“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Saltillo in Hardin County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

W.S. "Fluke" Holland

— Tennessee Music Pathways —

W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Austin, September 25, 2020
1. W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker
Drummer W.S. "Fluke" Holland played on all of Carl Perkins' Sun Records recordings before becoming Johnny Cash's only drummer, working with him for 37 years.

Born in Saltillo, Tennessee, on April 22, 1935, Holland left in 1948. His father had died three year's earlier, and his mother remarried, moving the family to Bemis. In School, Holland began calling people "flukes", leading to his nickname, "Fluke".

In 1954, Holland saw the Perkins Brothers Band, who also lived in Bemis, now part of Jackson. He didn't play an instrument but hung out with them, working a day job as an apprentice air-conditioning technician. On the bandstand, Holland sometimes sat beside bassist Clayton Perkins, and on the up-tempo songs, he kept time by beating on the upright bass's curvature. In the wake of Elvis Presley's early success on Memphis-based Sun Records, Carl Perkins decided in September 1954 that he would also audition for Sun. Few country bands carried a drummer then, but Perkins wanted to reinforce the beat on his up-tempo, rockabilly songs, so he asked Holland to join the band.

Holland borrowed a drum kit and practiced
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for several days before they drove to Memphis. His trademark "backward" setup (hi-hat on the right, hitting the bass drum petal with his left foot) came from not knowing how a drum kit was customarily arranged.

Perkins' first two records sold poorly, but the third, "Blue Suede Shoes", became one of the rock 'n' roll era's first million-selling songs. In March 1956. Perkins was invited to perform on NBC's "Perry Como Show", but his band was involved in a car wreck driving to New York. Carl Perkins lost consciousness when he was thrown facedown in a water-filled ditch. Holland pulled him out.

In addition to Perkins' Sun recordings, Holland played on the acclaimed Million Dollar Quartet session at Sun when Perkins, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash played together for the first and only time. Although several of Perkins' songs including "Matchbox" became popular when recorded by the Betles and others, they were not as successful for Perkins upon release.

When Perkins, by then disillusioned and drinking heavily, left Sun in 1958. Holland remained with him another year. In 1958, Holland brought Jackson-area rock 'n' roll pianist Carl Mann to Sun, playing on his hit "Mona Lisa" and managing him until 1960.

After falling out with both Perkins and Mann, Holland married and took a job in Jackson as a land surveyor. Almost immediately,
W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Austin, September 25, 2020
2. W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker
Johnny Cash called him to join his band, and he became Cash's first and only drummer.

Holland played on Cash's celebrated Folsom and San Quentin prison concerts and on nearly every recording session from 1960 until Cash's retirement from the road in 1997. Between 1980 and 1997, Holland also acted as the group's road manager. Among other sessions, he played on the Statler Brothers' first hit. "Flowers on the Wall".

After Cash's retirement from touring, Holland formed his own bands to play country and rockabilly festivals and shows in North America and Europe.
Erected by Tennessee Music Pathways.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Music Pathways series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1956.
Location. 35° 22.688′ N, 88° 12.573′ W. Marker is in Saltillo, Tennessee, in Hardin County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (State Highway 69) and Wilkinson Street, on the right when traveling east on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saltillo TN 38370, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Marker (approx. 0.4 miles away); History of Sardis Cemetery (approx. 5.8 miles away);
W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Austin, September 25, 2020
3. W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker
Doe Creek Church and School (approx. 6.7 miles away); Dunbar Store (approx. 6.7 miles away); Doe Creek Cemetery (approx. 6.7 miles away); Doe Creek School (approx. 6.7 miles away); Dr. B.M. Brooks House (approx. 8 miles away); Site of Morris Chapel High School and Elementary School (approx. 8.8 miles away).
W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Austin
4. W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker
W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Austin
5. W.S. "Fluke" Holland Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2020, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 236 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 25, 2020, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee.   4, 5. submitted on December 14, 2019, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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May. 30, 2023