The Oneida '50s Fest, July 7-13, 2002,|
Green Bay, WI: Reviews and Comments
Bob Timmers, Ersel Hickey and Wanda Feathers (Charlie's daughter) at Green Bay
Posted July 18, 2002 -Sheree Homer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi all, I just got home a little while ago. I have been gone
ten days. First the rockabilly festival last week then
my grandma's this week. I am sorry I haven't posted
sooner about the festival. Let me tell everyone that
it was a BLAST!!! I have never been to a better event.
I have never met so many nice people in my life. The
music was rocking. I think the artists lied about
their ages because the music was just too good to be
true. It was truly a dream come true for any music
I saw about 18 acts, and everyone was great. Jack
Scott, The Collins Kids,Gene Summers, Jimmy
McCracklin, Sonny Burgess, Ronnie Dawson, and The
Comets gave some of the best performances along with
the other people mentioned below. I interviewed seven
different artists/groups: Billy Lee Riley, Sanford
Clark, The Collins Kids, The Crickets, Rocky Burnette,
Paul Burlison, and DJ Fontana. I want to thank all the
artists for their kindness. Thank you for taking time
out of your busy schedules to allow me to interview
you. I have never felt more loved and accepted. I felt
like I really belonged and hope the casino does this
again next year.
Also I want to thank Bob Timmers for all the support
in regard to my interviews and for helping to put this
awesome event together. Please thank Phil for my mom
and I. We couldn't have been more happy with the shows
and the event in general. It was wonderful to be able
to meet and greet the artists after their shows. Also,
it was great to be able to get autographs from
I made more friends than I can count. Everyone was
super nice and gave excellent performances. I still
can't believe I was there. I have to pinch myself to
know it is really true.
It was really nice meeting all of the artists, Bob,
and Wanda too. Wanda, you are a very nice lady.
Gene Summers sent me the nicest autographed photo. If
he is on the list, thank you. I will make sure to
email him privately to thank him also.
I hope Paul Burlison is doing ok now after his
Dale, you gave an excellent show as well and were
very nice to my mom and I after the show. We thank you
for that. Thanks for playing all our favorite songs.
I hope the festival takes place again next year. I
will be there with bells on. I also hope to keep in
contact with all the artists I have met. I consider
them to be my friends. Keep on rocking for at least
another 20 years.
Johnny Vallis, my wonderful friend, I owe you big
time. You missed out on quite the event. I will never
be able to repay you for the wonderful gifts you have
given me. You are cool beyond words.
Two more things then I will hush I promise. Tomorrow,
I will email photos that I took, so everyone can see
them. I took 10 rolls of film. Some of them turned out
really nice. I am proud of them.
The other thing I wanted to say is in regard to Billy
Lee, you will be rocking for another 30 years not to
worry. You were one of the best performers I saw. I
love the songs "Pearly Lee" and "Got Your Water
Boiling Baby?" I audio taped the show and listen to
those songs over and over. Your band was fantastic
too, especially that piano player, WOW. I hope to see
another one of your shows soon.
My mom had an awesome time too.
She wants to thank everyone also. Everything I said,
she agrees with.
Posted July 18, 2002 - Li'l Rachel - email@example.com
Hello friends! I felt that the festival in Green Bay was
definitely worth mention. The Oneida Casino Rockin'
50's Weekend was, in my opinion, the best rockabilly
festival I have ever attended. I think that it was a
tremendous success, and I commend the promoters Marc
and Phil for a job well done. Things ran very
smoothly, and I don't know anyone that went that
didn't have a good time. That being said, I will
attempt to give a brief review of my personal
highlights from last week's event. I must admit that I
was expecting the worst. I was convinced that there
would be too many people and the whole thing would be
mass chaos. I am still in disbelief that a festival
with over 120 rockabilly bands was pulled off so
smoothly. But the ballrooms were large, and the shows
were staggered so that neither room was ever filled to
capacity. It seemed also that the attendance was
comprised of people who had come mostly for the music
and seeing friends, as opposed to people who just
wanted to party. After all, Green Bay, WI is not
exactly a big party town. Overall, I thought I would
be tired of it all, since I opted to stay the whole
week, but even at the week's end, I was not ready to
come home - and I live in Austin, the Live Music
Capital, so I am always happy to go home. I have never
heard so much good music and seen so many great people
in one place. I felt like I saw every band, but
reading the reviews, I am remembering how much I
really missed. It is hard to narrow it down from so
much good stuff, but I will try to list my highlights
from each room.
