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Billy Lee Riley In Action!!!!

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Though best known for the classic rockabilly sides that he released on Sam Phillips’ Sun label in the late fifties, most notably “Red Hot" and “Flyin' Saucer Rockin' Roll'," Bill Lee Riley was a versatile performer who continued to demonstrate his nearly effortless command of country, blues and roots rock throughout his entire career. In Action! is an excellent, though fairly obscure release that finds Riley fronting a minimal rock trio in front of an appreciative audience in the mid ‘60s. Riley turns in propulsive covers of standards like “Goodnight Irene”, “Parchman Farm” and “House of The Rising Sun,” all of which feature the same furious guitar leads that characterized his work at Sun. It’s unfortunate that figures like Warren Smith, Sleeby LaBeef and Roscoe Gordon should be recognized only for their work for Phillips’ esteemed Memphis label rather than for the entirety of their recorded output. One of rock and roll’s original stylists, Riley continued to put out remarkable material until his death in 2009, and In Action! remains one of his best later works.


Born: October 5, 1933 in Pocohontas, AR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Billy Lee Riley was a rockabilly singer and multi-instrumentalist. An alumnus of Sun Records, he was one of the most crazed, unabashed rockers that label had to offer -- in the company of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Sonny Burgess, that's saying a lot. Proficient at harmonica, guitar, bass, and drums, Riley contributed as a sideman to many a classic Sun session, and his combo, the Little Green Men (most notably guitarist Roland Janes and drummer J.M. Van Eaton), in time became the Sun house...
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Billy Lee Riley In Action!!!!, Billy Lee Riley
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