Friday, September 18, 2015

Ray Campi...The Rollin' Rock Singles Collection

Rockabilly wildman, Ray Campi, recorded several classic singles during the music's prime era in the 1950's, and later staged a comeback that earned him a substantial cult audience over the '70s and '80s. Campi was born in New York in 1934 and moved with his family to Austin, TX, at age ten. He started listening to country music, learned the guitar, and formed his first band in high school, which played on local radio stations. Campi made his first recordings in 1951, but it wasn't until 1956, when he cut the single "Caterpillar" b/w "Play It Cool" for the small TNT label, that any of them were released.

Ray Campi formed his first band - Ramblin' Ray and The Ramblers, way back in 1949. He has been playing his brand of American Roots Music on stages all over the world ever since. Though his repertoire includes a substantial dose of Country and Western Swing, it is among Rockabilly enthusiasts that Ray has gained his legendary status. Around 1973, Campi hooked up with Ronny Weiser's revivalist Rollin' Rock label and started making new recordings in the classic, high-energy rockabilly style. A steady stream of albums followed into the '80s, which also brought a couple of sets for Rounder, 1980's Rockin' at the Ritz and 1986's Gone, Gone, Gone!. Campi continued to record into the new millennium, releasing occasional albums on his own label.

Not only did he cut records which are now regarded as Rockabilly classics in the genre's 1950's heyday, he was partly responsible for sparking the 1970's/80's Rockabilly Revival.