Past Performances

Marvin Rainwater at Hemsby, England..a review

            It was now time for the headliner of the night, namely Marvin Rainwater. Backed up by The Hemsby house band with the lead guitar work being handled in a superb manner Antonio Coni, it was straight into 'Love Me Baby (Like There's No Tomorrow)' and it was quickly apparent that we were in for a magical performance. After singing his 1958 UK number one hit 'Whole Lotta Woman', Marvin commented that he was then 34 years old and told that he was too old to be a rock 'n' roll star. Now 80 years old ­ he declared that he still loved to rock 'n' roll. Believe me; he was rockin' out with the best.
             With very little gap between numbers, he proceeded with 'Baby, Don't Go', 'I Dig You Baby' and 'My Brand of  Blues'. All quality songs performed in the best possible rock 'n' roll manner. You may get the correct impression that I was really enjoying this! Following an inspired 'Mr. Blues', he then advised his favourite place in the UK was 'Newcastle Town' and the reason for this was his favourite drink Newcastle Brown. He then sang a tribute in the form of 'Me And Newkie Brown' before delivering a devastating 'Dance Me Daddy' that was originally titled 'Rock Me' before the record company decided that this was too suggestive. Marvin's singing voice was in great shape and he had a lovely guttural edge to the vocals, especially on the song 'Rockin' Down The Wall' that he had previously advised was to be on his new CD but which has yet to appear ­ Marvin, I am waiting.. The set closed out with a new number 'Rockabilly Music Is Coming Down' and the classics 'Boo Hoo' and 'Hot And Cold'. Forget the 'Starvin' Marvin' tag as based on this performance; it has to be 'Marvin the Magnificent'.

Friday, May 9th 2003
Marvin slayed 'em at Hemsby 30

A wild rockabilly show was in store for all the fans attending Hemsby 30. Marvin took the stage and ruled it . Swaying side by side, shoulder to shoulder with the Hemsby House band, the place rocked. All of Marvin's great rockabilly numbers... Hot and Cold,  Mr. Blues, Roving Gambler, Whole Lotta Woman, Boo Hoo, Gonna Find Me a Bluebird, Dance Me Daddy, Rockin Down the Walls, The Rockabilly King, Baby Don't Go .. and many more.

According to reporters present, Marvin really outdid himself this time. Absolutely  his greatest Rockabilly show yet! He keeps Rockin, and keeps improving. Truly a pioneer of the genre, Marvin showed the kids and veterans alike what real Rockabilly is . Wild , but controlled...emotional , well written lyrics put to a beat that can not quit! Hey! Hey! That's our man...The Rockabilly King and  the Cadillac Band!!  Thanks to all the folks at Hemsby for presenting Marvin Rainwater once again!

A Smash Performance  August 11, 2002
Oneida "Rockin 50's Fest"

August 11. 2002 was a great day in the history of Rockabilly. At The Oneida "Rockin 50's Fest", after terrific sets by "The Crickets", and then by "The Original Comets",
Marvin Rainwater took the stage.
Not only did he take it, he owned it.
With Rockabillies from all over the world standing 40 deep at the stage, "Da Rockabilly King"  ran through his repertoire of Swingin, Rockabilly Classics. Amazing energy, terrific phrasing and downright excitement permeated Marvin's performance.

Marvin Rainwater Rocks The Gold Coast!
Las Vegas Deluged with Rainwater
Gold Coast Hotel Severely Rocked
By Mike MacRae

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly  Weekender
April 13, 2001

Friday the 13th was a lucky day for thousands of slap-happy Marvin Rainwater fans who caught his wild 45-minute set during this year's Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. This year's VLV took place April 12-15 at Vegas's Gold Coast hotel. As the festival's Friday night headliner, Marvin showed the throng of frenzied fans from around the world why he is regarded as a rockabilly and country music legend. Backed by Big Sandy's awesome Fly-Rite Boys, Marvin peeled off rousing renditions of his classic 1950s recordings, and threw in a couple of surprises to boot.

The following report is kinda light on the particulars of Marvin's set itself; I didn't know beforehand that I'd be invited to write this review so I didn't take notes or anything. However, I hope the write-up and the accompanying photos give you a feel not only for what it's like to see Marvin on stage but also what these Viva Las Vegas events are all about. So with that out of the way, here we go!

