Bobby Poe and The Poe Kats - Rockabilly Hall of Famers from the 1950's - were one of the first interracial Rock and Roll groups. The Poe Kats featured legendary African American piano player Big Al Downing and renowned lead guitarist Vernon Sandusky. In 1956 when Bobby Poe started the band, Big Al and Vernon were both 16 and Bobby was 22. Drummer Joe Brawley, who was also a teenager at the time, rounded out the quartet.!
The late, great Big Al Downing went on to become a Number 1 Country star. Vernon Sandusky was the leader of the British Invasion-era band The Chartbusters in the 1960's and starting in the 1970's was Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark's lead guitarist for over 20 years.
Bobby Poe went on to become an artist manager and producer in the 1960's. In the late 1960's "The Poe Kat" founded the respected music industry publication "Pop Music Survey". Starting in 1972, Bobby Poe presented 25 annual "Pop Music Survey" Radio/Record Conventions, which lasted until his gala retirement Convention in 1996. Bobby Poe passed away in January of 2011.
The Poe Kats were also Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson's first Rock & Roll touring and backing band. Various members can be found on her early Capitol Records singles, including the Rockabilly classic "Let's Have A Party".
Bobby Poe and The Poe Kats were inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame on March 7th, 2009.