Hank C. Burnette must rank as Sweden's most versatile recording artist - singer, musician, songwriter, producer, arranger - and his sound on sound technique is comparable to Les Paul and Dave Edmunds. Although when you take into account the fact that Hank's work is cut in his living room or make-shift garage - maybe it should be the other way round.
Ever since he cut some tracks with the Little Johnny Combo for a small Swedish label way back in 1960 Hank's material has cropped up on several labels over the years. The most important release to date being "Wildwood Flower" for the American Seagull label in Florida. It made No.7 in the Tri-State charts. It's a rocked-up version of the country music evergreen, and it's rock and roll that Hank's pretty well addicted to. He recently answered some questions about his recording activities and his love of the great fifties sounds. The following is a transcript of what he had to say.
Q...Can you recall your first interest in music?
Q...Was the guitar the first instrument you mastered?
HCB...No, not really. My first real professional instrument was a beauty - a big Magdeburger styled accordion with fancy pearly inlays and abalone buttons. I kinda dug that monstrous pump machine as the size of it made it hardly possible for people to see me when I played it - hidden as I was behind it. I used to swing into my version of the old perennial "Stovehook Waltz" in our kitchen most every Saturday night. My parents eventually bought me a more modern instrument though - a Hagström Granesso accordion, with a beautiful 'French mussette' type of tone to it. My hero then was Sweden's accordion king, Carl Jularbo. I really liked his unique and quite fantastic keyboard swooping. Later I got stucked on Swedish guitarist Sven Stiberg and his Trio, who played in a style that would be best described as an up-tempo mix of jazz and hillbilly (as it was called way back then), actually not a far cry from what Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant was doing in the States at the time. I also discovered (via a jukebox in a coffee shop in a nearby village) another Swedish musician, singer and composer by the name of Owe Thörnqvist, who performed his own very humorous and catchy songs, usually in a fairly up-tempo style reminiscent of what Lonnie Donegan and skiffle music would sound like years later.
Q,...When did you first become aware of rock 'n' roll music?
Q...Can you recall your first disc recording session - dates, line-up?
HCB...Why sure. Kind of hard to forget actually. We put down six tracks at about two in the morning of August 23rd, 1960. I had disbanded my own band, The Teddy Bears, by then and was playing lead guitar with Little Johnny & His Red Dynamites. We did Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little 16" and "Reelin' And Rockin" plus "The Saints Rock 'n' Roll", "A Mess Of Blues", "Guitar Boogie" and "I'm Feelin' Sorry". Johnny was on electric rhythm guitar and did all the vocals - he was a big fan of Chuck's and had a raw rockin' voice. The rest of the line-up was a guy named Allan on piano and another cat named Björn on drums.
Q...How and when did your signing to Seagull Records come about?
Q...That was "Wildwood Flower"?
HCB...Nope, that came later. My first single for Larry was "Hank's Guitar Boogie Special" b/w "Hambone Shuffle", both selfpenned and recorded in my parents living room in 1962! My second release, "Hank's Wildwood Flower" b/w Buck Owens' "Together Again", was issued on the US Seagull label in August, 1969. Larry had dropped his Blue Horizon label because a few other companies were using a similar name and design. So he started Seagull and a subsidary, Kountry 44. I cut most of "Wildwood Flower" in 1964, but didn't add the lead guitar until '68. I was also busy at the time providing backings for several US artists including Louisiana Hayride star Don Hagen, Frank Darris (a terrific Marty Robbins impersonator from Phoenix, Arizona), steel guitarist Cal Price and up and coming songstress Gail Grimes.
Q,...You recently signed to a UK based label for the first time - can you give any details of your first release?
NOTE; Both single and album should be available by the time New Rockpile No. 8 is issued (November 1st 1793). The single can be bought from Reddington's Rare Records, 20 Moor Street, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7UH. The LP "Spinnin' Rock Boogie" can be ordered from Eddie Muir. Tracks are: Spinnin' Rock Boogie/I'll Be Around/Driftin'/Is It Wrong/Hands Off/Fury/Hank's Guitar Boogie Special/Pink And Black/Everybody's Movin'/Here Comes That Train (different cut to single version)/Rock Me/Ain't Got A Thing/I've Got The Blues/Rakin'n'Scrapin'.
Interview by: Eddie Muir, New Rockpile, England.
Main Hank C Burnette posts at Viva Puluba!
Our first post about my dear Hanck C Burnette
The Hank C Burnette complete and official discography:
Dont' miss Hank's YouTube channel.
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.