Rise and Shine
This year's Rock-A-Billy Festival features Johnny Cash's tour bus; a rendition of
'Blue Suede Shoes' in German and even more rockin' fun
By MARIANN MARTIN - Jackson Sun
you can sing the lyrics to Carl Perkins' 'Blue Suede Shoes' without a pause? Try it in
That is what West Tennesseans will hear when Hannes Strauss, who toured with Carl Perkins
in Europe, performs at Rock-A-Billy Fest 2006. Singing 'Blue Suede Shoes' in both English
and German, the Berlin native will put a different sound to the song that is as familiar
to most Jacksonians as fried catfish and cotton fields.
'It's definitely something different and unusual,' said Henry Harrison, organizer of the
event. 'Hannes Strauss and Carl Perkins were good friends and toured Europe together, so
we are very excited to have him as a part of Rock-A-Billy Fest this year.'
This year's International Rock-A-Billy Fest lineup includes Peter Myles from Montreal as
Narvel Felts, Jack Scott, Carl Mann,
The Tennessee Three and Jason Williams. The three-day event will also include the
induction of Jack Scott, Bob Wooten and Larry Cole into the International Rock-A-Billy
Hall of Fame. There will be an unveiling of three life-size portraits of famous rockabilly
stars. The tour bus used by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash during most of their years on
the road will be open to the public at no extra charge.
'It's going to be a fabulous festival,' Harrison said. 'We have 17 current and
stars coming to Jackson. The Tennessee Three, who are currently one of the hottest touring
groups in the world, have just finished a tour in Canada and the northern United States
and will be here.'
In addition to unveiling three new life-size portraits of rockabilly greats, the stage at
the Carl Perkins Civic Center will also showcase previously unveiled paintings. The oil
portraits, done by local artist Lendon Noe, include Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Sam
Phillips, WS Holland, Johnny Cash and Brenda Lee.
Noe, an art professor at Lambuth University for 24 years, was very excited when Harrison
first approached her with his idea of painting portraits of the great names in rockabilly
said I'd love to do it,' said Noe, who began the project four years ago. 'Who wouldn't
want to paint some of the greatest artists of all time? It has been a whole lot of fun but
a lot of work, too.'
Noe begins a painting by looking at photographs of the artist and deciding which likeness
would best represent him or her. She also decides what background to include in the
portrait. If the painting goes well and she is able to capture the likeness easily, she
can complete the painting in a week. But most of them take much longer.
'It just depends on a lot of factors,' Noe said. 'WS Holland was probably the most
difficult for me because I tried so hard to get it right. I am good friends with him and
taught his children, so I wanted it to be really good.'
'These amazing life-size portraits make an unusual background for the performers,'
Portait unveiled HERE