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Kenny Parchman

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orn Kenneth W. Parchman, 15 January 1932, near Jackson, Tennessee

Died 2 June 1999, Madison, Tennessee

When the rockabilly revival of the seventies and eighties together with the exploration of the Sun Records catalogue came about, there was one track that was guaranteed to fill the dance floors of all the rock ‘n’ roll clubs and this was ‘Tennessee Zip’ by Kenny Parchman. However the puzzling fact is that no one ever came closer than Kenny to having a record issued on Sun in its halcyon days, even having release # 252 assigned to ‘Love Crazy Baby/I Feel Like Rockin’ only to have the indignity of having the record pulled at the last minute. The truth of the matter is that we had to wait around twenty-five years to get our hands on these and other great slabs of true original rockabilly music for the first time.

Kenneth Parchman was born on 15th January 1932 near Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee into a rural community located area between the two later fulcrums of our music, namely Memphis and Nashville. Known as Kenny by his family, he listened to music over the airwaves from an early age and it was not long before his proud parents provided him with a small guitar. Indeed, his mum taught him his first guitar licks and soon he showed all the signs of developing into a competent picker. For sure, it was not an easy life out in the country, but the Parchman family handled it well, until tragedy struck shortly before Christmas 1944. Their little house in Five Points Community burnt down and Kenny’s dad suffered severe injuries, so bad that he passed away soon after. The family was left without anything but family and friends in the local community launched an appeal through the Jackson Sun newspaper.

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