|The Rollin' Rock Recordings Vol. 1, Ray Campi
Part Records PART-CD 613.004
This gem just dropped on my mat, made in Germany, sent from the USA by Mr. Ray Campi himself, signed to me, The BlackCat, with a short note saying "hope you like the new CD". Of course, like any and all rockabilly fans, I've always loved Ray's music! Just last week there was a nice discussion on Facebook, after Kevin Fennell (Ray's guitarman for 35 years or more) posted a picture of his Rollin' Rock LP collection. 40, while I only have 9 originals. So my guess is, not many of today's rockers and rockabillies own these classic albums, and that makes it a good thing that finally these gems are becoming available on CD. All recorded tracks of Ravenna & The Magnetics were released a while back (get it if you haven't already, it's brilliant) and this new Ray Campi CD has a promising title... Vol. 1 :-)
My BFF Wild Bob Burgos wrote the liner notes for this new album from his own experience with Ray, so there's no need for me to (re)write the story, I'll give you Bob's words to enjoy...
Liner notes by Wild Bob Burgos:
It was about this time that a whole wave of Rollin' Rock releases hit the shores of Britain from Rockabilly artists we were only lucky enough to hear on radio or certain record hops, and one in particular was the unforgetable Ray Campi, an illustrious, charismatic iconic figure who was known to many as one of the true kings of Rockabilly.
This guy really started something big throughout the Rock 'n' Roll scene in Europe, and when we heard that he was going to tour the U.K. for the very first time, fans flocked to crammed venues to see him. It was 1977 when the Original Rollin' Rock tour kicked-off and was a double billing with another Rockabilly giant... The iconic Mac Curtis who was also a Rockabilly artist in the 1950's. This was a wonderful, crazy time for avid Rockabilly fans throughout England, Europe and Scandinavia as they turned out in force to witness the start of the unforgetable Rockabilly Revival... It was on!!
This tour also established a benchmark for every Rockabilly band to follow including a couple of bands that I was playing with at the time namely 'Matchbox' and 'Shotgun'. I shall never forget my first meeting with Ray at
His stage presence has always been electric... With or without his Up-right Bass, but one thing that I've always admired about Ray Campi, is that he has always been loyal and truly dedicated to the Rockabilly movement. His music says it all and he has never failed to deliver, and of course he is a great guy too. He once said to me; "To accomplish anything worthwhile in music, one must make a firm commitment to it", and boy was he right... Great words from the master himself, and its not that I didn't know it at the time, but I've
Some of the many highlights I had back then wasn't just meeting Ray, it was also backing him up on drums too, and on one occasion at a different venue, Ray called me up on stage to duet with him on one of his numbers... it just happened to be my birthday and he didn't know it at the time, what a great gift that was.
Down that long Rock 'n' Roll road from the mid-1970's, 80's and 90's our paths crossed many times, and I've some great memories of giging with him at clubs, weekenders and festivals that I shall always cherish. Throughout my lifetime of Rockin' I consider myself fortunate to have worked with and backed-up some of the greatest Rock 'n' Roll pioneers of all time, and I count the great Ray Campi as one of them.
After Rollin' Rock's arrival to Europe, many thousands of new Rockin' fans joined the Rock 'n' Roll - Rockabilly movement, and I've heard it said many times over that the American revival might never have materialized without the efforts of Rockin' Ronny Weiser and his stable of Rockabilly artists. Ray Campi was one of the very first of those to record for Rollin' Rock in the mid-1970's, and enclosed here are just some of those rarities that Rocked the Rockabilly world back in those unforgetable halcyon days that will stay with me forever.
He was and always will be... The Original "Rockabilly Rebel"" !!
Ray Campi - Real Music
Additional notes by The BlackCat, 2013