Stray Cats is an American rockabilly band formed in 1980 by guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer (Bloodless Pharaohs/Brian Setzer Orchestra), upright bassist Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom (drums) in the Long Island town of Massapequa, New York. The group had numerous hit singles in the UK, Australia and the U.S. including "Stray Cat Strut", "Sexy and 17", "Look at That Cadillac," "I Won't Stand in Your Way", "Bring it Back Again", and "Rock This Town", which the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has listed as one of the 500 most important songs in the history of rock and roll.
The band first appeared in the summer of 1979 as "Brian Setzer and the Tomcats". In 1982, they joined The Rolling Stones' US-tour as opening act called "The Stray Cats". Since 1983 they use only "Stray Cats" as name. The band name Stray Cats already earlier appeared in the 1973 rock 'n' roll film That'll Be the Day and its 1974 sequel Stardust.
In the summer of 1980, the Cats found themselves being courted by the elite of the music world including Virgin Records, Stiff Records and Arista Records. Word quickly spread and soon members of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin were at their shows. After a gig in London, Stray Cats met producer Dave Edmunds, well known as a roots rock enthusiast for his work with Rockpile and as a solo artist. Edmunds offered to work with the group, and they entered the studio to record their self-titled debut album, Stray Cats, released in Britain in 1981 on Arista Records. They had three hits that year with "Runaway Boys", "Rock This Town", and "Stray Cat Strut". The UK follow-up to Stray Cats, Gonna Ball, was not as well-received, providing no hits. Yet the combined sales of their first two albums was enough to convince EMI America to compile the best tracks from the two UK albums and issue an album (Built for Speed) in the U.S. in 1982. The record went on to sell double platinum in the US and Canada and was the No. 2 record on the Billboard album charts for 26 weeks.
In late 1984, the band added former BMT's guitarist and Long Island native Tommy Byrnes on second guitar and harmony vocals, and after a European and US tour which ended at the New Orleans World's Fair, parted ways. Rocker and Phantom formed a trio called Phantom Rocker & Slick (the "Slick" being former David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick) whose debut album contained the single "Men Without Shame"; guest musicians on this record included both Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and pianist Nicky Hopkins. Setzer went on to a solo career, retaining Byrnes and exchanging his rockabilly focus for a more wide-ranging roots rock/Americana sound on albums such as 1986's The Knife Feels Like Justice. In 1986, the Stray Cats reunited in Los Angeles, and recorded the covers-heavy Rock Therapy. In 1989, they reunited once again for the album Blast Off!, which was accompanied by a tour with US blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. No longer with EMI America, they entered the studio with Nile Rodgers for the record titled Let's Go Faster, issued by Liberation in 1990. After 1992's Dave Edmunds-produced Choo Choo Hot Fish, and the cover album, Original Cool, the group called it quits again.
In 2004, the Stray Cats reunited for a month-long tour of Europe. A live album culled from those concerts, Rumble In Brixton, included one new studio track, "Mystery Train Kept A Rollin'." In 2007, they reunited once again for a successful and long awaited US tour with ZZ Top and The Pretenders. This was their first North American tour in over 15 years. In the 2000s, the band toured Europe as part of their Farewell Tour.
In April 2009 the band reunited for a single show to celebrate Brian’s 50th birthday at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis, MN. –wikipedia.org
The band’s tours include: European Tour 2004, North American Tour 2007, and Farewell Tour 2008-2009. From 1981 through 2012, Stray Cats has released seven LP’s, three CD’s, and 16 singles.