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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Withers Park in Danville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin

(1940–2007)

 
 
Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
1. Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker
Inscription. Born in Sutherlin, Rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin combined country influences with rhythm-and-blues singing, crossing musical boundaries and helping launch Rock and Roll. Singing and playing guitar, she won numerous talent contests before she was ten. Martin performed on radio for Danville’s WDVA Barn Dance and Richmond’s Old Dominion Barn Dance. She recorded for RCA Victor, 1956-1958, and cut the classic “Drugstore Rock and Roll” and Top-40 hit “Will You, Willyum.” Dubbed the “Female Elvis,” she performed on American Bandstand, the Tonight Show, the Grand Ole Opry, and then throw out Europe and the United States after the 1980s Rockabilly revival.
 
Erected 2010 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number U-52.)
 
Location. 36° 33.425′ N, 79° 27.476′ W. Marker is in Withers Park, Virginia, in Danville. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (Business U.S. 29) and Holcolm Street, on the right when traveling north on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danville VA 24541, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Saponi Religious Beliefs Explained (was
Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
2. Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker
approx. 1.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Schoolfield (approx. 2 miles away); Andrew Jackson Montague (approx. 3.1 miles away); Frederick Delius (approx. 3.4 miles away); Stratford College (approx. 3.4 miles away); Lady Astor Birthplace (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Gibson Girl / Lady Astor (approx. 3.4 miles away); Holbrook-Ross Historic District (approx. 3.5 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Janis Martin - "Will You Willyum" (1956). Writing her first song in the age of 14, Janis Martin was a Rock'n'Roll an Rockabilly enthusiast from earliest age on. This song was sent as a demo to RCA and started her career in 1956. It reached Billboard #34. (Submitted on June 19, 2017.) 

2. Janis Martin - Drugstore Rock And Roll 1956.
Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
3. Rockabilly Pioneer Janis Martin Marker
Janis Darlene Martin (March 27, 1940—September 3, 2007) was an American rockabilly and country music singer. She was one of the few women working in the male-dominated rock and roll music field during the 1950s and one of country music's early female innovators. Martin was nicknamed the Female Elvis for her dance moves on stage, similar to those of Elvis Presley. (Submitted on June 19, 2017.) 

3. Wikipedia entry for Janis Martin. “The WRVA station announcer, Carl Stutz, wrote a song called ‘Will You Willyum,’ and asked Janis to sing the song live on stage that Saturday night so he could make a demo tape and send to his publisher in New York. A week after the recording, Stutz called Janis that RCA Victor was interested in recording ‘Will You Willyum.’ As it happened, the publisher offered the song to Steve Sholes, producer at RCA Victor and asked whether Sholes had an artist to record ‘Will You Willyum.’ Apparently Sholes replied, ‘Well, who’s the girl doin’ the demo?’ At age 15, Martin signed with RCA Victor in March 1956, just two months after Elvis Presley joined the label. She recorded ‘Will You Willyum’ on March 8, 1956, backed by her own composition, ‘Drugstore Rock 'n Roll.’ ” (Submitted on June 19, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 19, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 59 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 19, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
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