Albert Burgess, 28 May 1931, Newport, Arkansas, USA. As a child Burgess earned the name Sonny as a result of his father also being called Albert. Inspired by the Grand Ole Opry show transmitted over WSMs airwaves, he set about learning to play a catalogue-purchased guitar. He joined his first country band while at high school, eventually moving from the role of supporting guitarist to lead the band. After graduation, Burgess joined the backing band of local singer Fred Waner (later a successful solo singer as Freddie Hart), along with Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass) and Gerald Jackson (drums) who had been with his high school group. Military service in Germany then intervened, but Burgess still found an opportunity to perform, eventually forming a band that successfully auditioned for the overseas forces version of the Grand Ole Opry. Returning to Arkansas after his discharge in 1953, he found work at a box factory but also formed a new group, the...
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