Episode 44: "Train Kept A-Rollin'", by Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio
Episode forty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Train Kept A-Rollin'" by Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, and how a rockabilly trio from Memphis connect a novelty cowboy song by Ella Fitzgerald to Motorhead and Aerosmith. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Jump, Jive, an' Wail", by Louis Prima.
For biographical information on the Burnettes, I've mostly used Billy Burnette's self-published autobiography, Craxy Like Me. It's a flawed source, but the only other book on Johnny Burnette I've been able to find is in Spanish, and while I go to great lengths to make this podcast accurate I do have limits, and learning Spanish for a single lesson is one of them.
The details about the Burnettes' relationship with Elvis Presley come from Last Train To Memphis by Peter Guralnick.
Before Elvis by Larry Birnbaum has a chapter on "Train Kept A-Rollin'", and its antecedents in earlier blues material, that goes into far more detail than I could here, but which was an invaluable reference.
And this three-CD set contains almost everything Johnny Burnette released up to 1962.
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