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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Johnny Burnette - You're Sixteen


On this day 16 September 1960, Johnny Burnette recorded "You're Sixteen".
 











 

A contemporary of Elvis Presley in the Memphis scene of the mid-'50s, Johnny Burnette played a similar brand of fiery, spare wildman rockabilly. With his brother Dorsey (on bass) and guitarist Paul Burlison forming his Rock 'n' Roll Trio, he recorded a clutch of singles for Decca in 1956 and 1957 that achieved nothing more than regional success. Featuring the groundbreaking fuzzy tone of Burlison's guitar, Johnny's energetic vocals, and Dorsey's slapping bass, these recordings -- highlighted by the first rock & roll version of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" -- compare well to the classic Sun rockabilly of the same era. The trio disbanded in 1957, and Johnny found pop success as a teen idol in the early '60s with hits like "You're Sixteen" and "Dreamin'." Burnette died in a boating accident in 1964. His brother Dorsey achieved modest success as a solo act in the early '60s, and Burlison resurfaced as a member of the Sun Rhythm Section.
"You're Sixteen" is a song written by the Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman). It was first performed by American rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette, whose version peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1960 and number 3 in the U.K. in 1961.

In January 1974, a cover version by British musician Ringo Starr hit number one. The latter performance reunited Ringo Starr with his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney. McCartney is credited on the liner notes of the album Ringo as having played the instrumental solo on a kazoo. Starr's version remains one of the few #1 singles to feature a kazoo solo. Harry Nilsson sang backing vocals on Starr's version.

The original 1960 version of "You're Sixteen" by Johnny Burnette
is featured prominently on the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of the film American Graffiti.

The 1978 video of Starr's version features Carrie Fisher as Ringo's love interest.

The song title has been the subject of musical parody by various performers, from Australian punk rock band Frenzal Rhomb's "She's Sixty, She's Beautiful and She's Mine" to Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly's "You're 39, You're Beautiful and You're Mine". A reference to "You're Sixteen" is made in the title of Cold Chisel's EP You're Thirteen, You're Beautiful, and You're Mine. (Info allmusic & Wiki)

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