This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.
I grew up in North Carolina and moved to Santa Barbara in 1997 where I first heard The Cadillac Angels and was immediately back home, I am inspired by Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn and no one ever quite could overshadow them and then I watched Micky Rae take the stage and rock the room.... she is my favorite rockabilly singer and performer.
Joseph F. Amburgey Jr.
I see in the timeline and for the most part, you feature on Lorrie Collins, Brenda Lee, Wanda Jackson, and Charline Arthur. Jean Chapel was born Opal Jean Amburgey, Martha Carson was born Irene Amburgey They along with their sister Berthy Amburgey were the "In 1936 three sisters, the Amburgey Sisters, were pioneers in the country and gospel field with the first all female string bands in history later to be known as the Sunshine Sisters a year before the Coon Creek Girls ever formed. While Jean was one of the first ladies of rockabilly......She was billed "the female Elivs Presley" by Sun Records,(1956) which released her song "Welcome to the Club" on the flip side of an Elvis Presley release. Historian Robert Oermann says, "the finest rockabilly performance by a woman at Sun Records was unquestionably, 'Welcome to the Club' by Jean Chapel"..... Jean later helped a budding star who was dating her younger brother Don-The star was Tammy Wynette....1966 would find Jean becoming close friends with Virgina Pugh, later to be Tammy Wynette. Tammy would move into the same trailer court as Jean in Nashville.
Don, Jean's little brother, was dating Tammy at that time and thought that his sister could give Tammy some pointers in the music business. Concerning this time, Tammy Wynette would write, "I loved his sister Jean and her daughter Lana, and I spent most of my social time with them. Jean fascinated me because she knew so much more about the music business than I did....Jean already had a number of her songs on records, she was always willing to answer my questions or give me advice." -From the book Stand by your Man. While wanda jackson was somewhat more appealing and later became the Queen of Rockabilly and Rock and Roll. I feel a few artist are shadowed so to speak....you do know that jean was also known as Mattie of the Grand Ole'Opry's Mattie and Salty.
In the early 50's, Jean recorded solo for Hickory Records under the name Opal Jean; recording later with her sisters for King label in 1951 as the Sunshine Sisters; and officially become, Jean Chapel, in 1956 signing with Sun Records to sing rockabilly. In addition to these labels, Jean recorded for Capitol, London, Challenge, Smash, and RCA Records. Martha Carson---"In the early 1950's, the gospel music world was rocked by the joyous and unique sounds of the fiery and spirited Martha Carson. The groundbreaking works of this red haired beauty carried southern gospel music to the peak of its popularity, and influenced such artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Ray, and Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. Martha's dynamic stage presence was so impressive that variety show host Steve Allen once placed a music trade ad to proclaim, "Martha Carson is not a girl-She's an explosion!" Now regarded as "The First Lady of Gospel Music," Martha continues to entertain and inspire audiences with her heartfelt songs.
Born Irene Ambergey in Neon, Kentucky, Martha was exposed to gospel music at an early age. She traveled theregion with "The Family Singers," a gospel group consisting of her mother, father, uncle, and grandfather. At the age of ten, she traded her calf to a neighborhood boy to obtain her first guitar, and she taught herself to play from the Spiegel Chord Book. In her early teens, she and her two sisters, Opal and Bertha, began performing regionally. Billing themselves as "The Sunshine Sisters," they played folk, gospel, and sentimental songs.
The sisters joined briefly with the Coon Crook Girls in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, and later relocated to Atlanta as the Hoot Owl Holler Girls on WSB Radio. The girls had already adopted the stage names of Minnie (Opal), Mattie (Bertha), and Martha (Irene). Thus, when she met and married James Carson Roberts, a mandolin player, Irene became known as Martha Carson." From Martha's official website. These ladies deserve a look into what they contributed in the early years of mountain music, bluegrass, and hickabilly music-which gave birth to rockabilly.
I grew up listening to rockabilly and danced at everysock hop at Hebert Slater in Santa Rosa,Ca All the girl artist's were popular but everyone was drawn to Brenda because she was like your best friend,she talked to us in her music songs about everyday life.We cryed we laughed and celebrated the good things in life.As I have aged 60 plus years she has come back wth a Gospel Album that a must start my day.Listen to songs of your early church life.Hope you will be as touched.
Those of you who were critical of the female legends of rockabilly either aren't true rockabilly fans or are so young you don't remember the singers. I grew up just south of Memphis and know a little something about it. And Barbara Pittman was the best live rockabilly female out there!
