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Burns Sonny - The Devil`s Disciple (CD)€18,00
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.
Burns Sonny - A Real Cool Cat – The Starday Recordings (CD)€18,00
The complete 1950s Starday recordings by this master of Texas honky-tonk music, including the hit version of ’Too Hot To Handle’ and the original version of ’A Place For Girls Like You’, covered by Faron Young. Contains eight unissued songs and alternate takes, plus his two duets with George Jones. — For a few brief years in the 1950s, Sonny Burns personified Texas honky-tonk music. Tall and handsome, with a powerfully emotive voice, he seemed poised at any minute to graduate from the Starday label to major label success and national stardom. Many country singers of his time portrayed themselves in song as hard-drinking womanizers, but for Burns this was no pose – it was his life, and his wild and reckless ways probably doomed any chance he might have had at wider recognition. He enjoyed a big regional hit with ’Too Hot To Handle’, but Faron Young stole Burns’s momentum by covering his follow-up record ’A Place For Girls Like You’ (a Top 10 hit for Faron in 1954), and when Burns failed to show up to duet with George Jones on what became George’s breakthrough hit (’Why, Baby, Why’), his career was essentially over. There was a brief attempt at a comeback with United Artists in the early sixties before Burns disappeared back into the rural East Texas woods for good. — This Bear Family release gathers together for the first time the complete Starday recordings of Sonny Burns – all ten original singles, plus eight unissued songs and alternate takes. Most have been transferred from the original master tapes, resulting in the finest sound quality ever for these recordings. Having been unfairly relegated to footnote status in the George Jones Story in all previous treatments, this CD proves that Burns had a formidable voice all his own. The set includes liner notes and a discography by Texas music historian Andrew Brown.