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Obit: rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley (Aug2009)

Arkie 02 Aug 09 - 05:36 PM
Arkie 02 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM
Arkie 02 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM
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Subject: Obit: Billy Lee Riley
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:36 PM

Sunday. Sorry to report that Billy Lee Riley crossed over this morning after a serious spell of illness. Billy Lee was recording for Sun at the same time as Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis and all. His main rockabilly hit was "Flying Saucers Rock and Roll". "Red Hot" also had fair sales and got radio play. My personal favorites were "Trouble Bound" and "Pearly Lee". Billy Lee and his "Little Green Men" backed some of the early Sun stars on their historic recordings. Billy Lee had the misfortune to be a contemporary of Jerry Lee who got the heavier promotion.

Bob Dylan recognized Billy Lee's talent and had him open a show or two which helped revive his music career. On later recordings Billy Lee returned to his blues roots and also cut some credible country tracks.

My own interest in Billy Lee was perked by the opportunity to hear a tape of a session Billy Lee did with J.M. Van Eaton a few years back. He was every bit the talent of those Sun mates who made it big. There were rumors that there was national interest building in "Red Hot" (My girl is red hot, [chorus] Your girl ain't doodly squat) and requests for recordings were sent to Sun. So the story goes, Sam Phillips sent Jerry Lee's recording of "Great Balls of Fire" instead.

So farewell, Billy Lee Riley, east Arkansas farmboy, and Rockabilly pioneer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Billy Lee Riley
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:38 PM

Here's a real bio for Billy Lee.


Billy Lee Riley


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Subject: RE: Obit: Billy Lee Riley
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:52 PM

My last word on Billy Lee. Actually, Billy Lee gets the last word.


Red Hot


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