I am looking for "The Collins Kids" on vhs (video) only. Can someone help me locate them especially when they were very young.
I do believe that title goes to the one who first started rockin', who never left her roots, and who still draws attention to this day. Who is that? Well, many ladies abandoned their field and went country or spiritual, some laid the guitar down and never looked back, some deserted the music and declared it the work of the devil.......then there was one who continued to play and play and play and play.......who was that?
It was Janis. She first introducted rockabilly in the lady style and never changed horses in mid-stream.
So, just maybe that is the answer.
And your thoughts are?
I saw 90% of the filming for Janis...
interviews, her live show in LVNevada, etc. But when the disc arrived, it was obvious that someone somewhere paid to get more attention. The odds were not even and a lot of information and interesting facts about the artists were left out. It was a sad venture on a subject that needs TOTAL coverage before it ends up with the dinosaurs.
Ever heard of Mac Taple?
Rockin'Rebels keep on Dancing....
mike de la cruz
In 2003, I bought a used Lp "There's A Party Goin' On" by Miss Wanda Jackson and a whole new world open up for me "ROCKABILLY". A kid in the 60's "Right or Wrong" was all i ever heard of Wanda's music. Now i'm a collector of all Rockabilly artist's. Thank you Wanda, anxiously awaiting your Texas visit. ROCK ON!
brenda lee is the best rockabilly and i love her
I had the pleasure of seeing Wanda Jackson perform last month and she is awesome! She still got it.
It's awesome the things you can find on the net! My husband's Aunt the late
"Charline Arthur" was very talented, but I never knew exactly how much till I listen to her records myself. the whole fam. is musically talented in one way or another...it's kool.
Anyway it's kool seeing her stuff on-line. I'm a rock-a-billy fan, and I enjoy the sounds of all the artists on this site. thanks
The Collins Kids were before my time, but I adore the CD'S I have and would love to see film footage of them. Why doesn't someone put out a Video Tape of the Collins Kids so we can see what where hearing? Maybe somebody already did? I also read about people in Europe selling bootleg videos of them. Either way I would love to have a tape to watch their performances so I have visual to link to their high energy music I like to listen to. I would rather have the money go to them than to a bootlegger, but can anybody help me with this? Thanks! KT
Russell P. Conger
Growing up in West Texas as "oil field trash" at three years old I remember listening to Charline Arthur on KERB with my mother. I remember a thrill one day when Charline came into the Kermit Post Office in full rockabilly regalia just as we left. I was 18 before I found out there are other kinds music besides country!
Great to know that I'm not one and only who interested in rock-a-billy female performers. look at my cite - hepcat.ooi.ru in "Chick-a-billy" column. Hope you'll like the look of it. Also searchin' for pics and info about Ivy Shulman (child from "Rock, Rock, Rock") and Nona Ray...
Anyone could help me??? Thank you in advance.
Just played with Wanda last month, and she was terrific! She put on a great show, and was very willing to sit and talk to everyone!
Can't wait for the program to come out on DVD ...!!!!
The highlight of my Saturday nights, growing up in Southern California inthe 50s was watching Johnny Otis' TV show followed by the icing on the cake... "Town Hall Party" and the Collins Kids. I wanted to play guitar like Larry but wanted to MARRY Lorrie.
I have been a collector of Female rockabilly records since I was 9 years old. I way past nine and still collect them today. This music will live with me forever.
Lorrie, Wanda, Janis, Brenda and all the rest. I will always love you!
I am a fan of all music types and when i saw this special on PBS i thought
i'd check it out. I think these ladies are cool. I loved the way they sang
and the stories they had to tell. I am now a fan of Rockabilly! Hope it
comes back in style. Rock on girls!
I'm not about to select one of these great ladies and say who's the best...but I must present facts as they happened. The First Lady of Rockabilly was definately NOT Wanda...she didn't touch on it until 1958. Janis was doing rockabilly in 1955 and even before on her stage shows.
As I said.....both are great and each should be placed in the hall of fame. I just thank God for their talent and for them sharing it with us.
I had a chance to see Wanda Jackson in Phoenix Arizona this year. She was great! I had a chance to chat with her and she is the sweetest lady. I didn't know much about her before the show so I don't think I realized until later what an impact she had on the music. I would like to see more information on the ladies of rockabilly. I am sure that there were more than what is on this site at the moment. And in defense of Josie Kruezer, she may not be the best singer, but she has the attitude.
