Friday Night Videos
In a pink Cadillac
As much an image as a genre of music, rockabilly will be forever linked with the sounds and styles of 1950's rock and roll. With it's slight country twang and lively beats, it has enjoyed occasional revivals and permanent influence. It remains one of pop music's most reliable sub-genres.
It all starts with the King. "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Jailhouse Rock."
Elvis' 1968 comeback special featuring one of rock and roll's most influential songs, "That's All Right," with Scottie Moore on guitar and D.J. Fontana drumming a guitar case.
With his distinct rock and roll sound sound (and showmanship), Chuck Berry remains the most influential guitarist of all time. Here's "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven."
The piano, then as symbolic to rock and roll as the guitar, served a much bigger role in the 50's than it does today. Here's Jerry Lee Lewis with "Great Balls of Fire."
A two in one from Carl Perkins, "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Your True Love."
Gene Vincent with "Be-Bop-a-Lula"
Two from my favorite performer of the era, Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and "Oh Boy."
Love them or hate them, they kept the rockabilly image from fading. Taking a shot at the hippies, Sha Na Na with "Rock and Roll is here to Stay."
And hey, if it wasn't for them, we might not have had this:
Though the legacy of rockabilly was greatly admired and emulated during the punk years, it seemed to return more to its original sound during the late 70's alongside the new wave scene. Despite being an American invention, it's revival was popular on both sides of the ocean. Here's Britain's Shakin' Stevens with "Green Door" and Rockpile with "Girl's Talk" and "Crackin' Up"
Having worked with guitarists Link Wray, Chris Spedding, and Danny Gatton, no one did neo-rockabilly better than 1970's New York City punk veteran Robert Gordon. Here's a cool live version of "Worryin' Kind."
Even Neil Young got in on the act with "cry, Cry, Cry" and "Wonderin."
So did Queen with "Crazy Little thing Called Love."
The most popular and commercially successful of the new wave of rockabilly bands, the Stray Cats had to get noticed in the U.K. by Rockpile to catch a break. You gotta like a band that can get away with mentioning their name in a song without sounding cheap. "Stray Cat Strut" and the equally cool "I Won't Stand in Your Way."
Strong in the 90's, Chris Isaak with "Wicked Game" (the Wild at Heart version) "Blue Hotel," and the live "Devil In Disguise" with LeAnn Rimes.
The rockabilly sound still showing up, sometimes in weird places. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with "Bellbottoms" and Mr. Bungle live with "Pink Cigarette."
Still the rockabilly king, Stray Cat Brian Setzer and his big band with "This Cats On A Hot Tin Roof."
And a little rockabilly guitar.