Happy Birthday to Guitar Great James Burton
There are a LOT of famous and successful people that hail from Shreveport: Terry Bradshaw, Lead Belly...the list goes on. But perhaps the most iconic and most well known is James Burton. When it comes to popular music, its hard not to talk about James. And since today (August 21st) is his birthday, I think we should celebrate Mr. Burton a bit.
He's worked with everyone from Elvis to Sinatra to Nat King Cole. He's one of the men that really made the "Telecaster" sound wildly popular. He was a key member of the Wrecking Crew (there's tons of information on their accomplishments online if you don't know their story). Its crazy when you really think how many records James has played on over the years.
But, maybe Burton's greatest legacy is the impact he had on other guitar players. In fact, Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography 'Life', "I didn't buy Ricky Nelson albums, I bought James Burton records." Even George Harrison said this about early Beatles records: “Those early sounds that we did, I just hated them. They sounded so puny. I mean listening to James Burton playing on the Ricky Nelson records… and we would come up with our stuff that was so feeble.”
And those are just a couple of samples. There are tons of guys including Jimmy Page and John Denver who also credit James as getting them into music and guitar. James Burton helped create the backbone of modern rock and country and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves.