The Rockabilly Legends: A Tribute to My Friends
“They called it Rockabilly Long Before They Called It Rock and Roll”
The 165-minute feature television documentary, The Rockabilly Legends: A Tribute to My Friends, a project six years in the making, was produced and written by Jerry Naylor, a personal friend to many of the rockabilly legends and former lead singer of The Crickets after the untimely death of Buddy Holly – introduced by actor, singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson, and co-hosted by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Red Robinson and Naylor. The story is masterfully narrated by game show pioneer and television icon Wink Martindale.
The documentary takes you on a unique journey from Rockabilly roots in the Depression-Era cotton fields of Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas, into the southern juke joints, honky-tonks, recording studios and rural churches, and onto the world’s stage, where their music gave birth to Rock ‘n’ Roll.
In this in-depth documentary, you will have the extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the story of the birth of early 50’s Rock and Roll through Rockabilly – its origins and impact on all music which followed. Journey through a cinematic treasury of live performance footage, vintage photographs and never-before-broadcast interviews with the legends, as well as exclusive commentary from friends, family, musicians and producers of the founding fathers of Rockabilly music – edited from over sixty hours of footage shot on location throughout the United States by Naylor and his film crew for this production.
The compelling story is told by the legends themselves – the pioneers of Rockabilly and Rock ‘n’ Roll—Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox, Gene Vincent, Johnny Horton, Bob Luman, Charlie Rich, The Johnny Burnette Trio and more– forever altered the musical world by combining elements of country, blues, hillbilly, gospel, African American spirituals and bluegrass music by these music giants.
Woven throughout the documentary is commentary from producers, family members, band members and other musicians– including John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June Carter Cash), Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), Sir Paul McCartney, Charlie Daniels, Billy Burnette (formerly of Fleetwood Mac and son of Dorsey Burnette) and music historian Bill Griggs–telling the story of how rockabilly was created and how its effects were felt not only in the U.S., but around the world. The documentary explains the incomparable influence of Sam Phillips and Sun Studios, Tillman Franks and the Louisiana Hayride, the Grand Ole Opry, and Norman Petty Studios and the growth of rockabilly in West Texas.