The Stray Cats
The Stray Cats are a retro 50s style rockabilly band from Massapequa, Long Island, New York. The group was formed in 1979 by singer/guitarist Brian Setzer, drummer Slim Jim Phantom, and upright double bass player Lee Rocker. After starting out by performing in such legendary New York City underground punk clubs as CBGB and Max's Kansas City, the Stray Cats went to London, England in 1980 to capitalize on the 50s rock music revival that was sweeping the United Kingdom at that time. The group met musician Dave Edmunds, who offered to work with them. Read more... on the Arista Records label in 1981. The album was a substantial success in England. Moreover, the Stray Cats had Top 10 UK pop radio chart hits with the songs "Runaway Boys," "Stray Cat Strut," and "Rock This Town" that same year. In America the band scored two Top 10 Billboard pop chart hits in 1982: The supremely boss "Stray Cat Strut" slinked its way to #3 while the rousing "Rock This Town" soared its way to #9. ("Rock This Town" is listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 most important songs in the history of rock and roll music.) In addition, the album "Built for Speed" went double platinum in the United States. The group had a third US Top 10 hit with the catchy "(She's) Sexy + 17" in 1983. Alas, the Stray Cats broke up in 1984 due to internal conflicts amongst the members and a lack of follow-up hit singles and albums. The band got back together in 1986 and released the album "Rock Therapy." The group recorded a few more albums before eventually splitting up again in 1992. The Stray Cats reunited for a third time in 2004 for a month long tour of Europe. This was followed by an American tour in 2007. In 2008 the band toured in Australia and New Zealand. The Stray Cats reunited once again in April, 2009 for a single show at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota to celebrate Brian Setzer's 50th birthday. The three members of the group have all also pursued successful solo careers.