Thursday, 5 May 2016

ROCKERS & MODS #3: Johnny Burnette & His Rock 'n Roll Trio

Rockbilly Boogie
Coral Records USA, 1957

The Rockers:  The following biography by RICHIE UNTERBERGER is taken from the AllMusic website.  [It is re-posted here for recommendation purposes only and, like the material displayed above, remains its author's exclusive copyright-protected intellectual property.]

A contemporary of Elvis Presley in the Memphis scene of the mid 1950s, Johnny Burnette played a similar brand of fiery, spare wildman rockabilly. With his brother Dorsey  Burnette (on bass) and guitarist Paul Burlison forming his Rock 'n Roll Trio, he recorded a clutch of singles for Decca in 1956 and 1957 that achieved nothing more than regional success. Featuring the groundbreaking fuzzy tone of Burlison's guitar, Johnny's energetic vocals, and Dorsey's slapping bass, these recordings - highlighted by the first rock & roll version of Train Kept A-Rollin' –– compare well to the classic Sun rockabilly of the same era. The trio disbanded in 1957, and Johnny found pop success as a teen idol in the early 1960s with hits like You're Sixteen and Dreamin'. Burnette died in a boating accident in 1964. His brother Dorsey achieved modest success as a solo act in the early 1960s, and Burlison resurfaced as a member of the Sun Rhythm Section.

The exceptional guitar work of Paul Burlison would be enough to elevate Rockbilly Boogie to the status of a rock 'n roll classic all on its ownThe sound Burlison makes would not be out of place on an early record by The Clash and nor would Burnette's blistering lead vocal – further proof, should anyone still need it, that Memphis had a lot more to offer the world besides the culture-changing phenomenon better known as Elvis Presley.

Click HERE to listen to more great music by JOHNNY BURNETTE with his ROCK 'N ROLL TRIO and as a solo artist on YouTubeHis son ROCKY BURNETTE had a #1 hit in Australia (it reached #8 in the US) with his 1980 song Tired Of Toein' The Line which you can listen to by clicking HERE.

Special thanks to those who take the time to upload music to YouTube.  Your efforts are appreciated by music lovers everywhere.

You might also enjoy:
ROCKERS & MODS #1: Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
ROCKERS & MODS #2: Jacques Dutronc

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