CMT’s Sun Records Ep 6 review

This is it. The episode of the birth of rockabilly. Do they butcher it? Read below!

Lets get everything out of the way. First Col Tom Parker. Why? Because I tend to include his reviews at the end and on one week I skipped out on his segments (shame on me!). In this weeks episode he once again proves to me that they could’ve done an entire show on just him. This time he pulls the wool over the eyes of some gentlemen he owes gambling debts to. I won’t give it away but I’ll say that the end gets a little more gritty than the preview installments have been. Oh and he is naked at some point.

Johnny Cash is still overseas. We’re 80% into the show and he has yet come back to America. Though one of his buddies is and the ending to the whole segment will leave you a little saddened. Though the joke one of fellow soldiers says to a guy with an accordian was pretty damn funny.

Jerry Lee is getting wed to his first wife. Who fortunately is not 14 years old or his cousin (I wonder if that pops up later). They seem to focus more on his relationship with Peggy and his jealous (and super creepy vampire date rapist) cousin Jimmy Swaggart than on his piano playing. He hasn’t touched a piano since episode 2 and I almost completely forgot that he plays THE FREAKIN PIANO!! Don’t worry about tickling those ivories Jerry Lee. You just keep staring at those boobs in front of your wife. He was looking so much like a creep that I’m convinced that if he was presented with a piano he’ll try to impregnate it.

Sam smokes in virtually every scene. I reminds me of going to Viva last year and being able to smoke indoors. It was so beautiful!

So finally, I’ll talk about Elvis in the studio. I almost started lactating when the names Scotty Moore and Bill Black popped up on the screen. They need a singer (I’m sure this is not historically accurate) they call up Elvis. At this point I’m getting super excited.  I”m looking like this…

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Now I know what happens in real life. I’ve read it multiple times. The guys start goofing around in the studio. They start playing a little more upbeat. Elvis starts singing “Thats Alright Mama”. Sam Phillips eyes bug out of his head. Starts recording. Asks them to do it again. And they cut the first rockabilly song “That’s Alright Mama” (someone is bound to correct me). That does not happen in this episode. Here Elvis is by himself and starts singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the guys jump in at the request of Sam Phillips because they weren’t even in the same room. I hated this so much because of how super enaccurate it was. But at the same time I was giddy over seeing this happen (I was confused). They go on tour later and Sam Phillips most likely has sex with Marion. His wife is currently pregnant. Thought I’d mention that. I skipped out on that out in the last post. Shame if you read this before actually watching the episode.

On a side note the only racial slur in the this episode was towards the japanese! Nice change of pace. We get a Japanese racial slur. And absolute 0 Carl Perkins.

All in all. It is still an entertaining show. You know its all crap. But its like pro wrestling. You know that its not real but you still watch. You have to suspend disbelief. Take it as it is. Much like how “Walk the Line” is one of my favorite movies and it is horrifically not accurate in any way. Holy crap, the first 100 pages of “Cash” literally tells the story of everything in that movie and nothing could be more opposite. I’m surprised Johnny Cash wasn’t portrayed by a Filipino woman! Ok enough of that. Just stop your whining and enjoy the show.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments. Go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car.

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Rockabilly Nerd’s Tip for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend

It is that time of the year again. As of this writing, Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is less than a month away. Now I’m no expert at going to be honest (no wait come back I’ll have a point). I’ve only gone to Viva once last year! But I had the time of my life. But just like watching CMT’s Sun Records, though I enjoy myself, there are some things that irk me. I wanna address these today on RN so you and others can enjoy one of the best weekends in the world. Now I’m not going address everything. In fact there have been plenty of blogs posts with helpful hints like this ONE, this ONE, and this ONE. If you know of any other ones, feel free to email me the address to one through the contact page in the above menu. Enjoy!

Book your hotel immediately!!!

