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Johnny Burnette Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks
 
 

catalog number: BCD16992

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Johnny Burnette: Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

Video von Johnny Burnette - Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

Johnny Burnette - 'Johnny Rocks' from the Bear Family CD Series - Rocks -

Includes 11 super-rare Johnny Burnette demos recordings from the 1950s
Sensational pictures of Johnny Burnette and a detailed 43 page book.


Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

If, in the days or weeks before his untimely death, someone had asked Johnny Burnette how he would be remembered, he would probably have mentioned his early Sixties hits or the songs he'd written for Ricky Nelson. And he would have been wrong. His legend rests in two groups of sessions from 1956 that yielded no hits. Those incendiary recordings, even the youthful infighting and jealousy that surrounded them, are a little catechism in how and why this music was different from anything that had come before. When musicologists deconstruct rockabilly and when revivalists reconstruct it, they're trying to unravel the magic of Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio.

Johnny and his brother Dorsey 

were well placed to be in the vanguard of rock 'n' roll. They were, after all, two of the very few Memphis rockabillies actually from Memphis. Dorsey was born on December 28, 1932 and Johnny on March 28, 1934. Their father gave them Gene Autry guitars in 1939, and in an unerring foretaste of things to come, they broke them over each others' heads. "Dad went out and bought us two more guitars," said Dorsey. "He said, 'Learn to play. You can be like those folks on the Grand Ole Opry.' We started playing parties, little dances, and weddings." The Burnettes' teenage years revolved around boxing tournaments, edge-of-town juke joints, and (for Dorsey) a spell in the state reform school.

In the early Fifties, Johnny and Dorsey 

led the Burnette Rhythm Rangers. Scotty Moore, who would later join Elvis, played guitar with them once or twice. The Burnettes inspired more fear than respect at this point in their lives. In his autobiography, Scotty recalled a honky tonk gig in Laconia, Tennessee. "All hell broke loose," he wrote. "Johnny and Dorsey were notorious fighters. They'd been banned from all the Cotton Carnivals. I don't know how many the two of them were fighting—a bunch of them. Dorsey got stuck in his thigh with a knife. I decided then, 'Well boys, I don't think we can book you again around here.'"

Dorsey had already met Paul Burlison,

 another aspiring boxer who fooled with music. Burlison was born near Brownsville, Tennessee on February 4, 1929. "I loved the blues," he said later. "Cottonpatch blues. I played with Howlin' Wolf on the radio. He was working in the cotton fields near West Memphis and he came into KWEM every afternoon. I worked a show with [a hillbilly band]. One afternoon I put some blues licks in a song and I saw Wolf looking through the glass and he smiled at me. When I got through he walked up and said he liked the way I played. I played with him that night and this went on for about three months." Burlison was one of the very few musicians not physically intimidated by the Burnettes, and they began working together in 1951. "A lot of people," he said, "think that the Rock 'n' Roll Trio was only together from 1956 and until the Fall of 1957 but we were playing regularly together from 1951." Their first record, Go On Mule, for Von Records of Booneville, Mississippi, was made around November 1955, but sold so poorly that it barely counted as a debut at all (Go On Mule was based on an old pop song, Go 'long Mule, that had become a '20s country song. Mule Boy on this compilation is unrelated, and was probably a demo intended for Johnny Cash).

Johnny already had a family to raise. He'd married Thurley D'Angelillo, and their first son, Rocky, was born on June 12, 1953. Trying to pay the bills, he became an appliance salesman (working alongside Johnny Cash), and a repo man. Dorsey and Paul were electricians. They had a weekend gig with a western swing bandleader, Doc McQueen, at the Hideaway Club. "If you listen to 'Rock-Billy Boogie,'" said Burlison, "you can hear us singing about the Hideaway." They were already thinking about going to New York when Paul and Dorsey were laid off from their day jobs. Suddenly, there was no reason not to go.

"Elvis was gonna be on the Tommy Dorsey Show," Burlison said later."One day, Johnny said, 'Let's go up there and get on one of them television shows, see if we can't make it.' Dorsey had an old '49 Ford with recapped tires, so we loaded everything into it and took off. We got so excited, and when we got to Brownsville, I said, 'Hey, we didn't even tell Doc.' So we stopped and I went to a phone booth and called him. I said, 'Doc, we ain't gonna be there this weekend. We wanted to let you know so you can get someone else.' This was, like, Wednesday. He said, 'Oh well, if y'all make it big, lemme know.'"

The Trio auditioned for 'The Ted Mack Amateur Hour' just as Elvis' last appearances on the Dorsey brothers' 'Stage Show' were creating a sensation. Someone on Mack's team thought the Burnettes might do for Mack's ratings what Elvis had done for the Dorseys' ratings, and the trio leapfrogged the line-up. There was a strict no alcohol policy, but the Burnettes mixed some whiskey with Coke, poured it into a little hair oil bottle and hid it in Burlison's guitar case. They took a few slugs and went out to greet the world. It was April 1, 1956. They won three straight appearances in April and May, gaining a mandatory place on the finalists' tour in September. Between the second and third appearance they found a manager. Bill Randle, a top rated dee-jay on WERE, Cleveland, phoned his friend Henry Jerome, a Juilliard-schooled trumpeter who led a band at the Hotel Edison. Jerome went backstage at the Mack show, signed the trio, and placed them with the Coral division of Decca Records. In many ways, the Rock 'n' Roll Trio's recordings were a case study in the New York music business trying to come to terms with what was happening down south. The South controlled the music, and the North controlled the business. The Burnettes had no idea what was going on. "We didn't even know what a lawyer was," Dorsey told journalist Jim Newcombe. "We didn't know whether to scratch our watch or wind our ass."

