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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. 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.

Did you know?

  • Billy Burnette made his first recording when he was seven, appearing with Ricky Nelson on the song “Hey Daddy (I’m Gonna Tell Santa On You)”
  • Burnette was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987-1995
  • He toured in the bands of Bob Dylan and John Fogerty


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