You haven’t booked your hotel room yet? Do it now! Get the hell off this blog and book your room now. The earlier you book your room the cheaper. Even if the place is a mile or two from the Orleans, there is all day shuttle service to get you there. The longer you wait to book a room, the harder. A lot of places start to fill up and have no vacancies. Another issue I learned from staying at Best Western is that when they get busier than usual, they raise the prices for rooms. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This was what a clerk told us after I had only booked for 2 nights but found out I had Monday off of work so I went ahead a booked the room for an extra night, only to find out that the price was higher than the two nights paid for combined (you’re still reading? Go book your damn room!)

Don’t stay in just one room!

Weekenders like this are awesome because bands are always playing! When a band in the room you’re in  finishes, you can head to another room and check out other bands playing. Don’t just stay in one stop. Explore! You are going to miss out on so many bands if you stay in the main ballroom. The smaller rooms might have your next favorite band in there!

Actually see the bands!!

I’m shocked whenever I talk to someone who does this. And I hear it a lot. There are people who pay to go to VIVA. They freakin got the HI Roller pass. And they maybe saw one band on Friday. They skipped the car show. And literally spent 99% of the time either at the bar, gambling at the strip, or sleeping in their hotel room. Go see the bands. Rockabilly is music. If you’re part of this world you should be all about the music and supporting bands. Not supporting the ability to say you were cool and went to Viva!

Car show Tip. Keep your damn umbrella small.

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It’s a bit cliché but I don’t mind the little parasol umbrellas. Its cute. Most girls at shows keep them low to their body to keep the sun out. No problem.  But there was one lady last year near the front carrying around something like this….

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Couldn’t see the bands playing. It was huge and obnoxious. If you are that sensitive to the sun, don’t bother going please. Whoever this was you are not a snowflake. You are not special. There was no need to ruin the show for everyone behind you.

Don’t record the whole bands set!

You are recording the whole set. You are literally, staring at your camera or iPad or tablet. While the band is playing! You’re not watching the band with your own eyes. You’re making sure you have the greatest one hour YouTube video of all time. I’ll admit I kind of do appreciate the sacrifice so that we’ll have something to watch later but….I find it so odd. Put down your camera and enjoy the show for real.

Instagram Tip

I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I record a band playing. Then proceed to immediately post it on Instagram. I type who is playing. I may type a Hashtag. All the while I’m missing out on the performance for a minute or two (got called out at one show!). What I decided to do last year was I used the regular camera part of my smart phone. Recorded what I wanted to for a minute. Then later on I posted everything on IG after the band’s set is over.

Don’t be a creep

I saw you last year. I’m surprised no one slapped you in the face after you kept grabbing all those girls’ asses. Someone will clock you upside the head.

Buy a DJ a drink

Why? Because they are awesome and they keep the show going after the bands are done playing.

Ladies please wear comfortable shoes

My poor wife to be. Her feet were killing her on the day of the car show. You gotta manuever from the inside of the Orleans to the grounds for the car show. And you’re checking out the cars and the vendors and you’re standing for the bands. It can be exhausting. I can handle it because I work on my feet all day. But I will admit after all was said and done. I went back home super sore every where!

Bring money! Like well over $1000

We went to Viva with only $600 last year and had to get a relative to wire us money before the end of the weekend. Totally underestimated the power of Vegas. And we didn’t even drink. Also, if you can’t afford booze. Don’t worry, just pretend to be drunk. That way if you walk by someone who is passed out you can laugh at them and call them an “amateur”.

BUY MERCH BUY MERCH BUY MERCH!

That band rocked your face off? Buy a CD. Buy a shirt! These guys most likely had to travel some ways to get their and most if not all of these bands aren’t making millions. Help a brother out.

That is my list. Anything I may have forgotten to put down? Go to the contact area at the top menu. Shoot me an email and I might add it here. Also while you’re here go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car!L

 

CMT’s Sun Records Ep5 Review

Hey everyone its Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish!

