Rockabilly is an intense, rhythm-driven music style that mixes rock and roll with country music. Other influences on this genre of music include rhythm and blues, and western swing. Many have said that the name rockabilly literally comes from the term “rock and roll”, but was renamed to imply that it was played by hillbillies. It’s easy to see how this may have offended many artists at the time. However, the term rockabilly gained traction over the years and was here to stay.
Rockabilly節奏感強，曲風濃烈，這種音樂流派融合了搖滾和鄉村音樂，此外，它也有節奏布魯斯和西部搖擺樂的影子在其中。很多人戲稱，“rockabilly”這個名字就是來自“rock and roll”和“hillbilly”，意指這是鄉下人玩搖滾樂。不難想像這樣的說法有多容易冒犯到當時的藝術家。但這些年來，rockabilly這一叫法漸得人心，並得以保留下來。
In the 1950s, rockabilly music cultivated rebellion, sexuality, and freedom, which dramatically appealed to the youth of that decade. It galvanized a subcultural revolution against authoritative figures and empowered people through freedom of expression. This slamming rock and roll style was the first of its kind, and it set off a cultural reformation that still reverberates to this day.
The death of Elvis Presley, largely regarded as the godfather of rockabilly, sparked a rockabilly revival in the late 1970s. New generation bands like Stray Cats formed, and ripples of the rockabilly revival were felt as far as Asia. In Japan, the rockabilly scene was already thriving with the rockabilly boys that would congregate in Yoyogi Park. To some extent, the Harajuku fashion subcultures were also influenced by the rockabilly aesthetics.
Felix, the guitarist and vocalist for Hong Kong-based band The Boogie Playboys, grew up listening to his parents’ records of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Wanda Jackson and Bill Haley. Later, he was influenced by newer bands like Stray Cats, which ignited his passion for the rockabilly subculture. Along with his bandmates, he runs a rockabilly festival in Hong Kong. The intimate event allows for the fashion and music of this subculture to reach those who may otherwise never be exposed to it.
香港樂隊Boogie Playboys的吉他手和主唱Felix，從小就從他父母收藏的唱片中，聽著Johnny Cash、Elvis Presley、Wanda Jackson和Bill Haley的歌長大。之後又受Stray Cats等新樂隊的影響，他對rockabilly亞文化的熱情被點燃。 Felix和他的隊友們一起，在香港開辦了一個rockabilly音樂節。這個私人的活動讓這個亞文化中的音樂和時尚走向了更多不曾聽說過它的人群。
“When we play at venues around Hong Kong, we have found that people are dressing up more and more. The girls wear the iconic pin-up style and we boogie all night,” says Barry Tam, drummer for the Boogie Playboys. The carefree and liberal attitude of Hong Kongers can be seen at their live shows where all the attendees are openly embracing the rockabilly culture.
“在香港的演出中，我們發現人們已經越來越會裝扮了。女生們穿著標誌性的pin-up style，然後我們搖擺上一整夜，”Boogie Playboys的鼓手Barry Tam這麼說道。在他們的現場，觀眾全情投入到rockabilly文化的懷抱，香港人那種無憂輕鬆和自由的態度一展無餘。
Miss Cathy, a local Hong Kong musician, says, “There are not many places to go in Hong Kong where you can experience the rockabilly subculture. There are no diners or clubs that play our style of music. But I am quite a homebody anyways – I enjoy playing records at home and dancing with my husband and daughter.” The rockabilly subculture in Hong Kong remains fairly underground and low key. There aren’t any clubs that exclusively cater to this genre of music. Even though the perseverance of this group of musicians and close friends has already propelled the rockabilly subculture in Hong Kong forward by leaps and bounds, they’re still keen on spreading rockabilly music to even more people.
香港本土音樂人Miss Cathy說: “要體驗rockabilly這種亞文化的話，香港並沒有多少可以去的地方。根本沒有餐廳或者夜店會放我們這種風格的音樂。不過，反正我很宅——我享受在家播放唱片，和我先生、女兒一起跳舞。”rockabilly這種亞文化在香港還處於相當地下和低調的狀態。沒有夜店會專門播放這個流派的音樂。儘管，這群音樂人及其好友們的堅持不懈，已經推動了rockabilly這種亞文化在香港的突飛猛進，但是他們並不滿足於此，而是有意將這種音樂傳播給更多的人。
Contributor: Mireille Paul
Videographers: Mireille Paul, Andy Ngan
Photographer: Michael Chiu
供稿人: Mireille Paul
視頻攝影師: Mireille Paul, Andy Ngan
圖片攝影師: Michael Chiu