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After one number one hit record, Dickerson offers more million sellers

By Jon Johnson, December 1999

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"The tour was a lot of fun for us. One night we're playing bars in front of a hundred people, (then) the next three months we were playing large halls and theaters in front of thousands of people. And they really liked us! We sold a couple thousand CDs on that tour."

Is there a chance, then, that rockabilly has a chance in the mainstream once people are exposed to it? Dickerson is skeptical.

"I've heard a lot of talk about rockabilly being 'the next Swing,' but don't believe it. The only reason swing got so big is because normal people can relate to cigars, martinis, 'dressing up nice,' and easy listening music. Normal people can't relate to wild rhythms, hiccup-laden vocals and the rocking lifestyle in general. I think rockabilly can have a much bigger audience than it's had in 40 years, but a mainstream revival? Nah. Probably better for the long run. Today's crazes usually turn into yesterday's fads."

Unknown to many people who have only heard of him in the last year or so, Dickerson has also operated a small record label over the past several years, Ecco-Fonic Records, releasing a number of 7" 45s and EPs while trying to replicate 1950's production methods.

"Well, Ecco-Fonic was started because I had so many creative ideas flowing through my brains and nowhere to go with them. I started putting out guitar instrumental records by myself and some of my buddies like (Finnish guitarist) Lester Peabody, (High Noon guitarist) Sean Mencher, etc. Then I really got into releasing rare and unreleased stuff from the '50's, like Jimmy Bryant's 'Ha-So.' Lately I've put a few modern groups on the label that I really like; the Horton Brothers, (and) Smith's Ranch Boys. I've been too busy in the last year to do much, but the next release will be a CD compilation of about 75 percent of the songs from all 12 singles, and a bunch of unreleased stuff."

As for future plans, Dickerson plans to devote much of the next year to touring, lacking the time to involve himself in other projects to the degree he has in the past.

"I have so many projects to work on, but no time. The only thing I have in mind for the near future is perhaps recording (Boston rockabilly act) the Raging Teens. They're a great band. I'd love to record them with the right equipment. I was (also) trying to get a project together with Ella Mae Morse and Carl Sonny Leyland, but Ella Mae just died. What a drag."

"Our tour plans for the next year are basically the same as last year; get in front of as many people as we can. Whether that's in the form of a hundred people at a bar or a thousand people doesn't matter."

"The nice thing about our band is once people see us live they love us, but the drawback is that we have to keep up our frantic pace to keep paying our bills at home!"

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