ROCKABILLY - a fusion of southern hillbilly country and western and Delta blues styles of music popular in the 1940's and early 50's. First brought to light by Elvis Presley at the famous Sun Recording Studio of producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee in 1954, many other now-famous artists joined the ranks of Sun's line-up of Rockabilly singers, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Billy Lee Riley and Johnny Cash, just to name a few. Others from as far away as Texas, like Buddy Holly, managed to get in on the Rockabilly phenomenon. It lasted up to the late fifties when it was pushed aside by the pretty-boy Phila-delphia sound of pop rock and roll with the likes of Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell, and later, the "British Invasion", but has remained popular to this day, as evidenced by the resurgence in the late 70's, early 80's from bands like The Blasters and The Stray Cats.
Among those Rockabilly fans were some cats in Dayton, Ohio, who loved the genre so much they had to form their own band. Originally based out of a hip little store in Moraine, Ohio, called Daddy Katz Kustom Kulture, they put together a little combo, and after a few personnel changes, including recruiting a girl lead singer, Cherry Lee and the Hot Rod Hounds was formed. The band consists of Cassandra Barker, a.k.a. "Cherry Lee", taking the name from her hair salon, on lead vocals, Casey Ott on lead guitar, Kevin "Eddie Falcon" Schirmer on rhythm guitar, Brian Hoeflich on stand-up bass, and Skyp "Dr. K" Krantz on drums. Skyp and Kevin were members of a previous roots rock and roll band in the 80's and 90's called The Jitters, and Kevin was in an 80's cover band, also with a female singer, Champagne Jam, when he was called in to this band. Casey is a versatile guitar player with roots in blues, playing also in Miss Lissa & Company. Brian was a drummer for bands like Crazy Joe & the Mad River Outlaws, Nicky K & the K-Tones and The Linden-Davis Group, but is also a talented bass and guitar player, and quickly learned the upright bass just for this band. Cassie's experience was only karaoke and choir, but has a voice to match any female, or male, for that matter, Rockabilly singer, and in just under a year had mastered the role of an audience-grabbing front woman with the look, personality and energy to keep a crowd on their feet.
This is a combo that knows Rockabilly music, as well as 50's classics and country, and surf instrumentals, and has a great time playing it, and that feeling spreads easily out to any audience. And that’s what true rock ‘n’ roll is all about – simple music from a simple time, dance all night and have a ball with your friends or your best girl, and forget your troubles and woes for a few hours. Bars, clubs, parties or car shows, this is a band that will get toes tappin’, hands clappin’, fingers snappin' and feets on the dance floor.
In their short life, the band has rocked out events such as monthly Kruze-Ins at Daddy Katz and outdoor car shows in and out of town, and shows at Canal Street Tavern, Carmichael's Pub, as well as Blind Bob's and The Tumbleweed Connection in the Oregon Historical District, and downtown Dayton's Urban Nights Festivals, and are now taking their show out of town.
As long as there are bands like this, true rock and roll will never die.