Artist: Johnny Burnette
LP: 7" single
Song: "Little Boy Sad"
[ listen ]
After watching the world come to an end at the movies on Saturday night, I sauntered down Broadway on Capitol Hill and into Spin Cycle, a little record store I hadn't been to before. The guy working there told me they'd be closing in five minutes, but I still had time to find two singles, including this one by Johnny Burnette, released in early 1961 as Burnette was suffering a ruptured appendix. Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1934, Johnny formed a rock trio called The Rhythm Rangers in 1952 with his brother Dorsey and their friend Paul Burlison. When the group disbanded in 1957, Johnny went solo and landed several chart hits in the early 1960s, including "Little Boy Sad," which peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, the hits slowed to a trickle soon after that. Johnny switched labels several times and continued releasing singles, but everything came to a sudden, sad end when his fishing boat was struck by a cabin cruiser on Clear Lake in California in August of 1964 and he drowned; he was just 30 years old. You can read lots more about the handsome and talented Johnny Burnette on Wikipedia here.
[ Johnny Burnette: March 25, 1934 — August 14, 1964 ]