THANK YOU to all the performers that appeared on stage, including: Matthew & Gunnar Nelson, Glen Glenn, Gene Summers, Brad & Joe from the Dempseys, Johnny Powers, Barbara Pittman, Roman Self, W.S. Holland, Bubba & Wanda Feathers, Andy Anderson, The Rockabilly Country Band, Alan Clark, Brain Stuhr, Joe The Shaker, Smoochie Smith, Bo Jack Killingsworth, Don Weise, Cash O'Reily, Alton Lott, Bucky Barrett, Don Wilson, Sheree Homer and all other fine vocalists and players that donationed their heart and time.
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to those who went "that extra mile": Bill Ellis, Chris Davis, Bobby Joe Swilley, J.D. Cooper, Burl Boykin, Sonja Timmers, Lynn Self, Doris Bryant, Billy Bob Barker, Dave Hermsen, and the entire volunteer staff at The Shell, including boss-man John Larkin.
AND LET'S NOT FORGET THOSE TO TRAVELED TO THE EVENT. Don Wilson, Glen Glenn, Alan Clark, Pat Woertink and all the other performers and fans from California who participated. Don Weise came in from Spokane, WA; Matthew Nelson from Los Angeles; Johnny Powers from Detroit; Sheree Homer from Wisconsin.
Matthew and Gunnar are a "class act", and carry on the Nelson family name with great pride and respect. Thanks again, men.
-Bob Timmers

See below how to continue to help "The Shell" and the
"Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ". Thanks

"Tribute to Our Dad," The Nelsons


Story and Photos:
Saturday Night







I Had a GREAT Time
... at the Shell Show. I was NOT disappointed. I knew some of the acts. Since I do the show "Rockhouse" on WEVL FM 89.9, I play many of these artists. I now Brian Stuhr well, because I took over for him as host of the show. Brian was and is a hard act to follow, but I try my best each week to do at least as good a show as he did every week. His guitar prowess was really proven at this show, where he was asked to perform with a few acts he normally isnt a member of. Yes, there were rough spots, but overall it sounded good considering he was told seconds before each song was played, what it was they were going to do and the style and rhythm it was in. Again, GREAT JOB BRIAN!!
           The other acts rocked too. As I said Brian played especially well with Cash O'Reily, one of the many acts I plan to start playing on my show now. I also admired the way that almost every artist was available to the fans to talk to, and all were genuinely nice people.
           Props out to Bubba and Wanda Feathers. Bubba has phoned in requests many time on my show and it was an honor to finally meet him and tlak for a few minutes. Wanda was gracious also and has a beautiful voice - she really sang the Barbara Pittman song well. Barbara, also, was most kind to me and I look forward to our interview on air in the near future.
           The Nelson twins were fabulous as were the two Dempseys that accompanied them. Joe and Brad - You guys ROCK OUT!!!!, Thanks for posing with my as the "new third dempsy" also ;). To all of yall that were there, did we have us a time or what? If you went to Helena or some other function, SHAME SHAME!! ALso, thanks to Adrianne for her assistance. ROCK ON!
           Lonnie Viar
           Host of "Rockhouse" on WEVL FM 89.9. Memphis
           Fridays 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

I Loved the Show!
           All performers were great. We had cloud cover, but rain left us alone. I had not seen some of the performers before. Don Weise gave us good rockabilly, country flavor. Cash O'Riley & the Downright Daddies got into straight ahead rockailly. Bubba and Wanda Feathers did great with Charlie's songs, including Peepin' Eyes. Butch Wax & The Flattops, Andy Anderson, and the other listed guests, gave us about 2 more hours of great rockabilly. Roman Self did great on Ronnie's songs (Bopalena, wow). Rockabilly Country Band did a great show, and backed others, including Barbara Pittman. Barbara was great. Glen Glenn had guests, Johnny Powers, Sherree Homer, & Don Wilson. Alan Clark and Bobby Joe Swilley Band did most of the backing for them and Gene Summers. I had not seen them, before, but they did it fun, and it was great like their recordings.
           Then Nelson, with The Dempseys. The Dempseys are always hot rockabilly and the twins were great vocally and instrumentally doing Ricky's rockinest songs. Then the Induction Award Presentation was done by Glen Glenn. Gunnar and Matthew stayed around talked, autographed and posed for pictures with the crowd, as long as anyone was there. I was impressed by those young men.
           I loved this whole day of great music. There was some trouble with the sound, especially the monitors. It didn't sound bad to me, but they kept working with it all day, because on stage they weren't hearing it. The great show kept going all day. Bob Timmers played a lot of great hot guitar with many of the acts, along with keeping the show together. Several of them would fill in as needed.
           There is no show, I would rather see. People who did not attend, missed a great event. The Shell listing is The greatest event of the year. I didn't take notes. I hope others write additions, and any corrections. JD -

