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  • Burns Sonny - The Devil`s Disciple (CD)


    Texas honky-tonk singer Sonny Burns’ Second Coming from the 1960s. Exploring Sonny’s career with great recordings from 1959 to the late 1960s. Presenting his TNT, United Artists, and MGM masters. Including previously unissued masters. Anyone reading about the implosion of Sonny Burns’ career in the mid-50s — when the East Texas honky-tonk singer sank from sight while his friend, label mate and sometime duet partner George Jones rocketed to stardom — might be surprised to find out that there was a Second Coming in the 1960s. ’Devil’s Disciple’ picks up where Bear Family’s first collection devoted to Sonny Burns, ’Too Hot To Handle,’ which covered his Starday years of 1953-56, left off, exploring Sonny’s recording career from 1959 to the end of the 1960s. The story of Burns’ first flirtation with fame, and his at least partly self-induced fall, is the stuff of country music legend because it has been so closely linked with the rise of Jones, the most revered country singer of the post-Hank Williams years. There is an implication in the way Burns’ story is usually told that the singer somehow got a raw deal, that it might easily have been he who shot to stardom and not Jones. That it was less a raw deal than a matter of timing and commitment doesn’t change the fact that Sonny Burns was one of the most talented and memorable artists of the era. And his second stab at stardom chronicled here resulted in some great recordings. ’Devil’s Disciple’ begins in 1959, three years after Sonny’s last Starday session, when, having in his own assessment hit rock bottom, Burns began to claw his way back onto the scene with a single for the San Antonio-based independent label TNT. Following from that record, this collections traces Burns’ comeback through his 1961-63 recordings for United Artists and his final 1968 session for MGM, which was left unreleased at the time and finally sees the light of day here. Included are classic tracks like Blue House Painted White and Burns’ telling recording of the title track, Johnny Bush’s Devil’s Disciple. Among the unissued MGM tracks from 1968 are two great Burns performances of songs written by the elusive East Tennessee country songster Jim Fagan, I Sat Down On A Bear Trap and I Left One On The Bar.

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