I caught this film over a year ago at San Rafael. Thought it was ok. Am surprised by the people who hated it. I think they were expecting something more comprehensive. Am even more surprised by the rockabilly fan who thinks that this film will go down in music history. Gross overstatement. For good music documentaries, she should see Amandla!, Standing in the Shadows of Motown or many other recent music documentaries out there. Welcome to the Club was not of this quality. Not even close.
Lars Fausnacht �
San Antonio, Texas
I started with rockabilly through early exposure to 50's rock like Elvis and Chuck Berry, and in my adult years getting in the psychobilly scene, and searching for its roots came into 50's rockabilly and swing. I barely listen to the contemporary artists anymore, preferring the original stuff. A prized possession is an autographed photo of Wanda Jackson (what a babe) that prominently features in my dining room.
Go, rockabilly ladies!
i'm new to this site and wanted to know all of your opinion and what do you think. you may leave your messages anonomous or put you nick name. I would just like to know what all of you think about this site. I want to be a fashion designer and would like you help i'm 13 year old and a female so plese if anyone can help me plese do. thank you for reading this and you time. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and call me k.k. or kitty for the subject put fashion
I love rockabilly music,whats sad is that there just isn't enough female singers out there.I'm a little dissappionted that Sparkle Moore wasn't on this.Also,even though to this day there is a shortage of female singers.I think Marti Brom should be included here,she's one of the few in the new scence that rocks it like theres no tomarrow.I guess I can't say there is a shortage of female singers,just ones that rock.I mean when someone like Josie Kreuzer can get a record deal,the end really is near.Sorry if I offended any Kreuzer fans out there,but you should kill yourself anyway if you think that harpie can sing.
Ed Bayes �
Each lady stands on her own two feet.
Each lady does her thing with perfection.
Each lady deserves recognition that the men always have had.
Each lady should be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
Each lady is an icon.
Nothing more needs to be said: now lets get more footage of these gals and other great gals who remain forgotten.
We need more film footage on Janis. She rocked at 14 and still rocks at 63.
I loved the film, but was frustrated at only getting to see snippets of the live and TV footage. Where can you go to purchase extended versions of these historic performances? It was like watching the time/life oldies ads for CD's,and wishing they were for the video footage they used to sell the product. I WANT TO SEE MORE!!!
I really loved "welcome to the club". AS a big fan of Rockabilly and a young woman, it was so great to see the Talented Women of rockabilly. Watching Wanda and Janis, i was really inspired to pursue all my dreams and talents.
I think Wanda and Janis should of sang in movies with Elvis. They should of been in the "Silver Screen".
A few years ago, I caught a program on PBS but have never been able to find it anywhere. It ended with just about every generation of female country singer joining together to sing Mary Chapin Carpenter's "The Hard Way". Does anyone remember it? Help!
WAYNE FULLER �
HI FROM CAMBRIDGE ENGLAND,
BEEN READING ALL ABOUT THIS GREAT SHOW AND WANT TO SEE IT BADLY, ITS NOT BEEN SHOWN HERE IN ENGLAND SO I AM HOPING SOME ONE MAY HAVE TAPED IT AND COILD MAKE A COPY FOR ME. WE HAVE SOME GREAT ROCKABILLY GALS HERE IN ENGLAND ONE OF THEM BEING MY SISTER IN LAW "JEAN VINCENT" HER CD'S AVAILABLE FROM RAUCOUS RECORDS AND SHE IS WILD, CHECK HER OUT.GET BACK TO ME IF YOU HAVE A TAPE, IF YOU WANT ANY INFO ON ROCKABILLY SCENE HERE WHICH IS REAL GOOD GIVE ME A CALL.
THANKS KATS AND KITTENS
CANT STOP KEEP ROCKIN
Thank you so much for showing the world what really happened: how there have been women musicians that shaped rock'n'roll history. It is really a shame that we - who came later - didn't know about these extraordinary women, so couldn't look up to them when we needed them. The only real rock'n'roll woman I ever knew about who tore it up like these ladies was Janis Joplin. Knowing about these rockabilly ladies would really have helped us have confidence about our own careers, and even given us confidence, pride and strength in being part of rock'n'roll, overall. Rock'n'Roll, not just Rockabilly, has to know about, respect, and share in the history of these extraordinary women, for the sake of all women musicians and fans to come. As a lifelong rock'n'roll fan, I have always wondered and been saddened by the lack of women rock'n'rollers. Now I know that we women have a true rock'n'roll legacy.
