Sunday, January 3, 2010


Am I a subculture of Rockabilly? Is that where I fit in? I mean, I do listen to Rockabilly music and I live a vintage lifestyle. Does that make me some sort of Rockabilly gal? What would you consider me? What does Rockabilly mean to you? Who considers themselves "rockabilly" out there? What is it that makes you consider yourself a rockabilly? I'm very curious..please share with me.

In case you are wondering about all my questions....I ran across this photographer Jennifer Greenburg who spent 10 years photographing "The Rockabillies" basically all her friends and then made a book. The book comes out this month. She did an interview in Timeout Chicago and see more of her pictures on her website.
Some very cool pictures...I'm curious about the rest of her book.


  1. Hey honey! So glad I found you! I think rockabilly is vintage 50's or even 40's style. It encompasses so much, its hard to define. I love it though! I hope you have a fantastic Monday and check out my blog if you get a chance! Kori xoxo

  2. I too find the definition and term so broad that it's hard to define, the book is so interesting and I want to kiss the standard poodle, happy new year.
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  3. Hello Kitten...this was a very interesting question that i just couldn't pass up...Rockabilly...well it's a's a's commercial!

    ...It has changed so much in the last ten years that it makes vintage snobs turn their noses right up. Being a very vintage wearin' gal...and attending Viva for 12 years as well as other Rockabilly gatherings for 17...i have seen it go from Vintage living to cherries and Victory rolls that are a mile high(by the way i have a cherry tatoo so don't hate the comment).

    Companies have profitted from mass dress making and fishnets! WHy? All so you can fit in the rockabilly that a label or what? Is that real vintage...or real rockabilly?

    The true lifestyle of a vintage gal such as yourself has a authentic sparkle,as some of the most rare vintage 1940's dresses that have been salvaged from ol farm houses! So do we need a label? Do we want to fit in this commercial Rockabilly name? Yes and NO...

    I declined a interview for the book...but loved what it was about...and then didn't.I am a tatoo'd kitten, I swing dance, I jive, I have vintag cars, I adore rockabilly music,...& I wear real Vintage clothes...but do i want a! It is too wide as the two gals said above me.

    I read a very intersting interview In rockabilly review...which put a stop to the words rockabilly, phycobilly,& hickabilly!...Labels!

    Where do i stand...on my own! your vintage style, be true to you, and sparkle kitten!

    Pass on the label and mass productions...listen to the real 30's and 40's back road rockabilly music for inspiration...and rock it kitten! hee hee...thanks for the forum kitten...take my comment in stride...and rock who ever you are...Labeled or it!!! Cat~

  4. The first band I ever saw live was back in 1980 - The Cramps. I'm decidedly more psychobilly than rockabilly ;) I've always loved old rockabilly music and vintage clothing so it makes sense that other people call me Rockabilly because it's human nature to label people. I'm fine with it. I do like it better when they call me "that 40's girl!" Happy New Year, Miss Mary Deeeeeluxe!

  5. I feel that rockabilly is more of an attitude than a look. I sing in a rockabilly band and live a vintage lifestyle, but I don't always consider myself a rockabilly gal. I agree with some of the others that people like to label or group and if rockabilly is what they think i am, I don't mind.

  6. When I discovered 'Rockabilly' in the 80s it was about the actual music and attitude rather than living a vintage lifestyle. I called myself a 'Rockabilly' back then but I was a teenager. Today the term 'rockabilly' has changed and seems to be attached to so many things. I suppose if people feel comfortable calling themselves that than no harm but for me I'd rather be the girl who just likes vintage and living my life a certain way. Good photos though!

  7. Like a few other people have said it's such a broad label, for me i think it's supposed to be about the music and is now used to determine anyone wearing a circle skirt and rolls. It can be so confusing a term though!
    I second what the vintage housewife said, just be you! xx

  8. Originally the term defined the mixture of Rock n' Roll and Hillbilly music, but these days I think it is much more complex. It is has come to define a part of the 1950s subculture that we associate more with the denim and leather clad individuals than those that are more widely interested in mid-century culture. I think to those that don't know much about us vintage lovers, anyone that looks like they like the 50s might be a Rockabilly, but does it matter what we're called? I know I don't care! xxx

  9. I don't think I have an answer to your question, but I'm really curious about this book though! I'm pretty sure I'm about the only person in Rhode Island who is interested in Vintage lifestyle!

