Hillman Book Project: Roots Section


WS Holland Wins Ameripolitan Music Award
Jackson, TN/ February 25, 2014 – Former Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Three drummer WS “Fluke” Holland has long been recognized the world over for his unique style of playing that has influenced countless drummers and musicians for six decades. Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr once said, “W S (Holland) started Rock and Roll when he put the drums on Carl Perkins' Blue Suede Shoes…”.
On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 the Ameripolitan Music Awards held in Austin, Texas honored WS with their Founders of the Sound Award recognizing his contributions to American music while keeping the beat for iconic artists Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and numerous others. It all started in 1954 when Holland sit down on a drum stool at Sun Recording Studio with the Perkins brothers band and laid down the beat that literally went around the world in the grooves of some of the music industry’s biggest hit records.

The recent 2014 Ameripolitan Music Founder of the Sound Award honors WS Holland’s driving beats and “train-like” rhythms he created that helped give a signature sound to Carl Perkins' Sun Records smash hits (Blue Suede Shoes, Matchbox, Honey Don’t) and Cash hits such as Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, A Boy Named Sue, Ring of Fire and countless others from 1960 till Johnny’s retirement from the road in 1997 due to failing health.

WS Holland is active as a touring and in-demand artist as much today as ever. Currently he tours with his own band, The WS Holland Band, making appearances worldwide and is an ambassador for Minneapolis-based manufacturing company Cambria USA. Through Cambria USA WS makes several yearly appearances on stage with the touring company of the award winning Broadway play, The Million Dollar Quartet.

The play is based on the impromptu jam session at Sun Records studio on December 4, 1956 while Carl Perkins, his two brothers Clayton and JB, and WS Holland were in town to record what turned out to be their second hit record, Matchbox. During the early moments of the session, that also included a then young unknown piano player named Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash stopped by the studio to say hello. Recording engineer Jack “Cowboy” Clements turned the recorder on and let it run ultimately capturing one of the most famous recording sessions of all time.

2014 marks WS Holland’s 60th year in full-time professional music. WS says he has no plans to slow down because playing and touring these days keeps him young and gives him a chance to share his music and stories with fans the world over.


For additional information:  Ron Haney     email:   

Bill Hillman with Bob Wootton and WS Holland of the Tennessee Three
Photo by Bill Stadnyk
WS Holland and Bob Wootton of the Tennessee 3 with Bill Hillman
  May 2007 - Brandon, MB