I started this blog about 6 years ago but eventually let it go fallow. I had recently been thinking about resurrecting it, but it took a sad headline to prompt be to get off my ass and finally do it. Billy Lee Riley is one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. One of the original Sun Recording artists, he played a wild, frantic brand of rockabilly that is still relevant 50 years later. Of course, his best known song was 1957's "Flyin' Saucers Rock and Roll," arguably one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time. Seriously.
Anyway, Billy Lee Riley has fallen on hard times. A post by the also legendary Charlie Musselwhite has been making the rounds, I picked it up from the Anti Records blog who got it from Tom Waits, which gives you a sense of how far this guy's impact was felt. I am reprinting it as is:
Riley is 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