• Ricky Vac

  • HALL OF FAME

  • The Hall Of Fame

  • THE BAND RICKY VAC N THE ROCK A WAYS

  • RICKY VAC

1953 - 1962

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FEATURED

 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll

 In 2004 "The Rock-A-Ways" were placed in "The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame" in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ricky Vac << Go here to download songs & video

The founder and lead singer of the Rock-A-Ways, Richard Vaculig aka Ricky Vac, launched the group in the fall of 1953.

The Rock-A-Ways were Cleveland's first Rock 'n' Roll band. They were also the first integrated rock group consisting of five white musicians and one black guitarist. The Rock-A-Ways are also said to have recorded Cleveland's first original Rock 'n' Roll record.

In the early 50's in Cleveland, Ohio, disc jockey Alan Freed popularized the term Rock-N'-Roll and a new form of music was born. At that time it was slow to gain acceptance and just had a cult following. Then in the summer of 1955 a movie came out called "Blackboard Jungle". That movie's theme song was "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & The Comets. This one song changed things almost overnight. 

The Rock-A-Ways consisted of Paul Ticherich on piano, Jimmy Gillihan, drummer, John Magyar, guitar, Tommy Eisan, guitar, the groups black guitarist Jimmy Harris, and Ricky Vac. As Rock 'n' Roll music caught on, the Rock-A-Ways performed their original tunes along with other popular tunes of the day. The Rock-A-Ways performed on local and national radio and TV; one such national TV show was the "Danny Thomas Muscular Dystrophy Campaign" in which the Rock-A-Ways performed their latest record of that time-"Colleen".Ricky Vac << Go here to see Audio & video  >  Go here to buy CD or BOOK

From out of nowhere came artists like Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry lee Lewis, and many others. Rock-N'-Roll had officially arrived.

The founder and lead singer of the Rock-A-Ways, Richard Vaculig aka Ricky Vac,

In a recent interview with Ricky, he stated that no one in the band looked upon Jimmy as a black man. To them he was a friend and just another band member. Long before Buddy Holly and The Crickets (an all white band) were mistakenly booked into New York's Apollo Theater (an all black venue at the time) Ricky Vac & The Rock-A-Ways had already broken the color barrier. This group was one of the first, if not the first integrated Rock-N'-Roll band. 


 


 

 

 

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 Not only did the band play popular Rock-N'-Roll tunes of the day, they also wrote and played their own original music. Jimmy Harris (the bands guitarist) composed three instrumentals, the first of which, "Rock-A-Way Boogie" became the bands theme song.

The second tune was "Dream Theme", and the third was "Doo Flicky Junction" a song named after a popular intersection in a black neighborhood of Berea. Ricky teamed up with Paul Ticherich (the piano player) to write "Colleen", a song about a native gal from Berea who occasionally sang with the band.
When Ricky was just sixteen he went to Cleveland and recorded a song he wrote titled "My Baby's Gone". Jack Scott picked it up and released it on one of his albums and it became a national hit.

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