Lee Rocker

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Lee Rocker
Lee rocker.jpg
Lee Rocker at Uptown Theatre, July 2007
Background information
Birth nameLeon Drucker
Born (1961-08-03) August 3, 1961 (age 58)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
GenresPop, Rock, Blues, Rockabilly
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsDouble Bass
Years active1979–present
Labels33rd Street, AFM, Alligator
Associated actsStray Cats, Phantom, Rocker & Slick, Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore
Websitewww.leerocker.com

Lee Rocker (born Leon Drucker, August 3, 1961) is an American double bass player. He is a member of the rockabilly band The Stray Cats.

He is the son of the classical clarinetists Stanley Drucker (the retired principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra) and Naomi Drucker. His sister Roseanne is a country music singer-songwriter.[1] As a child, he played the cello and later learned bass guitar.

Career[edit]

Drucker's school friends included James McDonnell and Brian Setzer.[2] The three of them played together regularly and widened their musical interests to include the blues and rockabilly. Drucker also learned to play the double bass to incorporate the sounds of blues and rockabilly on the acoustic instrument. The three of them formed the group The Stray Cats in 1979.[3] McDonnell took on the stage name of "Slim Jim Phantom", and Drucker devised his own stage name to "Lee Rocker". Rocker evolved his own style of slap-bass playing with the group.[4]

Rocker and the Stray Cats sold nearly 10 million albums and garnered twenty three gold and platinum certified records worldwide, and made them a mainstay on MTV.[5][6][7] In addition to Stray Cats, Lee Rocker and Phantom Rocker and Slick albums, Rocker has recorded or performed with Carl Perkins, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, and Scotty Moore.[8] Rocker was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982, as was his father, they are the second father-son duo to be nominated for a Grammy in the same year.[9][10] He considered to be an influential upright bassist in Rock n' Roll.[11]

Lee Rocker performing at Memphis International Rockabilly Festival, August 2015

Accompanied by Slim Jim Phantom and guitarist, Earl Slick, Rocker formed the band Phantom, Rocker & Slick and recorded two albums for EMI Records titled Phantom, Rocker and Slick and Cover Girl. The song "Men Without Shame" landing Rocker back on MTV and in the charts.[12] For Black Top Records, Rocker released the albums Big Blue (1994) and Atomic Boogie Hour (1995). He has also recorded for Alligator Records.[13]

He released the album, Bulletproof, in 2003. His other albums included Black Cat Bone, released in August 2007, which featured Brophy Dale on guitar and Jimmy Sage on drums.[14] Buzz Campbell (Hot Rod Lincoln and Sha Na Na) joined the band three years ago and gave them a Gretsch guitar sound. In 2011 Lee released an EP called "The Cover Sessions" which features cover versions of songs such as the John Lennon/Paul McCartney song "Come Together," Elton John's, "Honky Cat," and The Allman Brothers song "Ramblin Man."[15] In addition to recording and touring, Rocker has hosted a radio show on KXFM-LP called 'Rumble and Twang with Lee Rocker.'[16] Lee Rocker joined the cast of the Broadway hit "Million Dollar Quartet" as bassist Clayton Perkins, the brother of Sun Records recording artist Carl Perkins in a twelve-show run from January 21 through 31, 2011. He topped off the show with a special encore performance with the cast and an appearance on New York Today.[17]

Lee Rockers latest band Consist of a 4 piece. Lee Rocker (Lead Vocal and Upright Bass) , Buzz Campbell (Electric Guitar & Banjo), Larry Mitchel (Drums) and Joey “Eights” Guevara (Piano, Harmonica, Acoustic Guitar). Lee’s latest album “The LOW Road” was recorded live with his 4 piece band at Daryl's House in Pawling, NY (a listening room venue owned by Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates). It was released via digital streaming on August 9, 2019

After a ten-year Stray Cats hiatus, Rocker reunited on stage with Setzer and Phantom in 2018 at the Viva Las Vegas Festival and a 2019 summer world tour was recently announced. [18] The Stray Cats released their tenth studio album "40" in May of 2019.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Lee Rocker was born Leon Drucker in Massapequa, Long Island, NY on August 3, 1961[20] He is the son of the classical clarinetists Stanley Drucker and Naomi Drucker. Stanley Drucker was the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and played with Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland.[21] His sister Roseanne is a country music singer-songwriter.[22]