We are now at week 5 of CMT’s mini series, Sun Records. I can’t help but feel there are a bunch of rednecks saying “Hey they’re finally saying the N word on CMT! Gather up the moonshine!”. Speaking of racist rednecks, the episode starts with Dewey Phillips running into a couple of men shooting their guns at the sign for the radio station Dewey works for. The DJ is drunk and high as a kite and also very mad at the station so he joins along with tearing the station to shreds with his new-found friends. Until they realize that he is the reason they are shooting at the building. In a slight twist, it turns out they are parents upset that he plays that “jungle music” that is corrupting their daughters. They then proceed to beat the tar our of him. Once again…….all parents are dicks! (if this is your first time reading my reviews for the show I recommend going back and reading them as well.)

We run into Elvis whose clothing style is influenced by Marlon Brando’s performance in The Wild One. Besides the outfit, the scene is a little forgettable.

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But if you ask me, I think he looks more like the drummer from the Reckless Ones than The Wild One.

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But we finally get to see him cross paths with Sam Phillips (Elvis, not the drummer for the Reckless Ones). Magic happens. Elvis plays “My Happiness” for his parents later. Where the TV version of Elvis’ dad shows how he is the king of dicks for this particular episode. Fortunately I don’t think we are going to see any more of Johnny Cash’s dad in the series. Which is good, because we can only take so many dicks (stop giggling).

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Jerry Lee Lewis gets a little action with a girl who the actor would never be able to get in real life. That is all I’ll say.

The big centerpiece for this episode is Sam Phillips’ assistant getting him to go to a prison where they meet a group of murderers and convicted rapists who have started a singing group. The lead singer Johnny Bragg (who makes it clear that a white jury was going to convict him purely based on him being black) gets a temporary taste of freedom and records with Sam. I was taken aback a little by the performance by Darius Rucker. Whom we all know as the former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish and now has a thriving career as a country singer (the biggest twists happen in real life..though I wouldn’t call his music real country).

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We also witness the nicest way a woman could ever convince a man to leave his wife. But unfortunately Marion gets a “oh hell naw” moment that had me going “oh my lord child!”. Just watch the episode. I don’t wanna spoil everything.

They should just do an entire series on Col Tom Parker. I love how he finds ways of swindling people out of money. Including his client Hank Snow (an amazing country artist that I’m sure no one that watches CMT has ever heard of, since country now a days uses drum machines). Next week looks to have a little more of him (in a bath tub…..). I’m strangely looking forward to the next episode. I hope they can reenact the creation of rockabilly without shitting on the legacy (like they did with Johnny Cash’s dad and Elvis’ dad…oh crap I forgot to mention Johnny Cash in this episode, umm  he proposes to his girlfriend over the phone via song. I don’t think it happened that way in real life. Could someone tell me if he did. Anyone else think she is hot? This parenthesis has gone on way too long….. seriously these guys are more than half way through the series and absolutely no Carl Perkins…none! What the hell!).

Like the show? Hate the show? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to share this on social media. And if you haven’t, feel free to go LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE!

And as always, stop talking about your car.

 

8 Wild Records albums you need to own!

Nobody on Wild asked me to do this. I’m simply a fan. I have a good batch of albums and 45s from the label. I got their logo tattooed on my body. I do sort of owe them a small debt. They got me back into rockabilly/rock n roll after I went through some hard times. And a lot of kind folks from the label shared one of Rockabilly Nerd’s first posts (WILD RECORDS! A Love Letter). Skyrocketing me to superblogdom (that is a lie). Also I own the award-winning documentary “LOS WILD ONES” digitally on Vudu. A great doc that is being featured on KCET a channel here is California (and maybe others, I haven’t left cali much in the last decade). Not only will they have it on air. But you can stream the doc on the KCET site for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to read about it HERE. Ok, are you done reading it? Good. In celebration I decided to make up a list of the 8 Wild Records albums you need to own. If you’re from outside the rockin scene or just new I encourage you to check out the Wild Records sites HERE if you reside in the US. And HERE for Europeans. Enjoy!

Dusty Chance and the All Nighters “Savage”

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This is pure rockabilly. Probably the purest Wild has ever released. Toe tapping goodness through out the record. I mentioned this is a prior post but Dustyn’s voice has so much “bop” to it. He could read the telephone book and make it sound like you should be moving your feet. Not a slow song in sight. Its pure raw rockabilly from beginning to end.


