John Joseph "Johnny" Burnette (March 25, 1934 – August 14, 1964) was an American singer-songwriter rockabilly musician. Along with his older brother Dorsey Burnette and friend Paul Burlison, Burnette was a founding member of the Rock and Roll Trio. He was the father of 1980s rockabilly singer Rocky Burnette.   Johnny Burnette was born to Willie May and Dorsey Burnett Sr. in Memphis, Tennessee. (The 'e’ at the end of the name was added later.) Johnny grew up with his parents and Dorsey Jr. in a public housing project in the Lauderdale Courts area of Memphis, which from 1948 until 1954 was also the home of Gladys and Vernon Presley and their son Elvis.   Early press reports, dating back to 1956, claimed that Johnny attended Humes High School with Elvis Presley, which was not true. Johnny went initially to the Blessed Sacrament Parochial School and after graduating from the eighth grade he moved on to the Catholic High School in Memphis. Here he showed an aptitude for sports, being on the school baseball team and playing as linebacker on the school's football team. Both he and Dorsey were also keen amateur boxers and were to become Golden Gloves Champions. After leaving high school, Burnette tried his hand at becoming a professional boxer, but after one fight with a sixty dollar purse and a broken nose or an encounter with Norris Ray, a top paycheck of $150, he decided to quit the ring. He went to work on the barges traversing the Mississippi River, where Dorsey Burnette also worked. Johnny worked mainly as a deck hand while Dorsey worked as an oiler. After work they would go back to Memphis, where they would perform those and other songs at local bars, with a varying array of sidemen, including another former Golden Gloves champion named Paul Burlison, whom Dorsey had met at an amateur boxing tournament in Memphis in 1949.   In 1952, the Burnette brothers and Burlison formed a group called the Rhythm Rangers. Johnny Burnette sang the vocals and played acoustic guitar, Dorsey played bass and Paul Burlison played lead guitar. For economic reasons, the three young men moved to New York in 1956 and managed to get an audition with the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. Winning the competition three times in a row gained them a place in the finals and a recording contract with Coral Records, and they officially became the Rock and Roll Trio. They also gained a manager, bandleader Henry Jerome, and a drummer, Tony Austin, a cousin of Carl Perkins.   Promotional appearances were arranged on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Steve Allen's Tonight Show and Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, together with a summer tour with Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. On Sunday September 9, 1956, they appeared as finalists in the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour at Madison Square Garden. Despite all of this activity, however, the three singles which were released over this period failed to make the national charts.   In order to cover their living expenses, the Trio was forced to go on the road, completing what seemed to be an endless stream of one-night stands. This exhausting regime led to squabbles, which were exacerbated in Dorsey's case by Jerome's use of the name Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio on records and live dates. Things finally came to a head at a gig in Niagara Falls in autumn 1956, when, as a result of a fight, Dorsey quit the group a week before they were to appear in Alan Freed's film Rock, Rock, Rock.   Johnny Black, the brother of Elvis' bassist Bill Black, was rapidly recruited to fill Dorsey's place. Despite the film appearance and three more single releases and one LP release, the group failed to achieve any chart success. The Rock and Roll Trio officially disbanded in autumn 1957.   Now unemployed in Memphis, Johnny Burnette decided to try his luck in California. He and a friend, Joe Campbell, hitched down to the West Coast. Here they joined Dorsey and with their past differences forgotten, the brothers attempted to resurrect the Rock and Roll Trio, by sending for Paul Burlison. He joined them briefly, but decided to return to Memphis and concentrate on his electrical business. Dorsey and Johnny continued with their song writing activities, but Dorsey continued with his day job as an electrician to pay the family expenses.   The Burnettes' brashness got them their first success in the music business in California. On arriving in Los Angeles, Joe Campbell bought a copy of "A Map to the Stars" which showed the location of the teen idol Ricky Nelson's home. In an effort to get their songs to him, the Burnettes and Campbell decided to sit on the steps of the star's home until they could get a meeting with him.[citation needed] This persistence worked and Ricky was sufficiently impressed with their work, that he wound up recording many of their songs including "Believe What You Say", "It's Late", "Waitin' In School", and "Just a Little Too Much" amongst others. Other Imperial Records artists, such as Roy Brown, benefited from their songwriting abilities. He successfully recorded the brothers' "Hip Shakin' Baby" and this led to them signing a recording contract with Imperial Records as a duo. While in California, they met future Buck Owens and the Buckaroos bass player and solo artist Doyle Holly. Holly played bass guitar for a short time with the band.   As the Burnette Brothers, they were to have one single release on the Imperial label, "Warm Love"/"My Honey" (Imperial X5509), which was released on May 5, 1958. It did not make the charts. After this failure, they continued to co-operate as songwriters, but they began to follow separate careers as performing artists. In 1961, however, Johnny and Dorsey had two instrumental releases on the small Infinity and Gothic labels. The first single was "Green Grass of Texas"/"Bloody River" (Infinity INX-001), which was released on February 20, 1961. The second single was "Rockin' Johnny Home"/"Ole Reb" (Gothic GOX-001), which was released on May 29, 1961. Both of these records were under the name of the Texans. A further instrumental, "Lonely Island"/"Green Hills" (Liberty 55460) under the name of the Shamrocks was to appear on Liberty Records on June 6, 1962. "Green Grass of Texas"/"Bloody River" was to be re-released in February 1965 on the Vee Jay label (VJ 658), again under the name of the Texans.
