Right now it seems like a long time until May 10 and 11. But for hard-core rockabilly music fans it's not too early to start making plans and marking their calendars for the third annual Arkansas Delta Rockabilly Festival.
Right now it seems like a long time until May 10 and 11. But for hard-core rockabilly music fans it's not too early to start making plans and marking their calendars for the third annual Arkansas Delta Rockabilly Festival. This year's lineup features an unprecedented number of rockabilly superstars right here to historic Helena for a gathering that seems to be growing with each passing year. The list of performers includes Grammy award winning Kentucky Headhunters, Ben “Cooter” Jones and Cooter's Garage Band, Travis Wammack, The Cate Brothers, Sonny Burgess and The Legendary Pacers, W.S. Holland, C.W. Gatlin, Linda Gail Lewis and the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Wanda Jackson. “Year three of the Arkansas Delta Rockabilly Festival is a milestone,” says Bubba Sullivan, producer/director of the festival. “This year's festival will be like a rockabilly music explosion with some of the best rockabilly musicians in the world playing in historic downtown Helena on May 10 and 11.” Rockabilly got its start smack dab in the middle of the Delta – to be more specific the Memphis-West Memphis area. Sun Studios and Radio Station KWEM were the first to widely broadcast this music genre. Sonny Burgess, W.S. Holland and Wanda Jackson all performed in the original rockabilly era of the 1950s. They all have been continually performing since – both regionally and abroad. Burgess has been with Sun Studios for over 55 years. Holland, a legendary drummer, performed with Carl Perkins during the early years and then became Johnny Cash's only drummer, performing on most of Cash's hits including “Ring of Fire.” Jackson is bet known for her “vocal growl” and her 1958 hit “Let's Have a Party.” She has generated some new attention as a result of her partnership with Jack white on the album, “The Party Ain't Over.” Jackson is also a Grammy winner. She will bring a 50-year repertoire of songs to the Cherry Street Pavilion. Linda Gail Lewis is best known for her performances with her famous brother, Jerry Lee and Van Morrison. She is a member of The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The Cate Brothers have been performing over 40 years. They have worked with Levon Helm, Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan. The original Cate Brothers are getting back together for this year's festival for a very special tribute to Levon Helm. Ben “Cooter” Jones is probably best remembered for his role Cooter Davenport on the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” “Cooter” and his band frequently tour with The General Lee, the famous Dodge Charger driven in the show by Bo and Luke Duke. The General Lee will be on display throughout the festival and available for photos. C.W. Gatlin is a popular Helena-West Helena who worked with Levon Helm and Ronnie Hawkins. He frequently makes free public appearances and performances at the local nursing homes. The complete lineup can be found at www.deltarockabillyfest.com. Tickets can also be bought online at the same website. American Music Museum Inc. produces the annual festival. On Friday, May 10 (the morning of the festival) the second annual Ray Galloway Memorial Golf Tournament will be held in honor of Ray Galloway, a founding member of the King Biscuit Blues Festival. For additional information pleas contact Leslie Galloway at (870) 816-5388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.