The Downbeats “A Wild Night With”

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This might be a wild card (no pun intended). This is one of the newest releases on this list. Only a couple of years old, I’m pretty sure none of the members of the band are over 21 just yet. As much as I don’t like using the term “Sun Records” to describe anything from the label, the best way to describe this is to say the band sounds like if Buddy Holly had joined Sun. Along with that sound, I’m happy that the next generation of rock n rollers are in good hands.


The Desperados “Won’t Be Broken”

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I’ve done a review of this record here before on Rockin Album Reviews #2. I almost put their debut album “On The Rampage” here and it is worthy of so. But I loved “Won’t Be Broken”. Its one of THE best releases from any label in the last couple of years. And I can’t say it enough, you should already have this in your collection.


Chuy and the Bobcats “Losing my mind”

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The only Chuy and the Bobcat full length record. It is so good that I’ve bought it twice. It was one of the 4 records I borrowed from an ex that totally blew my mind away. That is part of the reason I love it so much, it was my first time hearing this raw and insane sound. I mean, the covers on this record sound so good I though they were penned for this release because they meshed so well with the originals. The most rockabilly guitars recorded over the last decade. Hell, I love this album so much I was almost going to do an entire post dedicated to how much I loved it.


Alex Vargas “Smooth as Ice”

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One of the most underrated albums to come from Wild. Not enough people own it. Alex Vargas voice is silky smooth. And does a style of rnb that is different from Gizzelles style (whom I have the most respect in the world for, in case this was read wrong). It is a more upbeat style. You could move your feet but you won’t be able to because you are impregnating someone.




Omar Romero “Hog Wild”

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Raise your hand if you knew this was going to be one here? I remember looking at a copy of Car Kulture Deluxe at a 711. I hate cars but I love music. And the back always had reviews of a couple of albums. And one of them was for Omar Romero’s Hog Wild. I just loved the cover. It had an old timey look. It kind of reminded me of some of the Rollin Rock album covers. And I thought, one day I’m going to own that record, and it is going to blow my mind. And guess what? It did. Just imagine Johnny Burnette passing a torch over to this gentleman and that about sums it up.


The Delta Bombers self titled

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Lets get this straight (Hi Christ, Hi Andrew) “Howlin” and “Wolk” are really good albums. The self titled record took me a little bit to get into. I admit I was almost scratching my head after the first couple of listens. But before you know it I was playing the hell out of this album. This isn’t rockabilly. This isn’t something for the guy with 6 inch cuffs. This is for whiskey drinkin men that have destroyed a tree stump in some fashion or another. That sounded a bit odd. But take my word for it. It is worth owning.



The Rhythm Shakers “Flipsville”

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Same boat as Chuy and the Bobcats. This was the first of the batch that I put on and I’m definitely going to repeat myself. My eyes bugged out when I heard this. Such a fun record. Great covers. Great originals. Its even fun for males who are listening to Marlene basically talking about physically hurting a man that has done her wrong.


Honorable mentions: Anything by Hi Strung Ramblers and Carl & the Rhythm All Stars, Luis and the Wildfires “Heart Shaped Noose”, Gizzelle “Rhythm n Soul”, The Hi Boys “Shake”, Pat Capocci “Pantherburn Stomp”, Bebo and the Good Time Boys “Let the fun begin”, anything by Will and the Hi Rollers, Don Juan y Los Blanco “Poder Blanco, The Dragtones “Drag”, Rusty and the Dragstrip Trio “I ain’t ready” Jittery Jack “Gone Plum Crazy”. There are more, if you haven’t been mentioned, I either forgot or I never got around to listening to the record.


Like the list? Anything missing? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to share this on social media. While you are here feel free to LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car.

Thoughts on the iconic Chuck Berry

A friend of mine recently said while going through his music list on his phone “listen to this guy, listen to him. He can play the guitar just like ringing a bell”. I look at him for a second and replied “did you just quote Chuck Berry?”.

