Jimmy Kirkland, 1950s

Classic rockabilly meets classic rock at WCSX radio

WCSX Classic Rock radio Doc of Rock Doug Podell posted an interview with Craig Maki about early Detroit rockabilly. Craig posted a short list of his favorite recordings.

WCSX Classic Rock radio’s “Doc of Rock” Doug Podell recently posted an interview with me. The topic of the podcast was Detroit rockabilly. It’s about 12 minutes long and you can check it out here. [Note: This podcast is no longer available, but you can check out Doug Podell’s current podcast page here.]

Surprisingly, my name appears on the WCSX podcast page among a list of bad boys such as Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, The Rockets, and Sammy Hagar. Despite the classic rock format of WCSX, Doug seems very interested in the history of music in Detroit, and genuinely enthusiastic about discovering the existence of local rockabilly artists for himself and his listeners.

Michiganders should be proud of the state’s rockabilly and early country music heritage. Just to prove my point, here is a list of records for y’all to track down at local garage sales (or online).

Jimmy Kirkland circa 1958. Source: Keith Cady, courtesy Jim Kirkland
Jimmy Kirkland rockin’ it up at a Detroit nightclub, circa 1958. Source: Keith Cady, courtesy Jim Kirkland

Craig’s short list of Detroit rockabilly (early country rock) records

Dick Armstrong “I Wanta Go Steady With You” Bart (Flint, 1957)
Lonnie Barron “Teenage Queen” Sage (1956)
Aubrey Bradford “Get Your Feet On The Floor” Shelby (ca. 1957)
Johnny Buckett “Griddle Greasing Daddy” Fortune (ca. 1957)
Jim Bullington “Love Bug Crawl” Wednesday (Flint, 1957)
Al Burnette “Humpty Dumpty” Happy Hearts (1964)
Jackie Carbone “Jam-Up” Star-X (1957)
Jimmy Carroll “Big Green Car” Fascination (1958)
Casey Clark and the Lazy Ranch Boys “Lost John” Sage & Sand (1956)
Pete DeBree and the Wanderers (Jimmy Franklin, vocal) “Hey Mr. Presley” Fortune (1958)
Hugh Friar “I Can’t Stay Mad At You” Clix (1959)
Jimmy Gartin “Gonna Ride That Satellite” Hi-Q (1958)
Roy Hall “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” Decca (Nashville, 1955)"I Wanta Be Free" by Evelyn Harlene w/ Casey Clark's Band - Sage 243-A
Vic Gallon “I’m Gone” Gondola (1957)
Evelyn Harlene “I Wanta Be Free” Sage (1957)
Harold L. and the Offbeats “Connie” Happy Hearts (1962)
Loyd Howell “Froggy Went A-Courtin’” Nashville (1961)
Hunt Sisters “I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore” Fortune (1961)
Eddie Jackson “Blues I Can’t Hide” Caravan (1963)
Leon James “Baby, Let’s Rock” Bumble Bee (1958)
Jimmy Kirkland “I Wonder If You Wonder” Fox (1957)
Joannie King “OK Doll” Sand (1957)
Jimmy Lee “You Ain’t No Good For Me” Fortune (1956)
Patti Lynn “Same Old Blues” Hi-Q (1964)
Roy Moss “Wiggle Walkin’ Baby” Fascination (1958)
Ford Nix “Ain’t No Sign I Wouldn’t If I Could” Clix (1959)
Kenny Owen “I Got The Bug” Poplar (1958)
Bunny Paul “Sweet Talk” Point (1956)
Johnny Powers “Long Blond Hair“ Fox (1957)
Don Rader “Rock And Roll Grandpap” Fortune (1958)
Jack Scott “The Way I Walk” Carlton (1959)
Rufus Shoffner and Joyce Songer “Orbit Twist” American Artist (1962)
Bobby Smith “Bevy Mae” Fox (1960)
Ray Taylor “My Hamtramck Baby” Clix (1959)
Dell Vaughn “Rock The Universe” Fortune (Flint, 1958)
Farris Wilder “It’s All Your Fault” Hi-Q (1957)
Roxie Williams “Fifteen Seconds” Lucky 11 (Flint, ca. 1959)
Jimmy Work “That’s The Way It’s Gonna Be” Dot (1956)
Lafayette Yarbrough “Cool Cool Baby” Bart (Flint, 1958)
York Brothers “Going To The Shindig” (1943)

Many of these artists, such as Jack Scott, Johnny Powers, Roy Hall, and Roy Moss, cut more than one record. As they used to say in Radioland, “Dig them all!”

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