The Johnny Burnette Trio – The Train Kept A-Rollin’ / Honey Hush (7″ Vinyl)


7″ Vinyl / Reissue – 45RPM Single

Label: Coral

In stock

<= Store SKU: 9-61719 Categories: , Tags: ,


7″ Vinyl / Reissue – 45RPM Single


Format: 7″ Vinyl

#Ref: 9-61719

Release date: N/A

Release notes

Repro of absolute classic 1957 rockabilly!

Train Kept A-Rollin’” (or “The Train Kept A-Rollin’“) is a song first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. Originally performed in the style of a jump blues, Bradshaw borrowed lyrics from an earlier song and set them to an upbeat shuffle arrangement that inspired other musicians to perform and record it. Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio made an important contribution in 1956 – they reworked it as a guitar riff-driven song, which features an early use of intentionally distorted guitar in rock music.

In 1965, the Yardbirds popularized the song as an early psychedelic blues rock song, due largely to Jeff Beck’s fuzz-toned guitar work. Theirs soon became the most copied arrangement with recordings by a variety of musicians. After guitarist Jimmy Page joined the group, the Yardbirds recorded an updated version with new lyrics as “Stroll On” for the film Blowup in 1966. With a highly charged rhythm section and a dual lead guitar attack by Beck and Page, it is seen as a forerunner to heavy metal music.

In 1956, Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio reworked Bradshaw’s song using a rockabilly/early rock and roll arrangement. The Trio’s version features guitar lines in what many historians consider to be the first recorded example of intentionally distorted guitar in rock music, although blues guitarists, such as Willie Johnson and Pat Hare, had recorded with the same effect years earlier.

The Trio’s guitarist, Paul Burlison, explained that he noticed the sound after accidentally dropping his amplifier, which dislodged a power tube and later, “whenever I wanted to get that sound, I’d just reach back and loosen that tube”. He utilized this effect with the song’s main instrumental feature, a three-note minor key guitar line repeated throughout. Burlison recounted how he came up with the signature guitar riff:

[I was] in the dressing room with the loose tube. Johnny [Burnett] was playing an E chord and I was playing in a G position but I’d take my fingers off and play in octaves [using the thumb and middle or index finger]. He wasn’t singing ‘The Train Kept A-Rollin”, it was another song, and I got to doing doom diddle doom daddle doom daddle … [Later] I told Owen Bradley about it at the Barn, where we cut the stuff, and he said, ‘let me hear it’. So I started doing it and he said, ‘Well, let’s do it’.


A. The Train Kept A-Rollin’
B. Honey Hush

Audio | Video

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