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The birth of the Rock N Roll Trio lies in the career of Paul Burlison.
He was born in Brownsville, Tennessee on February 4, 1929.
Died September 27, 2003




Paul's Obit

Paul's Rockabilly Hall of Fame Profile Page

Use the form below to submit your comments on Paul.

THE CLASSIC ROCKABILLY SOUNDS of Johnny and Dorsey Burnette and Paul Burlison set a standard that few could match. The Rock N Roll Trio, as the band was known, comprised a strange mixture of musical influences and headstrong personalities. They lit up the stage three times in New York winning the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour and touring with Mack's traveling stage show. They also played a prestigious concert at new York's Madison Square Garden as part of their reward. The Rock N Roll Trio never went on to stardom and lasted less than two years as a recording unit. Yet, they had a strong influence upon the burgeoning rock 'n' roll world.

By fusing country music, the blues and rhythm and blues music into a hybrid known as rockabilly, the Rock N Roll Trio helped to give birth to a new musical style. The atmosphere in and around Memphis was conducive to small rockabilly groups and they sprung up overnight. "Mostly rockabilly music was the feeling that came from the blues," Burlison remembered. He considered his early playing country music with a beat. "I combined some jazz and blues influences and never thought much about it."



richard howard
rnorwich uk
howard61@yahoo.co.uk
In 1976/77, i was into punk rock ... meeting the clash at a gig, joe strummer was soundchecking with "brand new cadillac" a classic vince taylor song ... i asked him why he was playing that stuff. He told me to enjoy the punk that night then go out and buyÊ the johnny burnette & the rock n roll trio album and the first 2 gene vincent albums. 2 weeks later i had them ... wow!!! so since that meeting i have been into rockabilly ... thank you cliff gallup, paul burlison, eddie cochran, grady martin and joe strummer. if there is a heaven i hope you jam together and tear the place up.
Dennis West
Hollins, Virginia 24019 USA
soundsfine1960s@verizon.net
I was fortunate enough to get to know as a friend and spoke with him on the telephone many times and visited at his home in Walls, Miss. Paul tried to get me to go with him to visit with Elvis Presley one evening, and I asked him if he knew Charlie Feathers. He said he did, and I told him that I would rather meet Charlie Feathers, so we went to Charlie's house and visited with him for a couple of hours. I have several pictiures of Paul, myself and Charlie Feathers together. I can't remember if Holly was Paul's wife's name or his daugther's name. Anyway, they were both very nice people. I have a tape I made forty years ago interviewing paul for an article that I co-wrote for "Record Exchanger Magazine" about the "Johnny Burnette Trio". I also had an original copy of the Von record which I gave to a good friend of mine that I got from Col. Sam that owned Von records.
Paul was a very talented man in many ways, and a man full of kindness in his heart!

Gene Flake
Horn Lake, Mississippi

: gene_flake@bellsouth.net I would like to also post again as Paul Burlison knew a man named Glenn Honeycutt who was also on sun records back in the 50's. Glenn doesn't have a computer or gets on any ones that I know of...I've known Glenn for many years along with Paul. So I'm sure that lots of folks that has known Paul also knows Glenn Honeycutt who is also a fablous person & personality. So this is a post for my friend Glenn Honeycutt who is still playing Sat's up in Southaven, MS. Time has a way of moving on whether we are ready or not....God Bless each and every one ya'll peapickers!! Gene
Jacen Bruce
Fordham, Ely, Cambs UK
jacen@jacenbruce.com
Hi. Please check out exclusive footage in sun write up and interview of our friend Paul Burlison. http://www.jacenbruce.com/thesunalbum.cfm - Many thanks, Jacen
Lynda Marks Kraar
Teaneck NJ USA
guitargirl4scrabble@yahoo.com
Paul Burlison is the reason I get up in the morning and run to the arms of my Telecaster. We miss you, Paul!
Doug Ford
Queensbury, NY
douglasford@gmail.com
I was fortunate enough to work with Paul and Jimmy Weider on a record of Paul's in the late 90's. Amazing man, and the experience provided unforgettable and foundational memories for me as a producer, engineer, and musician. Long live PB.
Kev
West Bromwich, England.
kevinrx@fsmail.net
ONLY RECENTLY GOTTEN "INTO" THE MAN AS A PLAYER. HE WAS PHENOMENAL, A TRUE GENIUS ... IF NOT FOR PAUL AND PERHAPS SCOTTY MOORE & CLIFF GALLUP, ROCK GUITAR WOULD NOT EXIST IN ITS PRESENT FORM TODAY.
jess mallia
adelaide australia
djjess@optusnet.com.au
I will treasure forever the photos i had taken with paul at the hemsby weekender in 2000 the sound of his guitar is with me forever.
Rich Wilhelm
Phoenixville, PA, USA
rfwilhelm@verizon.net
Just last night I posted a story on my website about how I met Paul Burlison in 1988. It was only in doing a search on his name today that I discovered that he passed on in September 2003. My father had died just a month before (also after a battle with cancer) so I was probably somewhat distracted at the time and missed news of Paul's passing.
In any event, I am sorry to hear of it. I had the privilege of sitting next to Paul on an Amtrak train bound for Richmond in March of 1988. Along with the rest of the Sun Rhythm Section, Paul was headed to a gig after playing in NYC the night before. He noticed the Elvis T-shirt I was wearing as I walked down the aisle of the crowded train and called out to me, "You know this is the man who drummed for Elvis." I turned around and before I knew it Paul was introducing me to DJ Fontana. He then offered me the unoccupied seat next to him, which I immediately accepted.
I spent the next two hours talking to Paul about music. I bought the Sun Rhythm Section LP and all of the band members signed it for me. In short, it was an incredible experience. If you are interested, you can read in more detail about it on the 5/2/07 entry of my website, which is at http://marimbadog.livejournal.com . The entry is called "My Greatest Rock'n'Roll Experience" and it truly was.
I'd also like to offer my much-belated condolences to Paul's family and friends.
Kevin Murphy
Lima ,Ohio USA kpmurphy62@hotmail.com I was saddened to find out of Pauls passing I guess I'm not a loyal fan. Paul did influence my playing as far as just using a guitar and an amp. The trio was a powerhouse as far as early rock and roll, but paul stood out, not just 'cause of his height LOL. He used and abused the tele and that amp and invented THE rock tone. Thank you and I hope God has his rockin shoes on and ear plugs in turn it UP!! Paul
Chris Lipe
Horn Lake, Mississippi, US
medippy@hotmail.com
I didn't really know Paul personally, but my father (Ronald Lipe) played meany gigs with him ove r my younger and teen years. And I do remember this much that he was a very kind man, he loved music and everyone else that was around him. He always had a smile on his face and hugged whoever got close. He may have passed away but he will always be remembered, even if its just my memories, They will always be something that brings a smile to my face.
Chris Lipe aka Dippy
Don Hale
Nesbit, Mississippi
dekh55@aol.com
I had the honor or meeting Paul in 1986. We found that we were from neighboring cities in the same County and we both loved the guitar. I became friends with him and his family & had the privilege of playing music with him on several occasions after this time. I considered Paul a rare talented person & a legend in his time. He was a good family man who enjoyed playing music with people in all walks of life. He never acted as if he were too good to play with good or average musicians who were not famous but just played for the fun of it. I saw Paul last on September 9, 2003 when he invited me to attend a recording session at Sun Studio where he introduced me to James Burton, DJ Fontana and Charlie McCoy. I was glad that I had gone with him as he passed away shortly after this time. Paul will always be missed by myself and all who were honored enough to know him, hear his music, play music with him or just be considered his friend.
Juan Pineda
Barcelona, Spain
j66pineda@gmail.com
I think that the rock and roll has had, specially fundamental pillars and certainly the figure of Paul and the rock and roll trio have been one of them. In my band, old "sector este-trotabillys", now "la espuela". their songs has been the catalyst that has maintained to us in form. He is great that despues of almost 50 years their subjects always continues being fresh and stimulating. forever Paul.
Gene Flake
Horn Lake, MS U.S.A.
gflake@midsouth.rr.com
I met Paul Burlison in 1970 when he was a electrician for the builder of the home in Twin Lakes Subd. Paul was told by Mr. Crawford the builder to come to my house to fix a light fixture in the bedroom closet. Paul fixed the light and saw my Gibson J-45 in the closet and said you play the guitar and I said well I play at it. and what took time to fix the light was about 5 minutes he stayed and we played for at least 3 hours. I've played with Paul in Hernando, MS and other places he was and admiral personality and fine musician. Long Live Rockabilly !! ... will never forget this fellow. I am also a long time friend of one of the posters in here also. Johnny Beach I've known since back in the 50's ... thanks for privilige of posting ... may GOD bless each and all!!
bill osborne
washington dc, usa
well i'm also behind the times here as well, i'm very sad to hear the loss of Mr. Burlison, i met him in the 90's playing here in bethesda maryland and he was very kind person, we talked for awhile during the bands breaks, he was playing with sonny, stan kessler, and a few others. you will be missed and thanks for your kindness. i love your stlye paul, mr. rockabilly, thanks.
Gina Dagastino
Memphis
GMoon38134@aol.com
Feb 4, 2006. Happy Birthday, Paul. I smile everytime I think about you. Thank you for everything you did for me. Your memory gave me the strength to get through alot of things this past year.
Rich Irwin
Vallejo, California USA
ri452@yahoo.com
I GUESS I AM BEHIND THE TIMES, I DIDN'T KNOW PAUL BURLISON HAD PASSED ON. I WROTE HIM A LETTER IN 1981, WHEN HE LIVED IN WALLS, MISSISSIPPI, AND HE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO WRITE ME BACK WITH A NICE LETTER AND PICTURE OF HIM AND DORSEY BURNETTE. HE WAS A KIND PERSON, EASY TO TELL FROM HIS LETTER, AND VERY MODEST ABOUT HIS CAREER AND MUSIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I AM VERY SAD TO JUST NOW HEAR OF HIS PASSING, AND AM PROUD TO HAVE HIS SIGNED LETTER OF 1981 FRAMED AND HANGING IN MY RECORDING STUDIO (NOW A REAL KEEPSAKE). WE'RE STILL LISTENING TO YA PAUL!! RICH IRWIN
Gary Dobry
Chicago, Illinois
pugsgym@aol.com
In homage to Paul Burlison, a guy who made me stay up night after night trying to figure out how he played Train Kept-a-Rollin'! For you, Paul! (I finally figured out how you played it! Here ya go, your secret is out! ;0) - http://www.onthecanvas.com/11fingers.jpg.
