Rockabilly Star Bobby Poe Dead at 77
Bobby Poe, who led the rockabilly band Bobby Poe and the Poe Kats in the 1950s, passed away on Saturday at the age of 77. Poe was a Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee, based on the Poe Kats’ own recordings and their work as the backing band for Wanda Jackson, including on the classic “Let’s Have a Party.”
After his career as a singer and guitarist, Poe became an artist manager in the 1960s. Among the acts whose careers he oversaw was The Chartbusters, the Washington, D.C.-based group whose one-hit-wonder story partially inspired Tom Hanks for the film That Thing You Do! Poe also co-managed an early Roy Buchanan band called The British Walkers.
Poe also created several music tip sheets for industry insiders and radio stations. The most successful of these tip sheets was the Pop Music Survey. He later founded The Grand Grove Opry in Grove, Oklahoma.
Poe died in his hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma, from a blood clot after a lengthy battle with throat cancer. He is survived by his wife, Ora Mae, his daughter, Terri Poe Coats, and his son, Bobby Poe Jr., who helped his father run the Pop Music Survey and an annual convention for talent and management in the entertainment industry.
Bobby Poe and the Poe Kats, “Rock & Roll Record Girl”