NEW MADISON — Tom Everhart loves rock and roll. It’s evident in the way that he lives and breathes that music genre.
Not only has been serving as deejay at many functions over the years, but he collects the music, the records, autographs from famous artists and has even written some books on his knowledge of rock and roll.
“I have written four books with two more to be published later this year,” he said. “One of the books has been entitled ‘0-60 in Five Minutes.’ Two others are ‘Everhart’s Rock-n-Roll Show Take it on the Road’ and ‘Golden Rocks in ’70s and Beyond.’ The guy who did my first book was Jim Morrison’s brother-in-law from Coronado, California. I have all his books. He grew up in Liverpool where the Beatles were from.”
In his book, “0-60 in Five Minutes,” some messages were written by others, such as “Video Killed the Radio Star, or so the song goes, and even though it was true, the DJ was rapidly fading away and instead of just listening we were now watching on MTV” and “Tom Everhart, to this very day, lives the life of the DJ and here he chronicles his lifetime tunes. A true gift for rock-and-rollers around the world.”
Everhart’s own poem appears in the book:
“Vinyl gone forever.
Never to hear those tunes again.
The day the music died.
So long, Buddy, Ritchie, J.P.”
On one dresser in his office sits a collage featuring him and the Doors.
“There are a lot of good stories up there,” Everhart said.
He has the autographs of Chuck Berry, Jan and Dean, Bill Bartlett, Rick Derringer, Brenda Lee, Canned Heat and the local group, the Kuhn Sisters.
“I went to school with Marilyn [Kuhn] through third grade at Westmont,” he said.
“Black Betty,” he said is his most requested song at gatherings.
His favorite label, he said, is RCA.
He has in his possession the Million Dollar Quartet’s all original songs with no re-issues on the Sun Label. The quartet, he said, was made up of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. And, he has another album with Country Joe McDonald with various artists.
“I saw him live at Monterey Pop two years before Woodstock,” Everhart said. “It was their original concert not knowing it would be part of rock and roll history.”
He also has all of the original Beatles’ 45 records.
“I bought Love Me Do in 1962, and, after Capitol Records took over in 1965, it took over number-one,” he said.
Everhart said when he took a college course to become a teacher’s aide, he enrolled in a class called history of rock and roll with Professor Bob Anew.
“I wrote a report on The Doors, and I got an A-plus, with a note attached: Remarks as poetic as the songs,” he said. “We had to pick a group and translate what we got out of songs.”
Everhart said he was always correcting the professor’s findings, with names and dates.
“I’m actually a nobody but handle a lot of behind the scene things,” he said.
Why does he, at age 73, wear his hair long?
“I was in the era with the hippies and beatniks,” he said. “I guess it’s flashback stuff.”
Everhart said he has actually met Chuck Berry, Dean of Jan and Dean fame and Brenda Lee.
He has 18,000 45 records and noted he about falls asleep when trying to count all of his albums.
“I have every 45 of Bill Haley of the Comets,” he said.
Everhart said he has especially enjoyed deejaying for senior citizens dances the last two years, and on, July 12, he will begin deejaying for Memory Lane Seniors dances at the Eagles Lodge in Greenville from 1 to 4 p.m. every Monday.
He also goes to his garage and play music from time to time.
“My dad built me a turntable made out of a wood suitcase in probably the mid- to late-’70s wired up to two record players,” he said. “I still have the record players.”
His equipment, he said, has changed with age. He used to take 105-pound speakers to gigs that took him to seven counties, including Jay, Randolph, South Adams and Wayne in Indiana and Preble, Miami and Darke Counties in Ohio. Now, he takes with him 26-pound speakers.
“I have done all of the high school proms at Tri-Village, a lot of years,” he said. “I will be doing Tri-Village Class of 1987’s 30th anniversary this year on July 29, and I will be in Richmond High School at Forest Hills in August. I also did the Gettysburg Alumni.”
Everhart became interested in rock and roll when he was 13.
“I was reading books and buying records,” he said.
He said his top 10 artists in order are Elvis, The Doors, Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Foreigner, Buddy Holly, Rolling Stones, Beatles with Roy Orbison, Fats Domino and Eddie Cochran lumped together at the end.
“1954-64 were the best years for the pioneers of rock and roll,” he said.
His top five favorite songs are: “Jailhouse Rock,” “Rock Around the Clock,” “Light My Fire,” “Bebop Baby” and “Johnny Be Good.”
He has been to some concerts, but because of his own playing dates, couldn’t make it to too many.