At age 12 Lee picked up the electric bass[23] but quickly developed a preference for playing the double bass as his instrument of choice. He credits records by Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins for his new inclination “The slap bass on those records blew me away!” Rocker’s favorite bass player is Willie Dixon.[24]

Lee Rocker married his wife Deborah in 1989.[25] Rocker’s wife Deborah Drucker, launched her eponymous fashion line in the Fall of 2013[26] [27] They reside in Laguna Beach, California with their two children. Rocker is a fan of the Lakers and Anaheim Angels.[28]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2013, Rocker received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bass Player magazine, and gave master classes in London and Los Angeles. He is a member of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Visionary Artist Award from the Laguna Beach Arts Council.

Discography[edit]

  • Lee Rocker's Big Blue (1994)
  • Atomic Boogie Hour (1995)
  • No Cats (1998)
  • Lee Rocker Live (1999)
  • Blue Suede Nights (2001)
  • Bulletproof (2003)
  • Upright and Kickin' (2003)
  • Burnin' Love: The Best of Lee Rocker (2004)
  • The Curse of Rockabilly (2005)
  • Racin' the Devil (2006)
  • Black Cat Bone (2007)
  • The Cover Sessions (2011)
  • Night Train to Memphis (2012)
  • The LOW Road (2019)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniel J. Wakin (4 June 2009). "Ending a 60-Year Gig at the N.Y. Philharmonic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  2. ^ "Stray Cats Reunite, Return to Rockabilly".
  3. ^ https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/entertainment/2018/02/06/stray-cat-struts-solo-show-lee-rocker-helsinki-hudson/1066740001/
  4. ^ https://www.axs.com/double-bassist-lee-rocker-is-still-jamming-and-touring-46181
  5. ^ "Stray Cats' Debut Album & the Rockabilly Revival". 2018-08-26.
  6. ^ https://www.broadway.com/buzz/154688/lee-rocker-of-the-stray-cats-headed-to-million-dollar-quartet/)
  7. ^ "Stray Cats Reunite, Return to Rockabilly".
  8. ^ "Brian Setzer's Stray Cats to reunite for first show in 10 years". 2018-01-04.
  9. ^ "Stray Cats". 2019-06-04.
  10. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1982 - Grammy Award Winners 1982".
  11. ^ "Lee Rocker Talks About the Stray Cats and Rockabilly's History". 2017-09-08.
  12. ^ Communications, Emmis (January 1986). "Orange Coast Magazine".
  13. ^ "Lee Rocker on Mountain Stage".
  14. ^ https://www.axs.com/double-bassist-lee-rocker-is-still-jamming-and-touring-46181
  15. ^ "Lee Rocker Releases the Cover Sessions EP". 2011-03-22.
  16. ^ "Lee Rocker's Rumble & Twang on KX 93.5".
  17. ^ "Million Dollar Quartet to Celebrate Lee Rocker With Stage Jam Session". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  18. ^ Taylor Hamby (2018-08-17). "Stray Cats Strut Their Stuff For Two Reunion Shows in Costa Mesa". OC Weekly.
  19. ^ "The Stray Cats mark 40th anniversary with new album and tour". Consequence of Sound. 2019-03-07. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  20. ^ "This Cat Never Strayed". 2003-02-20.
  21. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (2009-06-04). "Stanley Drucker Ends a 60-Year Clarinet Gig". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker tells his story on for Bass Players Only". 2010-10-11.
  23. ^ https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/entertainment/2018/02/06/stray-cat-struts-solo-show-lee-rocker-helsinki-hudson/1066740001/
  24. ^ "Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker tells his story on for Bass Players Only". 2010-10-11.
  25. ^ Thomas Staudter (2006-04-09). "Set This Idea to Music: A Stray Cat Has 9 Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  26. ^ "Putting it all together". 2013-09-03.
  27. ^ "Drucker's Fall collection launch 'a dream come true'". 2013-09-24.
  28. ^ "Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker tells his story on for Bass Players Only". 2010-10-11.

External links[edit]