The Early Years: 1957-1969

The Early Years: 1957-1969

by James BurtonJames Burton


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James Burton has made some solo records, but he will always primarily be known as a top session guitarist. While this 28-track compilation does have about a dozen tracks on which he's the featured artist, part of a duo, or part of a group, the emphasis is on records credited to others that feature his axework. Ranging from big hits and superstars to rarities that will surprise even early rock & roll collectors, it's a testament both to his brilliant licks and his versatility. Rockabilly-pop of the late '50s and early '60s is the main fare, leading off with Dale Hawkins' 1957 hit "Susie-Q," and including four standout lesser-known tracks by Ricky Nelson, the singer with whom Burton is most strongly associated. Also good, however, are the rockabilly tunes by Bob Luman (especially "Red Hot") and Bobby Lee Trammell, whose smoking "Shirley Lee" would be covered by Nelson (with Burton again on guitar). These are the most exciting performances, but elsewhere Burton acquits himself well on country swing (a live TV performance of "Cannonball Rag"); novelties showcasing his Dobro playing, credited to Jimmy Dobro; and relatively obscure items by Lee Hazlewood, Merle Haggard, and the Everly Brothers. The material from the mid- to late '60s usually doesn't bear as strong of a stamp, but shows him adapting to the changing times with fuzztone on the 1965 solo single "Jimmy's Blues"; country-rock Dobro on Buffalo Springfield's "A Child's Claim to Fame"; and derivative but enjoyable imitation British Invasion music on a 1965 single by the Shindogs, the group he belonged to that served as the house band for the TV show Shindig. You still need a Ricky Nelson greatest-hits collection to get a full picture of Burton's finest and most influential work. But this is a pretty enjoyable listen in its own right, whether you're specifically interested in Burton or up for a consistently good anthology of rockabilly-pop-country-rock from the period.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/04/2011
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667046824
catalogNumber: 6704682
Rank: 28960

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Burton   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Merle Travis   Composer
James Burton   Composer
David Gates   Composer
Dale Hawkins   Composer
Lee Hazlewood   Composer
Bobby Lee Trammell   Composer
Richie Furay   Composer
Bill Emerson   Composer
Jerry Allison   Composer
Joey Cooper   Composer
Glen D. Hardin   Composer
Ralph Mooney   Composer
Rick Nelson   Composer
Scott Turner   Composer
Alec Palao   Illustrations
Rob Finnis   Illustrations
Trevor Churchill   Illustrations
Melvin Schmidt   Composer
Johnny Bachelor   Composer
Mira Smith   Composer
Joe Osborn   Composer
Mickey Jones   Composer
Baker Knight   Composer
Iain Young   Liner Notes,Illustrations
John Firminger   Liner Notes,Illustrations
John White   Composer
Floyd Jenkins   Composer
Eleanor Broadwater   Composer
Stan Lewis   Composer
Peter Kirkpatrick   Liner Notes
Gertrude Rainey   Composer
Martin Cooper   Composer
Rupert Stephens   Composer
Jesse Hodge   Composer
Alan Smith   Illustrations
Red West   Composer

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