New York City, NY

Little Richard - New 4 CD box set on 101 Distribution label available from Amazon.com at only $13.45, contains all 78 tracks from the 50s with his 8 RCA tracks (1951-52), 8 Peacock tracks (1953-54), all his Specialty tracks (1955-57), 2 radio show tracks from Australia 1957, and his 20 gospel tracks from Gone/End in 1959. All the recordings direct from the original masters. This is a good deal.

Jerry Lee Lewis
August 13, Lewis in recording session at Phillips Studio in Memphis, laying down tracks with Ken Lovelace and Walbourne on guitars, Rick Rosas on bass, and Jim Keltner on drums.
December 3 - Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois.

Mickey Gilley

September 5- featured on "American Pickers" on TV, September 11-December 13 - Gilley plays Sunday-Tuesdays at his theatre in Branson, MO.

January 21-26, 2012, Gilley and his complete road show perform on a cruise ship from Jacksonville, Florida to Nassau and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, and back to Jacksonville.







July / August, 2011
Paul MacPhail

Jerry Lee Lewis
Long time Jerry Lee mystery solved after 54 years. I long had my suspicious concerning the story of how Jerry finally arrived at his debut appearance on the Steve Allen Show on July 28, 1957 and how correct his and Jud Phillips story was concerning that great event.

For 54 years Lewis' fans were led to believe that Jerry, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash were on a tour heading to Florence, Alabama in mid-July of 1957 and Jud went to see their act at the Civic Center, and later invited them over to his house for drinks. There he told the group he wanted to take Jerry to New York City and get him on the Ed Sullivan Show.

To hear Jud and Jerry tell it through the years it seemed like they went to Sam, got the go-ahead (and money) and headed off to New York in late July. This story never jived with me for many reasons. First, Cash and Perkins',tour schedules in July of 1957 never put them anywhere in Alabama. Secondly, the Billboard magazine of July 15th (printed July 10th) ran a page ad on "Whole Lotta Shaking" and proclaiming Jerry would guest on Steve Allen on July 28th, over two weeks later. Then the TV Guide for the week of July 27-August 2 (which comes out a week early) also mentioned Jerry on Steve Allen Show. Another thing; when Jud talked to Steve and Steve said, "Well, he doesn't have a hit in the chart" - then Jud said his last record sold about 50,000 copies to date. On June 24th "Shaking" hit the Billboard pop chart at #70 and also hit the country charts. By July 15th "Shaking" was #36 on the Billboard pop chart ... already climbing nicely two weeks before the debut TV appearance.

Now with the complete set of tour dates in my files, which, I've added to my book "Ferriday Fireball", I've seen what happened. This meeting of Jud and Jerry actually began almost three months earlier on April 2nd when Lewis/Perkins/Cash played the Civic Center in Jud's hometown. Jud saw Jerry perform for the first time ("Shaking" was still 2 weeks away from release) but he played it that night along with "Little Green Valley", "Crazy Arms", and "Don't Be Cruel".

After the show the troupe went over to Jud's house for drinks. Jerry played Jud's piano and they talked about going to New York City and trying to get Jerry on national TV. Cash and Perkins got irritated because they were the stars. However, they had already been on national TV. Cash was guesting on STAGE SHOW and Perkins had been on PERRY COMO. Jud said they'd wait a couple of months while Jerry's next record began showing some promise and then he'd approach Sam with the plan.

By the end of June the plan was put into operation when Jerry's new disc made the low ends of all three charts ... pop, country, and R&B. Early in July after the holiday weekend, Jud and Jerry headed to New York City. They got to meet with Ed Sullivan ... who turned them down (his mistake). The next day they got to meet with Steve Allen's troupe. They went for it and Steve said the shows were booked for three weeks but he'd pencil Lewis in at the end of the July 28th show.

The deal set, Jud and Jerry flew home to Memphis. On July 27th they landed back in New York with the band and this time after a two-day drive by car. One more thing ... the guest appearance on the Alan Freed Show a week later was booked the day before the Steve Allen Show, and was advertised in the next weeks TV Guide. The Lewis troupe stayed in New York City that week while Jud flew back to Memphis for three days then came in to NYC for the Freed date. In between those two TV appearances, Jud also got Lewis the part in the movie Jamboree. He also picked up the song "Great Balls of Fire" for a session.

Jerry Lee's 2011 schedule.
August 27 -Retro Festival, Bethune, France.
August 31 -Kinocenter, Bocholt, Germany.
September 3 -Beursgebouw, Eindhoven, Holland.
September 10 -University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Jason D. Williams just finished three shows a night for two nights (July 10-11) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. His new album KILLER INSTINCTS on Sony features some of his own compositions. He sounds like a young Jerry Lee on "Like Jerry Lee", "You Look Like I Could Use a Drink", and "What Am I Gonna Do".

Chuck Berry
got a statue in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, after much protesting from city councilors over his five various jail and prison sentences. Many people in the city did not want to honor a man with his reputation. Berry won out. The statue is 8 feet tall. Berry plays once a month at Blueberry Hill in his hometown of St. Louis. September 16 you can catch him at the Theatre of the Performing Arts in San Bernardino, CA.

Mickey Gilley
July 31-August 2-Gilley's Theatre, Branson, MO.
August 7-9-Gilley's Theatre, Branson, MO.
August 13-Jam, Vicksburg, MS.
August 14-16-Gilley's Theatre, Branson, MO.
August 19-Music Hall, Arlington, Texas.
August 20-Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, Carthage, Texas.
August 21-Strand Theatre, Jennings, Louisiana.
August 26-Imperial Palace, Biloxi, Mississippi.
August 28-Gilley plays a hometown show at the Auditorium in Vidalia, Louisiana.

Johnny Rivers
September 13-Clay County Fair, Spencer, Iowa.
September 17-Odawa Casino Resort, Petoskey, Michigan.
September 25-Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, Indiana.
I caught Rivers act June 18th at Mohegan Sun's Wolf Den in Uncasville, Connecticut. He looks and sounds just as he did in the 60s, and the million selling hits went on for over 1 and half hours. Backed by 5-piece combo, he performed his latest single "New Home", some blues ballads, and some great rockabilly with "Memphis", "Maybelline", "Mountain of Love" and "Rockin' Pneumonia".

Carl Mann
has been spending the spring and summer taking therapy three times a week and is slowly regaining his strength back and losing weight. The good news is he'll be back to playing shows by September, and begins on the 13th at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is just after this show when Carl and I begin a book tour for our autobiography "Last Son of Sun".

Little Richard
played July 4 at the Capitol Building's west lawn in Washington, D.C., his return to the stage for the first time since October of 2009. The show telecast on PBS-TV. Before Richard played to crowd of over 20,000 people, the Million Dollar Quartet came on and did a group of 50s Sun hits including "Hound Dog", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Blue Suede's" and "Whole Lotta Shaking". Then Richard came on backed by his band and the Million $ Quartet. He was dressed in an all-white suit playing black grand piano, and sang his gold hits "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly" ... as fireworks began exploding in background behind the outdoor stage. He had played this same



.

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  • FATS DOMINO: BIG BEAT BLUES.
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  • THE WORLD OF MICKEY GILLEY.
  • CARL PERKINS: ROCKABILLY AMBASSADOR.
  • THE CONWAY TWITTY STORY.
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  • BRENDA LEE: GOLDEN GIRL.
  • HANK WILLIAMS: FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
  • CHARLIE RICH: SILVER LININGS **
  • CARL MANN: THE LAST SON OF SUN **.

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