​1-CD-Album Digipak (6-plated) with 43-page booklet, 36 tracks. Playing time approx. 74 minutes


 

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Artikeleigenschaften von Johnny Burnette: Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

  • Interpret: Johnny Burnette

  • Albumtitel: Johnny Burnette - Johnny Rocks

  • Format CD
  • Genre Rock 'n' Roll

  • Music Genre Rock 'n' Roll
  • Music Style Rock & Roll
  • Music Sub-Genre 201 Rock & Roll
  • Edition 2 Deluxe Edition
  • Title Johnny Rocks
  • Label BEAR FAMILY RECORDS

  • Price code AR
  • SubGenre Rock - Rock'n'Roll

  • EAN: 4000127169921

  • weight in Kg 0.200
 
 

Artist description "Burnette, Johnny"

Johnny Burnette The Train Kept A-Rollin' - Memphis to Hollywood :
The Complete Recordings 1955-1964

It's strange, the tricks that history plays. Johnny Burnette, now dead almost forty years, would never have guessed that his legendary status would not be rooted in the handful of hits he scored in the early Sixties, not even in the songs he crafted for Ricky Nelson, but for a handful of sessions he cut in 1956 and 1957. Those sessions resulted in no hits, yet generation after generation turns to them in search of rockabilly's primal yawp. The scorching vocals, stunning lead guitar, even the youthful infighting and jealousies heralded the dawn of a new era. When musicologists deconstruct rockabilly and when revivalists reconstruct it, they're usually trying to unravel the magic of Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio. This, though, is the complete arc of Johnny Burnette's career. So much happened in just nine years. The earliest recordings, dating from the last gasp of the hillbilly jamborees, gave way to the fury of the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, which in turn led to the Ricky Nelson era. Johnny tamed rockabilly's fire, but kept enough of the passion intact to make the songs he wrote for Ricky Nelson among the era's most listenable.

Then came his own hits, few in number but perfect encapsulations of the era. Finally, we encounter him in search of something new during the first rumblings of the British Invasion. Johnny Burnette's life was short. He not only lived through an amazing transition, but played a pivotal role in it. The Burnettes were well placed to be in the vanguard of the rock 'n' roll explosion. Johnny and his older brother Dorsey were two of the very few Memphis rockabillies actually from Memphis. Dorsey was born on December 28, 1932 and Johnny (or John Joseph to give him his full name) on March 28, 1934 (although when Johnny filled out his application for a Social Security card in 1951, he gave his birthdate as March 25, 1934…and when he became successful on Liberty, he gave his birthdate as 1938). Their parents were Willie May and Dorsey Burnett, Sr. (the 'e' was added later).

Dorsey was a distant relative of frontiersman Andy Burnette, who never achieved the legendary status of Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett, but was nevertheless the subject of a Disney TV movie in the 1950s. Dorsey, Sr. and Willie May were from Birmingham, Alabama. Both were stories in themselves. Willie was born on August 11, 1898, but her parents died before she was two years old, and she was fostered out to an aunt who married her off to a traveling evangelist named Sparks when she was thirteen. They had four children, but Johnny and Dorsey barely knew their half-siblings. Sparks took them to California, and they remained estranged from Willie. Apparently, Sparks died insane. When Willie was thirty years old, she met Dorsey Sr., then recuperating from a mining accident.

He had been trying to push a fellow worker from the path of an oncoming coal car and had lost part of one hand, leaving just his thumb and index finger, like a lobster claw. Willie nursed him back to health and they married. During the late years of the Depression, they hitchhiked across the country, and, at one point, were picked up by the gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. They spent several days with Floyd in a motel court in Oklahoma or Arkansas. When he left, he gave them fifty dollars, which they had to explain away to the police when they arrived. At some point, Dorsey and Willie moved to Memphis and started a little business selling sandwiches. When Johnny first remembered, they lived in the north end of Memphis. The house was small. "Dad built it hisself," said Johnny. "It looked like a matchbox. You could throw a cat through it." It's possible that the Burnettes actually lived outside the city limits because they don't figure into the city directories from the 1930s. Dorsey Sr. gave Johnny and Dorsey a pair of Gene Autry guitars in 1939. In an unerring foretaste of things to come, they broke the guitars over each others' heads. "Dad went out and bought us two more guitars," Dorsey said later.

"He said, 'Learn to play those guitars, you can be like those folks on the Grand Ole Opry.' We started playing parties, little dances, and weddings. We made little or no money, but we had a blast doing it." The Burnettes' hearts were in athletics. Johnny was a linebacker in his high school football team and a guard in their basketball team. "The football team was the lowest class football team in Memphis, but a determined one," Johnny said later. Johnny and Elvis' future bodyguard, Red West, engaged in several knock-down, drag-out conflicts on the football field. Dorsey and Johnny took up boxing on an amateur basis and Dorsey apparently reached the Golden Gloves championships.

In 1946-1947, though, Dorsey's career was derailed by a stint in the state training school. He and two others were apprehended and his accomplices went to jail, although Dorsey never told anyone what he'd done. He left school in 1949 and began working joe-jobs to help out the family. Johnny left Blessed Sacrament parochial school in 1948, and went to Catholic High.

 
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