Johnny Olenn, Just Rockin' And Rollin'

Johnny Olenn started his carreer in the early fifties, playing steel guitar in the band of "Eddie Dugosh & The Ah-Ha Boys" in San Antonio, Texas. In 1954 he got his own band together called The Jokers and in 1955 he cut his first two 45 rpm records for the San Antonio based TNT label. In 1956 when moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and was playing at the Hacienda Hotel, he got a proposel to perform in the 1956 rock 'n' roll movie "The Girl Can't Help It" and he also got a recording contract with Liberty Records that same year.

On Liberty he cut one 45 rpm record and one album called "Just Rollin' With Johnny Olenn". This album was re-released in 1973 on ACE Records (UK). Then in 1957 he left Liberty Records to sign up with Buck Ram's Antler, Dee-Gee and Personality labels, for which he cut several 45 rpm records. He also performed that year in the Warner Brothers movie "Born Reckless". After that it became quiet around Johnny Olenn on the record scene, while however, he kept performing in Las Vegas hotel lounges and in Bakersfield, California.

Then in 1983 the Belgium label Mac Records traced and contacted him and persuaded him to make his first European performance ever and this happened on Octobre 13th, 1984 in Aulnoye/Aymeries, France. His success was tremendous and that same month he cut his first 45 rpm record for Mac Records and this would become the beginning of a new recording career.

He returned to Europe in March 1986, to do three concerts in Bristol (UK), Aulnoye/Aymeries (France) - where he shared the bill with Johnny Carroll and Judy Lindsey - and Eindhoven (Holland), where he appeared in the same show as Sonny Burgess. Johnny was so impressed with his visit to the rocking town of Eindhoven that he later wrote and recorded the song "Eindhoven Rocks". His second visit to Europe also resulted in a new 45rpm record release on Mac Records.

Johnny enjoyed playing in Europe, probably because in Europe he usually played before an all rock 'n' roll audience, something completely different of course from a casino hotel lounge. He returned to Europe again in 1987, this time he double-billed with Mickey Hawks in Lummen (Belgium) and he also did a show in Amsterdam (Holland). During this last tour plans were made to cut an entire album for Mac Records, but this time the recording session would take place in Las Vegas with Johnny's own band with Jay Orlando on saxophone, Bobby Gene Baker on bass, Larry Walker on piano, Bobby Countryman on drums, and of course with Johnny on lead guitar. The album was cut in Octobre 1987 with Johnny's voice sounding still as sweet and energetic as ever and he surely is a great entertainer and showman.

Johnny Olenn & The Jive Aces at Hemsby, 2003

Courtesy of Mac Records

MAC Records
P.O. Box 8
3620 Belgium
Tel: +32-89-713415