THE FATHER OF THE DRUMS
w.s. 'fluke' holland
LEGENDARY DRUMMER FOR CARL PERKINS, JOHNNY CASH AND THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
Drummer WS “Fluke” Holland is known around the world as a true pioneer of American Rockabilly, Country, Folk, and Rock & Roll. His driving “train like” rhythms and innovative rockabilly shuffles are distinctively present on numerous iconic hit recordngs including some of Rock & Roll’s original anthems such as Blue Suede Shoes, Matchbox, and Honey Don’t by Carl Perkins, Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Boy Named Sue and dozens of other legendary recordings by Johnny Cash & The Tennessee 3.
His signature beats can be heard on the recordings of artists like The Statler Brothers, Bob Dylan (on the Dylan/Cash sessions that became Dylan’s famous “Nashville Skyline” album , Carl Mann (Mona Lisa, Pretend), Marty Stuart and others.
Some of the most revered recordings ever made and recorded during an impromptu session at Memphis’ Sun Records on December 4, 1956 later to be known as The Million Dollar Quartet recordings have the distinction of having Holland on the drums.
When Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson embarked on tour as The Highwaymen, “Fluke” Holland, as he is affectionately known, was one of the drummers that provided the beat in concerts the group performed around the world.
He has recorded, toured and/or performed with the biggest rock and country artists in the business including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Stuart, The Statler Brothers, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry and countless others. His most recognized claim to music fame comes as being the only drummer ever for Johnny Cash’s legendary Tennessee 3 from 1960 until Cash’s retirement from the road in 1997.
Considered by many as the World’s First Rock & Roll Drummer, WS was the first artist ever to play a full set of drums on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. WS Holland has gained his rightful place in American music history. Introduced by Cash himself as “The Father of the Drums” onstage around the globe, WS continues to inspire, entertain and influence other musicians and artists around the world today as he and his band, The WS Holland Band, continues to tour and perform.
“Johnny Cash tribute artists are everywhere today and that's a good thing. One of our favorites is Rick & Jodie McKay's "Johnny Cash Revisited" in the U.K. These folks "keep it real" and do an amazing job of not just recreating our music but in their overall presentation. Do yourself a favor, if they come to your town don't dare miss them. You'll be glad you saw and heard them.”
— WS "Fluke" Holland, Drummer for Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and the Million Dollar Quartet
W.S. "FLuke" holland & johnny cash revisited
On May 6th 2016, Rick, Jodie and Starkville had the huge honour of sharing the stage with none other than W.S. Holland himself. Rick described it as a surreal experience...
"I was standing on stage at Hemsby #56, singing 'Folsom Prison Blues' and the drums were set up right at the front of the stage. I looked to my left and suddenly it hit me like hammer in the face! There, looking back at me with a big grin on his face, sat the man I'd been listening to my whole life! I'd seen and heard him on endless recordings, TV shows, documentaries, and had seen him playing live behind the "Man In Black" when Johnny Cash came to Portsmouth Guildhall back in the 1990's! The show had been booked for ages, I knew it was coming. But the moment I realised that I was actually THERE, on stage with "Fluke" Holland, was utterly mind-blowing!"