Blue Suede News #62 33
Johnny Burnette The Complete Recordings 1955 — 1964 Bear Family BCD 16438
Well, Johnny Burnette's work with the Rock'n'Roll Trio (the first disc here) is absolutely essential. In fact we bought Bear Family's single disc of them for our-selves for Christmas! If you're one of those vehemently anti teen idol types perhaps you make exceptions for certain artists like Johnny Burnette because of their earlier contributions. Even still, will you want to listen to 5 CDs of "Dreamin'", "Your Sixteen" and remakes of nearly every other similar hit from other artists?
I did, and there ARE some interesting ar-ticles in there, such as most of Johnny's country flavored covers. He could prob-ably have enjoyed at least as much suc-cess as Dorsey did in Country Music, if not perhaps as much as Conway Twitty, had he lived. And there are things like "Aunt Marie" in which he is trying to cash in on Walter Brennan's "Old Rivers" and actually does a fairly credible imitation without strictly attempting to do so! Yep, they seem to have tried nearly everything imaginable, the Johnny Horton knock-offs like "Patrick Henry" on down. Also inter-esting are things I'd not actually heard such as the Texans' single "Green Grass" and its followup (actually recorded by Dave Shriver, Johnny & Dorsey aren't on it) "01 Reb"/"Rocking Johnny Home".
Some would want this entirely for the 2 CDs of demos most of which hadn't been released before. I'd want it at least for the couple of live cuts of "Keep A Knockin'" and "Bony Maronie", and of course the beautiful book with notes, sessionography (but not for the demos or live cuts), and lots of pictures. There are also a couple of interviews I hadn't heard, and which are great to have, plus both sides of the Vaden single that started them off as the Burnett Rhythm Rangers. When Johnny sings Hank Williams you can sure hear where he came from. And his final single with "What A Summer Day" (about a top-less bathing suit!) is also very interest-ing. Even completists who've got every-thing out before will have to have this, since there are many previously unreleased tracks. Well, now for the book — we know a book is being researched on the Burnettes and hope to see that someday!