Growing up, I seemed to be cut from a different cloth. When the kids at school were into Rush and Led Zeppelin, I got into rockabilly, the Beatles and the Sex Pistols.
It was my dad who cultivated my fascination with old cars and motorcycles. He even turned me on to Link Wray, which started a 40 year quest to learn about this unsung rock and roll hero.
In the mid-1980's my fascination with Mid-Century Americana and Roadside Archaeology began when I stumbled across an article in The Washington Post. The story reported on the decommissioning of Route 66 - the Mother Road. It took a few years, but in 1991 I hit 66 for the very first time. I’ve been across various points of Route 66 eight times so far...and many other classic American roads in between.
After graduating high school, I spent a couple years working for a music distributor, racking records and tapes at various chain stores along the mid-Atlantic region. That lasted a few years, then I moved on to law enforcement. I became a Deputy Sheriff for the St. Mary's County Maryland Sheriff's Office - the oldest Sheriff's Office in the USA.
I had a rewarding career with the Sheriff's Office. Various assignments included working the street in the Patrol Division, "Officer Friendly" in Crime Prevention, Community Policing in Leonardtown Maryland and my career concluded as the supervisor in Traffic Safety.
I coordinated the first three award winning National Night Out events for St. Mary's, raised funds for Crime Solvers by promoting an annual car show and music events. During that time, I spoke to countless thousands in various St. Mary's County groups and associations.
In the 15-plus years since retiring from the Sheriff’s Office, my wife and I began raising our two young’uns along the Gulf Coast of Florida. The weather is good, and the hard crabs flow year ‘round.
I'm also in hot pursuit of documenting and preserving “Mid-Century Americana” through research, photographs, writings and websites.
I am honored to have served as a technical consultant as well as being the source of historical material for the Link Wray segment of the film “RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD.” I was thrilled to appear in this film briefly, along with a host of legendary entertainers. This film has won awards at Sundance, HotDocs and three Canadian Academy awards, the Canadian version of the “Oscars.”
I was interviewed by Music Realms about my work documenting lost heroes of American Music. You can read that interview here and read more about that work here.
If you are in need of some mid-century Americana content or research for your project, please get in touch!
Greg Laxton - Me