Alvis Wayne with Tony Wayne & his Rhythm WranglersView in iTunes
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Although he's not necessarily the most renowned rockabilly artist, Alvis Wayne was an early contributor to the scene. Born in Puduka, TX, on December 31st, 1937, Wayne was part of a large family, and grew up very poor during the infamous Great Depression era. He was still a youngster when he discovered country and blues via the radio, especially such artists as Jimmie Rodgers, the Mississippi Blue Yodler, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, which lead to receiving his first guitar at the age of ten. By his 12th birthday, Wayne began playing nightclubs and honkey tonks, and when he was 20, he had joined a group called Tony Wayne & the Rhythm Wranglers, who issued a lone single in 1957. The group split up shortly thereafter, but Wayne continued to play with others leading to his own recording contract with Westport Records. In 1958, Wayne recorded an album's worth of tunes (although no full-length album was ever issued), and one of the tracks, "Don't Mean Maybe Baby," became a sizeable hit in southern Texas, which lead to constant touring around the Lone Star State. Wayne continued to record and tour until 1960, when he joined the U.S. Airforce. Wayne continued to record and tour once he completed his stay with the Airforce, and via record collectors, a cult following began to grow (especially in the U.K.) due to his under appreciated '50s singles. Nearly 40 years after his initial string of singles, a pair of Alvis Wayne full-length albums were finally released on the Rolling Rock label -- 2000's Rockabilly Daddy and 2001's Proud of My Rockabilly Roots. ~ Greg Prato
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