Courtesy Mike and Jan MacRae

After a heartfelt introduction by Big Sandy himself (the crown prince of today's rockabilly/western swing movement), Marvin hit the stage decked out in a snakeskin shirt, leather vest, and a trademark native American bolo. Ever the gentleman, he spent a good long time shaking hands with the hardcore fans (like me) who elbowed their way up front. The Fly Rite Boys (with a fellow by the name of Shorty guest-slapping the stand-up bass and new addition Jimmy Roy on the steel guitar) kept things rolling while Marvin said his hellos. This band has backed up the likes of Janis Martin, Lew Williams, and Wanda Jackson on the VLV stage, and each of these veteran performers clearly appreciated the support of such capable, world-class players. Marvin even compared the picking of lead guitarist Ashley Kingman to that of Roy Clark, who laid down the original licks on many of Marvin's classic MGM records.

Marvin proceeded to blaze through all of the rockinest numbers from his sizable songbook - "Hot and Cold," "Mr. Blues," "Whole Lotta Woman," "I Dig You Baby," and of course his signature tune, "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird." Marvin was in fine voice that night, and was clearly having a heck of a good time careening through the classics. Hit after hit was met with a huge ovation from fans who, like me, figured they'd probably never get to see this one-of-a-kind artist on stage. Marvin Rainwater comes off as a down-to-earth, completely unpretentious guy who loves his music, his fans, and the world in general; this all came through loud and clear in his performance.

Marvin has always blurred the lines between pop, country, rock, and folk while dreaming up some of the quirkiest lyrics ever put to a bopping beat. As you'd expect at a rockabilly festival, Marvin's set showcased his more up-tempo numbers, leaving some of his ballads and straight-ahead country tunes for another night. I also heard fans calling out for cult favorites like "Get Off The Stool," "Down in the Cellar," and "Albino (Pink Eyed) Stallion," but there was no way to include every single gem in such a short stretch of time. Marvin did debut one new number, and although I didn't catch the title, it went over so well he did it again as an encore. He also gave a repeat performance of "Hot and Cold," with Ashley Kingman plunking out the opening notes of "Rockabye Baby" before yielding to drummer Bobby Trimble's pounding intro. It rocked, it rolled, and man I'm sold! Marvin later said he had so much fun he couldn't talk for three days. If he had half as much fun as the crowd did, then it was worth  it!

Courtesy Mike and Jan MacRae

One of the best traditions at Viva Las Vegas is the autograph table, where the stars mix and mingle with the fans they have just destroyed. Marvin was very gracious in signing all sorts of memorabilia lugged to Las Vegas from around the world (he was even more gracious after the organizers finally brought him a Newcastle Brown Ale!). After we scored our autograph and said hey to Marvin and Sheree, my wife and I were thrilled to meet the great Patty Rainwater, who was there to root her brother on. We are both big fans of the songs Patty wrote and/or recorded with Marvin, especially and some of her solo numbers. We also love the song she wrote for Marvin called "Crazy Love," "Can I Count on Your Love?,""Down in the Cellar." Marvin didn't seem to consider that particular tune one of his personal career highlights, but we think it's pretty cool. Someday it would be great to see Marv and sister Patty on stage again doing some of their killer duets. Meanwhile, I'm hoping some rockabilly record company gets busy recording both of these talented Rainwaters and puts some new material on the market pronto!   

Viva LasVegas 4 Poster,  April 12-15, 2001

Thanks to performances like Marvin's, I'm sure Viva Las Vegas will continue for a long time to come. Keep rocking, Marvin!

     Viva Las Vegas
Photo Album
April 2001

                        Marvin & Band in Las Vegas

Marvin & Band in Las Vegas

                           Courtesy Melissa Arenz

Marvin & Melissa Arenz - Now Dig This Magazine

 Marvin in Vegas with Twila Ingram & Patty Rainwater 
              with  newest fan  Jovial Ingram 

Marvin & Sheree in Vegas
 & Patty Rainwater

Marvin in Vegas - Photo by Glynnis Jones

Marvin was featured on

APRIL 21, 2001

There were lots of songs and an in depth interview! It was on the internet and world wide on short wave radio!

