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About James Burton

James has played on countless number-one recordings, and created some of the most influential guitar riffs in popular music. Elvis Costello says that James Burton is one of a few players who musicians almost always call ‘legendary.’ Pete Townsend says that James is probably the most important guitar player in American music.

In 1953, at age fourteen, James recorded Susie Q with Dale Hawkins. Burton wrote the music and Hawkins wrote the lyrics. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes Susie Q in 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

In addition to Rick Nelson (1958–1965) and Elvis Presley (1969–1977), top entertainers have sought his services for studio recordings and live performances. They include: Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Brad Paisley, Elvis Costello, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, John Denver, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Dean Martin, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Gram Parson, Albert Lee, Chet Atkins, Travis Tritt, Ray Charles, Sonny and Cher, Herb Alpert, Simon and Garfunkel, The Righteous Brothers, The Mamas and The Papas, Johnny Rivers, Andy Williams, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, The Monkees, and many others. James Burton continues to perform, and is in constant demand all over the world.

James Burton Signature Model Fender Telecaster

Many groups and publications acknowledge James Burton’s achievements: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Awards (7), Musicians Hall of Fame, Hollywood Rock Walk, Fender Hall of Fame, Walk of Stars – Shreveport LA, Top 20 Guitarists of All Time —Rolling Stone magazine, Southern Legends and Entertainment Performing Artists Hall of Fame, Louisiana Lifetime Achievement Award, The Peavey Award, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, 2009 Grammy Award with Brad Paisley (featuring James Burton, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, John Jorgenson, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert, and Steve Wariner), and 2010 Legend of the Year Award —Guitar Player magazine.

See much more about James at:

The website Boomerocity has posted an extensive interview with James. Randy Patterson highlights James’ career from the early days with Dale Hawkins, Bob Luman, the Louisiana Hayride, Ricky Nelson, Shindig, and the Wrecking Crew to Elvis and John Denver to Emmylou Harris and Roy Orbison’s A Black and White Night. The interview is rich with detailed information, James’ comments, and his plans for the Foundation.

See the complete interview at

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