FRANK QUALE �
I thoroughly enjoyed stumbling onto this movie last Saturday night on KTCA. I hope it will be rebroadcasted in the future so I can tape it. Especially, given it is not available in DVD or VHS. Thank you for an informative, entertaining rocking show!
Caroline Casey �
I was lucky enough to catch this documentary on the big-screen at the SxSW film festival 2002. I have read some posts regarding this documentary being "amateurish" etc., and I have to say that this is obviously not the case.
If you had been in that darkened theater and listened to the audience responding to the jokes, the great footage, the poignant and quiet moments, you would understand that what Beth Harrington has done is GET THE WORD OUT THERE. The mission has been accomplished.
As a female rockabilly performer in today's music scene, as well as being one of the women interviewed in Welcome to the Club, I was asked to answer questions to the audience afterwards. The questions they asked were not the usual trite questions some of us normally get, about appearance or lifestyle, but rather probing and intelligent inquiries about what the festivals are like, what the musicians are like, and what it means to me to be a performer. It made fans out of everybody. Kudos to Beth Harrington, and a big thank you! Her documentary not only brought tears to my eyes as it unearthed and immortalized everything I love and work for, but it got the message out and across to everyday people who may not have even heard of this type of music. I know it will go down in music history!
The Casey Sisters
With all the good stuff being produced these days, this show was lucky to make it to PBS. It wasn't horrible, but I found it a little bit boring and a little bit sloppy (example: the program wasn't even about the women of rockabilly. It dealt with four women only -supposed "queens"- from rockabilly's early beginnings. Maybe not a big deal, but shouldn't documentary titles give you an accurate description of a film's content?). Also, I was disappointed to read that at least one contemporary female rockabilly artist participating in the production (Mickey Rae of the Cadillac Angels) felt that the filmmaker "totally blew her off", using her as background, but giving her neither film credits nor noteworthy footage. Somewhat ironic, given the thrust of the show. I can't help but think that the only people who could love this show were die-hard rockabilly fans whose love of the music would permit them to forgive a flawed product. For me, this limited story of four rockabilly "queens" was a drag.
The show was fantastic! But I have to agree with the poster on 07/22/02, there should be a 2nd show highlighting the current rockabilly ladies. On Rockabilly Radio I've had the pleasure of playing Josie Kreuzer, Cattie Ness, The Donettes, The Cameros and many more of today's female rockabilly singers. They deserve the recognition, because they are rockin' all over the world, bringing rockabilly music back into the public eye.
Michael Quebec �
I was able to catch this documentary on PBS 15 minutes AFTER it started (so I missed the beginning!) What I did see of it, however, I LOVED!
I've been using these artists' cds for the swing-dance classes I've been teaching & it was interesting to see what became of them, particularly Janis Martin, who has always been one of my favorites.
I also enjoyed the clips from "Town Hall Party" which featured the Collins Kids. Also profiled were Wanda Jackson & Brenda Lee. However, Jackson had appeared on "Town Hall Party" during the '50's, but from what I catched of the documentary, they didn't show her performances on that show. (Again, I did tune in late!)
I guess my only real gripe would be that they didn't profile Jo-Ann Campbell. (At least, I think they didn't. Maybe they did during the 15 minutes that I missed!) She was disc-jockey Alan Freed's favorite girl & a real rocker in her own right.
I would love to order this fine documentary. If you love REAl rock n' roll like I do (I can't stand the whole "nostalgia" thing, but I do love "retro"), then this video is for you!
victor smith �
Unfortunatly, I have not seen the film, but I would love to. I will let my mind drift back to the early fifties, and remember the start of the rock age. Mostly dominated by males, led by the likes of Bill Halley and the comets and of course Elvis, I also listened to country music. Then in late fifties they started playing on the country stations, mostly Wheeling West Virginia, that I could receive in Kingston Ontario Canada, ayoung child singer named Brenda Lee and I was hooked on her, she was ROCKABILLY or rock and roll as we know it today,She was Little Miss Dynamite and she did not need those mikes and what pipes. Iwas lucky enough to meet her and her manager at the end of her 1962 Tour in Kingston. Yes Brenda was a pioneer and one of the first crossover artist in history and she paved the way for young artist today like Brittany. it is too bad they do not have Brenda's charm or grace.
Good show, glad someone did it. Why not follow it up with a documentary of modern women in rockabilly? There are plenty of us gals out here who are belting out tunes for the same people who tuned into your program!
Mark Dillman �
Within the next 15 minutes I am going to make an online order for a bootlegged video of this documentary because our local public TV has no plans to air this program. In fact neither of the public TV stations in our neighboring cities have aired it either. This program seems to not be available for sale on VHS through the producers of this program.
