Sunday, 28 February 2010

Rockin' Song of the Week No. 89 - Ramsey Kearney

Rockin' Song of the Week No. 89 - Ramsey Kearney
Rock The Bop (Jaxon 501)

This song is dedicated to the young Welsh star Aaron Ramsey who suffered a sickening injury yesterday. Being a Spurs fan, no one hates Arsenal more than me, but what happened yesterday goes beyond all that. I’ve been gutted by the injury ever since I saw it last night. We haven’t got the world’s biggest squad here in Wales and can ill afford to lose a player of Ramsey’s quality. I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

So, what about Ramsey Kearney? Well, to be honest, it’s not the greatest rockabilly song you’ll ever here, but he gets the nod this week because he’s called Ramsey. Born in Boliver, Tennessee on October 30th, 1933, he was into music from an early age, performing a radio show on WDXI Radio in Jackson, TN at the age of fifteen. Known as the Dixie Farmboy, he secured this slot from 1948 to 1952.

On his official website, Keaney’s remembers that “after he had done several radio shows, he received a phone call from CARL PERKINS, and could he come up and pick guitar on radio with him? Carl appeared the following Saturday with his guitar and amp. Carl had a National acoustic guitar, with a silver plated pick-up mounted above the sound hole and under the strings. The strings were about one-half inch above the fingerboard on the neck, the amp was about as big as a cracker box.” He adds that to his surprise, Carl sounded pretty good, playing in a style resembling Merle Travis, but wanting to play like Chet Atkins.

After High School, Ramsey moved to Memphis where he became the lead singer of the Snearly Ranch Boys, a local band of high acclaim whose line-up over the years included Warren Smith and Stan Kesler.

Some unreleased recordings at Sun and a spell in the army came and went before he moved to Nashville where he made his name as a songwriter. His best known was Emotions which he co-wrote with Mel Tillis.

Best place to hear Rock The Bop is the brilliant Stompertime CD, The Last Great Rockabilly Saturday Night, which unfortunately gives no details other than the song was written by Kearney and Eddie Starr.

According to the Rockin’ Memphis box set on Proper Records, the song was recorded in December ’56 at a Jimmie Martin Combo session, with Martin and Kearney along with Junior Vestal on guitar and Ickie Havener on piano. The other side is listed as Red Bobby Sox.

Check out the photo below from 1949 with a young Carl Perkins.


flip54 said...

well said young mr Mather. As a Swan and Spurs fan I have no love for either of Aaron's teams but his horrific injury will make every true footy fan`s heart sad, a great talent and the shining beacon in the Welsh midfield, I hope that like the great Dave Mackay he overcomes this serious injury and comes back an even better player

Top marks for his parents for giving him a cool rock n roll Christian name too!


Rockabillyville said...

Yeah it's a great first name, I just thought it was too obvious to do an Elvis song. It sounds like the op was a success so hopefully he'll be back in time for the Euro campaign. With Shawcross in the England set-up, perhaps he can be back for that one and set us up for a win - Bale with an overlapping run and Ramsey to get on the end of it, nutmeg Shawcross then role it in. Ah, was it Don Gibson who sang Sweet Dreams!!