Gina
Memphis,TN
PAUL, Today is Feb 4th. I still think about you everyday - and I still miss you. Happy birthday
Renay Goodwin
Southaven, MS
rg@midsouth.rr.com
We still miss you Uncle Paul!! You were a sweet and kind person and our family gatherings have not been the same without you. You are in good company up there with the rest of our family in Heaven. Love you, your niece, Renay
Robb Josephson
Kailua, Hawaii
robbonline1@hotmail.com
I wanted to know and meet Paul Burlison, but but I did not get the chance. I knew Dorsey Burnette through my 27 plus years as a Radio DJ. I was sad for music already by the early passing of Johnny Burnette. I was in shock by the early death of my friend Dorsey, my heary still crys for his wife and his son Billy. But I always thought I would get the chance to get to meet and know Paul Burlison. On second thought Paul, I did get to know you, I knew your music. I knew Paul Burlison. Thank you Paul, thank you very much. Robb
Johnny Beach
Ozark, Arkansas U S A
johnnybeachesq@arkd.net
I always loved the sound of the Dorsey Burnette Trio. I had the pleasure of meeting Paul in the 1970's as I moved about a half mile away from him. I had the great privilege of playing music with him several times at various functions. He was a great musician and person. I think my life was enriched by the experience of meeting and jamming with him. Long live rock-a- billy. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to write in this website about my friend, Paul.
Sambone Rocknroll MF
Norfolk, Virginia USA
Sambonerocknroll@yahoo.com
He's the reason I played rockabilly!
He's the reason I played a telecaster!
He's the reason rockabilly was and is so cool!
He will be sadly missed!
Chelsea Casner
Texas
I loved Paul he was the best rockabilly player since ever. He was the best and everybody knows it. Bless him forever and always.
Gary Dobry
Chicago, Il. USA
pugsgym@aol.com
I'm still not convinced Paul didn't have and extra finger or two! Paul Burlinson is one of America's most important atists, up there with Muddy and Howlin' Wolf. So many guitarists owe Paul so much and I'm here to give him my props. I live in Chicago. I've seen the best guitar slingers there are. No one has nothin' on Paul and... if dropping that old amp and knockin' loose a tube was an "accident", then it was pre-ordained by the Guitar Gods in Pre-CBS Fender-Land. "that sound", that Paul Burlison sound. That's Rock-a-billy, man - MADE IN THE USA! I'm proud to be American, if for no ther reason, just because Paul Burlison is! RIP Guitar Hero!
Al Cocorochio (Black Rose Records)
Saugus Ma.
alc@blackroserecords.net
I met Paul a few times here in the Boston area and also at a Rockabilly Convention in Jackson TN around 4 years ago. He was such a great person and musician. It's a great loss for all of us. I've always enjoyed seeing him perform. I go way back with his music. Not enough can be said about this man. He was always a gentleman and very sociable and he will be deeply missed. I'm not a musician or singer but I used to get up with some friends of mine who were in a band and sing "Tear It Up". I loved that song. Someday we will all meet again. My deepest condolences and love to all of his family. Rest In Peace Paul. We all miss you. Al
DANTON S. HILL
WAXHAW,NORTH CAROLINA USA
d.s.hill@att.net
I was at a record convention in Memphis sometime in the late 70's. When a fellow record collector and music store owner told me he wanted me to meet someone. I turned around and there was this big tall man standing there with a smile from ear to ear with an extended hand out to greet me. My friend preceeded to introduce us and I stopped him - I told him that he did not have to tell me who this man was - I have known who he was all my life - and to me - it was a moment in my life I will never forget. To meet Paul and talk and get to shake his hand was enough for me - like they say - Rock and Roll Heaven has one helluva band - thanks Paul.
Bret Rose
Oakland, CA, USA
aubreyrose2000@netscape.net
I saw Paul Burlison play at the Ivy Room in Albany, California in around early 1998 - I had been getting into rockabilly for about 5 years at the time. A few months ago (early 2004), I picked up a Rock-N-Roll Trio album used in Berkeley, California (acutally Johnny Burnett) - listening to it today, I thought I'd look up Paul on the Internet, and realized he passed last December. Long live Paul Burlison!
Jenny
Holland
kickemjen@hotmail.com
Thanx Paul for being the nice friend you have been and for teachin' me my first 3 chords on guitar. I still play from that afternoon ... I wish you could hear me now! I will miss you so much for a very long time!! You've been one of the most special persons I ever met. So this is a farewell my friend and teacher ... '...that lucky ol' son has nothing to do but roll around heaven all day!'.
adrian clements
reading berkshire england
deznaadrian@aol.com
I had the great pleasure and honour of meeting Paul when he played the Rockers Reunion in January 2002. We spoke in great detail for several hours about the birth of Memphis rock'n'roll and his recollections concerning the early days of Elvis, Johnny and Dorsey were both vivid and moving. Paul Burlison was without doubt a major heavyweight in the Rockabilly movement of the mid-fifties, his innovative fuzz-tone guitar sound being as important as that of other legends such as Scotty Moore, Cliff Gallup etc. Paul Burlison was as nice a man as anyone could wish to meet. The sound of the Rock'n'Roll Trio will endure and inspire for ever. Rest in peace Paul.
JEFF WOODS
SURREY, BC, CANADA
JEFFWOODS2@YAHOO.COM
I FEEL GLEN GLENN'S COMMENTS CONVEY MY FEELINGS AS BEST AS CAN BE. "another sad day for rockabilly music with the passing Paul Burlison". ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF MY LIFE WAS THE WEEKEND THAT THE SUN RHYTHM SECTION CAME TO VANCOUVER, CANADA AND TREATED ME SO WELL. AFTER THE GUYS (SMOOCHY, STAN, SONNY, DJ, MARCUS, AND PAUL) PLAYED ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS I HAVE EVER WITNESSED I HAD THE HONOR OF MEETING, GETTING AUTOGRAPHS, AND JUST PLAIN BS-ING WITH ALL OF THEM. THAT NIGHT PAUL INVITED ME TO JOIN HIM, AT THE HOTEL, THE NEXT MORNING FOR COFFEE. RIGHT ON TIME, PAUL, DJ, SMOOCHY, AND MARCUS JOINED ME AT THE TABLE THAT I HAD BEEN SITTING AT EAGERLY AWAITING THEIR ARRIVAL. WE SPENT A COUPLE HOURS JUST TALKING ABOUT MUSIC. THEY HAD SO MANY STORIES TO SHARE! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!! THAT NIGHT PAUL JOINED US AT THE PUB TO WATCH MY FREIND BUTCH MURPHY'S BAND, THE NERVOUS FELLAS. WHEN WE ARRIVED THE GIG HAD ALREADY BEGAN. ALTHOUGH I DON'T REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT SONG THEY WERE PERFORMING, I DO REMEMBER PAUL SAYING "I WROTE THAT ONE" AND WE ALL KNEW IT WAS TRUE. IT WAS HARD TO BELIEVE WE WERE IN THE COMPANY OF A REAL ROCK'N'ROLL LEGEND. WE DRANK AND LAUGHED AND TALKED THE NIGHT AWAY AND HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE. PAUL WAS TRULY ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND GROUND BREAKING MUSICIANS EVER. PAUL, YOU WILL BE SADLY MISSED BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN.
Ben Ben Adler
Helena, Arkansas
theben7ben@yahoo.com
Paul was everyones friend. If he met you once, he knew you. He never thought he was better than anyone. I remember meeting Paul and Kim Curtis in 1999. about a year later while in Memphis at Strings & Things, I ran into them again. Paul had brought his grandson in for a guitar (or) an amp. He remembered me right off. He smiled and said "Hey Ben Ben". I will never forget the twinkle in his eyes and the sincereness of his demeanor. I saw him numerous times after that at the Rockabilly Fests and he always took time to speak to everyone. He will surely be missed. I also want to say that he left his graciousness with other younger talented musicians such as Rocky Burnette. Keeper of the flame. You're never too old to learn or to humble yourself to the fans.Paul always kept it "REAL". Thanks for the memories my friend, I'll always remember Paul.
Janis Martin
Danville, Virginia
Thank you Paul for your contributiions to rockabilly. You and those marvelous colleagues before you are truly missed. It will never be the same.
Kim Curtis
Horn Lake, MS
Life770@aol.com
I first met Paul Burlison in 1967 when I had a country band called "The Kim Curtis Show." He was not playing too much at the time so I asked him to set in with us frequently and to travel with us on our gigs. He was happy to do so and we fast became best friends. I became aquanted with his family and he with my family. We bonded like brothers. He taught me so much about the music business. I met so many people through him that I probably would have never had a chance to meet. There's so much I could say - and it would all be good because in the last five years - I traveled with him and Rocky Brunett and D. J. Fontana as an honorary member of the "Rock and Roll Trio." Also with Paul Burlison, W. S. Holland, Jerry Lee "Smoochy" Smith, C. W. Gatlin and J. T. Morgan as the "Rock-A-Billy Band."
My music will never be the same but one of his last request was to keep the music alive. "I love you Brother." -Kim Curtis
Robert van Driesten
Holland, Europe
rvdx1234@hotmail.com
I'm going to miss Paul very much. Playing and touring with him was just great fun. Always in a good mood and rocking! My condolences to his family.
J. M. S.
Canada
arcadia@speedline.ca
Thankyou Paul for the fantastic electric guitar sounds, you influenced a lot of players. We will miss you like we miss Cliff Gallup.
James Stiltner
Hurley, Virginia USA
stiltner_jaymz@yahoo.com
RIP Paul, Thanks for creating one of the most original sounds in Music History.