I am a big fan of rockabilly music. I looked forward to seeing this program on my local public TV station but was disappointed to find out it will not be shown here.
Last year I drove over 300 miles to attend Wanda Jackson's concert on her birthday in her home town. It was a very special event. I will always remember that night!
I HAVEN'T SEE THIS PROGRAM YET, BUT I WOULD HOPE TO SEE MORE ABOUT JEAN CHAPEL, OF SUN RECORDS AND RCA! SHE WAS THE ONLY WOMEN LIGITIMATELY ENDORSED BY RCA AS THE FEMALE ELVIS PRESLEY, AND WAS PROMOTED AS SUCH. HER BIG RECORD OF "WELCOME TO THE CLUB" WAS RELEASED ON THE 45'S THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE RADIO STATIONS, ON THE FLIP SIDE OF ELVIS' "LOVE ME TENDER"--AND THEY WERE PROMOTED BY RCA AS "THE KING AND QUEEN OF ROCK & ROLL". HE EVEN CAUGHT HER ACT IN MEMPHIS.--SHE WAS ALSO A BETTER MUSICIAN THAN ANY FEMALE OR MALE GUITAR PLAYER..AND PLAYED ELECTRIC LEAD GUITAR (AS WELL AS EVERY OTHER STRINGED INSTRUMENT!)AND SHE COULD REALLY SING!! IN FACT, SHE WAS A BETTER SINGER THAN ANY WOMAN OF HER DAY, AND SHE WAS GORGEOUS! THIS IS PROBABLY WHY SHE NEVER GOT THE RECOGNITION SHE DESERVED..SHE WAS THE TARGET OF SO MUCH PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY..BY MALES AND FEMALES!--THERE SHOULD BE A WHOLE PROGRAM ABOUT HER ALONE!! I HOPE THIS ONE TELLS A LOT ABOUT HER!....
I hated this show. It was billed as a documentary, but it played like a promotion piece developed by a Hollywood publicist. Why all the lame packaging of "sassy gals" and "rough and ready rebels"? Aside from being untrue (these women seemed pretty docile when it came to surrendering their careers to the wishes of parents, husbands and promoters), it was entirely unnecessary. You should have let these women tell their own stories without the mindless hype.
As a writer I found every single moment of your program fasinating and useful. I hope that you will consider doing more interviews with these women in the future. I would like to know everything there is to know about Rockabilly and I am in the process of using this as a writing tool. Thank You
Neale Carhartt �
Great program. Coulda been 3 hours. Give us more!
Forget Madonna, Mariah, Brittany, et al, Janis, Wanda, Brenda and Lorrie really ROCK!!!
You have to be a big rockabilly fan to love this film. Personally, I found none of these "rockin ladies" very inspiring. There is a difference between sassiness and true musical talent. "Welcome to the Club" is an uncritical love letter to midcentury mediocrity. A big yawn.
This was an excellent show. I sure hope that you will air this again. I was just in awe of the capabilities and the energy that these women put forth. They were a little before my time, but I enjoyed their drive to make a stand in a "man's" world.
PLEASE, PLEASE air this show again, SOON!!!!
Brigitte Handley �
Well it's about time that somebody has taken the time to recognise the Rockin' Ladies!! I've been told many times that 'girls can't rock' - mostly by guys mind you but I tell you what there are some wild wild women out there that can really give the boys a run for their money! I respect Wanda, Janis, Brenda and the rest of the rockin' chicks for going out there on a limb with such raw passion, especially in a time when women were supposed to be at home cleaning the kitchen. These girls are great because they combine feminine glamour with a tough edge, which I'm sure must've been very inspiring for the young girls of that era and it's still relevant today!
Philip Castor �
I just saw this special late last night at 11pm. on channel 54 here in San Jose, CA. and I thought it was brillant. I'm a big fan of music, from jazz and blues to punk and country, I listen to almost anything. I've heard of Brenda Lee and Wanda Jackson before and I love their music. Raw, unpolished, and sassy is what rockabilly means to me. And it's about time these ladies got the props that they so richly deserved. While the times have changed, the attitude hasn't and to this day you can see that attitude in some of today's female singers. Hopefully this will be released on DVD soon. Great job!!!!