Influential, that is a term you are going to read about multiple times online. Though he had some shady events surround him over the years. We need to think of the influence this man had on our world. Much like what I said about Scotty Moore a few months back (available HERE) this man helped shape rock music. There wouldn’t be any rockabilly or anyone digging classic rockin tunes. If it wasn’t for him (its rundendent but true) the musical landscape wouldn’t be the same. I’m scared to imagine a world without his guitar playing, his showmanship, and song writing. I picture we already would have gone through an apocalypse at some point. Or it would be a world where Pat Boone is heralded as a hero. Or both. Both scenarios causes a shiver down my spine.

“Johnny B Goode” launched a thousand guitar solos. When you look back at 50s rock n roll. It is all wild. But when you put on that track its a million times more crazy. There is an energy there and you can feel that there was more to come sonically from rock music. It is pure youth. That guitar is your inner child running around the house pretending to be Tarzan and you are about to destroy your mother’s favorite window drapes (I’m using the 5-year-old me as an example).

No one could sing like him either. Though not well known for his singing abilities. You can’t deny that no one sounds like him. No one can impersonate that. No one has bothered. That is why ever Chuck Berry song out there is uniquely a Chuck Berry song. You can’t confuse one for anyone else.

This man was no one hit wonder. Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, No Particular Place to go, etc. One anthem after another that I’m sure everyone even people my age are familiar with. You put on any “Best of” album by Mr Berry and anybody will know what song it is after a couple of bars. I’m not even sure when in the hell I heard any of his music growing up but I knew damn near every song. I assume they are etched into our psyche at birth. Thats the power of Charles Edward Anderson being an icon. Obviously I knew “Johnny B Goode” thanks go Back To The Future. Can you imagine what would happen if that song wasn’t included in that film. Imagine if McFly sung something by Pat Boone. Dreadful.

I recently had the biggest smile when me and my wife recently went on a road trip. I asked her “what do you wanna hear?”. On the list was Fats Domino, The Coasters, and Chuck Berry. That Chuck Berry Best of got a lot of play during that 8 hour drive to northern California and 8 hours back from. “My Ding a Ling” played and it was like I was hearing for the first time. I fell over dying every time it came on. On a side note, I’m pretty sure if I attempted to impersonate his duck walk, I would cramp up, fall over, and break something. Just thinking out loud.

Now is not the time to mourn his passing. He lived 90 years. His life I one to be celebrated (except for the bad stuff). More appropriately, his contribution to music should be celebrated. Everyone should pop in one of his compilations (they’re all great) right now. Put on your most expensive headphones and rock out. And totally lose your shit. I’m sure he is passing the pearly gates with a smile. Approaching a table with Elvis, John Lennon,BB King, and Ray Charles. And hoping Beethoven is there so he can let him know he wrote a song about him. We salute you sir.

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Thank you very much for reading. Feel free to share on your social media. And LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, play Chuck Berry in your car.

 

CMT’s Sun Records Ep 4 review

Don’t judge me. Don’t judge me. But I have to admit I really like the opening credits. I’ll even go as far to say that this episode had my full attention. We passed the point of no return. You know those type of shows. You start watching. You’re definitely questioning rather or not to continue. Then the fourth episode hits and you’re all over it like “mm hmmm” or “oh child no he didn’t”. Well that was me. But I still found flaws in this just like I do with all my favorite shows. That is part of their charm. So remember, though I enjoyed what I watched (still bothers me that Johnny Cash’s and Elvis’ dads are presented as dicks) I love ripping things to shreds for others amusement. Enjoy reading everything below.

This week’s installment opened with the results of last week’s conclusion showing Sam Phillips driving erratically while drunk and on pills (which I failed to mention in the last review because I’m not posting spoilers every where). It was a funny open in my opinion. That little boy might be a pinch traumatized. This starts Sam on a low point. From his issues with pills and the Memphis Recording studio having try and get more money by having to record radio commercials and jingles (a fat redneck in overalls reading from a script in front of you must be such a slap in the face). Poor poor Sam. His love life dynamic shows some nice parallels; from his wife and his mistress spending time with each other to the mistress being courted right in front of him by her other boss. Thank god I’m ugly so I don’t ever have to go through any of this.

