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Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
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    (1958- )
    Born in Raton, New Mexico
    1963 line-up
    Jimmy Gilmer (September 15, 1940- ), vocals and piano
    George Tomsco, lead guitar
    Stan Lark, bass guitar
    Doug Roberts, drums
    Recorded the singles ‘Sugar Shack’ (1963) and ‘Daisy Petal Pickin’’ (1963)
    As the Fireballs recorded the singles ‘Bulldog’ (1959), ‘Torquay’ (1959), ‘Quite a Party’ (1961), and ‘Bottle of Wine’ (1967)
    The Fireballs and Gilmer were separate acts until producer Norm Petty teamed them up.
    Gilmer recorded an album of Buddy Holly covers titled ‘Buddy’s Buddy’ (1964), even though the two had never met.
    ’Sugar Shack’ was loathed by the critics. (For example, Greil Marcus in ‘The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll’ called it ‘the worst excuse for itself rock and roll had yet produced.’)
    The band’s name was inspired by the Jerry Lee Lewis hit ‘Great Balls of Fire.’
    The Fireballs were hired to provide backing tracks on several of Buddy Holly’s home demo recordings for posthumous release.
    ’Sugar Shack’ beat out the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ for Billboard’s top song of 1963.

Credit: C. Fishel

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