  10. I wear vintage clothes and vintage hair constantly from the 40's and 50's and listen to the music from that era but do not consider myself rockabilly. I just enjoy the fashion and the music that was produced from that time period more than what we have today. I know several people who consider themselves "rockabilly" and I definitely agree with the comments above that it is more about attitude than those who have appreciate for the lifestyle of the 40's and 50's.
    Ashley @

  11. I don't consider myself "Rockabilly" I think I'm vintage. I have a vintage house, furnishings, clothes, lifestyle but as said before it's a label and thats how many people relate to others as a point of reference, you dress in vintage clothes then you have the 'Rockabilly' label.

  12. I consider "rockabilly" a subgenre of the whole vintage lifestyle. But there are also differing subgenres of rockabilly. It's all so complicated -- it really comes down to the individual. I like rockabilly music, I wear cat's eye glasses, I dabble in the "look" sometimes -- but I mostly stick to 30s and 40s dresses. I'm probably not rockabilly :/

  13. You my dear, are indeed Rockabilly as am I! As long as you live & breathe the 40's-60's vintage lifestyle in dress, look, home & music, then I'm afraid you are one of us! Rockabilly's dress in the real deal. There are a lot of fake rockabillies (who we joke are the hot topic & cherry print rockabillies) out there who think they are the real deal and are most certainly not. Come out to San Francisco and hang out with us!! xx.

  14. i always thought it was vintage from the 50s + lots of leopard print and cherries and skulls and tattoos and attitude. love your blog.

  15. I hate the term "rockabilly" being used described people. It's a genre of music, plain and simple. You don't hear anyone saying, "Those guys are rhythm and blues!"

    I also cannot stand how people are lumped into this "rockabilly" subculture (bah!) because of the way one dresses or because of the things one collects. Calling one's self "rockabilly", to me, is daft. It always turns into this weird purist thing that I find so silly. Like they're trying to prove how cool they are.

    If we're talking labels here, I will lump you and I into the same bowl; we are simply vintage aficionados.

  16. Thought provoking post, I don't think all vintage lifestylers are "rockabilly" although some of them are.

    I mean, some people who love vintage don't necessarily listen to rockabilly. Same goes that some people into rockabilly don't have atomic homes.

    Her pictures are lovely though and very interesting to question what is which label and not. I think she did the title on purpose.

  17. i LOVED the photos on that girl's site. thank you for sharing the link :)

    i can't comment on the rockabilly thing. i swing dance and listen to lots of swing & rockabilly, my house is almost all vintage, but that is as far as it goes! :)

    ps- she has some fine looking male friends..whew!

  18. I never condsider myself rockabilly. I have plenty of "friends" in that scene.. but they dont dress anything like me. They don't own a single piece of vintage clothing. they do their hair different.. its just a different scene.

    I am vintage inspired. or vintage. or whatever. I wear vintage clothing, I wear Authentic vintage hair styles. I wear my makeup authentically styled. I don't feel rockabilly at all.

    I like the music. I like vintage. I like hot rods and old cars. but I dont like being labeled rockabilly.

  19. I love leopard print, cherries and fishnet stockings - I suppose that makes me a rockabilly too? I'm not 100% period accurate either, and couldn't really care less so long as it's something I feel good wearing. I wouldn't want to be labeled as a rockabilly though, mostly because I feel like it would give people the wrong impression of me - regardless of how I dress, I'm a good girl at heart! None of this fast cars and fast livin' stuff that I think comes with the rockabilly 'attitude' some of the other posters have mentioned.

    I do wonder if the desire to avoid being labeled as a rockabilly is behind the increasing vintage purism I'm seeing online... that and the use of 'vintage' as a marketing buzzword :/

  20. I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments about this whole what exactly is "rockabilly" and what is and what's not. I, like many of you who commented, really just consider myself "into" vintage. I have never felt the need to be labeled a certain way. When I started collecting vintage, I did it for 3 reasons really....I liked it, it was cheap and easy to find, and it allowed me to be different from other people. I think this is how many of us who live a vintage lifestyle really got started. I think the love for the mid century era also lead it's way into music and vice versa. Perhaps that is why in the very beginning Rockabilly and vintage became associated. 15 years later, I think there is less of an association between living a vintage lifestyle and rockabilly. The new kids on the scene have taken it in their own direction. So, when people think of rockabilly now, they think of greasers with pbr in their hands and girls with bad hair rolls and a flower, in a cherry print dress? Perhaps this is why people who had such a passion for the era for so long is now reluctant to be part of the term "rockabilly"? As the vintage housewife stated above, it's not the same as it use to be. After seeing the pictures from the "rockabillies" book I would have to agree with her.

