RAYBURN ANTHONY

Update, July 2001


RAYBURN ANTHONY, "Jackson Was Jumpin'" CD- 14 tracks.
A Vampirella Music release.
For complete information, contact: mcgmedian@aol.com.
Website: www.vamperirella.de


An accompished singer and songwriter, Rayburn was born and raised in West Tennessee between Memphis and Nashville. Growing up so close to the blues of Memphis and the country of Nashville, Rayburn developed his own unique style of music.

Rayburn has performed numerous times on the "Grand Ole Opry" and has had many successful tours on England, Scotland, Sweden and Canada. He makes many appearance throughout the US and is loved by everyone who has seen him perform.

His music career started with the old Sun Recording Studio in Memphis and he went on to record for several major record labels in Nashville.



RAYBURN'S BIO

Rayburn was born and raised in Humboldt, Tennessee which is just outside Jackson. His birthday is 23rd May 1937. One of eight children, he picked up his guitar playing from his elder brother Bob who played in a local band. As young Rayburn got more proficient, Bob would take him along and he started playing rhythm guitar in the band. As they mainly did instrumental numbers whenever they got asked for a particular song, Rayburn would then step up and sing. One of the places he used to sing was a local club, The Pineridge that opened late and so the local musicians would drop by after their own gigs or when they got back in town. WS Holland who lived in Jackson and who played drums on Carl Perkin's "Blue Suede Shoes" and all his other Sun and early Columbia recordings was taking a break from the road and working with another local singer Carl Mann. WS saw Rayburn in the local clubs and took him along to Sun Records where he sat down at a keyboard and sang a few songs for Sam. Rayburn thought it was just to let Sam hear his voice and that they would later set up with the full band, but Sam signed him off that solo audition.

Rayburn never cut all out rockabilly at Sun, as by the end of 1959, the commercial music world was changing but his "Hambone" featuring, as did all his Sun cuts, Eddie Bush on guitar, is a much underrated cut. His "There's No Tomorrow" is a minor classic too. He put out three singles on Sun all released on Bear Family and Sam Phillips actually called in an outside producer Vinnie Trout to get Rayburn a commercial sound.

They were all set to send him to St. Louis to plug his single of, "St. Louis Blues", but the payola scandal hit and this plan was cancelled. In all, Rayburn cut about 14 tracks at Sun. Some are still unreleased and he has in his possession a Sun cut that wasn't even listed when someone tried to inventory all the Sun tapes. This cut even has strings as Sam was trying to get with the times, but Eddie Bush has a great solo too.

His three singles on Sun were "St. Louis Blues", "there's No Tomorrow" and "Big Dream." Rayburn tells a story of how one day he was having trouble getting the feel of a particular ballad and Sam told him to imagine singing it to a beautiful blond. Still having trouble, Sam called time out and some time later, came back with a blond who he sat beside Rayburn who says, "It just made me more nervous."

He also remembers meeting Elvis when he would drop by the Sun studio to say hi. He also met Scotty Moore in Memphis and this would prove invaluable when he made his next career move.

After Sun, Rayburn started writing for Bill Black's music company and with a friend, Gene Dobbins, he wrote "Caution To The Wind", which was the B side of Sandy Posey's big hit, "Born A Woman." He later moved to Nashville to be closer to the action and worked at Scotty Moore's studio where he was able to cut many of his demos. To the best of his knowledge, Scotty never played on any of the sessions at the studio although sometimes he would take down his guitar and jam. Scotty and Rayburn are still good friends and have talked about cutting some stuff together.

Rayburn now set about his own recording career and certainly had his ups and downs. His song writing successes, however, helped him get his break. He was on the road for sometime with Billy Walker and wrote several songs for Billy, the biggest being "Sing Me A Love Song To Baby" which hit number one and won Rayburn an ASCAP award. Rayburn has recorded for a variety of labels including Musicor, Stop, Polydor and Mercury. He did a duet with a lady called Joyce Reynolds on the Cash classic "I Walk The Line" on Stop and also penned "40 Yards of Real Estate" for the Jordanaires Stop album "Monsters". On Musicor he was produced by Bob Moore. He had a good single, "You're Driving" cut and ready to go, but Pappy Daily held it back as another more well known artist came out with a similar title and Rayburn had to sit that one out. His move to Polydor came thanks to Bobby Bare who Rayburn fronted for on the road for four years. On Polydor his career began to take off and he charted with songs like "Maybe I Should Have Been Listening When She Said Goodbye." A shake-up in the company led to him being transferred to Mercury where his many chart records include "What Do You Need With Another Man", "Cheating Fire", and "Shadows Of Love." "Cheating Fire" looked like it was going to be a really big song for Rayburn but Conway Twitty heard the song and cut it too and guess who had the big one! On another Mercury recording "Easy" he is joined by the stablemate, Reba Mc Entyre. He also has Kitty Wells on his cut of "Wildside Of Live."

As a songwriter, his compositions have also been recorded by John Conley, Charlie Louvin and Melba Montgomery, Vern Gosdin, Charley Pride, Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis. The well known Scottish group Colorado also recorded several of his songs. Other acts Rayburn has worked on the road with include Melba Montgomery, Carl Perkins and on one gig only, he played bass for Linda Gail Lewis.

Rayburn was still very active in the nineties and that's when he was able to get two cuts by the singer's singer Vern Gosdin. Rayburn himself cut a fine single "I May Never Get Too Old For Bluejeans."/"A Way To Survive" that garnered him some great reviews, his voice on the ballad side being compared to Ray Price and the record climbed to the higher reaches of the independent charts.

He is very popular in Sweden and has worked there many times over the past ten years or so, playing country festivals and singing his gospel songs on the church circuit. He has released 4 CD's there.

Returning to his rockabilly roots he has recorded an album's worth of material with Wildfire Willie and The Ramblers in a Swedish studio using fifties type recording equipment. The songs cut include originals and covers such as "Let The Four Winds Blow" and "Fraulein" and he does his own version of "Sing Me A Love Song To Baby." Among the originals are "Jackson Was Jumping" and "Gothenburg." He performed both these songs at the Jackson Rockabilly Festival last April and WS Holland who is mentioned in the lyrics of "Jackson Was Jumping" played drums behind him for his set. Rayburn impressed everyone with his voice and stage presence and his act also included "St Louis Blues." He is currently trying to get a release on the Swedish recordings and he also has a straight country album recorded that he is looking for an outlet for. Incidently, Ronnie Weiser heard "Gothenburg" and played it for Alvis Wayne and it is on Alvis' current CD and he also sings it onstage.

Whether he's singing rockabilly or country, Rayburn always brings that authentic Tennessee sound to it. Carl Perkins really should have said "Let's give old Tennessee credit for music like they play it down in Jackson everyday."









Rockabilly Hall of Fame