Saturday, November 12, 2011

Billy Burnette Debuts On Americana Chart Prior To Rockabilly HOF Induction

Billy Burnette recorded his first single at age 7, recorded a song with Herb Alpert at 11, toured Japan at 13, and started an album career at 18. He starred in movies, and wrote hit songs for Ray Charles & Bonnie Raitt, Roy Orbison, Tammy Wynette, Faith Hill, Cher, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Fleetwood Mac, Glen Campbell, George Strait (Strait's 44th number one last year) and more. He recorded and toured as part of Fleetwood Mac for 8 years, was a guitarist in Bob Dylan’s band - and more recently with John Fogerty. But what Burnette really loves to do is make rockabilly music.

 His just released first studio album in a decade is filled with original songs and plenty of rockabilly. Rock N Roll With It, released digitally in June was a featured release on iTunes for almost a month and just debuted at #30 on the Americana Music Charts. And, on November 12, he will be inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, TN. He ought to be, the style was actually named after him.

Burnette is the “Billy” in the term “rockabilly.” Born in Memphis, along with cousin Rocky, the boys were the inspiration for “Rock Billy Boogie” recorded by his father and uncle known as “Johnny Burnette And The Rock And Roll Trio” in 1957. The Burnettes wrote monster hits like “Train Kept A-Rollin” “You’re Sixteen,” “It’s Late,” and influenced the careers of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Yardbirds and others. “Elvis used to spend many evenings jamming with the band,” recalls Billy. “I met Paul McCartney and he said that the Trio were one of his and John’s (Lennon’s) influences – nobody was making music like that back then.”

“My dad’s music seems to have an energy all its own, and this is the style I enjoy playing the most. And I thought it was time for me to do an album like this, and give people some real rockabilly,” shares Burnette. “This describes, for the first time in a long time, who I really am - all I can say is it's what I do and it's part of my DNA.”

“I wrote the title track, it says it all really. Just go with it, let it go. It should be easy to roll with some good music.” It’s also the name of the recording label he’s started, which is already meeting with success. The only ballad-type song on the record, “Only The River Knows,” is featured in the movie Blue Crush 2. “It’s kind of my tribute to Roy Orbison. It’s one of my favorite songs now.” 

“I have been so blessed just to make a living out of making music all of my life,” says Burnette. “But being inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame is an incredible honor, as it takes me back to the very beginning and the musical influence my father passed on to me.”

In addition, to celebrate the holidays Burnette re-cut and re-wrote the title track as a Christmas single. “Rock And Roll In Christmas” was just released, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit St Judes Children’s Research Hospital.

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