Gene Lamarr is best known for his 1958 cult rockabilly classic “That Crazy Little House on the Hill.” Born in Atlanta but raised in San Diego, he was playing in a local bar band, Joel Hill & the Strangers, while still a teen. Around 1956, he formed his own band, the Blue Flames, releasing "That Crazy Little House on the Hill" two years later on the Spry label. A local hit, it was followed up with "You Can Count On Me" and "Moon Eyes."
After founding his own Flame record label, he released an instrumental called "Hammerhead" and one more 1961 single, "Baby What Would You Do," before retiring from music to take a job working for General Dynamics.
By the early 2000s, Lamarr was back to occasionally playing guitar around bars in Poway and was building a home recording studio when he suffered heart failure and passed away in April 2007. The March 2011 issue of newly revamped Goldmine magazine included an article about Lamarr.
(Photos courtesy Action Andy Rasmussen)