RockabillyView- Barnyard Frolic

RockabillyView: By Jennifer Allsup


Have you ever came across a radio show called “Barnyard frolics” ? In the 1950’s, out of Little Rock, Arkansas.this radio show is where Elvis Presleymade his debut at the ripe young age of 19. At the time, no one knew that Elvis would become such a “pelvis thrusting” idol that he once was, and for memories of most, still is. Elvis was there along, with A.C. Lynch and the Drifters, Maddux Brothers and Rose, Dick Hart, Maxine Brown just to name a few.

How I came to learn about the “Barnyard Frolics” and all the amazing Country Rockabilly greats, is Joyce Lester Usiak, grandmother of Shaylin Nichole Usiak. Joyce was a back up singer for the Barnyard Frolics Radio Show in the early 1950’s.

Being part of this radio show, Joyce was able to meet and sing with other talented musicians like Bobby Wayne and Glenn Stepp. Joyce truly wanted to become a “pop star”, though her efforts pop music was to hard to get into so Joyce took up country singer for she always loved the gospel music.

Joyce Lest Usiak, was born in Sacramento, Ca and moved to Arkansas in 1937, then back to California 1957 when she decided she was done with the Barnyard Frolics and was ready to raise a family. Sometime later in the 1970’s, The Test Tubes Radio Club inspired Joyce again and even gaveherself a trucker handle “California Dreamer” (lol). Around the 1990’s Joyce also use to sing at the Eagles hall on Camilia and Yosemite Blvd, Modesto Ca.

Sitting down with Joyce was a most pleasant experience. She shared so much history along with photos and old recorded vinyl. I was in AWWWEEE!! to say the least. If you want to know more about the Barnyard Frolics check out Maxine Brown’s website. for more past history or country and rockabilly music.

Leaving you with a fond memory of my encounter Joyce Lester Usiak. The GLEAM in Shaylin’s eyes listening to her grandmothers stories of her musical past is differently …..

Smiles Jennifer Allsup 209-214-0317



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