Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guitarism 101: the rise of young six-string slinger James Burton as told on NPR by Ed Ward

What were you doing when you were 16? asks Ed Ward at

Ward reminds us what it was like for Louisianian Burton:

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

This led to a regular gig on the Louisiana Hayride radio show, which, in turn, led to Burton's joining the band of Bob Luman, a rockabilly and country singer who made some great records, due, of course, to having a great guitarist.

Much more at npr.

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