Legends Fest
Saturday, June 16, 2001
LCO Casino, Haywood, WI
Marvin stared along with Dave Dudley, Jack Greene, Stonewall Jackson and Tommy Cash. It was a sellout show! Great job, legends! Traditional country still draws big!

Marvin Does It Again!

Marvin Rainwater Stars
Midsummer Jamboree
Rock and Roll Festival

Honkalu, Aitoo Finland
June  22nd and 23rd, 2001

AMERICANA July 7, 2001
Marvin Rainwater was the feature attraction at Americana 2001
Britain's Premiere Music Festival !!
Many thousands of Music Fans attended to see and hear great entertainers from the USA, Britain, and all over Europe. On Saturday, July 7, Marvin stole the show! Here is what the British press had to say!

A legend of Rock, multi million seller MGM Star, Marvin Rainwater, whose career was launched in 1955, has not lost his touch, singing rock and soulful ballads. His work capitalises on his Cherokee ancestry, which he showed with some real Indian songs. Marvin was ably backed by the members of our Welsh group The Rimshots, who also did a few sixties numbers.

From "Country Music People"

Topping the bill was a 76-year-old veteran of country and rockabilly music, Marvin Rainwater; and his energy levels and his continuing enthusiasm were a lesson for everybody. Marvin just seems to enjoy life itself and never had a negative word to say about anything throughout the weekend. He was superbly backed by the Rimshots, whose regular line-up now includes Mandy Davidson, their fairly new bass player; and for this show they were augmented by guest sax player, Mark Watson. Marvin played a mainly rockabilly set, opening with "Love Me Baby" and "Rock Me Daddy." His voice is as good as ever and the set was only slightly marred by some discordant feedback which the sound men were never able to remedy. Interspersed with his classic MGM recordings like "Mr. Blues", "Whole Lotta Woman" and '"Lonesome Blues", Marvin mixed in John Fogerty's "Proud Mary" along with a trio of newly-written songs of which "Rocking Down The Walls" scored best. He did briefly slow the pace for his 1957 ballad, "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird", before revving it up to demonstrate what the song would have sounded like if he'd cut it as a rockabilly number. The crowd watching Marvin was the biggest of the Festival  as everybody seemed to have deserted the other stages. One girl at the front had her finger on the pulse as she repeatedly called for her favorite song, and a roar of expectation erupted as he finally tore into the ever-popular 'Boo Hoo'. Marvin Rainwater is a performer who understands precisely what his audience wants and, as he closed out his show with "Roving Gambler", "Hot And Cold" and "Hey Good Lookin", he received recompense from the crowd for a fine, entertaining display.

Afterwards the Rimshots set the mood with some good rockin' country and western swing before it was time for the granddaddy of country rockabilly , Marvin Rainwater. He may have a few years on the clock but he came on to a tremendous welcome and many fans had come especially to pay homage to a living legend! You would not believe the energy of this man in his 70s and he included all his biggies like "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird", "Baby Don't Go" and his UK No. One and world-wide hit "Whole Lotta Woman". After  an encore it was the end of a perfect day.

Marvin Rainwater
Sweden's Rockabilly King
November 1987
International Rock' n' Roll Festival

Marvin Rainwater was summoned by the Rockabilly fans of Europe to bring his brand of music to the masses. "Henryetta" had just topped the charts in many parts of Europe, adding yet another gem to Marvin's vault of hits.

The people were ready.

The crowd was prepared.

It was time for the Coronation!

Marvin was to become "The Rockabilly King". Shows all around the area brought huge crowds of screaming Rainwater fans.

Folks were dancing to "Henryetta" blaring from the trunks of their cars, dancing in the streets and on the parking lots! Fans were playing "Whole Lotta Woman" and "I  Dig You Baby" on their boomboxes and walkmens. Marvin Rainwater took his rightful place on the Rockabilly Throne!

Long Live the King!!

International Rock' n' Roll Festival  November 1987
"Rock and Roll....Rock and Roll
can't stand still for to save my soul"
Marvin, Ben Wages, Teddy Hill, Jimmy
Wages - The King & His Court!
Joneoping, Sweden Nov. 14, 1987



 © 2006 Marvin Rainwater