A Classic Rockabilly Show ...
A little Country twang mixed with some
Southern, Delta Blues will have you tappin' your toes to one of the hottest novelty bands to hit the Northwest.
"Billy & the Rockets" a four piece combo of "hep cats" from the Willamette Valley in Oregon
perform a fast paced, hard driving show reminiscent of the early days of raw Rockabilly and Rhythm & Blues.
Formed from seasoned musicians "Billy & the Rockets"combines drums,
upright bass, classic Gibson electric, and Fender "Stratocaster" lead guitars with outstanding
vocals to deliver the authentic sound of the early to mid-fifties. Songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis
Presley, Carl Perkins, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and many others are expertly duplicated.
The Line Up
The Rock'A'Billy Boys in the Band
BILL Rock'a'Billy COLEMAN: Performing as a professional entertainer since 1973, he made up half of the
popular Northwest folk/rock recording duo, "Blackhawk County." Their hit single, "Oregon (I Can't Go Home)"
brought national recognition to the plight of JoAnn McDaniels, a political prisoner held in Turkey for nine
years. Following his interest in 19th century American history, he partnered with his wife Carla to develop
three original stage presentations and five CD collections based upon the Civil War. The duo have toured the
United States since 1998 offering their original historical presentations. As a diverse, stand out single
entertainer/musician performing in some of the Northwest's most popular resorts and clubs for the past 35 years,
Bill has also organized and lead several rock bands and gospel combinations with some of the area's finest
DAVE The Big Bopper FITCH: Dave began his musical career while attending high school in Long Beach,
California. During his college years, he relied upon his natural vocal ability while playing bass for a
variety of folk and Christian groups, touring the West Coast with “The New Jordan Singers,” “The Victory Singers,”
and “Los Mariachis” (a Latin styled brass ensemble.) After graduation, Dave coupled a career in the ministry
with an interest in law enforcement. Music has always been his passion performing on a weekly basis with his
home church worship team, as well as with an extremely popular Seattle Celtic/Bluegrass trio titled, “Front Porch
Acoustic.” He has taught himself the acoustic, electric and lap steel guitar; mandolin; Irish tin whistle;
mountain and hammered dulcimer; and banjo, and currently, divides his musical talents between “The Good News
Gospel String Band” and “Billy & the Rockets”.
WARREN Animal PARRISH: Influenced by the style and sound of Ringo Starr, Warren taught himself the drums
by playing along with “Beatles” records. A native of Oregon he spent his teen years working as a professional
musician and session drummer through out the Pacific Rim until a life threatening illness forced
his retirement in 1993. Following his recovery, Warren has become an integral member of the Newberg Christian
Church Worship ministry, and serving on the Newberg School Board and Planning Commission, while singing back-up
with the Rockets.
KEN Mr. Bassman OSCHNER: Ken started his bass career playing the tuba in The Salem Pops Orchestra, The Chehalem Valley
Orchestra, and The Newberg Community Band. About 1993 he taught himself to play the bass fiddle, and the
electric bass. He has recorded with some of the northwest’s finest musicians including: The Capitol City Jazz Band,
Dr. Jazz and the Interns, and the Bourbon Street Band. His driving Rockabilly stand up bass provides a solid
foundation to the Rockets!
JACK Smilin' Jack DAWES: Playing drums since he was just a lad, Jack's broad musical tastes and versatility
have him performing with a number of working bands, spanning the musical spectrum from Big Band Swing to Rockabilly
with some of the northwest’s finest musicians. His experience easily provides the solid rhythm that pushes the
Rockets' vintage sound!
Where It Began
A Rock'a'Billy History Lesson ...
"Hillbilly" and "Gospel" musical styles from the
southern Appalachian region that had gained wild popularity in Nashville, Tennessee during the early thirties,
gradually became mixed with Mississippi delta "Rhythm and Blues" during the late forties and early fifties.
The sleepy Mississippi river town of Memphis, Tennessee became the perfect melting pot for this mixture of styles
and the man with the stirring spoon was Sam Phillips.
By the early 1950's, Sun Studio's record producer Sam Phillips recognized the explosive potential of
white and black musical styles and introduced it to a young listening audience as "Rock and Roll!" The artists he
chose to record in his studio went on to become the icons of early rock ... Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins made up the "Sun Studio's Million Dollar Quartet."