ALSO SEE LEW'S ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME SITE
For decades, Lew Williams remained one of country and rockabilly's most intriguing mysteries. His small body of work is
well-known: most of his Imperial recordings from 1955-56 have been reissued at regular intervals, covered, even
plagiarized. Fans and journalists alike acknowledge that there was something unique about Lew Williams. Sides
like "Cat Talk," "Centipede," "Bob Bop Ba Doo Bob," and "Something I Said" have long been considered classics.
Almost nothing was known of him. What became of him after 1957 remained a tantalizing blank....until now. Many
of us were doing Cat Music prior to anyone hearing of Elvis," Lew told annotator Kevin Coffey. We didn't want
to be country or hillbilly singers. We didn't want country instruments. The fiddle went first, then the steel
guitar. To us, country wasn't cool."
Reissues, like Bill Millar's 'Imperial Rockabillies' and the Tom Ingram-compiled 'Cat Talk' brought Lew's music
to the attention of a new generation of rockabilly and roots music fans. Sides like "Centipede," "Something I Said,"
"Cat Talk" and "Bob Ba Doo Bop" are revered and treasured by fans worldwide - and the first rockabilly fanzine in
the UK was aptly called 'Cat Talk.' There were covers - and one notorious adaptation: the Stray Cats' "Fishnet
Stockings" borrowed heavily from "Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop." Ray Condo and the Ricochets have waxed "Something I Said"
twice, the Blacktop Rockets have cut "Centipede." Lew remained oblivious to it all, but he now has Bear Family's reissue
in his hand and is aware of his 'cult' status, and his importance as a transitional figure from honky-tonk to Cat Music,
and, ultimately, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll.
Lew Williams' CD Available from Bear Family
EDITOR'S NOTE: We are looking for other veteran traditional country performers to list and
promote within this site. "Keep It Country" is also interested in posting information on anyone who helped develope and
retain the roots of country music throughout the years. This could mean you, a family member, or someone you admire.
Through this website, known and unkown recording atrists, performers, sidemen,
songwriters, producers, record labels, venue owners, promoters, fans, etc. are all welcome to e-mail and submit their
story to the world. It's your chance to brag without feeling guilty, because our readers are waiting to hear all about YOU!
Thanks, Bob Timmers, site manager. -
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