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Gene Summers

On the subject of all things Dallas, Gene Summers seems to be as important to the city's history of rock & roll as the grassy knoll is to assassination theorists. Speaking of big bands, some sort of implosion of creative forces occurred in the spring of 1961, when Summers left a combo called the Rebels in order to bolster the membership of another that had been known up until then as Tommy & the Tom Toms. Tommy -- as in Tommy Brown -- had decided to leave Texas for Florida, a drift so common that a Texas rock band from a later era would be inspired to write a song about it, "Goin' to Florida." In the meantime, Summers had already made two records of his own for the regional Jan label and was an excellent choice as replacement frontman for what then logically became Gene Summers & the Tom Toms.

Membership in the latter outfit included bassist David Martin, later to become a member of the hitmaking Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, as well as lead guitarist Eddie Wayne Hill and drummer Joel Colbert. The group played on shows with performers such as Elmore James, Chuck Berry, and the original Drifters -- traveling many a mile, not all of them pleasant. Hill and another bandmember, Donny LaGrone, died in 1962 after smacking into a gravel truck outside of Decatur, TX. Summers and associates made recordings from the early days of the band through inevitable personnel changes, not all of them the result of road mishaps. The late Hill wrote "Taboo" -- not so much banned as regionally distributed, which often amounts to the same thing -- while James McClung sold Summers on the idea of a "School of Rock & Roll" even before McClung became a full member of the Tom Toms.

Summers kept the band active through the fist half of the '60s, recording an illustrious single entitled "Big Blue Diamond" and becoming an essential part of any song title smorgasbord with the lip-smacking instrumental "Peanut Butter." The Dallas Guthrey Club represented something of a house band situation for the group in 1965. Free from the beat of a regular Tom Toms band, Summers has remained an active performer whose status has only been bolstered by resurgences in rockabilly hysteria. In 1997, Summers was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and had a collection of his recordings reissued on the Crystal Clear Sound imprint. Do Right Daddy, a new studio album for the Eviken label in 2004, was the appropriate move for a historic Dallas rocker standing on the threshold of a half a century in the music business. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Rockin' Bones: 1950's Punk & Rockabilly

Disc 1

1. Rockin' Bones

2. Let's Go Baby

3. Baby Let's Play House

4. Little Girl

5. Cat Man

6. Lobo Jones

7. Juvenile Delinquent

8. Froggy Went A Courting

9. Rattlesnake Daddy

10. Down On The Farm

11. Rockin' In The Graveyard

12. Dancing Doll

13. Long Blond Hair, Red Rose Lips

14. Action Packed

15. Boppin' High School Baby

16. Believe What You Say

17. Sunglasses After Dark

18. Rumble

19. Down The Line

20. Pink Cadillac

21. Black Cadillac

22. Who's Been Here

23. I Need A Man

24. Please Give Me Something

25. Sinners

Disc 2

1. Rock Around With Ollie Vee

2. Lou Lou

3. Rock Crazy Baby

4. Love Bug Crawl

5. Fool I Am

6. Red Hot

7. Love Me

8. She's My Witch

9. Lordy Hoody

10. Bloodshot

11. Trouble

12. Hot Shot

13. Long Gone Daddy

14. Curfew

15. Put Your Cat Clothes On

16. Pink And Black

17. Domino

18. Jungle Rock

19. Ubangi Stomp

20. Chicken Walk

21. Chicken Rock

22. Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe

23. Shirley Lee

24. Woman Love

25. One Night Of Sin

Disc 3

1. Blue Suede Shoes

2. Duck Tail

3. Stack-A-Records

4. Daddy-O Rock

5. Move

6. Brand New Cadillac

7. Rumble Rock

8. Hep Cat

9. Cast Iron Arm

10. Switch Blade Sam

11. Ballin' Keen

12. Sweet Rockin' Baby

13. Get Rhythm

14. Rock Billy Boogie

15. Crazy Baby

16. Susie-Q

17. Worried 'bout You Baby

18. I Love My Baby

19. Come On Little Mama

20. Whistle Bait

21. Spin The Bottle

22. Bertha Lou

23. Real Gone Daddy

24. My Pink Cadillac

25. Draggin'

Disc 4

1. Action Packed

3. Who Do You Love

4. Summertime Blues

5. The Way I Walk

6. Wild Wild Women

8. Get Hot Or Go Home

9. Swamp Gal

10. Miss Pearl

11. Mercy

12. Rock Boppin' Baby

13. Rockin' Daddy

14. Rock It

16. Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll

17. Shake Um Up Rock

18. Red Hot Rockin Blues

19. Bang Bang

20. One Hand Loose

21. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

22. Fujiyama Mama

23. I Got A Rocket In My Pocket

24. Oh Love

25. School Of Rock 'n Roll

26. Rock-N-Bones

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