Henry Paul
S Paulo, BRAZIL
henry-paul@bol.com.br
Unhappily I didn't meet him personally, but happily I listened to him. I'm very thankful for everything that I learned. For you Paul Burlison, my sincere gratefullnes... Thank you, Henry Paul
BILLY BROOKS
SOUTHAVEN, MS
I MISS YOU! DEAR UNCLE PAUL -- HOW I MISS YOU! THE LAST DAYS WE SPENT TOGETHER WATCHING FOOTBALL, EVERY WEEKEND WILL ALWAYS BE SO CLOSE TO MY HEART. YOU KNEW HOW MUCH I LOVED YOU AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. I WORRY ABOUT MY MOTHER, SHE LOVED YOU SO MUCH. SHE ALWAYS TELLS ME ABOUT THE WAY HER BROTHER TOOK UP FOR HER AND TOOK CARE OF HER WHEN SHE NEEDED HIM. AND UNCLE PAUL, MY SWEET DAD LOVED YOU SO MUCH. I KNOW YOU AND HIM ARE SO HAPPY, BUT YET I AM SO SAD AND ALONE. YOU AND HE WATCH OVER EACH OTHER. I KNOW YOU ARE SO HAPPY TO SEE AUNT ROSE, AND SWEET GRANDMOTHER SARAH. I KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY TO SEE UNCLE TOMMY, UNCLE BAY, AUNT BECKY, LITTLE TOMMY, AND MANY OF OUR FAMILY WHO HAS GONE TO BE WITH JESUS. LIFE IS SO HARD, AND WONDER WHY EVERY SINGLE DAY! THIS CHRISTMAS AND NO OTHER WILL BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU PLAYING THE PIANO AND DAD PLAYING HIS FENDER. I MISS YOU SWEET UNCLE PAUL AND I MISS MY SWEET DAD, EARL BROOKS WHO YOU QUOTED OF TEACHING YOU TO PLAY THE GUITAR. I NEVER WILL FORGET WHEN HE READ THAT, HE WAS SO PROUD. I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY. I MISS YOU AND I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS!
Shannon Brooks
Southaven, MS
thashanshan03@aol.com
It seems as only yesterday my sweet Uncle Paul was sending me a congratulations card for my high school graduation. He always remembered all of the family on birthdays, weddings, and whatever the case was. He was so very kind and so fun to laugh and talk with. I will dearly miss you Uncle Paul. I know you are happy to see Aunt Rose and Grandaddy. Please tell my Grandaddy I love him and I miss him so much. He helped me get my scholarship for school, and I want him to know that. We are taking care of Nene for him. I know you and him are very happy in heaven with sweet Jesus. Play and sing your heart out to him. I miss you. Your Neice, Shannon
Elbore James
Vancouver Canada
rebeatgeneration@elvis.com
R.I.P. Paul, What can be said that hasn't already been said. If the world was made up of people like Paul boy what a kind and loving world it would be. I met the S.R.S in Toronto at the horseshoe,1987 the boys came out to the booze can with us Rockabillies and the next day we had them over for the whole day and made them supper then on to the gig. paul gave me his phone # and was going to give me a tour of Memphis. When i did get there he and his wife were going out of town my loss. These cats were the most, the stories they told are in my memory forever, the tricks they played on each other, to relive bordem on the road were very funny indeed. You could learn a lot about life just talking to him & all of them. When Paul found out I loved black blues, He took a liking to me I had asked him about Howlin' Wolf & Willie Johnson and he just got so excited he started telling me about playing with the Wolf after Wolf saw him hanging around the Sun studio. He wanted to hear me play some blues & gave me his les paul jr. I played some Jimmy Reed and at one point he put his whole hand on the neck and stopped me playing & said "Don't get to good son I might have to stomp your fingers". Then we laughed a I asked if he didn't get tired of all the cats playing his riffs for him he said they weren't his but a result of all the stuff he listen to. He then started to tell me about the Wolf again. Love you baby I hope to see you once again in Blues heaven. If there are any cats into this old time beat and you swing by Vancouver BC Canada give me a call on my email. I show around. The old time flame keeper.
Adam Weiner
New York, NY, USA
aweiner20@aol.com
I had the great pleasure of meeting Paul this past August in Memphis just after Sam Phillips passed. He and Sonny Burgess were nice enough to sit and talk to a fan and fellow musician about the old days. My band, the Shadow Boys, was on tour there at the time, and Paul wished me luck with it all. It's a rare occasion that an artist gets to meet one their heroes, but I did. I remember when I purchased a record of the Rock n Roll Trio, the vendor pointed to it and said, "That right there, that's rock and roll. That's where it all begins." Since those early days of rock n roll, many have posed as "the real thing" - there is no doubt that Paul was it. A musician's musician, a player's player. Glad to have met him, even briefly. And that record's getting played until my machine breaks.
Jean-William THOURY
Paris, France
jwt@wanadoo.fr
We are grateful to Paul Burlison who showed the younger guitar players the proper way to rock.
Brad Birkedahl
Memphis, Tn USA
bradr549@midsouth.rr.com
I had the pleasure of knowing Paul for about 5 and a half years. During that time I have played guitar on a full album with him and many side projects. I play guitar with The Dempseys and Paul would see us every chance he got and it was always the coolest when he would come to a show, because I would have to "hot dog" a little more. I know Paul was proud of our band but most of all I'm proud of the way he knew he was famous and people adored him around the world but wouldn't act like a "rock star"!!!
God bless the man
"The master of the telecaster"
And one hell of a fisherman
Adrian Mazar
LaGrange, Illinois USA
mazardda@aol.com
We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Paul Burlison. So few of the rockabilly greats are left ... and he was certainly one of the giants. My wife and I had the privilege of meeting Paul and having our pictures taken with him at the '50s Fest in Green Bay awhile back. He was friendly and gracious. What a great set of music he played with Rocky Burnette and D.J. Fontana! When Rocky asked for requests I shouted "Rockabilly Boogie!" which they promptly played. Paul's brilliant guitar playing gave me goosebumps. We will never forget that show. Paul Burlison will live on in our hearts.
DC Larson
Waterloo, Iowa USA
dcl.trueleft@burningmail.com
Everyone who's heard Paul play live or on record knows how very talented he was. He was in Memphis when hillbilly and blues found each other in the clubs and honky tonks of the region. And he helped articulate their union. We're all beneficiaries of Paul's creative intuition.
I interviewed Paul for a feature that appeared in the January 14, 2000 Goldmine. I recall him being both sincerely friendly and willing to reminisce at great length about his career and legends he'd called friends. It was for me a one-of-a-kind learning experience, a chance to connect with living musical history. And those kinds of chances are very rare.
After the interview was published I mailed Paul a copy of Goldmine. A week or so later, HE called ME out of the blue and told me to give him a holler if I ever made it down his way. Imagine my surprise/happiness! Paul Burlison calling me!
We all know he was a major talent and that his playing lives on in recordings and in the guitarwork of the countless pickers he influenced. But above all that, he was a gentleman. DC Larson
Magnus Flor
Torsby, Sweden
bopcat@brevet.nu
It's very sad, that one of the worlds (I think) best Rockabilly guitarists has died. As a matter of fact he was one of my biggest idols, and I've tried to copy many of his licks. It's very, very sad that the man who invented the fuzz sound and the man behind one of the rawest guitar sounds have left us. Rest in peace Paul, rest in peace!
Morgan Willis
Kettering, Northamptonshire, England
Paul Burlison is the king of the rockabilly guitar. He created some of the greatest sounds ever to come from a broken amplifier (listen to the blistering killer riff on train kept a rollin for confirmation)and he will be greatly missed by all rockabilly fans. in my mind rockabilly boogie is the greatest song ever recorded and the other trio songs are not far behind. wherever he is now im sure he's still tearing it up on his telecaster along with johney and dorsey, and at least everyone can take great comfort from the fact that the greatest band that has ever been, the great rock n roll trio are now togeather again no doubt doing what they did best and creating red hot rockabilly. Paul Burlison you are my hero, may the train keep a rollin!
paula thomas
southaven, ms. usa
agmann9000@aol.com
UNCLE PAUL, HOW YOU ARE SADLY MISSED BY ALL OF US. MY MOTHER IS ONE OF TWO OUT THE SIX OF YOU THAT IS LEFT. I AM SO THANKFUL SHE NAMED ME FOR YOU. I'LL ALWAYS CARRY THAT WHERE EVER I GO. IT'S HARD TO THINK OF YOU AS GONE. IT SEEMS LIKE I NEED TO GO CHECK ON YOU OR SEE IF YOU WANT TO GO OUT FOR AWHILE WITH ME AND LINDA TO SEE THE DEMPSEYS OR JUST RIDE AROUND. YOU WERE ONE OF A KIND, JUST LIKE MY DAD, AND I KNOW HE WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU! NOW YOU AND HE CAN "PICK" FOREVER. TEAR IT UP. I LOVE AND MISS YOU - PAULA
Dieter
Graben-Neudorf - Germany
oldwabble11856@aol.com
Johnny, Dorsey and now Paul. The last Member of the legendary Rock `N`Roll Trio is gone. Your Songs will still live on forever. Rockbilly Boogie is one of the Best Songs ever recorded. Paul, rest in Peace.
(unknown)
It is with my deepest sadness, that I recently have recieved the news of Paul's passing. I used to be a rockabilly guy, and really loved listening to Johnny Burnette & The Rock'n'Roll Trio and stil am. I have always wanted to meet Paul and went to The Hemsby Rock'n'Roll Weekender in England 8-10 yeas ago to se The Sun Rhythm Section but Paul didn't show up - UNFORTUNATELY! Some of my Danish pals have met him few times at the Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender, and told me he was such a nice person. Shame I never got another chance to meet him. Rest in peace and my deep condolence to his family. Rockabilly rules!!!
joe the shaker
toledo, oh
jdtheshaker@aol.com
i was going to play music with him, but he pased away - you will be missed.
David Underberg
Wildomar, California
HillBillyBopper@yahho.com
As I was driving into a place to get my oil changed I had Tear It Up blasting in my car ... some kid 16 years old says WOW you never hear music like that around here that's the Johnny Burnette Trio ... It's too bad Paul Burlison died. I explained that must be a mistake you have to be thinking of Johnny Cash? Well, looking at this 16 year old with a pomp and slicked up clothes as he worked on my car I started to believe it. I called Sun Studio and it was true. Paul was dead. The man from BJ's barber shop, the man who loved the Dempseys, and the man from my home town Horn Lake Mississppi and most of all the man who rocked Memphis Tennessee. I cried many tears because it was late and I did not know. Well, Paul thanks for helping me with those three chords ... you are ... and always will be my hero.
Homer Lee Dunlap
Charlotte, North Carolina USA
homerldun@aol.com
I had the good fortune to see Paul Burlison perform once. It was in Denver, Colorado back in February 1998. Along with Rocky Burnette, he tore through all the Rock n Roll Trio classics as well as "Long Tall Sally" and "Roll Over Beethoven". It was a show I'll never forget. Thanks for all the great music Paul; may you rest in peace.
