What Part Of The U.S Is Country Music Most Popular Country Music Stars Contributed Early Rockabilly Gems

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Country Music Stars Contributed Early Rockabilly Gems

While rockabilly pioneers like Elvis, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, the Burnett Brothers, Wanda Jackson and others were tearing things up and inventing a new style of music that grew into rock and roll, it was clear to the established country stars of the past that something special was happening. And they wanted a piece of the action! Several country stars tried their hand at rockabilly and released some great rockabilly tunes that stood up to the best of what the rebel rockers put out. In this article, we’ll look at just a few of these country stars and some of the wonderful songs they contributed to the new rockabilly revolution.

One of my favorite country stars is (and of course I’m not alone!) Patsy Cline. She is of course known for her iconic tearjerker and country ballads. But Patsy also belted out the rocker like it was a natural. Some of her best rockabilly numbers include “I’ve Got a Rhythm on My Mind,” “Turn the Cards Slow,” and the amazing “Stop, Look and Listen,” which features a relentlessly driven snare drum that sounds like a gunshot to set the beat. Patsy had perhaps the most amazing voice in all of country music and that voice translated into pure genius when she turned it into rockabilly.

Marty Robbins is another country icon. His gut ballads and cowboy songs were my favorites when I was a kid I started hooking up with my mom’s record collection. His was another amazing voice that absolutely dominated in Israel or in a western song. But he also did his share of rockabilly numbers and as you would expect from such a great talent, those performances were incredible. “Tennessee Toddy” stands as a rollicking story song that is nothing but pure fun and you can hear it in Marty’s voice as he sings out every verse. His “Mean Mama Blues” is also a great original rockabilly tune. He also did great versions of Chuck Berry’s “Long Tall Sally,” “That’s Alright Mama,” and “Maybelline.” Really great rockabilly from a really great country singer!

Little Jimmy Dickens made a name for himself as a bit of a novelty act with pure country numbers like “Sleepin’ at the Foot of the Bed”, “Old Cold Tater”, “Out Behind the Barn” and “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,” but he also released some rockabilly gems. “Stinky Pass the Hat Around” is just insane and its heavy violin still can’t tame its rockabilly attitude. Another great Dickens rockabilly track is the understated classic, “Rockin’ With Red.” “Black Eyed Joe” and “Hillbilly Fever” are two more great tunes worth checking out. Dickens kept a big billy pile in his version of rockabilly, but it was just the same.

Johnny Horton’s “Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor” is one of the greatest rockabilly songs, and his “Honky Tonk Man” is not far behind. Horton seemed almost reluctant to chase the fame that seemed to be chasing him, but he couldn’t escape the spotlight before belting out some absolutely wonderful rockabilly, honky tonk and country songs. His recording career was remarkably short considering the impact he had – he recorded for just five years. Horton continued to perfect the country “Saga” ballad with songs like “North to Alaska,” “Sink the Bismarck,” “The Battle of New Orleans” and others, but nothing matched the energy of his rockabilly offerings.

These are just a few of the country artists of the mid to late 1950s who decided to turn their hand to rockabilly. Most of these artists and others like them returned to the country music they loved so much, but not before blessing us with their contribution to the legacy of rockabilly music.

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