Monday, August 3, 2009

We Lost A Treasure Today

In case you hadn't heard, we lost a legend today (8/2). Billy Lee Riley passed away after a long battle with cancer. He's a man who didn't end up with a lot of notoriety, like Elvis or Cash, but he was a fun energetic performer who always kept a smile on his face while onstage.

I had the pleasure of meeting Billy a couple of years ago while in Green Bay at a music festival. We discussed his life, music, and how Flying Saucer Rock And Roll was one of the most covered songs ever written. He said hundreds of artists had recorded covers of it and he was proud that there was a band who named themselves after his song. It was a fun kitschy almost punk-rock tune, especially for the 50's.

I told him I was adopting him as my grandfather after our conversation. He laughed, shook my hand, and we went our separate ways.

He may be passed, but his name will never be forgotten. I leave you with a performance of his back in 1980. If this doesn't turn you into a BLR fan, then you have no musical soul.

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