Extend your First Thursday fun by joining us to hear Marvin Schwartz present his new book We Wanna Boogie: The Rockabilly Roots of Sonny Burgess and the Pacers. Following the book presentation, we'll have music performed by Nick Shoulders.
Rock and roll pioneer and Newport native Sonny Burgess is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In this book full of personal interviews and remembrances, Burgess and his band tell of their original recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s; their shows with greats such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis; and their success in the contemporary rockabilly revival. This also is the history of a once prominent and spirited Delta community of extensive agricultural wealth. Newport was home to numerous music clubs that hosted national artists as well as illicit backroom gambling. Burgess is a product of this history, and his vivacious music is shaped by his hometown and the dramatic transformation of southern rural life it witnessed.
Marvin Schwartz is a freelance writer who specializes in Arkansas history and culture. He has worked as a journalist, educator, speechwriter, and grant writer and has directed nonprofit organizations. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Arkansas.