Johnny Cash is still stationed in Germany. Enters a brothel and says almost every word I know in German (thanks CMT for excluding subtitles you jerks). It seems he is about to lose his virginity in a very awesome fashion. I’m sure this will mess with him since he is still pining for his young lady back home. But don’t worry, because if you watched Walk the Line you already know what happens with that.

Elvis has a conversation with his ex girlfriend’s dad who is less dick-ish from recent episodes. His mom is also a lot nicer. And his dad doesn’t say a single word. Because the director was probably thinking we have already gotten the point that every parent during this time was a complete and absolute dick. His mother gives him some advice that I notice he doesn’t really take (except for much later for an awsome foreshadowing moment that I’m not spoiling). Instead ops to make out with a girl in front of his ex (who now doesn’t seem to want him) while she makes out with a guy she is dating. All in a maneuver to make each other jealous. Thank god I was an ugly teenager to avoid this psuedo-swinger mentality. Did everyone do this as teenagers? Ten points to the show runners for including one of my favorite RnB tracks on a jukebox.

Jerry Lee and his cousin look like two complete creeps. And do a great (I use that term not so much in a positive light) job at making southern christians to look creepy, weird and crazy. You can hear the mockery in the actors’ voice as they praise Jesus. All the while, looking at girly magazines. And making it a competition at trying go out with a girl named Peggy. I’m not sure if the guy playing Jimmy Swaggart is purposely trying to make his character look like a date rapist vampire on purpose or not. You be the judge. Almost looks like he is going to try to drink blood from her neck.

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Carl Perkins during this period of time is out in a spaceship near Mars. Wondering to himself what would have happened if he had ever learned to play guitar in this rousing work of fiction.

If you haven’t gotten caught up yet feel free to read my other review CMT’s Sun Records Ep. 1 ReviewCMT’s Sun Records Ep.2 review,and CMT’s Sun Records Ep 3 review. Feel free to share this, or any post on your social media. While you’re here go LIKE the Official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car.

CMT’s Sun Records Ep 3 review

Alright I’m back this week to review our favorite show. In this installment, the Kingdom are having problems we the Saviors…..oh wait wrong show. Sorry. Alright, on this weeks episode, we are transported to a parallel universe where Carl Perkins doesn’t exist. I’m sure though that Jerry Lee Lewis probably has gone through an issue of National Geographic to look at naked women. Who hasn’t?! Come on!

Today we are introduced to Ike Turner’s King Of Rhythm (I told you last week that they were going to play Rocket 88!) who changed their names to Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats (years before the 80s spawned a million “cat” bands) temporarily because Ike can’t sing (foreshadowing!!). They arrive at Memphis Recording studio to a welcome wagon consisting of two white guys that work across the street at a car dealership. Along with all parents on the show, all car dealership guys apparently are also dicks( so many racial slurs in a 30 second period). Sam Phillips though shows he is the better man. Stating we are all equal in the eyes of god. And everyone loves watermelon (sweet jesus I love watermelon).

On the side lines we got Johnny Cash getting down at Oktoberfest while stationed in Germany. Elvis tries to win back his girlfriend. But her parents can’t get over that he was at a “colored” church. He persuades her after sneaking in her bedroom. And playing the radio. Her dad pops up and hears the evil jungle music coming from her stereo. And she is grounded because once again, all parents in the 50s were dicks (apparently).

Col Tom Parker segments in the show displays him being the most genius business man in music. I plan on stealing every trick I see him pull off in this episode (I also plan on making ducks dance). I think this will be the last time you see him work with Eddy Arnold (look up his music!) and hopefully soon we will see him jump into the arms of Elvis Aaron Presley (I put a weird image in your head and it hurt didn’t it?). All in all this was more of a set up episode for the future. I feel Ep 4 is when everyone will be lactating. I’ll be watching that next and give you a review of it promptly tomorrow.

Like this review? Like the show? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to share this on social media. Before you leave this page go LIKE the official Rockabilly Nerd Facebook page HERE.

And as always, stop talking about your car!