Paul Burlison, The Death of Rock 'n' Roll
Paul Burlison, 2002

Paul Burlison, a rock guitar pioneer who influenced Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, died Saturday September 27, 2003 of cancer in Horn Lake, Mississippi. He was 74.

Paul Burlison was born in Brownsville, Tennessee on February 4, 1929 and he established himself in the 1950s with a string of rockabilly hits, including "Tear It Up," "Honey Hush," "Lonesome Train," "Rock Therapy" and a version of Tiny Bradshaw's blues classic, "The Train Kept A-Rollin." He teamed with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette to form the Rock 'n' Roll Trio. They won Ted Mack's Amateur Hour three weeks in a row in 1956. The group recorded for Coral, a subsidiary of Decca, and made more than a dozen records between May 1956 and March 1957 when the trio split up. The Yardbirds, Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith played cover versions of Burlison's hits with special emphasis on his guitar riffs. Burlison launched a construction and realty company in 1972. He was active in the business until his death.

--- From: Star Tribune Obituaries, September 2003 ---

Paul Burlison, Train Kept A-Rollin'

Train kept a-rollin'

Of course we all know that one the greatest pioneers of rockabilly was Johnny Burnette. With his Rock 'n' Roll Trio he recorded some of the hottest original rockabilly tracks ever made. Most of these were recorded back in 1956 and 1957 and you only have to listen to any of these recordings to realize that these are still the very best examples of original 50s rockabilly. The Rock 'n' Roll trio consisted of Johnny Burnette (vocals and rhythm guitar), his brother Dorsey Burnette (Upright bass) and Paul Burlison (lead guitar). Although Johnny died in a fishing accident in Clear Lake, California, in 1964 and Dorsey died of a heartattack Los Angeles in 1979, the Burnette name has since been kept alive by Johnny sons Randy and Rocky Burnette.

The sole survivor of the trio is lead guitarist Paul Burlison. Paul is still very active in the rockabilly scene and he still plays the Fender F-Hole Telecaster hotter than ever. He can be heard on Rocky's CD "Get hot or go home" (must have!) and now he has released a hot new CD under his own name on Sweetfish Records. This multimedia CD called "Train kept a-rollin" has eleven audio-tracks on it; Some real hot new items, some well played covers of the old trio's stuff and some tributes to other great rockabilly screamers of the 50s. The CD is packed in a very nice folder-sleeve with lotsa info and a cd-size booklett inside, very nicely done!

Train kept a-rollin' (Bradshaw, Mann, Kay) ** / She's hot (Kim Wilson) / Lonesome tears in my eyes (Johnny, Dorsey, Paul and Al Mortimer) / We're gonna rock (Cesar Rosas) / Love's like rain (Jim Weider, Colin Linden) / Memphis blues (Billy Burnette, Dennis Morgan) / Love my baby (Junior Parker, Sam Phillips) / Hounddog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) / Trouble is I'm in love with you (Rocky, Paul, Scott Richardson) ** / Lonesome train (Glen Moore, Milton Subotsky) / Boogie to Woodstock (Paul Burlison, Jim Weider)

Besides these real hot audio-tracks, you can also find a MacroMedia (tm) presentation on this CD called "Train", this interactive multi-media presentation has some nice photo-footage, audio samples, interviews and a very nice "TV special" of the "Train kept a-rollin" recording-session. Of course you will need a computer, obviously you cannot play this on your audio rack...

Rocky Burnette is also present on this CD, singing lead-vocals on two tracks**. Rocky has released a new CD on Core in 1996 called "Tear it up".

The BlackCat, 1998