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Dick Penner

Dick Penner isn't exactly a household name, even in rockabilly circles, but any man who could co-write a classic like "Ooby Dooby" has carved some kind of a place for himself in the history of the music. Despite his having been born in Chicago, Dick Penner got a shot at being an authentic country music and rockabilly legend when he was a year old and his family moved to Dallas, TX. It was there that he was exposed to country music on the radio, and by age 16 he'd taken up the guitar. At 18 he entered North Texas State University in Denton, TX, where he hooked up with Wade Moore and later met Roy Orbison, who at that time was leading a group called the Wink Westerners, who subsequently transformed themselves into the Teen Kings.

In collaboration with Moore, Penner co-authored a song called "Ooby Dooby," which Orbison and his band later turned into one of the best-selling rockabilly singles of all time at Sun Records. Making the switch from country music to rock & roll, Penner and Moore formed a duo and recorded for Sun in 1957, sometimes as Wade & Dick and sometimes as the College Kids. Wade & Dick recorded six songs, and Penner did a handful of songs on his own, all of which displayed a hard, youthful edge and were aimed at the new teen market, but none of them were notably successful. Penner's three singles (on at least one of which he shared guitar chores with Don Gilliland), "Move Baby Move," "Fine Little Baby," and "Someday Baby," all seemed to hook around a certain thematic similarity. They weren't in a league with "Ooby Dooby," however, which made a respectable showing on the national charts in Orbison's hands and has since come to be regarded as a classic of the genre. Moore continued working in music with Orbison, but Penner decided on a career in academia and reportedly became a professor of English. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Sun Records Story

Disc 1

1. Cool Down Mama

2. Boogie In The Park

3. Howlin' Tom Cat

4. Highway Man

5. Juiced

7. Tiger Man

8. Love My Baby

9. Come Back Baby

10. Cotton Crop Blues

11. I'm Gonna Murder My Baby

12. Time Has Made A Change

13. Red Hot

15. Dark Muddy Bottom

16. Hello, Hello Baby

17. Listen To Me, Baby

18. Boogie Blues

20. Gonna Dance All Night

21. Don't Believe

22. Defrost Your Heart

23. Sure To Fall

24. Fool Proof

26. Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox

27. You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven

28. Fool For Lovin' You

29. I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry

30. Come In Stranger

Disc 2

1. Rockin' Daddy

2. Crazy Arms

3. Mean Little Mama

4. Got Love If You Want It

5. Crawdad Song

6. Her Love Rubbed Off

7. Mad Man

8. Love My Baby

9. Miss Froggie

10. Pearly Lee

11. Deep Elem Blues

12. That Don't Move Me

14. Come On Little Mama

15. Rock With Me Baby

16. Fine Little Baby

17. Rockin' With My Baby

18. Baby That's Good

19. My Baby Don't Rock

20. Miss Pearl

21. That's Right

22. So Glad You're Mine

23. Willing And Ready

24. Shake Around

26. Judy

27. Good Rockin' Tonight

29. Tough, Tough, Tough

30. (Take Me From This) Garden Of Evil

31. Have Faith In My Love

Disc 3

2. Just Walkin' In The Rain

3. Bear Cat

4. Blue Suede Shoes

5. When It Rains It Pours

6. Mystery Train

7. Boppin' The Blues

8. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

9. Flyin' Saucer Rock 'n' Roll

10. I Walk The Line

11. Ooby Dooby

12. We Wanna Boogie

13. Dixie Fried

14. Great Balls Of Fire

15. Red Hot

16. Big River

17. Rock 'n' Roll Ruby

18. Breathless

19. Honey Don't

20. Red Headed Woman

21. Ballad Of A Teenage Queen

22. High School Confidential

23. Matchbox

24. Lonely Weekends

25. I'm Coming Home

26. Who Will The Next Fool Be?

27. What'd I Say

28. Guess Things Happen That Way

29. Raunchy

30. Mona Lisa

31. Whirlwind

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