    I'm happy to just stay as my neighbors call me..."that little vintage girl". God, I hope some new girl doesn't move in on my street and try to change my scene! :)


  21. I feel like everyone takes rockabilly as a negative term to be called. I have always been interested in vintage clothes and music for years. I was dubbed "Rockabilly Shane" when I was about 14 and four years later I don't really care(I'll take "rockabilly" over fag anyday.) Where I live there isn't much rockabilly at all so there aren't too many people that are all fishnets and leopard print. I wear vintage often( not every day, I dont like to wear it to school I help teach a class of 26 eight graders and they are messy little buggers) I do my hair nice everyday, listen to good ole rock n roll. I do live a vintage life so Im not all cherries and leopard print but I still concider myself rockabilly. I'm pretty darn true to the 50s if you dont count the gay, tattooed and pierced-ness( I only have one piercing actually.) I think rockabilly is a state of mind and living that all is based off of one style of music. Thats where it all started for me, maybe that why I don't take being called rockabilly as an insult. It started witht he music but spread into every aspect of my life.

    Ashley in Rhone Island, You are super wronge! There are people into vintage living there! And in Mass there are some, Boston has the most.

  22. Shane, I heart're my favorite rockabilly boy!


  23. MaryDelux, I heart you... you're my favorite vintage blogger and Hay-Wake Collector! (Which I have a story for you about that! Ugh!)

  24. Wow, I just found your blog and I think you are my new hero! So much here, I'll be kept entertained for days :)

    I've never considered myself rockabilly, though I do favor the looks and listen to some of the music. I suppose to me the label comes with being part of the "scene," which I really am not (not that I have anything against, it, mind you--just I am a bit of an outlier fashion-wise in my circle of friends). I have nothing against the label; rather, I always felt like if I adopted it, I might get looked at as a poser of sorts by the "real" rockabilly-types.

    Then again, my formative years were spent as a punk (another genre of music that's also a style-descriptor, so they do exist) and I have never quite been willing to abandon that label, even though my tastes have branched out over the years.

    A thought provoking topic!

  25. Hey gals, how 'bout if youre all right?? Basically, at aged 55 - and one who got into vintage (clothes, music, cars and dancing) in the late seventies, I don't care about labels either.For me, I remembered my grandma's house, the dresses my aunts, grandma and mom used to wear(especially in their 1940's dresses) and the feeling the music and dancing evoked. I am still wearing vintage, living the lifestyle and decorating in the 40's and 50's style.Like any fashion, the vibe started on the "streets", and then the "scene" was born. Ironically, and most cool, is the fact that my daughter has gotten into it. I don't care about labels,I just know it's my thing whatever it's called. I have tried to be modern at times, but do not feel at home or comfortable, and shall we say "authentic" without my stuff and the vintage life. Zootsuitmama (Deb)

  26. Zootsuitmama, January 10, 2010 at 7:07:00 PM EST

    My link to new photos from Zootsuitmama!
    I love the style, too, No Matter What They Label It!

  27. hmmm Just where what you like and listen to what you like. Guess someone is going to label you know matter what you do. ;)

  28. I consider myself a "Rockabilly" & I wear that label proudly. I listen to Rockabilly, Doo Wop, Swing, Western Bop & Lounge music. I do wear vintage clothes often & I drive a '59 Chev Impala. This is the way I choose to live; if you like it, that's cool . If not, that's cool, too. Live & let live!
    I bought this book & although the photos are great, I was kinda hoping for more than one photo of each subject & especially their homes & maybe a bit more info about both. It's still a cool book to lay on the vintage coffee table.

  29. I don't care what people call me. I like rockabilly music, go to rockabilly shows, collect vintage clothes and decor, work in a vintage store and if that makes me a rockabilly, so be it. I prefer to just say I am someone who is "rockin" which to me, defines someone who is into rockabilly music and the scene.

    I wrote a blog yesterday about people who are into Vintage lifestyle but not the music. Got some very interesting feedback.

    xoKim Bombshell

  30. Very beautiful pic and very beautiful book also. I received it today. I like the rockabilly, the vintage way of life, the mid century..... I enjoy your blog too.
    Be yourself....No matter what they say !!!!

    Kiss from France