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  • Artist: Billy Lee Riley
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 5397102175978
  • Item #: 2193776X
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 7/26/2019
Price: $18.95
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Rocks on CD

Billy Lee Riley was born October 5th, 1933 in Pocahontas, Arkansas. In 1955 he made his first recordings in Memphis and soon ended up with Sam Phillips and his SUN studio and label. In 1956 Trouble Bound was released with Rock With Me Baby as the flip. His first hit appeared in 1957 with Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll, a number that was to become one of the most famous Rockabilly songs ever. Since Phillips devoted all his energy to the careers of his established artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Riley left SUN Records in 1960 and founded his own label, Rita Records, along with guitarist Roland Janes. Two years later he moved to the West Coast and took on jobs as a session musician for the Beach Boys, Sammy Davis Jr. And Herb Alpert, among others. In 1965 Mercury recorded one of Riley's concerts at the famous 'Whiskey a Go Go' in L.A. and released the material on LP. A few years later Riley turned his back on the music industry and went back to Arkansas, where he set up a construction business. In the course of the Rock 'n' Roll revival in the late 70's Link Wray & Robert Gordon recorded Red Hot and Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll; finally Billy Lee Riley entered the stage for one show in Memphis in 1979 and then decided to work full time as a musician again. In 1992 he was rediscovered by one of his biggest fans, Bob Dylan. He continued to perform with his mix of rock 'n' roll, blues and country, releasing records such as 'Hot Damn!' for Capricorn, nominated for a Grammy in 1992. He did not fully recover from a tumble in 2005, but continued to play live until shortly before his death on August 2, 2009.

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