In 1963, a studio band known as The Raiders recorded an LP of country twist material for Liberty Records. The album, released at the peak of the nation's raging case of twist fever, combined familiar standards with more contemporary country tunes and re-interpreted them as hard-driving twist tempo instrumentals.
It should be pointed out that this band is completely unrelated to the much more famous Paul Revere & The Raiders. Nevertheless, the country-twist Raiders did have one ace in the hole: their guitarist was Tommy Allsup, an Oklahoma native whose experience included a stint as lead guitarist for western swinger Johnnie Lee Wills, one of Bob Wills' younger brothers. In addition, Allsup had spent much of 1958 and early 1959 touring and recording with Buddy Holly. Allsup would go one to produce or play sessions for such big shots as Roy Orbison, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Johnny Paycheck and Hank Thompson, to name just a few. Despite such impressive credentials, Tommy Allsup's name is probably most likely to appear in history books for the fact that on February 3, 1959, he lost a coin toss to Richie Valens. As a result, it was Valens and not Allsup who died in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
Hungry for more country twist mayhem? Go here.