J.B – Thank you & I’m really looking forward to coming over to Australia again playing with the band and spending some time meeting people. Q: Before we dive in, should it be "Ricky" or "Rick?". Then the second solo ended up being longer! That could have happened, though. EIN – Who were the original Stax horn section when you were the Mar-keys? NOTE - This is an edited version of a lengthy and fascinating interview - To read the complete interview with even more historical photos and Rick Nelson stories - Click Here. The first session I did with Rick was for the "Stood Up" / "Waitin’ in School" single. By 12th grade Wayne Jackson found himself playing with a group called The Mar-Keys. There really was a guy with an automatic rifle on the roof in case of something bad happened - especially after Martin Luther King died. We also worked with U2 when they recorded there in 1988 to produce their ‘Rattle & Hum’ album. It’s a visual thing. That perfect moment when Elvis says, “Play something James”! Well that song was one, also ‘Susie-Q’ and another song, remember ‘Early Morning Rain’? EIN – Tell me about your company ‘Sweet Medicine Music’? I just got a chill up my spine hearing that. I still did the occasional tour, including a highly successful one of the Far East (Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan) in April 1966 with Glen Campbell on bass, who also played rhythm acoustic guitar and provided occasional background vocals in the studio with Rick beginning in 1961. (Right; Circa 1965, great photo of James Burton sporting a goatee). Of course in retrospect now I wish I hadn't! I think that’s pretty damn good. There was of course a lot more magic in recording Elvis than there was in recording a nobody but American studios had some great talent going through it at the time. While the majority of fans only recall James Burton's work with Elvis, it is appropriate that the 25th anniversary of Rick Nelson’s death turn the spotlight back to James’ early collaboration with one of his best friends. Rick recommended we bring our instruments, so James and I immediately went over and met his mother and dad, along with everybody involved with the show. It’s so hard to pick one particular thing, although I was very honoured to be Elvis’ lead guitar player for nine years and I was very blessed to have played with Elvis. J.B – That is so correct. We were in Graceland last week and performed at Elvis’ Memphis club and we just had a wonderful time. While this interview is primarily about James Burton's earlier career with Ricky Nelson - however both Elvis' and Rick Nelson's paths crossed so many times that Elvis is also a key figure in this story. Turn the machines on boys!” It was the same thing with ‘Fools Rush In.’ Just too bad I didn’t write 3 or 4 songs to get him to sing! James Burton Foundation 714 Elvis Presley Avenue Shreveport, Louisiana 71101. W.J – Chips Moman produced Stax’s big early hit ‘Last Night’ and I played on that. Rick had his greatest success between 1957 and 1963, and during those years he was second only to Elvis Presley, an amazing achievement. I talked to Joe Esposito plus The Jordanaires & Darwin Lamm (Elvis International) and they all told me that Mick was a wonderful guy, a really nice man and a great singer & performer. Turn the machines on boys!" Does it register that 25 years have passed since Rick left us so soon at the early age of 45? EIN - Did you spend any time with Elvis at Graceland? I don’t think I made a remark, maybe I was thinking it would be cool to say, "Gee, that sax player had pretty good taste." Q: What about The Shindogs. James Burton September 4 at 8:31 AM Hey guys, It’s Labor Day weekend and I’m so excited to announce it’ ... s a “Play It James” Labor Day Weekend on Elvis SiriusXM Radio with a new episode of The James Burton Elvis Radio Hour, featuring John Carter Cash and classic episodes with our friends Bryan May, Sammy Hagar and Tanya Tucker! If you can believe it, those two songs were the "A" and "B" side of the same single, respectively. His first recorded track was the Dale Hawkins hit, "Susie Q", in 1957. You know I lived at his Mum & Dad’s for the first couple of years? When we do the ‘Elvis: The Concert’ show now, some of those songs are so fast, like ‘Hound Dog’. James Burton: Oh, tricky Ricky, he always went by Rick, although during the early run of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, he was "Ricky". To us it was just "family" but we had craziness & screaming fans all along the way. But we were working really hard making hit records and I needed more than three or four hours sleep! But deep down Elvis was a great example of what a Southern person was like. By the time he was seventeen, Rick's musical idol, Elvis Presley, was taking the nation by storm, so Rick decided that he also wanted to be a rock and roll star. James Burton: Oh yeah, absolutely. What a heart-wrenching three days we had that August in 1977. He was the … A swirling cauldron of musical people! EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network. Sometimes he suggested to Rick how to sing it, but we would usually end up doing it the way Rick wanted to do it. Someone who don’t look like him, dress like him or perform like him because Elvis was the only one! He liked my horn sound and so anytime they needed horns at American they’d call us up. EIN – Elvis recorded Ricky Nelson’s “Fools Rush In.” Did you suggest that or other songs for him to record? The Presence of James Elvis Burton's profile does not indicate a business or promotional relationship of any kind between RelSci and James Elvis Burton. EIN – When I look at what you were doing in the seventies I can’t imagine how you managed to find time to do all those recordings you did as well as and touring regularly with Elvis & also his studio recordings. It was the same thing with ‘Fools Rush In.’ Just too bad I didn’t write 3 or 4 songs to get him to sing! James stayed on as the lead guitarist for the TCB Band until Elvis passed away in 1977. James Burton, Actor: The Guardian. See more ideas about james burton, ricky nelson, burton. Please let me say hello to all the fans of Elvis in Australia & New Zealand and let me say that Elvis was truly a wonderful young man and they would have loved him personally had they met him. ". But I definitely remember playing it with Elvis and I think that we did eventually put it down. Rick was on the verge of being a real gigantic superstar. In 1953, at age fourteen, James recorded Susie Q with Dale Hawkins. A lot of times we all felt like The Beatles ‘cos people were frantic to see us. You know even in those movies I admire him for being "Elvis" no matter what his costume or his name was. We had a home out in the valley in Tarzana, out in Canoga Park, so the next day James Kirkland jumped up and ran outside to get the newspaper. Rick also toured internationally, something Elvis never accomplished other than a few dates in Canada…. Q: Did you consider rejoining Rick’s band at any point? I answered the phone and gave it to my wife; she took the call, and I heard her scream. 'Final Countdown To Midnight' NYE 1976 - in-depth Review: 'Elvis-The King Of The Jungle' In-Depth Book Review. They weren’t very long, probably 45-minute shows. He said, "Boys, that’s a great thing, I wish I could offer you more." Don’t you hate to hear a great song so covered up with so much stuff and over-production that it just doesn’t make sense? Joe Arnold who is a great saxophone player used to play with us too. Thank you so much for your support! James Burton Interview - Rick Nelson & Elvis: An important 25-year milestone passed recently. J.B – Well, nothing was planned! You never knew what Elvis was going to do next. James Burton: When I actually left to do Shindig, which stayed on for a year, I got so busy, I was doing five, six sessions per day, seven days a week, working with every artist you can think of. James Burton and Elvis Presley performing live onstage. He loved his kids, boy I tell you, his youngest child, Sam, is a great singer, too. Rick Nelson / James Burton Introduction. With Elvis, well, we knew a couple of times that he was feeling bad. J.B – I actually remember us messing around with ‘Susie-Q’ in the studio but I don’t know whether they actually got any of it on tape. I unplugged my guitar, and I had to run to my trailer and throw my guitar in its case. He was such a wonderful guy. He invited me to come back and be Rick’s lead guitar player, which I thought was pretty cool. EIN – Booker T & the MGs along with the Mar-keys was a great mixture of soulful black & white musicians. Kang and Bruce Springsteen, alongside Orbison. : Elvis Week Through The Years - Sanja Meegin looks back: 'The Wedding' Elvis & Priscilla EIN special Spotlight: Elvis at Madison Square Garden 40 Years Ago. But one night his mother came home with a trumpet for her 11 year-old son. The rest is music history. I have some pretty good friends. Burton wrote the music and Hawkins wrote the lyrics. Singer Rick Nelson perished on December 31st, 1985, in a terrible plane crash in DeKalb, Texas, on the way to a New Year's Eve gig in Dallas. "That’s All," a fine ballad from June ’59, remember that one? We were 25 years old. - James Burton Elvis inserts by Piers Beagley -. DO NOT COPY ANY OF THIS MATERIAL © Copyright the Elvis Information Network. At the time I’d known Elvis for lots of years and recently he had been singing those poor "Movie Songs" which we were not that excited about since we’d recently been recording three number 1 records each a week! W.J – To be honest with American Studios and the Elvis sessions, they were just plain recording sessions. It was from Rick Nelson, who had invited me over to the General Service Studios. We laughed and travelled all over the world making records and touring with artists of all genres. “In 1969 Elvis asked me to put a band together for him to open in Las Vegas at the International Hotel,” Burton says. Rick quickly realized he needed a talented band to convey his musical vision, and within a few months, James Burton of Shreveport, Louisiana, became Rick’s lead guitar player. (EIN Note: James Burton's classic guitar work on Rick Nelson's "Fools Rush In" was closely copied for Elvis' 1971 version) Wasn’t there a lot of pressure on you to make sure that it all sounded perfect & ‘rehearsed’? Once