Gene Summers
1939 - 2021
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SUMMERS, Gene Texas Rock 'n Roll pioneer Gene Summers (born David Eugene Summers), passed away in Dallas on the evening of Feb 17th. The "Texas Rebel", with his sons Steven and Shawn by his side, slipped away peacefully to be with his wife Dea. She predeceased him, almost to the day, in 2017. His music career spanned over 60 years garnering worldwide fans and an influential legacy that will last as long as Rockabilly and Roots music exist. Best known for his late 50s singles (with the group "The Rebels"): "School of Rock 'n Roll", "Straight Skirt" and "Nervous", Gene, for over 30 years, was a perennial headliner in the Rockabilly world. In the early years (with "The Tom Toms") he toured with Chuck Berry, The Drifters, Bobby Hendricks, Fabian and Bobby Darin. As a soloist and club performer he appeared with notable artists such as Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Eddie Fontaine, Connie Francis, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Velvet, Ronnie Dawson and many more. He charted multiple singles nationally and was an artist for several labels including Alta, EMI, Jan and Mercury. His best selling and highest charting song was "Big Blue Diamonds", released in 1964 on the Donnybrook label. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997, but his ability, over decades, to cross over into other genres like Country, Blues and Pop is a testament to his staying power in an ever changing industry. His accomplishments were many and he lived a fulfilling life. Besides his fame as a singer he also enjoyed success as a publisher, songwriter, producer, actor, nightclub owner, wrestling announcer and Real Estate investor. However, his family always came first. Vacations, birthdays, holidays, school events, sports - he was there for it all. He never missed a beat. He was a devoted husband and loving father; a good friend to many and foe to none. His passing has left a void in the hearts of his family, friends and numerous fans, but they will keep his memory alive. The School of Rock 'n Roll may have shuttered its doors, but Gene will always be the head master. He is survived by his sons Steven, Shawn and Dusty. His family will honor him with a private service. However, a public event to celebrate Gene will be announced in the near future.




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Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 21, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
March 2, 2021
Ben BenBop
March 2, 2021
Gene, You will never be forgotten ❤
Ben BenBop
February 24, 2021
Working in Gene's band in the 60's was a treat. He was a very talented and thoroughly decent human being. My sincere condolences to his family.
Laurry Michlin
Friend
February 23, 2021
To the last of a great generation, that contributed to the introduction of Rock and Roll both of the day and leading us to where we are today.
This was the best obituary I have read in a long time.
May God Bless this man, his family, his friends and his fans.
He certainly made a positive impact to this world. That’s all we ALL can hope to accomplish while we are here.

Sincerely,
Don Holtzclaw
Don Holtzclaw
Acquaintance
February 22, 2021
One of the best! We are fortunate that he left so much great music behind to be enjoyed forever. May he rest in eternal peace and may our Lord's mercies surround and engulf his family.
A. McClung
Friend
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