Our Friend, Lorene Parchman, is Gone
Posted December 28, 2007
What sad news to learn the passing of our friend Lorene Parchman,
Kenny Parchman's widow, on Dec 21, 2007. Lorene died after a short
battle against cancer in Jackson (TN) and was buried near Kenny on her
birthday date, Dec 24. She left two daughters, Denise and Alicia, and
a son Mike. All those family members were friends of "Sound of the
50's" and "Rock and Roll Revue" and helped us greatly with information
Lorene had wed, in September 1961, a real Rockabilly Legend from
Jackson but for years she had fight to obtain recognition for Kenny's
musical work. When Kenny passed away in 1999, not much of his work was
available and rockabilly music was not back yet in favor. In 2000,
things started to move and Kenny, thanks to Bob Timmers, was featured
in the Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ, Burns (TN). The help of her
devoted friends Jimmy Stephenson and Virginia Singleton had lead to a
wonderful paper on "American Music" magazine, from Sweden, in
September 2005 after Hydra Records, from Germany, had issued a great
CD with all Kenny's recordings accurately titled "I Feel Like Rockin'"
in 2004. That work lead me to be in touch with Lorene in January 2006
and to send her some old papers about Kenny and some scans of now rare
records issued by "Charly" records in the mid 80's. Lorene was a very
friendly Lady and we started to share letters on a regular basis. When
the single "Sun 252" was at last available, around mid-2006, I send
her some copies soon followed by the rare EP on "Fairlane" Records
where Charlie Thompson covered "Treat Me Right" with high class. Those
little gifts made her very happy and lead me to write the Kenny
Parchman story in a French magazine titled "Rock and Roll Revue"
(#39) in December 2006.
Around Jackson, Kenny was also back in the spotlight with a very nice
article in the Jackson Sun, written by Dan Morris, in October 2006.
Rayburn Anthony, another "Sun" fellow, in his song "When Jackson was
Jumpin'" give a credit to Kenny.
On a letter dated Aug 7, 2007, Lorene writes us these words you may
like to read as tribute to her kindness:
Thanks to you "The Foot Soldier" finally got his "Medal of Honor" in
Jackson. Only, I know why! Because of you. You never gave up. You
fought for this. So, in my eyes, you are also a "Foot Soldier". I can
never "Thank you enough". It made Alicia, Denise + myself very proud
(those words are for all those for helped her, not only I). The same
day at that rockabilly event in Jackson, Andy Lee told her if she
would stick around until the crowd left, he would sing her some of
Kenny's songs. Lorene wrote: He did!! It was great to hear these songs
from a fan half a world away and to know that people really "do" care
about Kenny's music; you've been telling me this for a while. Now I
have experienced with my own ears and eyes. I have played "Charlie
Thompson" - "Treat me Right", over and over and over. Yes? He does a
"Great Job" on Kenny's song. Just as the other German guy. Love you
On another letter, dated December 2006, she sends the following
Your friendship has been a welcomed change in my life. Now during this
very special time of the year, I want to wish you every happiness this
season had to offer And all the love one friend can send to another.
Lorene started to have lung troubles in August 2007 and was seriously
ill by November 2007. News coming from Jackson were not that bad
until I learned about her passing. It was time for her to meet again
Kenny. On their tomb stone is written:
I am always thinking about you
That's what I will do for the years to come.
Cards can be send to her children at the following address:
Alicia, Denise and Mike PARCHMAN
26 Crystal Cove
Jackson, TN 38305
To know more about Kenny Parchman's musical work, you can check
www.bartemon.net (English speaking section), www.rockithydra.de,
www.stompertime.com and www.americanmusicmagazine.com.
Dominique "Imperial" ANGLARES (France) Sound of the 50's
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