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Lest We Forget

Posted on September 27, 2003

Paul Burlison

Guitarist with Johnny Burnette’s “Rock and Roll Trio”


Guitarist Paul Burlison, 74, passed away Saturday, September 27, 2003 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Burlison had teamed up with brothers Johnny and Dorsey Burnette in the 1950s. The trio recorded rockabilly classics such as “Tear It Up”, “Honey Hush” and their biggest hit “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” Burlison’s guitar style influenced guitarists such as Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of interviewing Burlison in 1997 when his “solo” album “Train Kept A-Rollin'” was released. I asked Paul about his distinctive guitar sound on the original 50s version of “Train Kept A-Rollin'”. Burlison told me that he got the tone after he dropped his amp at a concert. They fixed the amp before the band went into the studio to record, but then couldn’t get the sound they wanted. So he dropped the amp again and that sound became history.

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