Glen Glenn Glen Glenn was there for the birth of rock and roll and had a significant role in LA's vibrant country music scene of the '50s (amazing photos from which he generously shared with this film). Glen has played and partied with every major rockabilly artist (yes, including Elvis) and his Gold Record "Everybody's Moving" is covered by stadium stars (and Glenn fans) like Dylan and Springsteen. After rockabilly died, Glen worked at a defense plant until Europe demanded his comeback in the 80s. Although Glen plays today to huge audiences in Europe, he rarely plays LA, notable exceptions being the annual Elvis birthday bash at the House of Blues and rare gigs for his buddy Brando at "Spikes". Glen remains a country boy at heart and has been married to his sweetheart Mary, a fellow Missouri native, for 40 years. Glen's records can be found on the Bear Family label at www.bear-family.de. His famous song "One Cup of Coffee" featured in this DVD can be found on the awesome Bear Family compilation "Glen Rocks" which has 25 tracks and a detailed booklet with tons of cool photos.
Ray Campi Ray Campi first crooned in the musically lush culture of 1950s Texas. He cut a few records, but by the 70s Campi had resigned himself to life as a high school English teacher in LA County. That is, until the day he collided with Ron Weiser. Together they stormed the European discos and fueled a manic craze for American "rock n' roll". Soon after, Campi and his slappin' bass invaded LA's punk scene. Bands like The Blasters opened for Ray. Ray has played on over 50 albums and performs worldwide today, still wearing his Western Best. Ray continues to teach and drive his many Cadillacs back and forth between his homes in LA and Texas. Campi's encyclopedic memory, warm nature and old-school stage charm have made him LA's Rockabilly Ambassador to the World for three decades. Ray has no website but his albums can be found at www.amazon.com, including the lovely "Train Rhythm Blue" (produced by Skip Heller and featuring Skip's beautiful instrumental title track), "Eager Beaver Boy" by Bear Flag (which includes the track "Boogie Boogie Boo" featured in this movie) and Ray's favorite, "With Friends in Texas", with guest artists Merle Travis, Bonnie Raitt and Ray's friend Mae West. To get one of my favorite Campi Albums, "Ray Campi: The Road to Rockabilly" you'll have to go overseas to www.envikenrecords.com. It's worth it. The album includes the tracks "Johnny's Jive" and "Loretta", featured in this documentary, as well as "My Screamin' Screamin' Mimi" - a must listen! Ray has no website or email so if you want to meet this legend cut in while he's dancing with a blonde at one of Reb's Wild Promotions shows.
Big Sandy There are few people who can really claim credit for the survival of "rockabilly" in LA, the musical genre and the living culture. Without a doubt one of those is Big Sandy of "Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys", the hardest working rockabilly band in America. While the retro craze spawned by the Stray Cats came and went faster than a Macy's sale, a lesser known version of the revival was growing and enduring at LA barbeques and corner bars. Thanks in large part to the Fly Rite Boys, a gentler, more vintage mood would come to typify LA rockabilly for the next 20 years. The Fly Rite Boys are beloved by anyone who hears their upbeat music and Big Sandy's sweet, romantic voice. Big Sandy is one of the most prolific songwriters in the scene today with over 70 timeless songs. He also actively supports up-and-coming artists like the "The Vargas Brothers" and is considered the only dignitary worthy of emceeing when a living legend plays SoCal. He is nothing less than the host and heart of LA Rockabilly and everywhere he goes welcomes you to "Grab a partner!"
Dave Gonzales Another artist who started his career during LA's roots revival of the 80s and managed to endure is Dave Gonzales. Dave and The Paladins have been playing rockabilly and blues for 20 years. Vinyl collectors since high school, they started a three piece rockabilly/blues band when hair bands were the rage. Dave's contribution to the guitar was immortalized when Fender assigned a master builder to recreate Dave's 1957 Guild. You can now buy Fender "Paladin" reissue for $5,000. You can buy a Paladins CD for about $15 at www.amazon.com.
The Moonlight Cruisers mix the eclectic roots soul of LA music into one sound that rules. The Moonlight Cruisers cuts on Rebel Beat include the cut used for the DVD menu, "Skeletar", the whimsical guitar instrumental "Spanky Goes to Hollywood" and the cumbia rock song "Bailar".
The Wild Presents Boys: Omar Romero, Lil' Luis, The Lonely Blue Boys Reb Kennedy of Wild Presents has long spotted the up and coming trends of LA's underground music scene. Three of the bands Reb has championed appear in Rebel Beat and contributed tracks. Omar Romero, a modern-day Elvis in both sex appeal and grit, performs "Get Away from Me". Lil' Luis y Los Wild Teens perform the sexy stroll "Rebel Donna". The Loney Blue Boys perform their original doo-wop number, "I've Got a Gal"
The Golly Gee Boys: Rockin' Ryan, Rip Carson
Down in the OC Mel Spinella is taking over what Reb Kennedy is pulling off up north in LA by making a home for sexy, edgy roots roxckers Rockin' Ryan and Rip Carson. Rockin' Ryan contributes two tracks to the movie, the rockabilly classic "Please, Please Louise" and the garage growl "Caged Heat". Rip Carson contributes his original, "Don't Ya Lie to Me"
The Wild Presents Boys
The Lonely Blue Boys / Vargas Brothers
The Golly Gee Boys
Rip Carson (photo courtesy Dave Doyle)