Born in Lincoln, NE in 1950, Charlie Burton discovered the
wonderful world of “Rock-N-Roll” in the early 60’s by absorbing
the sounds poured out by Midwest radio stations such as WLS
(Chicago – Dick Biondi), XERF (Del Rio, TX – “Wolfman Jack”),
KOIL (Omaha, NE), KLMS (Lincoln, NE) & WSM Broadcasts
from The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.
The variety of tunes heard over his Master Channel Transistor
radio, ranging from Rhythm & Blues to Top-40 Rock to Country
Music helped formulate his later music, never pigeon-holed into
one particular style.
In 1969, Charlie attends Antioch College in Yellow Springs,
and befriends Ray Benson later of Asleep at the Wheel & NPR
Radio rock critic, Ed Ward, who encourages Charlie to contribute
articles to Rolling Stone Magazine.
Charlie moves to Ann Arbor, MI in 1970 and discovers the then
local sounds of Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airman &
The Stooges with Iggy Pop.
From 1969 through 1972, Charlie becomes Rolling Stone’s
country critic, interviewing Charlie Rich and Conway Twitty,
among others. In Ann Arbor, he spends time with MC5 lungster
Rob Tyner and attends Iggy & The Stooges practices with Stooges
sax player, Steve Mackay,
Charlie returns to Lincoln in 1972 to take over his family
“Harpsichord Kit Factory”, but inspired by what he had seen in
Ann Arbor, starts a series of roots-rockin’ bands, including “The
Star Spangles Wranglers” – “The Megatones” – “Lance Boyle &
The Little Stabs of Happiness” – “Rock Therapy” – “The Cutouts”
& “The Hiccups”. He leaves the rock critic business in 1973.
From 1977 through 1979 Charlie fronts “Rock Therapy” releasing
their first 45 “Rock & Roll Behavior” to rave reviews throughout
the country. The record is a mix of Motor City rock & Burnette
Brothers Rock-A-Billy. The single becomes a popular track in
punk-rockabilly circles, particularly in Minneapolis, New York,
Denver & Los Angeles, all of which host Charlie on a regular basis.
The single tops The Village Voice “Pazz & Job” Critics
Poll and the
band is profiled in The Village Voice in New York, New York Rocker,
Trouser Press & Creem Magazine. Two more singles follow.
Charlie releases his first LP in 1980, titled “Is That Charlie
Or What” and the band travels coast to coast to support the LP.
Charlie releases his 2d LP in 1981 “Don’t Fight The Band That
Needs You”. During the 2d LP promotional tour, Charlie opens
up for a new band – REM.
His 3d LP, “I Heard That” is recorded in Springfield, MO in
and is produced by the legendary Lou Whitney of “The Morell’s
& The Skeleton’s” fame. The band plays dates with Joan Jett,
Jason & The Scorchers, The Ramones & The Replacements. The
album gets enthusiastic reviews in Trouser Press, Musician, Chicago Sun-Times, & Rock and the Pop Narcotic.
Charlie’s first CD, released in 1990 “Green Cheese” has its
extolled in Billboard & The Philadelphia Inquirer. The single
“Without My Woman (I’d Be A Hopeless Sack of Sh-t) is declared
the song of the year by the 1991 South by Southwest Festival
(SXSW) by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.
The band becomes the only band in rock history to share the
with both REM and REO. The live CD “Puke Point at the Juke
Joint” is released, as Charlie decides to move to Austin, TX.
In 1992-93, Charlie links up with Austin/DC guitar hero, Evan
Johns and travels the US & Europe with Evan, recording a CD,
“Texas Twang” with Dutch rockabilly band, Tuxedo
Buck for Munich Records.
In 1994, Charlie forms “The Texas Twelve Steppers” and releases
a 45 – “Spare Me The Details” on Loss Lieder Records. The single
is reviewed in the Austin Chronicle (“Honky Tonk this good is
as rare as a completed Oilers pass”) & The Hartford,
CT Daily Courant.
In 1996, Charlie & The Texas Twelve Steppers appear on
Sound Asleep Records “Hit the Hay #2” anthology and the band
again garners rave reviews for its SXSW Music Fest appearance.
1997, celebrating his 20th year of making records,
Charlie & The Twelve-Steppers release their first full length
CD “Rustic Fixer-Upper” on Lazy SOB Records, mixed by Ray Benson (Asleep At the Wheel) Bismeaux Studio and produced by Asleep At
the Wheel drummer, David Sanger.
A compilation CD of Charlie’s Greatest Hits (The Charlie Burton
77-99”) has been released by Bulldog Records in Austin, TX.
Charlie Burton is a roots rock & roll hero calling Nebraska
home. His recordings and personal appearances feature original
material ranging from in your face Rock & Roll to Rockabilly to
Cow-Punk to RB or pure tongue-in-cheek country music. The
Nebraska Music Hall of Fame welcomes Charlie Burton for a
performance and induction August 5, 2000 at Pla-Mor Ballroom
in Lincoln, NE. Charlie will appear with not only his current Texas
band, but will also jam with members of his Lincoln,
NE bands – The Megatones, The Star Spangled Wranglers,
Rock Therapy, The Cutouts & The Hiccups.
(This bio was partially extracted from information in Charlie’s
Kit for the 1997 South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX
and from Charlie's Web Site – see below).