(Burnette/Royer) I met Billy Burnette through Jimmy Griffin when I first moved to Nashville. Those audiophiles among you will know all about the Burnette family. Dorsey Burnette, who had a hit in 1960 with Tall Oak Tree was Billy’s dad. He continued to have success on the pop and country charts for many years. Dorsey’s brother, Johnny, had a number of hits on his own including You’re Sixteen, Dreamin’ and many others. The brothers also wrote hits for Ricky Nelson, including It’s Late. Both brothers are considered quintessential rockabilly pioneers and both are in the rockabilly hall of fame.
This is a Memphis story. Young Jimmy Griffin grew up near the Burnettes and used to hang around, trying to soak up as much influence as he could. He looked up to Johnny and Dorsey just as Billy, ten years younger than James, admired him. Of course Jimmy went on to find success in Bread and Billy, among his many credits, joined Fleetwood Mac, replacing Lindsay Buckingham when he left.
Billy and I knew each other for several years before we finally sat down to write. Edge of Love came quickly. I was highly cognizant of Billy’s legendary rockabilly status and was trying to write something that had rockabilly roots but a bit of post-Beatle mentality. With Billy playing these rippin’ guitar riffs it wasn’t hard. Billy does all the guitars and the vocals and I’m pretty sure that’s Dave Roe on Bass and Lynn Williams on drums. We didn’t get too far on the demo because Billy immediately re-cut it for an album he was working on at the time. But since rockabilly is such a bare-bones medium, I think the economical demo stands up pretty well.
Edge Of Love