The Teen Kings

About this artist

The Teen Kings' roots go back to 1948, two years after Roy Orbison's family moved to Wink, TX, when the 12-year-old Orbison began playing guitar with a friend and schoolmate named James Morrow. The following year, the two put together a quintet, Morrow on electric mandolin, Orbison on lead guitar, Charles "Slob" Evans on upright bass, Richard "Head" West at the piano, and Billy Pat "Spider" Ellis on drums. At a teacher's suggestion, they christened themselves the Wink Westerners and they played school dances and other small local events. The Wink Westerners played country & western, and their repertory included lots of instrumentals.
After 1955 the kids were also starting to dance more enthusiastically to R&B songs (what were called "rhythm numbers" in those days), and the group was performing more Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Big Joe Turner than Hank Williams. A change in name was called for, and the Wink Westerners became the Teen Kings.