Billy Lee Riley …
one of the remaining original Sun Records artists, Is in VERY bad need of help! Billy has had his share of health problems, and is now battling Stage FOUR bone cancer. Although musicares is helping with house payment, car and such, He and Joyce are totally out of money and can barely afford to eat. This is a CALL FOR HELP to all musicians and fans. Please remember, twenty bucks from all of us would make a HUGE difference in Billy’s life! What if this was you? Let’s all get together and send something today to Billy and Joyce and show them that he means alot to us. If you have a website, a facebook or myspace, please post this need for help on it! We can’t save the world, but it will mean alot in Billy Lee’s life!
His Address is:
Billy Lee Riley
723 Crest Drive
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
The above was re-printed from Rockabilly Hall Of Fame site. Billy Lee Riley’s Flyin’ Saucers Rock and Roll was one of the first rockabilly 45’s I ever heard, it totally changed my life.
Some of his other classic Sun 45’s were Red Hot (this is an alternate take), and his first record, one of my very favorites– Rock With Me Baby b/w Trouble Bound. I saw him play at the Circle Bar Christmas Party in 2003 and he was incredible. If anyone of these old guys had the whole package to make it, it was Billy Lee Riley, unfortunately Sam Phillips only had the money to promote a couple of artists, so he chose Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, leaving Riley on the back burner. He managed to stay in music as a session man, then gradually staged a comeback and was a big draw on the international rockabilly circuit. Give the poor fella a hand.
5 thoughts on “Billy Lee Riley”
Thanks, Hound. A few years ago PBS or A&E ran a Sam Phillips bio which reunited a lot of ex-Sun perps, including the soon-to-leave us Rufus Thomas, Malcolm Yelvington, Rosco Gordon and Phillips himself. A great moment was Billy Lee confronting Sam with his decades-long gripe about Sam passing him over for the likes of Lewis and the hurt and bitterness (and possibly inebriation) in Riley’s manner and Sam’s reaction was a strange bit of spontaneous rock & roll history
Consider using http://www.kickstarter.com to raise money! If you'd like an invite, email me. email@example.com
Hound, posted this all over myspace and facebook land. Thanks.
“Consider using http://www.kickstarter.com to raise money!”I don't think the Riley's own a computer. They're scrapin' by just to get food, hence the primitive fund raising method.
Sorry to report that, as I was checking the obituary section (I tend to do that daily at my age), Mr Riley passed away on August 2. I'm sure that now, more than ever, donations would be helpful to defray costs.Here is a Washington Post article on Riley:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080302828.html