DENNIS VOLK

No look at 50's rock 'n roll in Nebraska is complete without adding

 Dennis Volk. Dennis was raised in a musical family, on the farm

near McLean, Nebraska. His father Louie, was an accomplished

 saxophone player, and his mother, Evelyn, is still considered one of the

 finest jazz pianists in the Midwest. His brother, Roger, is a drummer and

 was a member of The Smoke Ring.

Evelyn Volk, One of the Midwest's finest jazz pianists, and mother of Inductees Dennis Volk and Roger Volk (Smoke Ring/Don Sohl)

As rock 'n roll dawned, Dennis found his talents suited for this

new music. His pounding piano, and heartbreak singing style

 were just the ticket for rock, and most audiences found his playing

just as hot as that of Jerry Lee Lewis. Upon joining Ron Thompson

and Don Sohl, Dennis found himself with a celebrity

 status that he was never quite comfortable with. As a performer he was

 explosive, but his personality was still that of a shy farm boy.

Upon leaving "The Roadrunners" in the early sixties, he moved to

 Omaha, where he played keys with the legendary Berry Brothers, including

 a small stint with Carl Perkins. His only recordings, Dennis' Boogie

 and You Are The One, are considered two of the

 finest sides to come out of the midwest during the fifties. They have been

 re-released in Europe and the states on several 50's rock compilation

albums.  Though Denny continued to perform throughout his

 life, he never regained the status and comfort he found

 with 50's rock 'n roll.

After being plagued with continued bad health, he passed away in

September of 1991. As his brother and Smoke Ring

 drummer, Roger Volk said, "Dennis loved the Lord,

 the farm, and the simple things in life that we so

 often take for granted."

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