2 New First Time on CD Worldwide Releases OUT NOW!!
If you only know Billy Burnette from Fleetwood Mac, then you don't really know Billy Burnette.
Memphis-born singer-songwriter-guitarist Dorsey William Burnette III is the ‘Billy’ in ‘rockabilly’ – literally. Billy’s father and uncle, Dorsey and Johnny Burnette, respectively, led the Memphis-based Rock ’n Roll Trio that helped pioneer rock & roll and influenced Elvis Presley. The Trio combined the names of Billy and his cousin Rocky for 1953’s “Rockabilly Boogie” – thus making the term rockabilly a household name.
Billy began his professional career at just 7 years old, but it wasn’t until he was 15 or 16 that Billy picked up a guitar and began writing songs. Billy was only a week out of high school when he recorded his debut album with famed Memphis hit-making producer Chips Moman.
Sky-high energy leaps from every track on Billy Burnette’s eponymous 1980 album for Columbia Records. Burnette had been recording for nearly two decades by this point but he’d never made a set that rocked as lethally hard as this one. Columbia unleashed the walloping LP with an eye-catching red-neon-on-black cover, the set giving Burnette his first hit single with the galloping “Don’t Say No.”
In addition to eight of Burnette’s original compositions and songwriting collaborations, the album also featured red-hot revivals of three classics from rock and roll’s primordial days. The album was created during an emotionally charged period for the singer. “I had just lost my dad (Dorsey Burnette) when I had done the Columbia record and didn’t know much about his rockabilly stuff, to be honest… Mae Axton told me after my dad died, ‘You never know how big the tree is until it falls.’”
If you love tight, hard, tough, no frills rock and roll with killer vocals, you need this CD in your collection.
For his 1981 Columbia encore album Gimme You, Billy Burnette stepped away from the stripped-down attack of its eponymous predecessor to incorporate a fuller sound, spiced by occasional horns and backing vocalists. He recorded the album in Sheffield, Alabama with the vaunted Muscle Shoals studio band that played on countless soul and pop smashes during its long residency: guitarist Jimmy Johnson, bassist David Hood, drummer Roger Hawkins, and keyboardist Barry Beckett, who shared production credit with Billy’s co-manager, Barry Seidel.
His previous album showcased several solo compositions from Burnette, but this time every selection but one was a collaboration with one of his songsmith friends. “I’ve always been a co-writer,” says Burnette. “I like to get with people and write.” Billy’s acclaimed co-writers on Gimme You include Mentor Williams (“Drift Away”), with whom he collaborated on four of the album’s tracks. Gimme You also introduces “The Bigger The Love (The Harder The Fall),” a goosebump-inducing ballad later recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Tucker, and recut by Burnette for his 1993 album Coming Home. Billy’s rockabilly roots come to the fore on the frantic scorcher “Gone Again” and the album’s infectious title track.
Gimme You is the perfect midpoint between Billy Burnette’s rock and country work, certain to unite fans of his wherever they came in.
In addition to recording both rock and country music as a solo artist, Billy began writing for such hit makers as Rod Stewart, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Cher, Faith Hill, Gregg Allman, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Weir, The Everly Brothers, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Tanya Tucker, Ringo Starr, Glen Campbell, Eddy Raven, and many more.
Burnette became close friends with Mick Fleetwood in the early ’80s, leading to an invitation to join Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo and ultimately becoming a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987-1995.
Billy Burnette and Gimme You are now available for the first time on CD worldwide, in limited edition pressings of just 1000 units each! Both albums have been remastered by Vic Anesini and feature liner notes by Bill Dahl, based on exclusive new interviews with Billy Burnette.