JOHNNY DARK �
Hats off to the folks responsible for the excellent documentary Welcome to the Club! I play in a Rockabilly band and have been taken with the music most of my 47 years. I was absolutely thrilled to see these ladies in the vintage footage, being especially excited by the great performances of The Collins Kids and Wanda Jackson, which only left me wanting for more. Also of significance in the film was the tribute paid to probably the first purveyors of Rockabilly, The Maddox Brothers and Rose. My only regret there was the lack of sound on the otherwise cool color clips of America's Greatest Hillbilly Band! When I first began playing Rockabilly in the early 80's--after Robert Gordon and The Stray Cats made it somewhat viable--I was dying for such a film as this, something to give the stamp of approval, some credibilty to what was then seen as somewhat of a novelty music form, presented by tattooed, earringed kids with hyperbolic pompadours, masquerading in fifties halloween garb! Many people loved our music back then, but often put us in that nostalgia box, a place we insisted we didn't want to be in. This documentary may actually be a turning point in the long history of Rockabilly and help to elevate it to the status of other purely American genres like Bluegrass, Blues, and Jazz. Let's hope so!
P.S. Note to the filmmakers: I know it's PC to elevate the women, but what a great job y'all could do if you'd include the men next time!
James Lee �
My local PBS station UNC-TV hasn't aired this show yet, but I hope they will soon. I'd also hoped that the program would've received the PBS "American Roots Music" series treatment with accompanying audio boxset, video, and special concerts. Rounder pulled out all the stops for their "Roots Music" boxset that I can't believe they wouldn't even re-release their "Wild Wild Young Women" compilation to help promotions.
Too bad a special big rockin' concert with all the women legends didn't happen. I can't believe the Rockabilly Hall of Fame or Rockabilly Music Foundation wouldn't be interested in capturing such a historical concert or even for a fundraiser. Contemporary women rockabilly acts are so rare now, probably in part due to the lack of exposure to any inspiring idols, and it won't be long before thre won't be any legends left to show today's girls how to really rock out.
P.S. adding a women rockabilly discography to this site would help interested viewers buy some music.
I was very disappointed with this program. Although the women interviewed wer mildly interesting (much like their music), the writing and production was amateurish and as dull as dishwater!
just wanted to say that you did an excellent job in depicting the "true" women of rockabilly. These women, though do not play quite often, are as popular, if not even more in the rockabilly scene. I wish that the documantry would be available for sale.
I just heard on "Here and Now," WBUR radio, here in Boston the segment
about these wonderful female rockabilly singers. I'm quite amazed at
their beautiful, expressive, and emotional voices. I want to hear more!
Thank you so much for introducing me to this kind of music.
San Antonio, TX
Wow, what a show, I loved every second. Wish I could get hold of some of the music of these Great Women of Rockabilly. Does anybody know when they will be Touring the US?
Would LOVE to see them LIVE!!!!!!!!
Any information is appreciated.
I was blown away by these ladies. Thank You for your Music.
You can check the tour dates for the Women of Rockabilly at various websites. Please check the RESOURCES section of this site for links.
I think it's so great that Rockabilly is alive and still rockin out strong!! Thanx to All the great rockabilly singers and all the great fans.Greasers,Rockabillys,country,Honk Tonks ETC... What ever you want to be called. Rockabilly has been going around for years and years. And I know that it will never die!!
I have got to say that rockabilly is my life. I live this way everyday and i loved watching the show. No one every really believed the power and influence that women had in rockabilly, but this show explained it well
I loved the show, but I was suprised that there was no mention or credit given to Micky Rae, the upright bass player for the Cadillac Angels and the back up band for Wanda Jackson. Although she was briefly shown on stage with Wanda, Micky Rae plays bass better than any current rockabilly bass player I've ever seen, she even tears it up while balancing on top of her bass while standing on one foot! Give the gal some credit! The show was amazing, it's good to see someone finally giving attention to these incredible ladies and Wanda Jackson's amazing talents that haven't faltered to this day.
Jason C. Allen �
What an excellent program!
I am a huge Rockabilly fan and was really impressed by the research that was done to produce this mini-documentary.
The Collins Kids just tore me up!
Historically, Wanda Jackson is The Queen of Rockabilly. Great seeing her in all her glory.
I would love to see more on this topic.
Glenn and Suzanne �
We ditched our lounge music career in the early '80s after hearing a Minneapolis radio station play Wanda Jackson's "Mean Mean Man." We learned and lived this music for many years, putting out a 6-song EP record of original rockabilly material on our own "Drip Dry Records." Squeaky Clean played NYC clubs in the wake of the Stray Cats for several years. We are still playing great old music and are using our knowledge in schools where we present multi-media programs about rock and roll. Fans of the band can reach us at
The program got it all right, in our humble opinion: the look, the energy and why it changed so many lives (including ours).
