Chas Hodges - one half of beloved British duo Chas and Dave - is recording an album of rock 'n' roll classics with Buddy Holly and The Crickets drummer Jerry Allison.
Chas Hodges is making an album with Buddy Holly's drummer Jerry Allison.
The 74-year-old piano player - famous for being one half of British cockney rock duo Chas and Dave - is teaming up with The Crickets sticksman to release an LP of classic rock 'n' roll covers.
The songs have been personally selected by the two musicians and the tracklisting includes hits by Chas' idol Jerry Lee Lewis and Gerry's former boss Buddy - who tragically died at the age of 22 in a plane crash in 1959.
Friends Chas, 74, and Jerry, 78, first came up with the idea 10 years' ago but the project got put on the backburner due to other commitments and circumstances in the 'Rabbit' songwriter's personal life.
Chas - who is winning his battle with oesophagus cancer after being diagnosed with the disease at the end of 2016 - told BANG Showbiz: ''I'm doing is a record with Jerry Allison, we're good mates. We put some tracks down about 10 years ago in Nashville, that's when we did the basics, but so much has happened since they never got finished. That was because I was in the middle of writing my book, then Dave's dear wife died so that was all an upset, so the recordings went on the back burner, then me and Dave did our own album so this didn't happen. Jerry understood but I told him, 'When I can, I'll get round to 'em and finish 'em off.' I've now got time this year to do it so I've started on them and they're turning out really good, so I'm busy finishing off the album that we did. Jerry is well pleased. The songs are mainly ones that me and Jerry like, there are a couple of Buddy Holly tracks, a couple of 70s rock songs, a couple of Jerry Lee Lewis songs, it's basically a rock 'n' roll album.''
Chas admits recording the covers has taken him right back to the start of his career when he toured as a sideman with various musicians, including Gene Vincent, Albert Lee and rock piano legend Jerry.
He said: ''When I started I was working with mostly American musicians. My earliest thrill was going on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis back in 1963, that was absolutely marvellous because he was my hero and also it enabled me to learn the piano from just watching him play every night, that's how I started learning to play the piano. After then when Jerry went back home, I went on the road with Gene Vincent and that was a great experience too, playing with such a great rock 'n' roller. Then I get to know Jerry Allison through the Buddy Holly nights ... It's nice to have been able to pick it back up and get on with it.''
Chas is busier than ever as he and musical partner Dave Peacock are releasing their new album 'A Little Bit of Us' on April 20, their first self-produced LP for over 30 years.
The pair are then playing a special gig at The Royal Albert Hall in London on April 20.
'The Sideboard Song' rocker spilled: ''It was only mentioned about a week ago. We were asked if we're up for it and we said 'Yeah'.
''It's all a bit hush-hush at the minute, but we'll get in the studio and whatever happens will happen.''
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