3 Clans Stage:
This was the biggest ballroom, where
most of the "legends" and more established acts
played. Sometimes I find the older fellas don't have
what they did way back when, but this festival
showcased a lot of great acts that still have it. I
had seen many of them before, but it is always a treat
to see them again. However, this was my first time
seeing the Collins Kids. That was thrilling, since I
sing in a harmony duo myself, and the Collins Kids
have always been a big influence. Of course, their
voices sound much different than when they were kids,
but they still put on a great show. And Larry and Deke
playing together was the closest thing to Larry and
Joe Maphis that I will ever get to see.
The Comets were even more amazing than last time I saw
them. They didn't have that British fellow singing
with them this time. But they still sounded great and
put on a Hell of an energetic show. As did the
Treniers. It was my first time seeing the Treniers as
well, and they were a hoot! Also worth mentioning were
Joe Clay, Sid King, and Billy Lee Riley.
Other highlights from the non-geriatric category of
the 3 Clans were Carl Sonny Leyland, the Flyrite Trio
and Flyrite Boys, and High Noon (even though I am
spoiled and see them all the time, I never tire of
Acts I wish I had seen but didn't were Janis Martin (I
was playing another stage), Jimmy McCracklin, and the
This was the slightly smaller stage
that housed most of the International and current
contemporary rockabilly favorites. I have to say my
favorite moment was when Nick Curran took the stage in
his leopard coat, rock star shades, and gold top Les
Paul (which matched cohort- er, uh- Co-Horton Bobby's
gold top Les Paul) for a 60's garage rock set complete
with electric bass. It was hard to hear the vocals
over the twin Les Pauls, but I gave it two thumbs up
for the sheer balls and offensiveness of doing a 60's
garage rock show at a rockabilly weekender. Nick has
more style than anyone I know. What a rock star. But
his antics were nearly rivaled by another guitar
god-Deke Dickerson. I particularly enjoyed being
drenched in beer during the surf instrumental "Pabst
Blue Ribbon", and seeing all his fellow guitar masters
attempting to play simultaneously on only 3 guitars
for "Green Bay Boogie". Deke- always the showman.
Aside from those novel acts, there were some that were
equally as impressive on the musical level. I finally
saw the fellow gal duo The Ranch Girls. What a great
show. Fabulous band and super tight harmonies. No one
does it like the Dutch when it comes to gal singers.
Annita and the Beaumont Playboys were incredible as
well. She is possibly the best female vocalist in the
scene these days. And while the Dutch have their gal
singers, the Swedes have those raw rockin' guys.
Swedish friends Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers, Jack
Baymoore and the Bandits, and Sonny Rogers and the
Kingpins are always a treat to see. My most favorite
of the Scandinavian bands has to be the Barnshakers
though. I wish I could see them more often. I forget
how damn good they are.
Bands I wish I had seen but didn't include the
Paladins, the Raging Teens, and the Racketeers.
This was the smallest venue. It had
the atmosphere of playing in a club as it was the
hotel bar, and only venue that permitted smoking. We
(the Casey Sisters) were fortunate to have played both
the Iroquois Ballroom and the Purcell's lounge, and
honestly, I preferred playing the smaller venue. There
is always a more intimate interraction with your
audience. And Cave Catt Sammy was really cooking as
our back-up band with the addition of Randy Rich on
piano. I had a great time playing both sets, but the
Purcell's was my favorite, because I could actually
see Janis Martin in the audience. What a rewarding
experience. Honestly, other than our show, I didn't
spend much time in the Purcell's lounge. I did make a
special effort to see the Bellfuries (one of my
favorite bands in the whole world), and Bones Maki and
the Sun Dodgers, who both had great sets.
The Pavillion Tent:
After a whole week of nothing but
rockabilly, the R&B tent was a pleasant change. This
was perhaps my favorite part of the whole week, as I
am a sucker for all that "colored" music. Barrence
Whitfield was the only act I missed in the Pavillion
tent. There wasn't a weak link in the line-up of that
venue. My favorite of the day had to be Big Sandy with
Nick Curran and the Nitelifes and the Lonely Blue Boys
all playing together. What a show! It gave me
goosebumps all over. The only regret was that I didn't
find a boy to share all that romantic music with. I
felt like I should have been making out in the corner
or something. Sigh. Maybe next time ...
Well, that about does it for this review. I saw so
many great acts, I thought I might have died and gone
to Heaven. And yet, I still feel like there was a lot
I missed. At any rate, I don't regret a moment of it.
The first hour I was there made it worth the time and
money I spent on the trip to Green Bay. I hope Marc
and Phil get the funds to do this show again. I think
it was the most fun I've ever had.
