Thursday, May 27, 2010

Johnny Burnette and The Rock 'N Roll Trio - The Complete Coral Rock 'N Roll Trio Recordings

I recall listening to National Public Radio one cold afternoon in 2004, while driving through Burlington, Massachusetts (for the life of me, I can't remember why I was there - I seem to recall a doctor's appointment). NPR did a long segment on rockabilly legend Johnny Burnette and his band, the Rock 'N Roll Trio, made up of himself on vocals and rhythm guitar, his brother Dorsey Burnette on upright bass and the great Paul Burlison on lead guitar. The radio segment focused on the band's most famous song, 1956's "The Train Kept A-Rollin'", the tune that most rock historians credit for "inventing" guitar distortion.

It was a great segment, and at the end of it the narrator mentioned the reason for airing the story at that time - the complete Rock N' Roll Trio recording on Coral Records were just put out by Hip-O Select on a limited CD release that week. I quickly ran home, went to the site, and ordered my copy. It arrived in about a week, my limited edition number "1128 of 2500" stamped on it in gold.

In addition to "The Train Kept A-Rollin'", there are a number of other gems on this disc, especially the early R N' R Trio releases. Near the end, the band and Burnette veer into more poppy/easy listening territory, and you can see why the band quickly called it a day after only about three years of recording together. But on the whole, this is a great listen and an essential disc for rockabilly fans and folks interested in the history of rock. Enjoy.

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