Happy birthday, Imelda May! Johnny got a boom boom!
Today, 10 July, is Imelda May’s birthday.
This Irish singer was first known for her musical style—and fashion: that trademark blonde streak and leopard-print dress!—of rockabilly revival; she had adored rockabilly since encountering Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran on a tape she borrowed from her brother’s bedroom aged 13. Her second studio album, Love Tattoo, with the debut single “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” made her gained significant popularity in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
She made her solid breakthrough after she met with a booking agent for Jools Holand. The guy gave May a support slot for Holland at Kew Gardens, London, quickly followed by a 10-date tour. Immediately, record companies started calling. She then signed with Decca.
In July 2015, she was asked by independent.ie whether her next album would retain her rockabilly sound, a big mistake million-dollar question.
“People see my hair and they think rockabilly, and I mean there’s a lot of rockabilly in what I do, but there’s equal amount of blues and jazz and there’s all kind of genres. It happens all the time that people ask about it and people presume, but I’m not a rockabilly artist and I never have been.’
Oh well, happy birthday and thanks for your contribution to rockabilly, Imelda May!
Cover photo via NPR.
Slide photo via Azaria Magazine.