Rockabilly legends storm campus in tribute concert

Heather McClellan

Review staff writer

A Rockabilly Legends tribute concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Ice Auditorium. The concert features Jeff Naylor, former lead singer of The Crickets, along with Tommy Overstreet and Stan Perkins.

The performance will include traditional songs from the rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll music movements by Naylor, Overstreet and Perkins as well as the Bethel Baptist Church Gospel Singers. The closing number will be a tribute to Buddy Holly, former lead singer of The Crickets.

“We did a very successful book signing last year at Linfield as a part of our ‘Rockabilly Legends: A Tribute to My Friend’ project,” Naylor said. “This concert will instead tell the story of rockabilly in music.”

The Rockabilly Legends material is part of the music history curriculum at many universities because of the great influence rockabilly has on modern music, Naylor said.

“The Beatles were so inspired by The Crickets that they gave themselves an insect name as a sign of respect,” Naylor said. “In 1963, The Beatles sang [The Crickets'] song ‘Please Don’t Ever Change’ on the BBC. It was their first performance on the BBC.”

Naylor is a TV and record producer, song writer, radio and TV personality and Grammy-nominated solo artist. He became the lead singer of The Crickets after Holly’s death in 1959. Naylor was inducted into the West Texas Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He is also the creator, writer and producer of “The Rockabilly Legends; They Called it Rockabilly Before They Called it Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a Public Broadcast System production project.

“This project was started to help preserve the rich era of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll,” Naylor said. “It is a tribute to the legends to help educate future

Naylor has worked with Perkins on creating this project for eight and a half years. They have a three-year contract with PBS to distribute their documentary, three soundtrack CDs and eight CDs of refurbished original hits.

Perkins, son of Carl Perkins, who wrote the top-selling song “Blue Suede Shoes,” is a solo artist and song writer. His father was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is called the godfather of rock ‘n’ roll. Perkins has performed on the drums, along side his father, with rockabilly legends Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Holly.

Overstreet is a renowned country music artist, songwriter, record producer and music publisher. He has headlined multiple tours across North America and has performed with Naylor in 37 European tours. Overstreet has been inducted into the West Texas Music Hall of Fame and the Country Music Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. He has also appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Dean Martin Show.”

“It is going to be a fun, rocking night,” Naylor said. “People of all ages like rockabilly music, especially because you can draw a direct string of lineage from popular music back to the rockabilly legends.”

This event is being sponsored by Friends of Nicholson Library and Friends of the McMinnville Public Library.

For admission, please bring a non-perishable food donation for the Yamhill County Food Bank.

1 Comment on Rockabilly legends storm campus in tribute concert

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