Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Every once in a while, it occurs to me that there is someone who has slipped through the cracks, even after a couple thousand posts. That's what the bruise on my forehead tells me. Yesterday it occurred to me that there has not been one mention of Sonny Burgess, an early Sun artist who had one of the wildest rock 'n' roll records ever released. That's right. I said it. Check "We Wanna Boogie", it's just nuts. The first thing you'll note is the presence of a trumpet. Unusual for any rockabilly record, even more unusual on a Sun product. While the singing is pretty crazy, somewhere between Ray Campi and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, there are solos that need to be heard. First the piano, then the trumpet. After one more verse, a manic guitar solo with the drummer just bashing the hell out of what sounds like a kit made out of cardboard. Then one more verse of increasingly crazed vocals and after Burgess hits the last three words sounding like he's eating the microphone, the end. Two and a half minutes of absolutely abandon.

Though the band wanted to do another take, Sam Phillips insisted the first take was a keeper, later saying "...they had a sound like I've never heard. Maybe Sonny's sound was too raw; I don't know- but I'll tell you this. They were pure rock and roll." This from the man that was the first to record some of the greatest rockers of all time.

Sonny Burgess is another great from the past who is still alive. Not only is he alive, but apparently still playing out with dates booked through October of this year. But wait, there's more. He co-hosts a radio show called "We Wanna Boogie" on a public radio station in Arkansas. Sonny Burgess is alive, he's alive!


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