James Burton

Biography

Pioneering rock 'n' roll guitarist James Burton began his professional career at age 15, when he wrote the timeless "Suzie-Q" riff for Dale Hawkins. He next joined Ricky Nelson's band where he recorded classic tracks like "Hello, Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man," and "Fools Rush In." Along the way, he developed a unique attack he dubbed "chicken pickin'," inspiring legendary guitarists such as Roy Buchanan and Albert Lee to turn it into a calling-card artform. A first-call session cat of the era as well, Burton has recorded with Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons, Joni Mitchell, and Merle Haggard, among many others. Fender has honored the legend with the James Burton Signature Telecaster.