Thursday, August 31, 2006

Jumpin' Gene Simmons

Jumpin' Gene Simmons, Rockabilly singer and songwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi, has died at age 69 after a long illness. He was signed to the legendary Sun Records, owned by Sam Phillips who launched the careers of other Sun recording artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He was born in Itawamba County in 1937, and while he lived in Memphis for a short time, spent most of his life in Northeast Mississippi.

He wrote many rockabilly songs including Peroxide Blonde In A Hopped Up Model Ford, a version of which was recorded in later years by former Stray Cats lead singer Brian Setzer on his Rockabilly Riot Vol.1: A Tribute To Sun Records.

His best known recording was the 1964 Top 20 hit Haunted House, which has become a "standard" on the annual Treasure Island Oldies Halloween Spooktacular.

Gene Simmons R.I.P. - Keep on Jumpin' Gene!