Janis Martin, one of the unsung, early pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll, will get her props this month at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in a special tribute concert led by Texas rockabilly legend Rosie Flores.
The 7 p.m. Jan. 25 concert in the Foster Theater will kick off a new year of programming tied to the Rock Hall’s latest major exhibiton, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power.” Flores will be joined by rockabilly singer Marti Brom and a band from Austin, Texas, featuring keyboardist T Jarrod Bonata, drummer Bobb Trimble, bassist Kevin Smith and guitarist Tjarko Jeen.
Martin, who died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 67, was one the few women working in rock ‘n’ roll during the 1950s. She was signed to RCA Records at the age of 15, and scored a national hit in 1956 with “Will You, Will Yum”/”Drugstore Rock and Roll.” RCA nicknamed her the “Female Evlis,” and she went on to record a series of singles — “Let’s Elope Baby,” “My Boy Elvis” and a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Oooby Dooby” — the did well on both the pop and country charts. Her career career was derailed in 1958 when RCA dropped her after discovering that she had secretly married her boyfriend in 1956.”
Martin performed and recorded sporadically after that. In 2007, shortly before her death, she and Flores worked with Trimble to record 11 new songs. The album will be released later this year.
Flores and her band will perform a broad selection of Martin’s music during the Rock Hall concert. She and Brom will also talk about Martin and share photos, vidoes from her career.
The vent is free with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com, in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office or by calling (216) 515-8426. Tickets will be available to Rock Hall members beginning at 10 Thursday, January 12, and for the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13.