"What's that noise, it's comin' this way..a wild thumpin', like bats outta hell..can ya feel the ground tremblin' and sway..head fer th' hills, jump inta the well..pray to th' Lord, pay up your overdue debt..Whop-T-Bop..it's Hank C. Burnette!"
Bengt "Boppen" Eklund - Wildcat Records - Sweden
He was born in late 1944. He started to perform live with his own band in the summer of '58, at the tender age of 13. He stayed with it in different constellations and bands until 1962, when he made his last stage performance.
He then started concentrating heavily on so called "sound-on-sound" recordings, a technique he first became familiar with in 1960, when he cut a few tracks using two tape machines. Hank also started importing and selling hard to get Rock'n Roll records from the U.S.A on small obscure labels around this time, strictly on a set sale basis.
He had his first record under the Hank C. Burnette banner released on the Florida-based U.S "Blue Horizon" label in early 1967.
His 2nd release on the U.S "Seagull" label became a Tri-state chart topper and even hit Record Worlds Top 100. Several Nashville studios faught like mad to get him to sign contracts as a combined record producer, engineer and staff musician on an exclusive basis.
Remarks like "electronic wizard" and "musical genious" was thrown upon him by music trade biggies like Cashbox and others.
He stayed with it though and cut a truckload of 45's and albums for several independant European labels throughout the 70's including a couple of slices on his own Wildcat label and an exclusive Swedish EP release on the Blue Horizon label, for which he had been appointed General Manager for the European market at the time.
He also spent time supporting several U.S and European artists with backing tracks, amoung them Louisiana Hayride star Don Hagen, Marty Robbins impersonator Frank Darris from Tucson, Arizona, steel guitarist Cal Price and up and coming songstress Gail Grimes.
In 1974 he signed a long term contract with Sonet Records and (after upgrading his equipment and trying out some genuine true multichannel recording techniques for the very first time) had his first Sonet release, "Spinnin' Rock Boogie" pushed out worldwide in late '76.
It became an instant smash and swept to the very top of almost any imaginable hit chart there was incl. England, France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Saudi-Arabia (!), South America, Holland, Portugal, Belgium and what have you! It was considered in the trade and media press as (quote): "Simply the most original, amazing instrumental ever released"! BBC's Radio One and Radio Luxembourg, amoung others, had it on the top of their playlist's for more than two month's in a row.
In fact, the impact was so heavy that the legendary Sun label out of Memphis,Tenn (were Mama Presley's boy and a carload of other Rock & Country legends had kicked off their careers) eventually saw fit to urgently release the album, "Dont Mess With My Dutktail" (from which "Spinnin' Rock Boogie" had originally been lifted) on a nationwide U.S. basis in '77.
He even) took a place in the prestigious Guiness Book Of Records as the first ever artist to hit the music industry in such a tremendous way, considering the conditions he was working under.
Amoung the collectors of his records you can find famous names like Shakin' Stevens Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (of Led Zep fame) and John Peel (legendary BBC top notch D.J and top rated music writer). Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick fame even gave him one of his old :Hamer Explorer shaped guitars, with re-equipped original Gibson P.A.F pickups.
For the past 17 years he's been elected Scandinavia's No.1 Rockabilly Cat by a herd of rock magazines throughout Europe. And U.K.tradepapers like Melody Maker and others thought he was a newly discovered U.S. Rock & Country Star, born and raised somewhere in the Southern part of the States, even though he's never been outside of Sweden!!!
In the late 60's he even had a fan club going for him in the U.S.A., with well over 15000 members!
Several European trade papers has elected him the best and most influential original European rock'n roll artist ever. "Spinning Rock Boogie" was also used as a theme song for a very popular Italian TV series in the late 70's called '70's Round'. And almost every imaginable TV network in Europe has been after him, incl. BBC's "Top of The Pops", for personal appearances. And now, after a few years of selfinclined silence, "Hot Licks" Burnette is back on wax again on the independant Wildcat label with new gasseroonies like "Bop 'Til I Drop" and "Hip Shakin' Mama", etc...
You ain't heard nuthin' yet, man. The Wildman of rockabilly is loose again, so hold on to your breeches and fasten your seatbelts.The scat cat looner is out to getcha, ya betcha!! Hang it in baby, I'm gone, long gone....
Bengt "Boppen" Eklund - Wildcat Records - Sweden
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This text was sent to us by Hank C Burnette. We want to thank him for his help to our effort to spread his music and his work.