Mark Edwards �
I saw Cordell Jackson play in Memphis about 20 years ago, opening for the Panther Burns (or maybe the other way around) at The Antenna Club, a punk rock venue. I wondered about her as I watched your doc. She seemed to be a good deal older than the women in your film. As I remember her, she looked about 70 that night; though it might have been my youthful arrogance ...and/or that she was up so late. I think the Panther Burns backed her up, I remember how fast her strumming arm was moving. Is she still around?
Robert J Cugini �
Unfortunately the show was in progresswhen it aired in Philly. However I did get to see some of my Favorite Female Singer. The one, the only, none can ever compare to the lovely
Wanda Jackson. #1 and always #1.
Please air this show again.
Thank you so much for showing this fabulous documentary! My husband and I saw it tonight and were thrilled! I was at the first Viva Las Vegas in 1998 and saw the Collins Kids (Larry is still a spaz onstage :) It was so great to finally learn about the lives of Wanda, Janis and the other gals after listening to them all these years. Would have liked to have seen more 50's performance footage of Janis...and about 3 more hours of documentary!
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the program. I was amazed by all of these talented women that were smothered out of the music business due to narrow minded people of the 50's. The Women of Rockabilly deserve a great deal respect for venturing forward in a male dominated field and showing that a woman can equally stand her ground & rock as well as anyone.
It's a great idea to have a club of women who stand up and make history.
Is this a real club? I think I would like to join once I find out more about what it stands for. Please let me know.
Man I missed 1st half a hour of "Women of rockabilly" it's was real interesting when I seen parts from Viva What I want when will they reshow it again I hope it wasn't just one time broadcast Please reshow it again during the week.
I was in bed half asleep when this program came on. I was wide awake within minutes because I couldn't believe how awesome these artists were. Needless to say I attempted to buy a CD of Wanda Jackson/Collins Kids/Janice Martin today and they were all sold out. The clerk stated that the albums have been a hot item since this program aired.
I hope the powers that be plan to air this program again.
I was surfin threw the web and found the rockabilly music in the PBS web sight and had to check it out. It was great and I wish that this kind of music was still the in thing. When will it be on in my aria?
Shannon hall �
Blue Angel is the only rockabilly band I can remember, with a female lead singer, back in the late 70's, early 80's.
They did one great LP, but rockabilly wasn't very big back then, so it didn't sell to well, but that was a really great band!!!
Cyndi finally decided to go solo, and Britt Savage replaced her, Cyndi and Britt are both still singing, and some of the band is still around somewhere, too.
I first heard about this documentary several months ago, but had to wait until last night (3/18) to see it. It was definitely worth the wait! I've been involved the subculture that goes along with rockabilly for several years. My friends and I have idolized the pioneers of music that we love so dearly. It was so enlightening to see a documentary focusing specifically on the female rock legends. Unfortunately, because these amazing women were often "swept under a rug," not as many people have had the opportunity to enjoy their work.
I have a 6 yr old daughter who received her first guitar on her birthday this year. The sounds of female rockabilly artists can often be heard in our home, I hope that their music will continue to inspire her and feed her interest in music.
My favorite artists that were featured in the documentary are Janis Martin and Barbara Pittman. Even on my worst days, I can listen to them and just want to jump up, dance around and sing along. The music is so raw, and the emotions run so deep that I can feel it in my bones. It's a wonderful feeling; there is nothing else like it.
I RETURNED FROM A HARD DAYS WORK, TO FIND SOMEONE E-MAILED ME THIS SO I CHECKED IT OUT, AND TO MY SURPRISE IT MADE MY DAY WORTH IT.
Bill Gannon �
Thats all that needs to be said. She rocks.
Great credit has to be given to Ms. Jackson. I attended highschool with her and she perserved against all odds as Hillbilly music was NOT considered to be the choice music at that time. Of course, Oklahomans have always made original paths in the music of the world. We are that kind of people!
Peachtree City GA
"Welcome to the club" is an excellent program. I can only wonder why the vidio is not for sale. After watching the show last night I find myself wanting more information and music from these pioneers of rock. Thank you for bring it to us. Dale.
in order to sell "Welcome to the Club" on home
video, I would need to clear the music and footage rights for that market.
At some point I hope to do that but it involves either finding a distributor
willing to pay for those new clearances or else coming up with a whole bunch
more money myself. Stay tuned.
