This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Johnny Burnette mighta knifed Elvis is prison

Rockabilly, as a genre, always brings up mostly familiar names: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, early Roy Orbison, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and that's about it. Peruse any used record store in America, and those artists will comprise the entirety of the rockabilly section, along with some unsurprisingly good-shape records by the Stray Cats and Jason & the Scorchers.

One of the crucial names that always gets left off the lists not written by genre die-hards, is Johnny Burnette from his Trio days. Before he started making unbearable schlock like "Dreamin'" (see below), he was part of one of the shitkickingest rockabilly bands around. Long before Dave Davies stuck pins into his amp and cranked out "You Really Got Me" with the Kinks, Johnny's brother Dorsey was kicking out the fuzzy jams on a broken amplifier, making dangerous music sound even moreso in the process. While even the most obscure of rockabilly artists were able to churn out at least one side of Big Muff-related debauchery (see the incredible collection Rockin' Bones), The Johnny Burnette Trio put out almost a double LP's worth, amazing in an age known for singles' artists. It's a shame he died after making his crap pop sellout records (in a tragic boating accident, too boot), but at least we have the records that matter.

For those of you who, like me, listen to songs like Elvis' "Teddy Bear" and wonder why in the hell this music started riots and changed basically the course of American culture for the latter half of the 20th century, people like Johnny Burnette are they key. Their songs are loud, distorted, and uptempo in a way that not even Benny Goodman could have competed with. It's raunchy and when turned up loud enough, you start to understand why this was the soundtrack for white kids stabbing each other. "Honey Hush" is amazing, the narrator telling the woman to stop crying before informing her that she shouldn't make him nervous, since he's holding a baseball bat. Fuckin' A! you don't find shit like that anymore. Some annoying woman with really short hair would probably be offended before going off to some Bikini Kill cover concert with "RAPE" written on her revealing tank-top in lipstick.

For the coolest cats in the room. You know who you are.


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