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Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette Johnny & Dorsey - The Burnette Brothers (CD)

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(Rockstar) 33 tracks, 8-page booklet. The first of a double-barelled CD release by Johnny... more

Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette: Johnny & Dorsey - The Burnette Brothers (CD)

(Rockstar) 33 tracks, 8-page booklet.

The first of a double-barelled CD release by Johnny Burnette along with brother Dorsey. This selection contains material recorded for 'Freedom', 'Imperial', and 'Liberty', including several previously unissued performances. The set closes with the super-rare titles made for the 'Van' label in 1954! - MM/Bear Family Records

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Burnette, Johnny - Johnny & Dorsey - The Burnette Brothers (CD) CD 1
01 Me And The Bear Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
02 Gumbo Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
03 Kiss Me (two versions) Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
04 I'm Restless Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
05 Sweet Baby Doll Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
06 I'll Never Love Again Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
07 Try Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
08 You Came As A Miracle Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
09 It's Late Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
10 I Only Came To Dance Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
11 Your Love Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
12 Lonely Train (two versions) Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
13 Way In The Middle Of The Night Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
14 Misery Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
15 Circle Rock Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
16 House With A Tin Roof Top Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
17 Water Boy Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
18 Chained Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
19 Jeannie Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
20 Wait For Me Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
21 Warm Love Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
22 Boppin' Rosalie Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
23 Do Baby Do Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
24 My Honey Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
25 We're Havin' A Party Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
26 Waitin' At The Station (two versions) Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
27 Interview Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
28 Christmas Message Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
29 Go Mule Go Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
30 You're Undecided Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette
Johnny Burnette The Train Kept A-Rollin' - Memphis to Hollywood : The Complete Recordings... more
"Johnny Burnette & Dorsey Burnette"

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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Tracklist
Burnette, Johnny - Johnny & Dorsey - The Burnette Brothers (CD) CD 1
01 Me And The Bear
02 Gumbo
03 Kiss Me (two versions)
04 I'm Restless
05 Sweet Baby Doll
06 I'll Never Love Again
07 Try
08 You Came As A Miracle
09 It's Late
10 I Only Came To Dance
11 Your Love
12 Lonely Train (two versions)
13 Way In The Middle Of The Night
14 Misery
15 Circle Rock
16 House With A Tin Roof Top
17 Water Boy
18 Chained
19 Jeannie
20 Wait For Me
21 Warm Love
22 Boppin' Rosalie
23 Do Baby Do
24 My Honey
25 We're Havin' A Party
26 Waitin' At The Station (two versions)
27 Interview
28 Christmas Message
29 Go Mule Go
30 You're Undecided