JD, Thank You!
           We had a really good time but it is so sad that Memphis just does not support rockabilly music. It was great getting to see some of the ones that I had met in Green Bay again and also meeting a lot of people here for the first time.
           This was a first tribute show to my Father for Bubba and I, I hope there will be more. Our 30 minute set included:
"One Hand Loose"
"Peepin' Eyes" - This one was all mine, with Bubba singing the harmony part :)
"Bottle To The Baby"
"Wedding Gown Of White" - This song always gets to me
"Tear It Up" - In memory of Paul Burlison of the Rock-n-Roll trio
"Folsom Prison Blues" - In Memory of Johnny Cash
"Gone, Gone, Gone" - "Mean Woman Blues" - "Boppin' The Blues" - Great three song melody Bubba does of Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.
"Two Young Fools In Love" - Just had to do a little bit of this one, from the first lady of sun records Barbara Pittman.
"Everybody's Lovin' My Baby"
"Tongue Tied Jill"
           Many thanks to Jeremiah of Jerry King & The Rivertown Ramblers who played a mean upright bass. Brian of Butch Wax & The Flattops and a former & awesome DJ at WEVL for adding that much needed rhythm guitar. Also, Lonny for the down beat on the drums. I felt in my heart that my Father was smiling. For you Dad!
-Wanda (Feathers) -

Photo: Don Wilson

Photo: C. Hensley -

Bill Ellis' Article, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003 - "Benefit at Shell a celebration of rockabilly daddies, mamas" on the GoMemphis Web site.

big train to memphis -
the rockabilly hall of fame benefit show

posted october 15, 2003. the big train rolled into memphis october 10th, 2003 with a shower of rock-a-billy legends that would equal the stable of artists sam phillips had on his sun roster in the 50's. the rock-a-billy hall of fame picked memphis because that's where elvis did his first live show at the overton park shell. the overton park shell had been closed down for twenty years when the rock-a-billy hall of fame discovered that it had just reopened. it was decided that memphis would be the perfect place for the benefit show. also the rock-a-billy hall of fame had plans to induct rick nelson. they had been looking for a suitable location for the induction ceremony. since rick nelson had a special fondness for memphis and it's rock-a-billy roots memphis was the perfect place.

rick nelson's twins gunner and matthew were contacted. they agreed to perform on the show and except the induction plaque for their dad. the show was on. rock-a-billy legend glen glen was contacted in hollywood. glen who had been friends with rick nelson and elvis was asked to present rick nelson's induction into the rock-a-billy hall of fame to the nelson twins.

at 2:00 p.m. on october the 10th, cash o'reilly and the down right daddies' were introduced to the audience by mc burl boykin. they put on a great show and were real crowd pleasers. sun recording artist and rock-a-billy legend charlie feathers son and daughter bubba and wanda feathers came on next and sang many of their dad's hits. it was great to see bubba and wanda keeping the feathers family tradition alive. what a show they put on.

next on stage from toledo, ohio was the fabulous joe "the shaker" doing his fifties hit "chicken shack." joe was backed up by butch wax, larry manuel, and the flat tops. "the shaker" is an excellent performer that keeps you rockin. bobby joe swilley and the country line band, with andy anderson, guitarist bucky barrett along with alton lot, don pittman, wray henson, and richard thames got their harmony together on the fiesta's 1959 hit song "so fine" and other group hits of the 50's. what a performance the audience loved it.

the fans came to see and hear rock-a-billy at it's best and they got it. the rock-a-billy country band came on next with barbara pittman, kim curtis, jerry lee "smoochie" smith, j.t. morgan, rayburn anthony, and drummer w.s. holland who worked with carl perkins and johnny cash. they rocked everyone with a show no amount of money could buy. barbara pittman the f irst woman to record for sun records put on a great show.

roman self came out next singing some the songs that made his dad rock-a-billy legend ronnie self famous. roman sang his dad's big hit "be bopa lena." he was backed up by bob timmers on lead guitar and bobby joe swilly on drums. roman really puts on a good show.

glen glen and his band came out next what a wild bunch this is they put on a good rockin show. alan clark who knows every rock-a-billy legend in the world, played lead guitar harmonized with glen glen and don wilson on their hit songs. sheree homer sang an old carl perkins tune "matchbox."

johnny powers from detroit came on next singing his hit "long blonde hair" "looking cool" in his leather outfit and shades. he is the only rock-a-billy legend to record for both sun and motown records. glen glen ended their part of the show singing his big hit "everybody's movin."

everybody was having a good rockin time. rock-a-billy legend gene summers from dallas texas got the fans rockin with his big hit on jan records "straight skirt." if you've never seen gene summer perform live you are missing a great show. gene is a dynamic performer who keeps the audience rockin in their seats. gene left the stage and came out among the audience and sang to them, they loved it. he ended his show with his biggest hit "big blue diamond" giving the fans what they came for good ole rock-a-billy.

gunnar and matthew nelson closed the show with a sizzling performance with their band the dempseys that had everyone jumping and shouting. flashes were going off everywhere as they sang some of there dad rick nelson's hits. what a way to end a rock-a-billy show.

Fans & Artists:
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