Bobby Crafford
Little Rock, Arkansas
rapidbci@aol.com
We had the great pleaser of Paul rockin' with us some in the past five years and there was no better person. We will greatly miss him and will treasure the times. Every time we play tear it up we will remember Paul. - Sonny Burgess and The Pacers
Billy Swan
Paul Burlison was one of the friendliest men I ever met. I had the pleasure of meeting him just a few times but I'll always remember his smile and his kindness. He was a true pioneer of rock & roll who loved music and playing his guitar and you could tell that when he talked and when he played. My sincere condolences to his family.
DJ & Karen Fontana
Antioch, Tennessee
kdfontana@cs.com
Paul was a very special friend of ours. DJ and Paul go way back. For about 15 years DJ and Paul were in a band together The Sun Rhythm Section. We saw Paul last on September 9, 2003. DJ was doing a session at Sun Studios and Paul's friend Kim Curtis brought him to the session. Paul played on one of the songs, he was having a great time. When Paul left, I said to him I love you. Paul was such a special person to everyone he met. We will always remember your smiling face. We love you Paul.
Marcel
Holland-Europe
marcelverbaas@hotmail.com
Sad news! I was fortunate to play bass with Paul (and Rocky) for the last 9 years. We did a lot of tours and had lots of great times. The two shows I'll always remember are the ones we did in Barcelona ('96) and Vegas ('99), he was so proud! Paul always wanted to play music! Master of the telecaster. My condolences go out to his family I'll miss you, Marcel (Verbass)
Bernard "Big Joe" ZITOUNE
PARIS FRANCE
rnrevue@club-internet.fr
Sad news!! The death of Paul Burlison and really a very bad news for all rockabilly fans ! The first time that I met Paul it was in England at the beginning of the Eighties for a radiophonic interview . I have the memory of a great professional . It is my youth which from goes away with him. Big Joe - Fan of R'n'R Trio
DJ White
Sydney (N.s.W)
fletcher_christian@hotmail.com
From the anonymous to to the famous. I cry and I fall in love reading your tributes. Wish you all the best, xxx
Hutch
Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada
hutchabilly@excite.com
Wow! "I just found out that you were leaving me. I I never dreamed that it could be." I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Burlison in 1987 at the horseshoe tavern with the Sun Rhythm Section. The best part was having my buddy become a huge fan of rockabilly because "these old guys could really rock." Rest in peace and say hi to all the other rockabilly pioneers in heaven for us.
andrew chandler
england, uk
straycatandy@yahoo.com
Very sad to here the passing of a great rockabilly legend. I had the great pleasure of meeting him at a rock n roll weekender in Oct, 2000 a very warm and kind man. he will be sadly missed on the rockin scene r.i.p
Jim Weider
woodstock, ny usa
jwb@jimweider.com
I'm going to miss Paul very much! He was a good friend. I was lucky enough to get to know him and also work with him, Rocky and Billy on stage and in the recording studio. He was never so happy till he had that TELE in his hand and was so proud to be on stage playing with Rocky & Billy. You could see that gleam in his eyes! Paul changed rock-in-roll guitar playing for me and the world of guitar players!! But what came first with Paul was family and friends. Thanks Paul, there's no goodbyes, I'll always remember!.
Jim Lewandowski
Barrington, IL USA
jlewand@ameritech.net
Holy Cow. I forgot these guys aren't going to live forever. I haven't checked rockabillyhall.com in a few months. I'd like to recount my experiences and interactions with Paul Burlison.
In the early/mid 80's, having gotten interested in what we now call Rockabilly, I began finding out more about the people who made the music. After reading much about the RNR trio, I purchased a disc by Solid Smoke Records. It took a few listenings to really start to dig THIS style of Rockabilly (as compared to Gene Vincent).
I read that Paul had likely the largest collection of LP music in the US. By luck, I saw an ad of his in the classified section of Goldmine Magazine. Well, I call him out of the blue and he talks to me for about half an hour as if he's known me his whole life. I have NEVER seen anyone this receptive to calls from strangers in my life.
A few years later, I called him again to state that I would be visiting Nashville and Memphis on vacation. He OFFERS to meet me at the airport in Memphis to pick me up and show me around Memphis and Sun studios. I take him up on a tour, but don't need a lift from the airport since I'll have a rental car. Paul proceeds to pick me up at my hotel and, along the way, picks up another fan of rockabilly on vacation (disc jockey). Paul tells us virtually everything he remembers about Elvis and the days of Sun in its heyday and the beginning of Rock and Roll. BTW, if you've ever talked to Paul, he can recall virtually EVERY experience he's ever had. He even bought us pops to drink during the tour.
He shows us Philips International studio where we get to meet Stan Kessler and Roland Janes. Sun Studios is closed as its undergoing renovation for its eventual opening. He takes us by Elvis' old house and Humes High School. It was THE experience of a lifetime to have a tour guide like Paul. At Philips International, we sit around and listen to Paul, Stan, and Roland tell all about the music scene in the 50's. Paul was never bitter, but he openly would say that he, to that day, was STILL somewhat disappointed that the RNR Trio didn't go somewhere. Rightfully so. IIRC, he quit playing guitar for almost a decade as it took a while to get over it.
I saw Paul a few years later at the Chicago Blues festival where the Sun Rhythm Section was playing (Paul, Sonn Burgess, Stan Kessler, DJ Fontana, et. al.). Up on stage during rehearsals, he was talking with a few people in the audience when someone asked if he could play his solo to ? (can't remember the title - I'm not good with titles - but it's a latin-influenced sound/beat) which is an exceptionally beautiful (i.e. non-rockabilly) solo as ever played in the 50's. Well, as I've alluded to Paul's memory above, he spanked it out note-for-note perfect. Amazing.
A few years later, the SRS is up in Chicago on the North side. Myself and a friend head up to see them again. Well, there's this really hot looking older women (50's or so) who begins undoing her top in front of Paul. She hands him a marker and asks him to autograph her chest and Paul does so without hesitation.
I do hope more people who spent time with Paul will put their "memoirs" of their conversations as, without a DOUBT, he not only had the best memory of events but he didn't mind at all, recalling them for anyone who asked. The man is a giant in every sense of the word. -Jim Lewandowski
Erin
south carolina
emd126@hotmail.com
I am very saddened by the news of Paul Burlison's passing. I met Paul about a year and a half ago while in Memphis. He had came out to watch the Dempseys perform, Joe (from the band) introduced us, and he sat at our table and we talked for hours. He was a very sweet, sincere, generous man who loved to share stories about his life. As he watched the Dempseys perform, his eyes gleaming with the pride of a father watching his children, he said to me "these boys are a masterpiece, and Im just proud to call them friends. That was awesome!! Paul and I spoke on occasion until he fell ill. I only wish I could have had the chance to see him again. Music has lost another legend, and many of us, a friend! I'll always remember that big beutiful smile that could light up the room! He will be missed, but never forgotten. Thanks for the memories!! With love, Erin
Bill B
Greenville, SC USA
billyb@elvis.com
RIP Paul. Thanks for your contribution to the greatest music ever, Rockabilly, Rock n Roll. et al: You made a lasting impression on my daughter and her friend on a visit to Memphis a couple of years ago. She relayed to me how friendly you were and how you loved to go to EPM and watch The Dempseys perform. It's a shame that these icon's are leaving us all to frequently now. God help us all with what you are being replaced with. I long for the "old days". Godspeed Paul.
ALIN MALLARET
LAFOX FRANCE
ROCKALAIN@AOL.COM
ANOTHER PAIN IN OUR HEART
ANOTHER STAR IN THE SKY
ANOTHER MEMORY IN OUR SOUL
ANOTHER SAD DAY
Lisa M
florida (grew up in memphis)
I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Burlison's death; a friend in Memphis told me last night. Paul Burlison was very nice about talking to music enthusiasts and journalists when I briefly spoke with him once in the early 1980s while I was writing a story on a music festival. He was a huge inspiration to & influence on Memphis musicians I knew in the Panther Burns band, who covered "train kept a rollin'" in the 1980s, and he will be much missed.
mick hodgkinson
glenford, ny
johnnymick@hotmail.com
remember sitting on my back porch in 96 playing guitars together. in 97 he took me to the best bbq in memphis. i loved paul, his picture is on my wall. r.i.p. buddie
Delilah Dewyld
Michigan, USA
delilah@dangerville.net
I am saddened to hear this news; my thoughts and prayers are with Paul's friends and family. I'm so glad we got the chance to meet Paul in Memphis last October; he is the nicest guy anyone could ever meet. May his music live forever in hearts and souls everywhere!!
Grainer sparber
germany
i am a paul burlison fan since i heard -the train kept rollin - when i was 16 this sad news hurts, rest in peace mr. burlison
Gina Moon
Memphis, TN
GMoon38134@aol.com
Having known Paul for a large part of my life makes his passing truly difficult for me. He was so many things to me: father figure, best friend, and my overprotective knight in shining armor. He was always there with encouragement, and he believed in me more than I did in myself. When either one of us needed a sympathetic ear, we were mutual confidants. He was all this wrapped up in one big, generous, gentle-giant package with a heart of pure gold and a contagious smile that could light up the world. I can't help but smile when I think about his personality and his antics. Paul,you are in my heart and you'll never be farther than a memory away. I'll miss you.
Geri Maxwell
Memphis, Tenn. USA
gmaxwell@abc24.com
I grew up listening to Rockabilly and Rock 'n Roll in its early stages. "Tear it Up" was one of my favorite songs. Little did I know that I would meet and come to know Paul Burlison of the Rock 'N Roll Trio in later years. Paul was not only a great musician, but a warm and generous human being. The only time I every saw him without a smile on his face was at his funeral. He had the most beautiful smile and he was always ready to help whoever, whenever. He will be missed not only by the music community, and his family but also his friends. I counted myself among them. Rest in peace, Paul, the Rock 'N Roll Trio is together again. "Tear It Up."
Brigitte Handley
Sydney, Australia
rockafilly@hotmail.com
I have only just read the sad, sad news about Paul. I was fortunate enough to meet Paul in Jackson, TN on 2000. He was so sweet and really genuine - a real gentleman. He made me feel really welcome and was so encouraging and inspiring. I have fond memories of 'hanging out and making BBQ sandwiches' with Paul backstage. At the time I kept on saying to myself 'I can't believe I'm here, making sandwiches with Paul Burlison - one of the most 'evil-sounding' guitarists of all time!!' It was a very cool moment in my life. I just feel so lucky to have been able to meet him and see him play live with Rocky and Billy Burnette. Now that was Somethin' Else!!! RIP Paul - You ROCK!!!
