Billy Lee Riley

Billy Lee Riley (October 5, 1933 – August 2, 2009) was an American rockabilly musician, singer, record producer and songwriter. His most memorable recordings included “Rock With Me Baby,” and “Red Hot.” Born the son of a sharecropper in Pocahontas, Arkansas, Riley learned to play guitar from black farm workers. After four years in the Army, Riley first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1955 before being lured to Sun Studios by Sam Phillips. He recorded “Trouble Bound” for Jack Clement and Slim Wallace. Sam Phillips obtained the rights and released “Trouble Bound” b/w “Rock With Me Baby” on September 1, 1956 (Sun 245). His first hit was “Flyin’ Saucers Rock and Roll” b/w “I Want You Baby,” released February 23, 1957 (Sun 260) with backing piano by Jerry Lee Lewis, after which he recorded “Red Hot” b/w “Pearly Lee,” released September 30, 1957 (Sun 277).

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