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Johnny Burnette

John Joseph "Johnny" Burnette (March 25, 1934–August 14, 1964) was a Rockabilly pioneer. Along with his older brother Dorsey Burnette and a friend named Paul Burlison, Johnny Burnette was a founding member of The Rock and Roll Trio.

Johnny was born to Willie May and Dorsey Burnett Sr. in Memphis, Tennessee. (The ‘e’ at the end of the name was added later.) Johnny grew up with his parents and Dorsey in a public housing project in the Lauderdale Courts area of Memphis, which from 1948 until 1954, was also the home of Gladys and Vernon Presley and their son, Elvis.

Early press reports dating from 1956, claimed that Johnny attended Humes High School with Elvis Presley, which was not true. Johnny went initially to the Blessed Sacrament Parochial School and after graduating from the eighth grade he moved on to the Catholic High School in Memphis. Here he showed an aptitude for sports, being on the school baseball team and playing as linebacker on the school’s football team. In one famous incident, he was knocked out in a tackle by future singer Red West. Both he and Dorsey were also keen amateur boxers and were to ...

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