Carl Bradychok
(12 yr. old RAB guitarist, It's true...)
Harrison Twp. Mi, USA
Carlrockin@yahoo.com
I met Paul Burlison just this August. I got a picture with him, I'm glad he took the picture with me. When I met Mr. Burlison, he was a very nice guy. I guess I was just at the right place, at the right time!
berni lumb
England
bilkocombo@yahoo.co.uk
I'm so glad to have had the pleasure to have met and shook the hand of the late great Paul Burlison. A great guy. He will be missed. Long live Paul Burlison. Condolences and sympathy to his family.
"Pennsylvania" Dave Sisson
Chicago, IL
dave@ginpalacejesters.com
When I was just 13 and was a dyed in the wool punk rocker I first heard the Rock-n-Roll trio's version of "Train Kept A Rollin" and decided it was possibly the wildest song I had ever heard. I think it still may be! It was one the things that changed my musical way of thinking and about A decade later my little band got to open for Rocky Burnette and Paul Burlison in Pittsburgh and after a couple of drinks to brace myself I sheepishly made my way over to Paul Burlison "the legend" to kind of embarrasingly tell him what an impact his guitar playing had made upon me. He politely listened to my stammering and then as nice as could be thanked ME! He was incredibly gracious to me, down to earth and humble, polite, engaging, kind and talented and after a 10 minute conversation I walked away having met Paul Burlison "the man". He treated me the same way I expect he treated everybody, as a complete equal. I am so sorry he is gone and my head is reeling as I have just found out about Ronnie Dawson's passing too. Both Paul and Ronnie have shown it is possible to play music and meaningfully touch other people's lives from start to finish by doing what you love whenever you can for as long as you can do it. Truely God's work. Good bye Paul. Gone but not forgotten.
markus münch
Ludwigshafen / Germany
mmuench@web.de
The circle of Rockabilly Musicans of the first hour is nearly closed. After Johnny and Dorsey, now Paul Burlison is gone too. Paul - we'll never forget you. Rest in peace. Greetings. Markus Münch / Germany
rockin paul williams
wales
sorry to hear the sad news. the rockabilly scene has been hit really hard of late. my first memories of paul with the trio go back to when i was fourteen years old,we would dance to tear it up, amongst others. my best to his family and friends. also the sad news of ronnie dawson passing. it sure is getting really sad. keep rockin'paul.
Jim Herrington
USA
jimherrington@mindspring.com
I just heard the terrible news ...
I had the luck and good fortune of spending much quality time with Mr. Burlison. I was in Woodstock doing photos at Levon Helms' house while Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Keith Richards and the great Paul Burlison jammed, drank and recorded for a couple of days back in the '90's. I drove Paul around in my rental car, we looked at guitars at a pawn shop in the town. Everything everyone else has said on this site is true, he was just the nicest and most gracious human I've ever met. Nobody's brought up his sense of humor yet... he was a quick witted guy and liked a good laugh, and liked making you laugh. I think he made people feel good wherever he went, he was that kind of guy. A real gentleman.
duncan and amy jeffrey
manchester england
dunc_amy@hotmail.com
We first met Paul in Memphis at Elvis Presleys Memphis on Beale street, while watching the Dempseys. We had a great time talking to paul about the rock and roll trio, he leaves us with some great memories. Dunc and Amy, England - Always with lonesome tears in our eyes.
Luc Lemaire
France
luc.lemaire@wanadoo.fr
Devastating news.
Dawn Bland
Olympia, WA
Bopalena56@aol.com
What a sad day, I had the chance to see Paul in Memphis in summer of 2001, what a nice man, I chatted with him for a few and he gave me a big kiss on the cheek. He was so pleasant and such a talented man, I feel greatful that I was able to see him before he passed on, now may he rest in peace with all the other greats, he will be greatly missed but never forgotten. --Dawn
Michelle Barker Ford
Southaven, MS USA
mbarker1234@yahoo.com
I've always just known him as Uncle Paul, my mother's brother. He will be truly missed by our family. We loved and admired him. He was always smiling, and at every family reunion he would bring his guitar and play music until it was dark. He loved playing music and loved being around our family. It is so sad for us to know that he is gone and we can't see his smiling face anymore. He will always be in our hearts. WE LOVE YOU UNCLE PAUL!
Mike Vincent & Sandy
Chicago Ill
sandy.busse@sbcglobal.net
It is sad to see these so so so many talented Rockabilly musicians passing on. They are all gone mostly except for Jerry Lee. We've recently lost Johnny and June and Sam Phillips and Sheb Wooley and now comes a personal loss for me as for many of you. PAUL BURLISON. What a man, what a talent and a great musician and the great music he delivered will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. As with Johnny Cash and all the others, Paul was a good friend and WoW, could that man make me laugh. I had the God given oppurtunity to perform with him on stage and also to see him perform with DJ and the rest of the Sun Rythem section. He was a gentle man and never conceited and helpful as any man could be. He's now up there with the best where he belongs ... God bless you Paul and may you Rest in Peace. Sandy and I will miss you. Our Condolences go out to Pauls Family and close Friends ... what a man ... see ya Paul.
Brendan "Wig" Kibble
Houston Texas USA
jwilson@gardnersmith.com
I just recently moved from Sydney, Australia to Texas, I only shipped over a few things ... my Telecaster and a bunch of CD's ... one of them being the "Rock n Roll Trio" album. I first heard that album when I was a teenager (way over twenty years ago) Paul Burlison's guitar just nailed me ! I had rockabilly records ... but when I finally got hold of the Trio album ... WOW !! Rockabilly and Rock n Roll has given us some amazing and gifted guitar players ... but to me when you want to talk Rockabilly pickin' Paul Burlison is KING ! His wonderful feel and style has influenced and will influence generations to come. "Tear It Up" says it all ! A friend of mine had the pleasure of knowing the great man ... and he too, like the e-mails I have read here, said that Paul was a true gentleman. I am saddened that I will never have the chance to see Paul perform. To Paul Burlison ... "Your Train Will Keep A Rollin" - Wig
A.W. Warner
Germany
spodeeodee@hotmail.com
That's very sad news to me ! Another one of my heros has passed away and with everyone I feel a bit older myself. He was definately the one that inspired my to pick up a Telecaster when I started out with my band unlike all the other guys using Gretsch. His playing with the Rock and Roll Trio is the sound of my Teen days and has inspired me to write some very close-knock offs when we needed songs to fill our earliest sets (Sorry about that). I'll never forget that raw sound he got. Probably not the best 50s player BUT HE WAS ROCKIN'(and thats what counts IMHO) where others played jazzy licks. I'm sad that I've never met him in person. RIP Paul Burlison, Sincerely, Andy
jim taylor
launceston tasmania australia
jtay8441@bigpond.net.au
What a sad day for all r@r fans another star in rock@roll heaven with all our regards from all his fans here in australia have a safe jouney and join the trio we will miss you rip.
Beto laCalle
Santander, Spain
beto@tafepublicidad.com
I was saddened to read about the passing of Paul Burlison at the spanish rockabilly mailing list. I met him several times, the first one when he played in Barcelona, and later at Hemsby and the Greenbay festival, and he was always a really nice guy to talk to. We will never forget him, since his music will live forever. Rest in peace, Paul. Lonesome tears in my eyes.
Narvel Felts
Malden MO
barbaraalucas@hotmail.com
Paul, Thanks for joining Sonny Burgess and me on our finale in Wynne Ark and in Jackson TN this year. My son, Bub, was a big fan of the Rock and Roll Trio. I hope you're jamming together now in heaven. We will miss you. Narvel Felts
Bill Mack
Wilmington, NC
mrbassmn@aol.com
My condolences to Paul's Family. A Fine Musician Buddy and Friend. I did Rockabilly Shows with Paul back in the fifties, and worked shows at Las Vegas with Paul at the Rockabilly Weekender at the Gold Coast recently. He will be truly missed. BILL MACK- MR. BASSMAN "BLUECAP"
Jim Newcombe
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
jimnewcombe@oicanada.com
Another sad day. I was a big Burnette fan from day one and can fondly remember buying the famous 10" album. I was lucky enough to see Dorsey Burnette play and then I met Paul when he came to the Horshoe in Toronto with Sonny Burgess, Stan Kesley, Marcus Van Sorey and the rest of the Sun Rhythm section. Ronnie Hawkins joined them onstage for a truly memorable evening, one of the best jams ever.paul was like a kid backstage revelling in the attention, flirting with the girls , laughing with the boys. This was his way and he was very upbeat the last time I saw him in Green Bay. It had been a great gathering of rockabilly artists and Paul was just so pleased everyone had gone down so well. We are fast lsoing our heroes so all the more to repeat that we must help and support the precious few that are left, buy their records, see their shows before it's too late. Paul you were a great guy I was honoured to meet you.
Bill Mack
Wilmington, NC
mrbassmn@aol.com
My condolences to Paul's Family. A Fine Musician Buddy and Friend. I did Rockabilly Shows with Paul back in the fifties, and worked shows at Las Vegas with Paul at the Rockabilly Weekender at the Gold Coast recently. He will be truly missed. BILL MACK- MR. BASSMAN "BLUECAP"
Widmarc Clark
(Burns, Tenn)
Rockabilly Hall of Fame
Paul Burlison. The rock n roll trio album on CORAL RECORDS says it all. Paul, Johnny, and Dorsey had records out before Elvis was a house hold item. They were touring as a Trio when Elvis was still at Crown Electric. The World has lost another Rock a billy Great. Paul Burlison was a Pioneer of Rock a Billy and Rock n Roll. He developed the Fuzz sound that made their recording of (The Train Kept Rolling,) And (Tear it Up,) Famous. Paul Burlison was a very nice one of a kind person. You could approach Paul and he would take the time to talk with you. Unlike other rock a billy artist who seem to believe they invented Rock N roll and have little use for the public. Paul Burlison never knew he was (FAMOUS). Paul always had a smile and hand shake with the words hows things going with ya. Paul Burlison stands Tall in my book and I will miss him. Paul Burlison cannot be replaced as a person or as an Entertainer but his Star will shine Bright and he will always be remembered as one of the Nicest people I ever met. Midmarc Clark (Widmarc's Rock a billy Saturday Nite)
marco di maggio
marcodimaggio@libero.it
Hello, i have to say that i spent 3 great days in Chippenham, playin' where Mr. Eddie Cochran did his last gig, sadly. I new about Paul that's passed away on Saturday and it makes really sad to have this bad news..he was a legendary player, a really nice person and a good friend. Rest easy Paul, Marco
Don Wilson
Hollywood, California
hollywoodrockabilly@yahoo.com
We have lost a great man. I am happy to have known Paul Burlison,he always had a smile on his face and was always there when I needed him. I remember his tlent,sense of humour and caring. Paul assisted me in getting interviews for the documentary,"The Definitive Elvis" and he appeared on my radio program when I was in Memphis. We love you, Paul. Your friend, Don Wilson
Phyllis Law
Horn Lake, MS.
