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Rock The Net

Englander Tom Ingram is King Of California when it comes to rockabilly – he’s the man behind the Viva Las Vegas festival in neighbouring Nevada, and also in charge of the expanding Vintage Rock tunes in…


The days of rock’n’roll svengalis such as Alan Freed and Dick Clark may be long gone, but there are still a few characters out there who aim to pull all the strings – and, indeed, push all the buttons. A perhaps-unlikely hero of keeping rockabilly alive in the USA (and now globally, too) is one-time Londoner Tom Ingram. Ingram is the brains behind the fabled Viva Las Vegas festivals that take place every spring, and also behind the expanding online radio station

He’s had practice at all this, though. After working his way up as a live DJ – from his Kent youth club, via DJ slots across the capital, to promoter of shows at the likes of London’s Town & Country Club – Ingram then established the Hemsby Weekenders in the UK. A few years later, Tom (and his now ex-wife) made the decision to relocate to California and the ongoing two-decade journey of Viva Las Vegas began.

VLV is now, of course, world-renowned and its 21st event in 2018 was as spectacular as ever, with a reunited Stray Cats topping the bill alongside Jerry Lee Lewis and Duane Eddy. That said, Ingram admits, “Every event has a limit to how far it can grow, and I personally think that limit has been reached. People ask: ‘How are you going to top this year’s event?’ My answer is, I don’t try. I’ve had all sorts of suggestions for acts and approaches too, and I’ve said no. People like Chris Isaak, Social Distortion… But it’s more important to me for Viva Las Vegas to be right rather than for it to be bigger.”

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About Vintage Rock

'Maybe Tomorrow?’ No, the new issue of Vintage Rock is out now and stars... Billy Fury! Our 20-page special includes an interview with his latter-day backing band Fury’s Tornados and Vince Eager recalls his part in the landmark new album ‘The Symphonic Sound Of Fury’. We also hear from The Beach Boys’ Mike Love and Bruce Johnston about how the legendary band made the transition from doo-wop-influenced rock’n’rollers to symphonic pop geniuses. Our Classic Album is ‘In Style With The Crickets’, an amazing triumph following the tragic death of Buddy Holly. We talk exclusively to Gary ‘US’ Bonds about his early days cutting hot R&B in Virginia, his comeback with Bruce Springsteen and his return to live shows. With a new CD and biography released, we revisit the career of Wee Willie Harris, British rock’n’roll’s strangest and smallest star. PLUS! We talk to the folks building and revamping 50s Jukeboxes, we hand-pick Sam Cooke’s Top 20 hits and speak to Jerry Lee’s sister Linda Gail Lewis. In our live reviews, we head to the Wildest Cats In Town weekender where Charlie Gracie reined supreme, plus there’s a memorable doo-wop reunion in London. And we visit the world of Rockabilly-Radio online.