Andy Anderson, Mississippi's Main Stay

One of the main stays of Mississippi rockabilly is Andy Anderson. Born into a Plantation owning family near Clarksdale, from the age of 10, Andy was listening to Saturday afternoon Live shows on the Plantation, given by artists like Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. During a Christmas holiday in 1951 Andy's mother Elizabeth suggested that Andy could do well playing & singing as a sideline and they promptly went to Memphis to buy a guitar. Andy listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night, learning some of the songs, with his mother's encouragement, who, in turn played piano, sang and composed. The untimely death of Andy's mother in 1953 signalled the end of any family support. Andy's first band 'The Rolling Stones' was formed in 1954 at Mississippi State University and included Joe Tubb, 'Cuz' Covington, Bobby Lyon, James Aldridge and Roy Estess.

The band played all around the Campus and neighbouring towns, but by 1956 their popularity was so great that management was needed. At this point, Jimmy Ammons of Delta Records and Mabel McQueen of Pine-Sol fame contracted the Rolling Stones. This arrangement worked well for a year at which point the Stones decided to made the trip North to Memphis to record at the Sun Recording Studios with Jack Clement engineering. The band paid for the session themselves, but offered the original recordings of "Johnny Valentine" and "Tough, tough, tough" to Sam Phillips for release on Sun, an offer that was refused.

1957 found the band signing with Murray Nash Associates in Nashville who signed the band to Felsted records, a subsidiary of London Records. "Johnny Valentine" was re-recorded with studio musicians and became a hit. The next release turned up on Apollo records from New York. Shopped by Murray Nash "You shake me up" was extremely popular in the New York State area. The Band played on Dick Clark's Bandstand and had an appearance on the Alan Freed show in Philadelphia