‘The Roots of Rockabilly’

January 31st, 2011 at 11:11 am

Mark Wallace poses with some of the memorabilia in a new exhibit honoring his grandfather. Photo by FLIP PUTTHOFF, NWA Media

Rockabilly music, says Mark Wallace, makes him feel alive.

But it took the death of his grandfather, Ronald ‘Slim’ Wallace, to figure that out.

In the years following Slim Wallace’s death, the younger Wallace found stacks of records in the attic of his grandfather’s home. They came from a time when Slim operated Fernwood Records, a rockabilly label based in Memphis, Tenn.

Among the albums is a million-selling hit by Thomas Wayne, “Tragedy,” and many other records of historical significance.

Wallace has dedicated his time to helping his grandfather’s legacy achieve recognition, and he’s working to assemble a museum exhibition to commemorate the man and his love for music. That exhibit will open Saturday (Feb. 5) at the Rogers Historical Museum in downtown Rogers and will highlight many of the songs and memories that were a big part of Slim’s life.

Mark Wallace chatted with me about his grandfather and the albums the Paragould native recorded after moving to Memphis. You can read about it in Friday’s What’s Up! section. [Note: Subscriber content.]

Wallace will also stage a rockabilly concert to coincide with the opening of the exhibit. The show will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 and will include performances by Mark Wallace and the Dixie Ramblers, Ramon Maupin, who recorded on the Fernwood label, the Sin City Scoundrels and The Dusters.

Admission to the show, which will take place in the Victory Theater in downtown Rogers, is $25-$35.

Admission to the gallery, which will be open through March 15, is free.