LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Fans of rockabilly music are expected in Newport, Arkansas, this week to pay tribute to Sonny Burgess, who combined rhythm and blues, gospel and country riffs to help create a new sound more than 60 years ago.
Burgess died last week in Little Rock at age 88, but those who saw him perform with his band, The Legendary Pacers, in the weeks before his death said he appeared a much younger man on stage.
Pacers' drummer Bobby Crafford says the band members played from their hearts, which took them from the honkytonks of eastern Arkansas to performances with breakout superstars like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. The Pacers enjoyed a renaissance in Europe over the past 20 years.
Visitation is set for Thursday at the Silver Moon club in Newport.