Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

Crossing Borders with Roy Hockley

by Gary Johnson

For a ten-year period from 1958 through 1967, the top nightspot in Bay City, Michigan, was Art Narlock’s Empire Show Bar. The biggest attraction at the club during the 1960’s was a Canadian rock and roll band billed as Roy Hockley and The Chessmen featuring Joie Jaye. Playing six nights per week, the band routinely packed the house at the Show Bar before Narlock’s business began to crumble due to financial difficulties that were rumored to be the result of gambling debts caused by heavy losses at Las Vegas casinos.

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2014 MRRL Voting Results

MRRL's 2014 vote ended at the stroke of midnight on June 1st.  Benny & The Jets from Detroit finshed in first by a wide margin in the popular vote for the online Hall of Fame.  The Chentelles from Fennville, MI, finished second; Michael Katon from Hell, MI, came in third; and Detroit's Marshall Crenshaw was fourth in the balloting.

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Elvis: In The Beginning...

by Gary Johnson

On July 5, 2014, rock and roll music celebrated its 60th birthday. Why was that date selected as the birth of rock and roll? Most rock music historians would undoubtedly claim that the much-disputed first rock and roll song was recorded well before that date.


The reason is Elvis Presley. It was on that day in July that Presley, along with guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black and Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, recorded “That’s All Right” in Memphis. This event turned out to be the “big bang” of rock and roll and hailed the emergence of the artist who would define this new genre of music like no other.

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