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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Rock 'n' roll legend Tommy Roe looks ahead with '2020 Vision'

The original version of Tommy Roe's 1974 single "Glitter and Gleam"

The next decade has already started, what with the release of rock ‘n’ roll great Tommy Roe’s latest EP 2020 Vision.

The four-track set, recorded in Nashville by Roe’s old friend Wayne Moss at his Cinderella Sound studio, features three new songs (“Sun in My Eyes,” “Looking For a Thrill” and “Remember”), and a remake of his 1974 single “Glitter and Gleam,” which was originally released on Monument Records.

“It was scheduled to be recorded by Elvis Presley on his upcoming session before he died,” says Roe, who toured England with The Beatles as his opening act prior to their U.S. breakthrough.

“My ex-producer Felton Jarvis—who produced [big early hits] ‘Sheila’ and ‘Everybody’ also produced ‘Glitter and Gleam,’ and loved the song. He was also Elvis’s producer and was going to record it with him.”

“Glitter and Gleam” looks back wistfully at dances like The Stroll and the Peppermint Twist, “and the mini-skirts, crew cuts and flat tops.” Roe’s re-recording of it for 2020 Vision is part of his new Revisited series of contemporary takes on his vintage catalog, which he began earlier this year with the digital release of “Sheila,” his first hit and signature song, that topped the charts in 1962, and “Kick Me Charlie,” a track from his 1966 Sweet Pea album titled after his 1966 hit.

Roe’s preceding four-song EP Tommy Roe Meets Barefoot Jerry also came out earlier this year and was a collaboration with Moss, a Nashville session guitarist who played on Bob Dylan’s landmark 1966 double-album Blonde on Blonde and Roy Oribson’s classic “Pretty Woman.” In 1969, he co-founded Area Code 615, a band made up of other top Nashville session musicians, and then co-founded ’70s southern rock band Barefoot Jerry, also comprised of major Nashville studio players.

“Wayne was the original guitarist on ‘Sheila,’” notes Roe. “I called him to see if he would be interested in re-recording it with me for the Revisited series, and he was very excited to be a part of the project.”

The session went so well that Moss suggested that Roe, who’s sold over 60 million records and has been called “the father of bubblegum music," record some new material. He did, and has continued to do so since, with his digital-only Revisited series and this new EP.

“I love working in the studio with today’s talented musicians and songwriters—and getting to work with Wayne again,” says Roe. “There is something special about getting in the studio and being surrounded by great players that just brings an electricity of creativity--and I just can’t get away from that! Even after all these years, I get excited knowing that I will be making new music.”

“I love making music,” Roe concludes. “It keeps me in my element.”

2020 Vision is available at digital music outlets including Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play, Deezer and Tidal.



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