RNfromMS@yahoo.com
It is so inspiring to read all the wonderful tributes posted about Uncle Paul. He indeed was a wonderful man. My earliest memories include hearing "Silver Bells" being sung at his mother's house on Christmas Eve with his family, Uncle Paul playing the piano and Uncle Earl (Earl Brooks) playing the guitar. In those days, I didn't know he was famous. He was just Uncle Paul, singing with his beautiful voice. My brother, Tommy, who was gifted with the Burlison ear for music learned the guitar from Uncle Paul. He was so patient with him and they had a true bond. So with the passing of Uncle Paul, he will be joining his beautiful wife, Rose, as well as his mother Sarah, father, sister (Becky), two brothers (Bay and Tommy Sr) and brother-in-law (Earl) and my brother & his nephew (Tommy Jr) in heaven. I know it was a glorious reunion. And the heavenly music is that much sweeter with the addition of that wonderful voice and beautiful guitar.
Tiptopdadddy@aol.com
I too would like to pay tribute to Paul Burlison. I had the honor and privelidge to open for him with my band way back in '97. Though there were'nt a lot of people at the show he played with the same fire and enthusiasm that made the Rock n' Roll Trio so amazing. He played all the hits with Rocky Burnett on vocals. For their encore they brought me back up to sing Johnny B. Good. Was that ever great!!! That has to have been the highlight of my musical experiences. After the show he took the time to talk with me about the early '50s Memphis scene. I asked him about working with Elvis at Crown Electric and an incident regarding Roy Orbison and the Perkins brothers from the Colin Escott book about Sun Records. He was candid and genuinely amazed that I even knew about the incident. I really don't think anybody had ever asked him about it. At the time I was doing construction work and he was kind enough to give me a bit of advice on work too. When we parted ways he told me to look him up the next time I was down Memphis way. Unfortunately, I never took him up on his offer but if I had I'm sure he would have been just as gracious, humble and kind as our first meeting. Though not part of the Sun roster, the RnR Trio were IMHO the most important group, versus single artist, in Memphis Rockabilly. Paul Burlison will surely be missed. take care, -ejk
Garlin Hackney
Kingman, AZ USA
wwhack@ctaz.com
I always knew about Paul and i was really glad to meet him and hear him play live. I think he was as gracious as a person as well as a great musician, a highlight in my life for sure.
Grandi Matteo Angelo
Milano, Italy
info@milwaukeediner.it
He played in our club 3 times during the last years, always gentle and great, a man of another era. We all feel blue; we have lost a good big uncle ...
Greg Roberson
Memphis, TN
buzzus@hermajestysbuzz.com
Paul was a man's man. A true southern gentleman. He was as real as real gets. Every rocker on this earth could use a few humble lessons from Paul Burlison. My undying gratitude to Him for all of the great stories and good times. Paul took me under his wing and became that super hip rock n roll uncle i always wished i had. He was about 50 when we first met and could rock Harder than any 20 year old anywhere anytime. God bless you Paul ! It does my heart good to know that there are guys with the talent and character of Steve Selvidge carrying the torch of Paul Burlison and Lee Baker to the world. Love, Greg Roberson
Matt Lucas
FL. USA
bluejammatt@lycos.com
I just heard the bad news about the passing of my friend and fellow rocker Paul from Alex Ward in Memphis. Paul was a wonderful person and I had talked to him on the phone recently and his sprits were high. We sure had a ball together in Jackson at The Hall of Fame last June with W.S. Holland and D.J. Fontana. I'll never forget Paul's smile. God Bless You Paul. Matt
Deke Dickerson
eccofonic@earthlink.net
I'm saddened to hear about Paul's passing. I had heard he was in very poor health recently. I just had the chance to play with him at the "Ponderosa Stomp" festival in New Orleans back in May. I wasn't supposed to play with him, but he was so incredibly nice and asked me to come on stage and play with him and Rocky Burnette and DJ Fontana. I was happy at the time but now I'm very grateful that I can say I jammed with Paul on stage. I think it's finally hitting us square in the face that it's been almost 50 years since rockabilly started, and our heroes are going to start passing away on a frighteningly frequent basis. SO remember this kiddies, be nice to your old timer rockabilly heroes, we are the last generation that will get to hang out with them, and play with them, and know them personally. 2003 has already seen Johnny Cash, Andy Starr, Sheb Wooley, Paul Burlison, and Sam Phillips (among others). Deke
Quay West
Oxford, Mississippi, USA
quaywest@olemiss.edu
With heavy heart, I bid farewell to one of my idols. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Burlison several times. The last time was about a year ago in Petco in Horn Lake, MS. He was buying goodies for his new dog. As always, he was accessible and easy to talk to. I'll never forget his kindness in giving a few minutes of time to a fan. He was humble enough to blush as I gushed the complements. A true rarity, I assure you. Mr. Paul Burlison will be greatly missed. Thank you so much to the person who introduced us one Friday night at Elvis Presley's Memphis on Beale Street. You know who you are. I will always appreciate it and owe you one. : ) One thing I know for sure: If Heaven wasn't rockin' before, it sure is now!! With lonesome tears in my eyes, Quay West
Massimo Di Maggio (Di Maggio Bros.)
Florence, Italy
massimodimaggio@dentaltrey.it
Oh what bad news! I did know Paul the last year at Green Bay Wisconsin - avery good person, great artist, really a gentleman. We lost a friend, Massimo
zak izbinsky
Montreal, Canada
bighollowtwang@yahoo.com
RIP and thanks for the great, inspiring music. Hope you're tradin' licks with Grady Martin up there somewhere.
Jerry Elston
Jackson, TN. USA
jerrelston@aol.com
It is a sad day for all of us. Paul was a true friend, mentor, and a great talent. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him and his music. He was an excellent player, a great guy, and a true gentleman. My sincere thoughts and prayers are with his family. Jerry Elston, The Carl Perkins' Band
Mark Deaver
Los Angeles, CA
Chocreek2003@Yahoo.com
After hearing on the "Paul Harvey News" of the death of "Rock Guitar Pioneer" Paul Burlison (that's how he described him), I was filled with such an overwhelming sadness that I could hardly stand it. That is, until I read the RHOF tribute page and learned of the many fans and musicians who so greatly enjoyed the music of the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, but never got to meet Paul. Then I realized how fortunate I truly was to have known this great gentleman personally. We first corresponded when he had the mail order record service that used to advertise in Goldmine. Every time I ordered something from him, Paul was always gracious enough to answer whatever question I happened to have about the trio, Johnny or Dorsey individually, session musicians at Coral, or whatever. We first met when the re-formed Rock 'n' Roll Trio headed up by Rocky played the Blue Cafe in Long Beach. Afterwards I was so lucky to have been in the audience when they performed at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame stage at Viva Las Vegas, the one in which Dickie "Be Bop" Harrell and Ronnie Dawson joined them for a rousing, thrilling finale. I'm not normally a sentimentalist, but I have to say that I had tears in my eyes. The last time I saw Paul was two years ago when we were staying in the same hotel in Jackson, Tennessee for the Int. Rock-a-billy show. In a darkened hallway late at night, we sat and talked about the Rock 'n' Roll Trio's adventures in New York City during 1956. We found that we had both stayed at the YMCA Vanderbilt, though in different years. I lost most of my record collection about a year and a half ago in a storage space foreclosure. Only two days ago, much to my delight, did I discover that I still had my original Coral label Rock 'n' Roll Trio 45's! May the train keep rollin' on forever, providing rock therapy to those of us who continue to tear it up. Rest in peace, my dear friend.
Dickie Harrell
Portsmouth VA
Dickiebebop@aol.com
I have lost a very close friend. He was one of the best. Met in the 60's and recently played with him and Rocky in Vegas. To me he was always just plain Paul. Thanks for the great music My friend. I will never forget you Buddy. Say hello to the fellows for me. BE-BOP
RONNIE HAIG
backporchpicker@aol.com
It seems any more with each passing day, another page is torn from the memory book of Rockabilly music. So it is today with the passing of Paul. Yes, it's a sad time for sure. We will all miss him; but look what he left behind for us to enjoy for many years to come. Many footprints in the sand. It's wonderful that we have those footprints. Think once again of an artist you've enjoyed all these years, and take a moment to write them and tell them so while they are yet still with us. It's important! It really is. We all need to do more of that. Love is one thing that God gave us that in order to keep it, we MUST give it away. Give away a little today. It will cost you nothing. Write someone you like/love and tell them. Tomorrow could be the day after your last chance.
Jackie
Wolverhampton, UK
jackiemann20@hotmail.com
How sad, I only heard today. Coming home from a gig last night we were playing the rock n roll trio coming home, a little tribute from us, Rest in peace Paul, Jak
Ray Thomas
Plymouth, England
rocknrollheaven@eurobell.co.uk
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Burlison. I am in my forties right now, and grew up during the sixties having Elvis as my main musical influence. When I was lucky enough to be drawn fully into the world of rock and roll/rockabilly music, in the mid seventies, a whole new world opened up for me....for which I am eternally grateful. My two favorite bands became Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, and the legendary Rock and Roll Trio. Since starting out as a fan of the music, I have moved on to bigger and better things...becoming first a dj (all rocking music), then moving on to become a promoter, and finally (present day) becoming management for one the UK's top rockabilly bands, Restless. To this day , the recordings of Johnny Burnette's Rock and Roll Trio take pride of place in my music collection. Many of my other dj friends here in the UK also play these influential tracks to their audiences on a regular basis, ensuring that Paul's distinctive guitar sound will remain an influence on future generations of fans of rockabilly music. I wasn't lucky enough to have been able to see the show, when Rocky brought the show to england. All those I know that did go thoroughly enjoyed seeing Paul in action on stage. He will be sorely missed, but what he has left behind with those legendary recordings, will stand forever as worth of the title 'great performances'. I will send condolences here, on behalf of all the British fans, to his family. His light has gone out, but his legend lives forever. Ray Thomas, Restless Management
Otto Fuchs
Baden/Austria
buddycruiser@yahoo.com
I had the pleasure of seeing Paul Burlison on stage in 2001 in Vienna/Austria - he was on the same bill as The Orginal Comets. After the show he was kind enough to make a jingle for my radio show. I always remember him as a friendly, patient and especially as an superbly talented, gifted guitarist. The show was very memorable, and I always hold it dear to my heart as it was the last time that I enjoyed a concert of Bill Haley´ s Comets in Vienna - with the l ate Herbert Kamitz - "The Comets number one fan" as Marshall Lytle proclaimed when he dedicated Mr. Kamitz his favourite song "Burn That Candle" at a show The Comets played in the following year in Vienna. Paul, Herbert, dad, Bill, Elvis, Johnny, Buddy, Eddie and all the others who gone there before us - I wish you a great time in heaven - and may we rejoin one day in the great chorus in the sky.