in awhile, I would go down early and hang out. EIN – When, as a musician, did you first become aware of Elvis in Memphis? But Bob was a great guy to work with and a great talent. Now that is not good! Just spontaneous rock n’ roll! J.B – I remember Elvis knocking on Glen D Hardin’s door one morning. Elvis is standing there & says “I want to do this new song. While the majority of fans only recall James Burton's work with Elvis, it is appropriate that the 25th anniversary of Rick Nelson’s death turn the spotlight back to James’ early collaboration with one of his best friends. My son’s ex-wife called to tell us the news, but I didn’t take the call. Hier sah James Burton einen 53er Fender Telecaster und war fasziniert von dem Instrument. It happened so quick I couldn't believe it. I think about him so often. They gave me one to take to the plane or something one time and I said “You’ve got to be kidding, I can’t even pick this thing up!” How he managed to wear those suits and keep jumping all over the stage like he did, I just don’t know! I think Rick’s music is still very popular, and it’s just as good today as the day we recorded it. I think he actually became that. The first time I actually heard Elvis sing ‘In the Ghetto’ however I was quietly sitting with my horn and looking at the music. The drummer was Earl Palmer, a big guy who passed away in September 2008. Elvis had that voice and the looks and he soaked up all kinds of music. W.J – Oh man! I reckon you might even feel it even if you didn’t know what it was because there are such energies left over from all that creativity. I actually remember us messing around with ‘Susie-Q’ in the studio but I don’t know whether they actually got any of it on tape. You’ve got to understand that the studio was surprisingly small so that there was not much room for the band plus the horns & back-up voices. The girl said: “James Burton.” Elvis started to laugh, and then walked her over to James, who gave her a kiss. Above all, I miss him. Ronnie Tutt always laughs with me & says “Man, I’d never play any of these songs this fast!” However we do realise that it’s, like, 30 years later though! Anytime somebody can run neck and neck with Elvis, that’s pretty damn close. They recommended him to me, saying just how much we would enjoy working with him. Born in Memphis and raised across the river Wayne Jackson's love of music began with a guitar. Unfortunately I never did play at the same time that Elvis was there. Otis Redding, me & Andrew Love & Booker T & the MGs. Click here for EIN's interview with Sweet Inspiration Myrna Smith. W.J – I tell you what it has been wonderful, it’s been great times - I don’t have any complaints! J.B – Gee, that’s a tough one for me! Wayne Jackson was interviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN, September 2002/2006. EIN – I loved the story of your early days when you went motor-cycling with Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran & Gene Vincent! Q: Did Rick ever tell you what to play? I had never been on a jet plane before and we had the biggest time you could imagine. Dr. Nick: Medically Irresponsible or Misunderstood? We were at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve 1984. It was 1961. I did 4 or 5 studio sessions every day and 7 days a week. I can’t wait for you to hear it! He said, "Do you boys wanna do something on the TV show, maybe do a couple of songs?" and then he started humming the melody and started remembering the words. They are sensational. All the people from American had left town, Reggie Young, Bobby Wood, Bobby Emmons and Chips Moman. We all just did whatever we wanted to do, we worked and we helped each other. A new record contract with Curb Records was being finalized on the day Rick and his band passed away, and we’ll never know what might have been. This was actually before I joined Rick as his lead guitar player. I’d love to sing you “Happy Birthday” just like Elvis did. James Burton continued to play with Elvis until Elvis' death in 1977. I love writing songs so I formed a publishing company called "Sweet Medicine Music." I would tell Rick what I liked and vice versa. Q: Rick’s hit singles started drying up by mid 1964 as the British Invasion exploded ("The Very Thought of You" was his last Top 40 hit until Dylan’s "She Belongs To Me" in 1969), and you were asked to perform on Shindig. Even if they didn’t respect all the songs that he sang, especially in those sixties movies, they respected his success. We’ll be playing the music that Elvis would appreciate, the way that only the TCB band can and it will be wonderful. And why not? J.B – Ricky & I used to go motor-cycling all the time and one day we bumped into old Gene Vincent. James Burton got the call to play lead guitar and to help put together a new rhythm band for Elvis in early 1969 in preparation for Elvis upcoming Las Vegas engagement that summer. Did you ever end up playing with Elvis on the Hayride? EIN – This time you won’t be constrained by the fixed format of the ‘Elvis: The Concert’ film – Does this mean that you can let rip, play a few more solos and we can hear more of James Burton’s great guitar work for a change?