Li'l Rachel Casey
The Casey Sisters
Posted July 16, 2002 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Bay was a hoot. I missed Sunday and Monday (the Fly-Rite
Trio!, Treniers, Collins Kids, Sonny Rogers, Bellfuries) and got in
about half-way through Tuesday evening. Highlights ...
Tuesday: Marti and the Barnshakers(great of
course... not the
greatest set I've ever seen her play... that'd be the Dixie Rumble a
few years back with the Blacktop Rockets backing her) and Jack
Baymoore(great cover of Tooter Boatman's "Thunder & Lightning" and
encored with "AV-8 Boogie to a room of cheers"). Lowlight ... Lloyd
Trip. I enjoy Lloyd's music, but his drummer's behavior during the
set turned me off from that band forever and caused me to leave after
just a couple of songs).
Wednesday: Larry Donn was great as was Jack Scott.
Four Charms (w/ Bobby Trimble on drums) surprised me greatly ... esp.
their cover of Lonesome Tears In My Eyes. Ramblin' James & the
Billyboppers were one of the few bands that kept me in a single room
for an entire set... great set, though they didn't play "Weight of
the World". I was completely surprised by Annita & the Austin
Playboys. Annita's great (loved the Haystack Hi-Tones), but I've seen
that backing combo (in various forms behind many folks) so many
times... a bit safe IMO ... and a few other people's opinions... her
new cd ain't too shabby, either. Really liked her encore and the
song about space which rocked along nicely. Mouse and the Space
Cadets blew me away ... tough beat. One of the week's highlights was
watching Mouse use the PA cable to pull himself to the top of the
speakers and prepare to dive, but didn't ... I left to see a few
minutes of Jack & the Rippers(who I was anxious to see, but wound up
leaving me a bit non-surprise), and came back to "Awakedeeawakeedo"
or whatever the song was barreling down the crowd with a gal putting
her wiggle dress to full effect on stage. Big Sandy and the Boys
were great as usual ... played all the great one's, brought back "Miss
Tracey" for those who missed the Trio set and then dug back for
"Goodbye Little Star".
Thursday: Eddie Bond, though he looked a bit
like what elvis might
look like if he were still alive was great. Not a whole lot of
energy, but he can still wail. The Ramblers backed him wonderfully.
To hear "Slip Slip Slippin' In" by Eddie was so amazing. Missed the
Crickets, but heard mention of the Mary Tyler Moore theme song. The
Comets I caught for a second and the room was packed. Great to see
them, and Marshall's snake joke cracked me up. I dug the Raging
Teens for the few songs I caught ... ripping cover of Phil Trigwell's
wild "Bizzy Bee" and nice take on "Little Red Book". Miss Amy just
looks tuff up there. Deke ... AMAZING. You go to Green Bay and
there's just so much going on and ya' think I've seen this so many
times. I heard rumors about Deke talking to different guitarists
about playing during his set all day so I thought I'd catch it. I
walked in as he was bringing "Pabst Blue Ribbon" back from the
Untamed Youth. This was by far the most beer soaked set of the
weekend. For his encore he sung his latest song, "The Green Bay
Boogie" ... funny enough. Then he brings out Sean Mencher to play a
bit on one of the double necks. Then Ashley Kingman to play along on
the neck not in use. I don't remember who was next... but by the end
it was Ashley, Sean, one of Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms, Lester
Peabody, Bobby Horton, Dave Biller, Graham from the Sun Dodgers, and
three other guys I can't remember spread out over the two doublenecks
and then the cat from Starline Rhythm Boys(whose set I stupidly
missed!!!) and JJ on the Fender(new record for combined weight on a
single-neck?). It was loud, it was hypnotic, it was great, and Sean
laughed the entire time. And Deke walked around directing traffic
and playing the part of mad scientist ... The Barnshakers BLEW ME
AWAY. First time I've seen them, and they were amazing. Watching
Lester play- he's intense ... The Nu Niles seemed down a member, but
I walked in to see Levi Dexter and Eddie Nichols (of Royal Crown
Revue) doing a clapper boy routine to "Lotta Lovin'"... I scooted
over to the Lounge to see Three Bad Jacks. Elvis was wound TIGHT all
week, and he exploded on stage. He was full of fire and he set the
drum kit and bass on fire. He was still wound tight when I ran into
him at 9 or so Friday morning. All that energy spent and he was
still going a million miles an hour.
I'll hit Friday and Saturday later ...
Nobody's mentioned it so far,
but Nick Curran swerved everybody - pissed off a pack of kids from the
Continent, and had Bobby Horton doing stuff I never thought I'd see
him do in a million years ... all in the course of a 45 minute set.
Back Home, WEST Texas
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