Ed Burks

www.katv.com, Monday May 15, 2006 - Reporter: Jessica Morkert - Posted By: Cassie Cummings

           Little Rock - The musical genre was played best by musical legends right here in the natural state. Among them, Ed Burks a 74 year old natural in the music industry.
           (Easy Street, Little Rock) "See the girl with the red, red on. She can go all night long yeah." It's the fusion of blues, hillbilly boogie blue grass and country that Ed Moses Burks defines so well.
           It's Rockabilly music, rock and roll with a country twist. Slow it down a bit and it's a blues ballad with the harmonica. A mixture of musical style and talent Burks has perfected over the past four decades. It all started back in the late 30's in the delta blues town of Helena.
           (Ed Burks, Entertainer) "I spent the rest of my school years all the way through school, middle school and High school in the concert band and marching band."
           At an early age Ed had an ear for music from singing, to playing the clarinet, to the piano to the harmonica. In the mid-fifties Burks attended the U of A where he formed "Moses and the Tea Cups." This group led to the meeting of Ronnie Hawkins.
           Rock and roll was just up and coming in those days when Burks and Hawkins were living at Ed's grandmother's recruiting a new band.
           (Burks) "He wanted me to play the drum and I said, "Man you know I don't know how to play drums, but I know somebody who can. There's a kid who lives out in Marvell, Arkansas, which is about 16 miles from Helena his name is Levon Helm."
           Levon Helm and Jimmy Luke Paulman completed the group known as Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. They played gigs in the United States and Canada in a period of quickly sprouting rock and roll talents. (Burks) "It made your head spin. Here's this one that one, Buddy Holly, Ronnie Hawkins, Elvis Presley, Here's Conway Twitty, Here's so and so. When I got to Canada I got to meet all those people".
           But Ed's career took a different turn, from Canada back to Helena and the pure sound of the delta blues with the Jesters. Then it was onto Las Vegas with a brief stint as an actor and a gig as lounge player.
           In 1966 Ed joined a new band called the "Eccentrics" with lead singer Rick Evans and the song, "In the Year 2525."
           The eccentrics played internationally then toured leading Ed to St. Louis where he stayed for 13 years, launching a career in Rockabilly music.
           In 1983 Ed and Ronnie Hawkins got back together again.
           (Burks) "We came to Little Rock and it was the first time in 25 years that anyone in Arkansas had seen Ronnie and I on the same stage."
           The legends were home and this time Burks stayed. His 2003 induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame hasn't slowed him down.
           And to this day he still plays what he knows best with no plans to quit anytime soon.
           (Burks) "It's like an old friend of mine used to say. The big time is just around the corner, keep on pushin'."
           (Burks) "Well the night life... Ain't no good life, but it's my life."

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