Rockabilly Boogiefest is Set

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Sonny Burgess

The second Rockabilly Boogiefest, a benefit concert sponsored by Arkansas State University Museum, will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in the Military Science Building, 1921 Aggie Road in Jonesboro.

The talent line-up, as announced last fall in preparation for Boogiefest, will be Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, Charlie Rich Jr., and The Stunning Cunning Band -- all prominent names among Rockabilly music fans.

These stars also will be vending their hits and memorabilia and autographing photographs throughout the evening. Broadcasting personality Terry Wood joins Rockabilly Boogiefest this year as master of ceremonies.

"Rockabilly Boogiefest 2014 will be dedicated to our region's native son and Godfather of Rockabilly, Sonny Burgess," said Dr. Marti L. Allen, ASU Museum director. "Through the heyday of the style, Newport-born Burgess rubbed shoulders with Carl Perkins and other great Rockabilly stars while performing in clubs throughout our region and along Highway 67, the 'Rock 'n' Roll Highway.' It was Burgess's animated style of performance that put the 'raucous' in Rockabilly."

Concert proceeds will help fund a new, permanent exhibit on Rockabilly at ASU Museum.

By proclamation of Mayor Harold Perrin of Jonesboro, Friday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 1, 2014, has been designated Jonesboro Rockabilly Weekend in the city.

One of the earliest forms of Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly got its start at the intersection of Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and Country in the Memphis-West Memphis area, where it was first widely broadcast by Sun Records and KWEM. The style was ferociously popular but short-lived, with most music authorities giving the years 1954 to 1959 as the heyday for the style. Yet, in Northeast Arkansas, new Rockabilly music as well as remakes continued to be performed in clubs and on the radio years after the style was considered passť in mainstream American music.

Tickets for Rockabilly Boogiefest 2014 can be purchased through the A-State Box Office in the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive, by phone at 870 972-2781, or online at For additional details, individuals may contact the Museum at (870) 972-2074.

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