Here you’ll find some of the first rockabilly recordings made on Event Records, a small record company from Westbrook, Maine, where country star Dick Curless and future jazz guitar legend Lenny Breau joined the singer Curtis Johnson to produce some of the hippest rockabilly recorded on Maine.
Curtis was born in Arkansas, but he grew up in Loxley. His love for music led him to be part of the band of Sleepy Willis and country star Hal Lone Pine, The North Kountry Karavan, where he played steel guitar. In this band the 14 years old son of Hal Lone Pine, christened as Leonard 'Sonny' Breau, was in charge of the guitar being an awesome and skilled player, true heir of the Chet Atkins’ picking style. Years later Leonard would become the renowned jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, but he made his recording debut in Event Records, backing his father in some recordings and becoming a regular studio musician there.
In the summer of '56 Elvis Presley was the new musical sensation world wide, and Curtis Johnson was an Elvis fan. Soon The North Kountry Karavan stage show would include a part leaded by Curtis singing rock 'n’roll and backed on guitar by the young Lenny Breau.
Al Hawkes, owner of Event, tried to take advantage of it and that same summer he prepared a session with Curtis, to record two songs taken from the old Elvis´ 45´s on Sun: BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE and I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE. In both tracks Lenny Breau's guitar flies unbeatable, close to Scotty Moore´s work on both songs. Those tracks should have integrated Curtis' first single and also the first approach of Event to rockabilly, but they remained in the can until 1978, when they were legally released by the owners of the Event vaults.
By the summer of '57 Curtis returned to the studio, again backed by Lenny on guitar, with two original songs. This time Al Hawkes decided to try on rock´n´roll, and the first single of Curtis Johnson saw the light with BABY BABY / TEENAGE LOVE AFFAIR (Event Records - E4268). With Lenny on guitar playing Scotty Moore style and The Windjammers on vocal chorus both songs sound like a good approach to Elvis Presley and the Jordaniers. The following year Curtis would return to Event several times, but never with Lenny. Those tracks rested in the can until the 70's and even some of them until the 21st century.
Curtis Johnson would remain active in music, although never full time. Lenny Breau would become a prestigious jazz guitarist until his mysterious death in 1984. Al Hawkes would hold Event Records until 1961, when a fire in his warehouse destroyed most of the masters and about 10,000 copies ofthe Event singles produced until then.