David "long tall"
Paris, France
dphisel@noos.fr
A guitar wizard with so distinctive sound and riffs. The Rock'n' Roll fans will never forget the rockin'sound of Paul. He'll live forever in my heart and his killin' guitar will keep on blowing my brain! The train kept on rollin' ...
Vic Layne
Boston Rockabilly (BRMC)
Revere, MA
vlayne42@yahoo.com
I was saddened to hear today about the passing of Paul Burlison from my dear friend and bandmate, Bob "Rink" Gallant. I had the distinct pleasure and honor of meeting and taking pictures with Paul some years ago at a couple of concerts in the Greater Boston area with the Sun Rhythm Section. He was truly a country gentleman! His smile and whole demeanor were magnetic and it was so much fun to hear him (and the band)play.The sound of Paul and the Trio greatly influenced my life and my band from the 50's onward. I still have several of my Coral 45's from the Trio and now with Paul leaving us (temporarily)they will be extra meaningful. My deepest condolences to all his family. Rest in peace, Paul, and rock on with Johnny and Dorsey. C U again, friend!
Roy Brewer
Eugene, OR USA
royviolin@yahoo.com
Paul was one of the few pioneers of rock and roll who would sit down and talk with ya. He seemed to have his head on straight and I appreciated his honesty.
Brian "BD Bopper"
(21 years old)
bdbopper@bellsouth.net
My deep condolences to the family and friends of Paul Burlison.  He was a true Rockabilly legend and he will be missed greatly.   Paul may be gone ... but his music will live on forever! I was hoping to meet him before he passed away, but it was not God's will for me to do so. My friend Butch, did get the honor of playing drums behind him years back.  Paul appeared at Tipitina's with Floyd Cramer and Roger "Hurricane" Wilson.  Butch told me the night was very memorable for him.   May Paul forever Rest in Peace.
Lisa Miller
Porland OR USA
lisa@lisaandherkin.com
I was lucky enough to play ashow with my former band here in Portland. It Paul Burlison put on one heck of a great show-high energy rockin' music! It was such an honor to share a night with him and his band. I am so glad I had the opportunity, and so sad to see him go.
Marco Da Silva
Rome - Italy
dasilvabilly@mclink.it
Two months ago I received an e-mail from Matt Lucas on which he was suggesting me to keep in touch with Paul, telling he would have been so pleased to hear from me etc. I never did i , don't know why, I have that sort of shyness ... always thinking about disturbing people. Matt also told me that Paul has been sick wih cancer, but that he was feeling pretty good at that time. Now I'm so sad, regreting not to have sent a simple e-mail to him, maybe he would have been really glad for that. A strong, loving embrace to Paul's family. I am, and always will be, his great fan, Marco
Steve M
Uk/Californa.USA
marl@metronet.co.uk
Another very sad loss to the Rock'n'Roll comunity. Our respects to his family.
BURL BOYKIN a/k/a JOHNNY CRASH
ABBEVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, USA
BURL@JOHNNYCASH.ZZN.COM
IT IS WITH SORROW, AFTER HEARING OF MY GOOD FRIEND'S DEATH, THAT I POST THESE COMMENTS. I JUST RECEIVED PAUL BURLISON NEW CD ROCKABILLY COUNTRY WHICH PAUL, C.W. GATLIN, W.S. HOLLAND, KIM CURTIS, SMOOCHY JERRY LEE SMITH AND J.T. MORGAN MADE AT SUN RECORDS IN MEMPHIS, TN A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO. IT IS A GREAT CD AND ONE I WILL CHERISH AS THESE ROCKERS KNOW HOW TO ROCK. I WAS WITH MY GOOD FRIENDS EDDIE BOND AND BO JACK KILLINGSWORTH LAST NIGHT (SEPT. 27) AT HIS HOME GROWN COUNTRY ROCK N ROLL SHOW. WE STOPPED PLAYING FOR 3 MINUTES AS WE HAD A SILENT TRIBUTE TO PAUL. PAUL WILL BE MISSED, BUT HIS MUSIC WILL GO ON FOREVER AS HE IS WITH THE LORD. I KNOW MY FRIENDS, JOHNNY AND JUNE CARTER CASH, AND MY PRODUCER AND FRIEND FOR 58 YEARS ON THE ROCKABILLY MASTERS, ED F. MORGAN WILL MEET AT THAT GREAT PLACE ALONG WITH MY KAPPA SIGMA FRATERNITY BROTHER RICK NELSON AND THEY WILL BE MAKING MUSIC IN HEAVEN AS I WRITE THIS MESSAGE. WE WILL ALL MEET IN HEAVEN SOME DAY.
        PAUL HAD AN INTERGRITY, HUMBLENESS, LOVE FOR ALL MAN KIND THAT WE WILL MISS WITH HIS PASSING ... PAUL IS ALIVE AND WELL WITH NO MORE PAIN. GOD FOREVER BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS. LOVE, PEACE, AND BLESSINGS TO EVERYONE WHO PAUL TOUCHED. --BURL BOYKIN AND THE ROCKABILLY MASTERS.
Clete Reid
Atlanta, GA USA
cletis@citycousins.com
More than a great guitar player, Paul was a damn nice guy. My condolences to friends and family.
Jeff Golightly
Memphis, Tennessee
memphisblue54@hotmail.com
In the mid 80's, I had a rockabilly band called the Beat Cowboys ... my friend Greg Roberson coaxed Paul out to one of our gigs and he brought his guitar with him. We played "Tear it up" and boy, did he ever. I am sooo glad we recorded that night. Paul was THE epitome of a true southern gentleman and I'll miss his incredible smile ... if he ever smiled at you, you'll never forget it. Rest in peace my friend. There's only one Paul Burlison
George "Duke" Feist
Fresno, California USA
DukeoftheDiscs@hotmail.com
Paul Burlison and the Rock and Roll Trio were the reason I started collecting rockabilly music. His guitar sound was perfect for my ears for the sound I have grown to love. I bought a few records from him when he used to adverstise in Goldmine Magazine years ago. I sent a note with my money and he was kind enough to write back. I will treasure those letters he sent me. What a nice person to take the time to write me about his days with Johnny Burnette before he lost his life in Clear Lake, California (I was on vacation there when Johnny drowned)in 1964. Rock and roll has truly lost a legend. I am sure a lot of guitarists in the genre got some licks from Paul. Their version of Train Kept A Rollin and Tear It Up says it all regarding rockabilly and the sound I love. R.I.P. Paul. George The Duke of the Discs Feist.
Billy Lee Riley
It give me a wonderful feeling to see so many wonderful people saying such good things about a very nice man. That's what is so good about our family, (Our rockabilly family) they care about each other. Paul and I did not know each other back in the fifties but the short time I did know him I can truly say I knew an extraordinary man. I have never met a more pleasent person than Paul Burlison. My only regret is that I met him to late in life. My condolences go out to his family. Rest in Peace my Friend.
Roman Self
Nashville
ltsjlm2@aol.com
I'd like to convey my sorrow about Paul's passing. I meet him recently in New Orleans. He was indeed a great musician who commanded much respect and was a real "class act". God bless you, Paul. Your music will live on for us all.
Vincent Mespouille
Tournai BELGIUM
vincent.mespouille@wanadoo.be
Rest in Peace, Paul.
Kim Nørskov
norskov@tdcadsl.dk
(president@babesociety.dk)
This is truly the saddest news I have had in a very long time!!! Having had the pleasure of meeting Paul several times I - too - learned what a nice guy he was. A true gentleman, just happy that "his" kind of music had survived and seemed to enjoy a new generation of people. Paul was there when it happened ... and I was too ... that is the second time around. Remember this: "Viva Las Vegas" (3 I think it was) when The Rockabilly Hall Of Fame first put The Rock'n'Roll Trio on the stage. This was in the "little" bar, that holds 200 people. I think just about 1,500 showed up that afternoon - and when Paul hit those guitar strings for the first time we all just went WILD!!!! And what a show they put on. We all know Rocky sounds just like Johnny .. .and Paul just rejuvinated that day, played a MEAN guitar and had a ball! And that session just grew. Several guitarists was brought on stage - Ronnie Dawson for one - and in the last few songs Dickie Harrell HIT the drums. Marco DiMaggio. The show ended with an out-of-this-world version of "Tear It Up", in which Dickie Harrell rose, knocking over most of the drum kit, to finish as a stand-up drummer hitting whatever was within his reach. That afternoon is probably the best ROCKABILLY experience I will ever have. And this is how I will remember Paul, up on that stage having a ball with the guys and an immensely overcrowded bar just TEARING IT UP! Thanks a lot Paul!
Arjan Deelen
Naestved, Denmark
deelen@elvis.dk
I was saddened to learn of Paul's death. A brilliant guitarist, and a real gentleman. I met him in August 2000 at the Sun Studio Block Party, and we had a very nice chat. Rest in peace, Paul.
ronnie lipe
horn lake
bluescity1@aol.com
PAUL WAS THE FINEST MAN I EVER HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING WITH, ON AND OFF STAGE HE WAS AN ICON, ALLWAYS VERY KIND, AND PEACEFULL, AND HE TRUELY LOVED THE FANS. ROCKABILLY,AND ROCK AND ROLL NOW HAS A HUGE HOLE WHERE THE GREAT MR. BURLISON ONCE STOOD. I WILL FOREVER HONER HIS PRESENTS ... R.I.P. PAUL LOVED THE SONG (HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY.) ONE OF THE FEW HE WOULD SING ... I WILL MISS THAT.
