Who was/is Joe Clay ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
In a brief recording career spanning just one solitary month in the Spring of 1956, Joe Clay cut this collection of savage, wild, primeval rockabilly music. He never came close to achieving hit status, despite an appearance on American TV's prestigious Ed Sullivan Show and his contract with Vik Records, a subsidiary of RCA Victor, was never renewed. He seemed destined to be no more than a footnote in rock 'n' roll history but the quality of his work would not allow him to be completely forgotten
By the early Eighties his old records were changing hands at alarming prices and reissues on RCA (GB) and Bear Family introduced his name to a new audience born too late to rock 'n' roll the first time round. But just who was Joe Clay and where was he to be found? Nobody even knew if he was dead or alive and European fans could only pour over the one known photo of Joe - a faded, indistinct black and white print of him standing alongside Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride.
As the years passed Joe Clay acquired cult status. His music was just too good to be ignored and British promoters searched high and low for him. Eventually he was found playing in a local band in New Orleans under his real name of Claiborne Joseph Cheramie. Music had become only a sideline because Joe Clay, the snarrling rockabilly singer, now earned his living as a school bus driver, cruising the Jefferson Parish School bus route 418 through Gretna, Louisiana.
Joe's re-emergence became a major news story right across America and he was interviewed, and even photographed astride his bus, guitar in hand. They even talked of filming his life story. Promoter, Willie Jeffery, brought him to Europe where he played to capacity crowds in England, Holland and Sweden. Further tours have followed and a whole new career opened up to Joe, all because of these timeless nuggets of pure rockabilly gold. Sixteen Chicks, Ducktail, Slipping Out And Sneaking In - classic records that should be a part of everybody's collection.