Rock-A-Billy: (N) An intense and rhythmic blend of (hillbilly) Country Music, Bluegrass, Rhythm and Blues, Southern Gospel and African-American spirituals. Originally performed by White musicians from the Mid-South region of the United States. Characterized by assertive, confident single vocal performance, moderately fast tempos,, and three to four musicians using acoustic rhythm guitar, upright “slap” bass, electric lead guitar and sometimes discernible studio echo-effects to enhance the recordings.
Ersel Hickey and Ray Smith the personification of early rock and roll
A brash, lively, unselfconscious hybrid of blues and country that became rock and roll. It came from Sam Phillip’s Sun Studios in Memphis, where Phillips recorded small bands – slapping string bass, twanging lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar – with plenty of echo while singers made astonishing yelps, gulps, hiccups and stutters as they sang about girls, cars, slacks and even little green men from outer space. The original rockabilly style ended with the fifties.
“We shook the devil loose!” We bopped those blues!”
It’s uptempo, it’s rhythm. You ain’t sitting there worrying about car payments or house notes. You’re out there shakin” dust loose on those honky-tonk floors.”