  John Joseph "Johnny" Burnette (March 25, 1934 – August 14, 1964) was an American singer-songwriter rockabilly musician. Along with his older brother Dorsey Burnette and friend Paul Burlison, Burnette was a founding member of the Rock and Roll Trio. He was the father of 1980s rockabilly singer Rocky Burnette.   Johnny Burnette was born to Willie May and Dorsey Burnett Sr. in Memphis, Tennessee. (The 'e’ at the end of the name was added later.) Johnny grew up with his parents and Dorsey Jr. in a public housing project in the Lauderdale Courts area of Memphis, which from 1948 until 1954 was also the home of Gladys and Vernon Presley and their son Elvis.   Early press reports, dating back to 1956, claimed that Johnny attended Humes High School with Elvis Presley, which was not true. Johnny went initially to the Blessed Sacrament Parochial School and after graduating from the eighth grade he moved on to the Catholic High School in Memphis. Here he showed an aptitude for sports, being on the school baseball team and playing as linebacker on the school's football team. Both he and Dorsey were also keen amateur boxers and were to become Golden Gloves Champions. After leaving high school, Burnette tried his hand at becoming a professional boxer, but after one fight with a sixty dollar purse and a broken nose or an encounter with Norris Ray, a top paycheck of $150, he decided to quit the ring. He went to work on the barges traversing the Mississippi River, where Dorsey Burnette also worked. Johnny worked mainly as a deck hand while Dorsey worked as an oiler. After work they would go back to Memphis, where they would perform those and other songs at local bars, with a varying array of sidemen, including another former Golden Gloves champion named Paul Burlison, whom Dorsey had met at an amateur boxing tournament in Memphis in 1949.   In 1952, the Burnette brothers and Burlison formed a group called the Rhythm Rangers. Johnny Burnette sang the vocals and played acoustic guitar, Dorsey played bass and Paul Burlison played lead guitar. For economic reasons, the three young men moved to New York in 1956 and managed to get an audition with the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. Winning the competition three times in a row gained them a place in the finals and a recording contract with Coral Records, and they officially became the Rock and Roll Trio. They also gained a manager, bandleader Henry Jerome, and a drummer, Tony Austin, a cousin of Carl Perkins.   Promotional appearances were arranged on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Steve Allen's Tonight Show and Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, together with a summer tour with Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. On Sunday September 9, 1956, they appeared as finalists in the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour at Madison Square Garden. Despite all of this activity, however, the three singles which were released over this period failed to make the national charts.   In order to cover their living expenses, the Trio was forced to go on the road, completing what seemed to be an endless stream of one-night stands. This exhausting regime led to squabbles, which were exacerbated in Dorsey's case by Jerome's use of the name Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio on records and live dates. Things finally came to a head at a gig in Niagara Falls in autumn 1956, when, as a result of a fight, Dorsey quit the group a week before they were to appear in Alan Freed's film Rock, Rock, Rock.   Johnny Black, the brother of Elvis' bassist Bill Black, was rapidly recruited to fill Dorsey's place. Despite the film appearance and three more single releases and one LP release, the group failed to achieve any chart success. The Rock and Roll Trio officially disbanded in autumn 1957.   Now unemployed in Memphis, Johnny Burnette decided to try his luck in California. He and a friend, Joe Campbell, hitched down to the West Coast. Here they joined Dorsey and with their past differences forgotten, the brothers attempted to resurrect the Rock and Roll Trio, by sending for Paul Burlison. He joined them briefly, but decided to return to Memphis and concentrate on his electrical business. Dorsey and Johnny continued with their song writing activities, but Dorsey continued with his day job as an electrician to pay the family expenses.   The Burnettes' brashness got them their first success in the music business in California. On arriving in Los Angeles, Joe Campbell bought a copy of "A Map to the Stars" which showed the location of the teen idol Ricky Nelson's home. In an effort to get their songs to him, the Burnettes and Campbell decided to sit on the steps of the star's home until they could get a meeting with him.[citation needed] This persistence worked and Ricky was sufficiently impressed with their work, that he wound up recording many of their songs including "Believe What You Say", "It's Late", "Waitin' In School", and "Just a Little Too Much" amongst others. Other Imperial Records artists, such as Roy Brown, benefited from their songwriting abilities. He successfully recorded the brothers' "Hip Shakin' Baby" and this led to them signing a recording contract with Imperial Records as a duo. While in California, they met future Buck Owens and the Buckaroos bass player and solo artist Doyle Holly. Holly played bass guitar for a short time with the band.   As the Burnette Brothers, they were to have one single release on the Imperial label, "Warm Love"/"My Honey" (Imperial X5509), which was released on May 5, 1958. It did not make the charts. After this failure, they continued to co-operate as songwriters, but they began to follow separate careers as performing artists. In 1961, however, Johnny and Dorsey had two instrumental releases on the small Infinity and Gothic labels. The first single was "Green Grass of Texas"/"Bloody River" (Infinity INX-001), which was released on February 20, 1961. The second single was "Rockin' Johnny Home"/"Ole Reb" (Gothic GOX-001), which was released on May 29, 1961. Both of these records were under the name of the Texans. A further instrumental, "Lonely Island"/"Green Hills" (Liberty 55460) under the name of the Shamrocks was to appear on Liberty Records on June 6, 1962. "Green Grass of Texas"/"Bloody River" was to be re-released in February 1965 on the Vee Jay label (VJ 658), again under the name of the Texans.
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