He’s not one to blow his own horn, but Hillbilly Rick (Meyers) of Haubstadt, IN, has a well-earned international reputation as a Music Producer, Song Writer, Choreographer, Dancer, DJ, and innovator.
Among his extensive contributions to the line dance community are the steps for The Tractor’s “Baby Likes to Rock It!” (Rock It!), Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” and quite a few others. His most recent work has been with Australasia’s Premiere Nostalgia Band, The Tornadoes. Touted as the longest running working band on earth, the group from Wollongong, NSW Australia, has been keeping the floors filled at premier dance venues throughout their homeland since 1960s without a break or break up. (They actually opened for the Beatles when they were still in their teens)
In the early nineties, Hillbilly Rick was invited by noted Australian Choreographer Cindy Truelove to tour the land down under. In conjunction with appearing at some of the first big events on the continent, he made several appearances in schools, so that the healthy life style of dance could be shared with the kids. With Cindy’s help, he would do a school visit during the day, and a club appearance at night.
But, he needed music.
As H.Rick recalls, “I had decided to find good dance music from down under and put out my own CD for the dancers. Thus with Cindy’s help I met Australia’s Tornadoes and the rest was history. I moved into David Goodger’s house in Winddang Beach and still have my own bedroom whenever I can make it. We became a family and great friends. And after many trips we created this album Dancin’ Up A Storm.”
In 1997, the Tornado’s kicked up cover of the country classic “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” became a worldwide techno dance hit with dance steps created by the aforementioned Hillbilly Rick. A year later, the Aussie band released Waltzing Matilda, which landed in the dance clubs with a new dance from our favorite Hillbilly. As Rick recalls, ” It was at one of the first Mobile Beat DJ Shows in Vegas and I was getting ready to go on stage following Christy Lane and she is one tough act to follow. All of a sudden, I started hearing ‘Waltzing Matilda” in my head. ‘Everybody say Waltzing, Waltzing Matilda’
I could not get it out of my head. After performing, I went upstairs and called the band in Australia and said, ‘I have the next song for you.’ When I said Waltzing Matilda, they said it had been done a thousand times, but I said not like this, we’re doing it country techno and we are also going to tell the story of it.’
So now, years later, Australia’s Tornadoes are enjoying a new spurt of success with their recent has signing to release both songs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the BMG Germany label. Putting the songs out in other countries is also under consideration.
So what’s next? According Hillbilly Rick, an new album entitled “Dancin’ Up A Storm” is in the works with the goal of being an album for the whole world can dance to. The collection will spotlight dances choreographed by dancers from other countries as well as Australia. No release date is yet available.