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Rockabilly Singer and Songwriter Dies at 69

Not everyone will recognize the rockabilly singer and songwriter, Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (not to be confused with the Kiss bass player of the same name), but he’s well known by those who have followed the genre for his work with Elvis Presley and his 1964 Top 20 hit, “Haunted House.” He passed away this week at North Mississippi Medical Center following a long illness. Simmons was in show business for over 50 years, working with such names as Sam Phillips and the Bill Black Combo and more recently, he co-wrote Country star Tim McGraw’s 1994 hit, “Indian Outlaw.” Simmons signed with Sun Records, the legendary Memphis label that launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and other 1950s stars. Brian Setzer did a version of his “Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford” on his Rockabilly Riot Volume One: A Tribute to Sun Records.

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