John Smith �
Caught the film in Austin TX at the SXSW Film Festival 3/16 - wonderful homage to some very gifted ladies (some of whom, this was my first introduction to). Thank goodness they persevered to bring us some great music and thanks to Beth for a great film!
Oh, I see again Wanda Jackson by your hompage ...it's so great !!!
Wanda love Austria and Austria love Wanda ! She is the best !
Her german hit "Santo Domingo" is always fresh and we can dream
from Santo Domingo with Wanda !
All the best from Austria ! G�nter
Ed Boswell �
Being from L.A. , I can say that these gals have ruled since day one. The Viva Las Vegas Shows in Vegas once a year, and the Shows at the Eagle Rock Bowl-a-rama have featured these performers. Stay tuned and you can see them sometime in L.A. if your timing is right.
Great site, and I can't wait to see the film! But you forgot one very important pioneering female rocker. Jackie DeShannon, who also recorded as Sherry Lee, Jackie Dee and Jackie Shannon, recorded some great rockabilly singles in the late fifties. Her tunes "Buddy", "Just Another Lie", "Trouble" and "Put My Baby Down" were as good as anything any other singer, male or female, were doing at the time. And she was one of the first girl singers to write her own material as well.
I got to see the documentry this weekend and LOVED it. It was very well done!!
i saw welcome to the club at the boston museum of fine arts and was sorely disappointed. the filmmaker had great subject matter and squandered it . . . the women she talked to provided wonderful material, but it was squandered in the name of "entertainment." this film sacrificed substance for style, and we're all the poorer for it.
If it hadn't been for the Rockabilly women paving the way for rock 'n' roll's female performers, there probably wouldn't be the number of female "rock stars" there are today!
Growing up in L.A., I recall seeing Lorrie & Larry Collins on Town Hall Party & thought they were "cool" because they were kids performing on a show whose headliners were adults. Although I was too young to buy records(and my parents wouldn't buy them for me!), I couldn't wait until I was old enough to buy my own. By that time though (the early '60s), I couldn't find any of their recordings! Several years later I was babysitting for a couple who had an extensive record collection & among their records were a couple by The Collins Kids! Every time I babysat there, I'd play those records over & over! In the early 1980s I found a Columbia series of recordings called "The Rockabilly Years", which had some of the Collins Kids' recordings. Needless to say, I bought them & couldn't wait to get home to play them! Not long after that, I also found a tape of some of the Collins Kids' hits & I was thrilled! "Mercy", "Soda Poppin" Around" were among the tunes on that tape.
Lorrie, Wanda & Rose: You ROCK!! I'll take their music anyway! I've read all the info here about "Welcome to the Club", have seen the promos & know I'm going to really enjoy this show! Thanks for making it happen. (Oh, and Madonna, Britney, Christina: Thank these women who started paving the way for you & other female rock performers.)
Carl Lagerberg �
Yeah he was. In he early days of the StrayCats...they played the N.Y. local bars playing rockabilly covers. They used to play "Drugstore Rock and Roll" by Janis Martin. A great song.
I know that Brian was working at one time with Sharon Sheeley who wrote Poor Little Fool and Something Else and than cowrote with Jackie DeShannon several hits for Brenda Lee.
Beth Harrington �
Interesting question. I don't know if Brian Setzer was influenced by any of these gals, but I know he performed in a commercial a few years back with Cordell Jackson. Cordell is not only a founding mother of rockabilly, but she was also an early recording engineer in the rockabilly scene in Memphis. She even had her own small label.
Donny Payjack �
Was B. Setzer influenced by any of the "rockabilly queens"??... well, judging by his hair-do in the early Stray Cats days I'd say, "Maybe by Little Richard"!!
Not really, no. Brian's main influences were his guitar teacher, Mr. Scurti....George Harrison, Eddie Cochran and Cliff Gallup. He certainly appreciates musicians who are women, but none were major influences.
All the best,
Brian Setzer, formerly of the Stray Cats and now with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, has brought back to popular music the wonderful energy and twangy sound of rockabilly guitar. Does anyone know if he was influenced by by any rockabilly queens?
After reading enthusiastic postings in Yahoo! music chatrooms (which I now realize was rather unethical self-promotion by the producer and/or friends), I was all geared up for a comprehensive documentary on women and rockabilly. Instead, I endured an hour of dumbed-down entertainment. Serious music deserves more than this cute, pop-style treatment. It felt more like the "Lifetime" channel than ITVS/PBS!