Steve Selvidge
Memphis, TN
steve@steveselvidge.com
I worked in a guitar store in Memphis for years, and Paul was a regular fixture there. A true definition of a gentleman, he was one of the most gracious people I've ever met. Years later, I won an award for best guitar player at the sort of local Grammy's here called the Premier Players. The whole night was a tribute to Sun records, and the presenters for the guitar award were Paul Burlison and Scotty Moore. I was kinda hoping to win, but when I saw who was giving the award, I thought "Dear God! Please let me win this, if only to be next to these two dudes!!" Well, I did win, and when I went up to accept the award, Paul gave me the COOLEST wink and pat on the back. Honestly, it was the most pure, southern, heartfelt, straight up gesture. I can't tell you how much it meant to me. I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I don't mean to sound like I'm tooting my own horn. I'm a tiny speck compared to these guys. I'm going to go see Roland Janes tomorrow. I just can't make any sense of all this. I can tell you first hand, Paul was the salt of the earth. A prince of a man.
Peter Lawson
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
pflawson@picknowl.com.au
Truly sorry to hear of the death of Paul Burlison-I will never forget the first time I heard The Rock and Roll Trio on record back in the 50's - I still regularly play it and it never ceases to amaze me how vibrant and exciting it still sounds - another great guitarist lost forever. My sincere condolences to all concerned.
Brian Stuhr
Memphis
catman@elvis.com
When I first moved to Memphis in 1990, Paul came up to the band I was in after we played a set in Olive Branch, MS. Not only did I get to meet one of my greatest influences, but Paul never forgot my name whenever he saw me - and he always made time for his fans & friends. I will treasure the ES-175 he signed for me - YES, I HAVE A PHOTO OF PAUL PLAYING MY "GIBSON" AFTER HE SIGNED IT - don't tell Fender!!! We'll miss him, but his influence will last forever. Thanks Paul!
ALEX RUIZ
VALENCIA-SPAIN
alru30@hotmail.com
Paul, you are forever the best rockabilly guitar man of the history. Thanks for the sound of your guitar in the rock and roll trio songs and thanks for play rock and roll. Alex
Freddie Raper
Denison, Texas, USA
fraper2@hotmail.com
Rest in piece Paul. Tell all the guys up there a great big hello for me. Rest in piece and keep rockin'
Col. Robert Morris
Senatobia, Mississippi
colonelrobert@bellsouth.net
My wife and I were just talking this morning about how time was passing by so fast, and how things that we remember as yesterday, was twenty-thirty years ago. It is a great loss for our Rockabilly family, as one of our elders has gone home to the great Rockabilly reunion party. Party On Paul!!
Steve Ford
Palm Bay, Florida
rford@cfl.rr.com
I regret that I never had the plesure of seeing Paul perform live or shake his hand and tell him how much I have enjoyed listening to those great Rock and Roll Trio recordings. I think he was one of the best, if not the best 50's guitar player of that or anytime! I will always cherish those original R&R Trio tunes! I keep their Bear Family reissue cd close by at all times! Rest in peace Paul!
LeeRoy Brown
LeeRoyBrownLRB@aol.com
DEEPEST CONDOLENCES & SYMPATHY to Paul's Family, Friends & Fans Worldwide. Lee.
Barbara Burnette
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
elvis777@cox.net
I'm so sad right now. I don't know why people like Paul can't live forever. I guess he will - in our hearts and music. Paul was my guitar hero and friend. He was always willing to show me all his licks note for note, but his style and feeling on the guitar are impossible to imitate. I will always remember going to Memphis to "Elvis Presleys" watching Paul sit and watch the "Dempseys" (many many times) with a huge smile on his face as they played Johnny Burnette trio songs with energy that was unbelievable. They would always get Paul up on stage and he would glow as he played his solos sounding like he was back in the trio. Paul was so supportive of all the younger musicians. One of the hightlights of Viva Las Vegas a few years ago was Paul and Rocky Burnette's set. They had an energy that brought the house down, like rockabilly should! I'm glad I have Paul tattoed on my arm as he will be with me forever and hopefully I have a bit of him in my music! Bye Paul ... we'll all "Keep a rollin' for you"! -Barbara
Glen Glenn
glenglenn80@hotmail.com
Well, it's another sad day for rockabilly music with the passing of my friend, Paul Burlison. My love and prayers go out to his family. He'll be greatly missed by all of us. Sincerely, Glen Glenn
Sheree Homer
homersm2001@yahoo.com
Very sad news indeed. The first person I thought of was Rocky Burnette when I read the news. I sure hope Rocky got to talk to him.  I know how both Rocky and Billy are feeling. They lost a part of their youth today. What always amazed me was the courage Paul showed. I don't think I could ever do what he did. He never showed he was in any pain or discomfort. Everytime we would see him he was all smiles and glad to be onstage and talk to the fans. One of the nicest guys my mom and I have ever met. A true loss. My mom and I both lost a friend today. Rest in peace, Paul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. I am so glad I got to see him in concert a few times and interview him for my magazine. Memories that my mom and I both treasure. It makes me upset to think that all our musicians from the 50s are dying.
Nol Voorst
Maastricht , Netherlands
wildboppinnol@hotmail.com
A great man, A big Name, A fantastic Artist. Not only a great music man but a great human being too. Wil never forget Mister Paul Burlison a true legend. ! Rest your body Dear Mister we wil stay busy remembering you! Have our strength and warmth family Burlison ... we are with you in toughts and hearts. The Day The Music (world) shocked. A treasure of time for always ... Mister Paul Burlison ... chapoo, nol
Kay Wheeler
KAYWHEEL@aol.com
The world's first rock culture -- and its great stars are passing on. Now, the stage is almost clear and the end is near for all of us who had the unforgettable, "fun time" of being a teenager in the fabulous fifites -- it is definitely "Act III" -- let's make every minute count! God bless and comfort the Paul Burlison family. 
Wanda Feathers-VanZant
PEEPINEYES55@aol.com
A very dear and sweet man, friend, that I will never forget. Rest in Peace Paul Burlison, I love you!
Tapio
tapiov@pcuf.fi
Sad, sad, sad. I'm glad I managed to meet Paul last year in New Orleans, he seemed to be a real nice guy and it was great to see him on stage with Rocky. Paul was important part of the trio whose records are the holy grail of rockabilly, he was there when it happened! R.I.P. Paul! I just have to spin "Tear It Up" now.
Bob Timmers
bob@rockabillyhall.com
Saturday, September 27, 2003 - One of Paul's closest friends, Kim Curtis, informed us today that Paul Burlison died in the home around 8 o'clock this morning. Paul was fighting a long battle with cancer. He is the last member of the Rock N Rio Trio to leave us. Paul always had time for the fans and loved being on stage performing. God bless a great guitarist, rock pioneer and fine gentlemen. He will indeed be missed by his peers, family, fans and friends.


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A LEGEND LIVES ON
By Bill Ellis - ellis@gomemphis.com - September 28, 2003 - Rock guitar pioneer Paul Burlison died at his Horn Lake home on Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer, according to family. He was 74. Known for his groundbreaking 1950s work in the Rock 'n' Roll Trio with siblings Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, David Paul Burlison played on many rockabilly classics including Tear It Up, Honey Hush, Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track), Rock Therapy, Lonesome Tears in My Eyes and the song most identified with the Memphis act, an unhinged version of Tiny Bradshaw's jump blues The Train Kept A-Rollin'.
            The group, which "epitomized the primal yawp of rockabilly," according to writer Colin Escott, got its energy in part from the electric guitar parts played by Mr. Burlison, whose proto-distortion sound later become a hallmark of rock guitar.
            According to Mr. Burlison, his raucous guitar sound was the result of a dropped amplifier at a concert. He liked the results so much, he subsequently jiggled the amp's tubes to replicate the fuzz tone in the studio. His raw, steely approach influenced future guitarists, especially those from the British rock scene of the 1960s, including Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. The Yardbirds, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Motoerhead are among the many rock bands that later covered the Rock 'n' Roll Trio's tunes, notably The Train Kept A-Rollin' right down to Burlison's oft-imitated guitar riffs.
            Said Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page to The Commercial Appeal in 1998: "He (Burlison) was a massive influence to me ... I don't let too many people play my guitar, but it'd be an honor if he played it."
            Born in Brownsville, Tenn., Mr. Burlison moved with his family to Memphis in the mid-'30s. The onetime Golden Glove champion first met Dorsey Burnette in 1949 when both were amateur boxers. After a short stint in the Navy, Mr. Burlison returned to Memphis and began playing with a country band. That inadvertently led to the guitarist sitting in with legendary bluesman Howlin' Wolf for several months on radio station KWEM in West Memphis and at various club dates.
            Around the same time, Mr. Burlison also teamed up with the Burnettes, playing with the siblings for the next few years while he and Dorsey held down day jobs at Crown Electric Co. Spurred on by the musical success of another onetime Crown employee, Elvis Presley, the trio took a similar stab at fame and moved to New York City, where they auditioned for Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, a nationally broadcast show they won three weeks in a row in 1956.
            Recording for Decca subsidiary Coral, the group made a little over two dozen sides between May 1956 and March 1957, after which the trio split up. Mr. Burlison went back to electrical engineering and opened his own construction/realty company in 1972, which he maintained until the end of his life.
            The last surviving member of the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, Mr. Burlison came out of musical retirement when reissues of the group's tunes found their way into the repertoire of the late '70s/early '80s rockabilly revival (the Stray Cats were another group heavily informed by the Trio's legacy). He toured England and Europe numerous times, performed with the Sun Rhythm Section and, in 1997, recorded a solo album, "Train Kept A-Rollin'," that featured members of Los Lobos and The Band.
            His latest album, "Rock-A-Billy Country" was recorded at Sun Studio with rockabilly veterans W. S. 'Fluke' Holland and Jerry Lee 'Smoochy' Smith. Mr. Burlison most recently performed at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival in August.
            Mr. Burlison is survived by sisters Virginia Brook of Southaven and Nora Hunt of Horn Lake; son David Paul Burlison Jr. of Germantown; daughters Deborah Stafford of Lake Cormorant, Laurie Hylander of Walls, Mary Lisa Goff of Horn Lake and Holly Moore of Walls; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
- Bill Ellis: 529-2517






©2003   Rockabilly Hall of Fame (R)