Werly Fairburn

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Werley Fairburn (b. Folsom, Louisiana, Nov. 27, 1924 - d. Jan, 18, 1985) was an American rockabilly musician.

Fairburn listened to the Grand Ole Opry and played guitar as a youngster, learning to play from a local blues musician alongside the hillbilly music he heard on the radio. With the outbreak of World War II, he took a job at a New Orleans shipyard, and then served in the Navy in Hawaii.

Upon his return to New Orleans he trained as a barber and attempted to start a singing career simultaneously. Known as the "Singing Barber" on local radio stations such as WJBW and WWEZ, he became a local country music star. In the early 1950s he also began recording, starting with Trumpet Records, and following this, Columbia, Capitol, and Savoy (often with his backing group called The Delta Boys). Fairburn also owned a label called Milestone Records in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Fairburn's style blended elements of country, blues, and New Orleans-style R&B. He became well known throughout the South, and appeared on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas without ever having scored a regional hit in the area. As rockabilly became more popular, he adapted to the style, and remained a regional favorite, though he never made the national charts.

In 1964, Fairburn sang his tune "I Guess I'm Crazy" on Louisiana Hayride, and Jim Reeves decided to cover the tune. This version was the single in current rotation when Reeves was killed in a plane crash in July of that year.

Fairburn continued to perform after moving to California in the 1960s, nearly up until he died of lung cancer in 1985. Nine years later, Bear Family Records collected his singles and released them on CD as Everybody's Rockin'.

Discography[edit]

Year Title Label
1953 Camping with Marie / Let’s Live It Over Trumpet Records No. 195
1953 I Feel Like Cryin’ / Baby, Call on Me Trumpet Records No. 196
1954 Good Deal, Lucille / Baby He’s a Wolf Capitol Records#F2270
1954 Love Spelled Backwards Is Evol / Nothin’ But Lovin’ Capitol Records #F2844
1954 Prison Cell of Love / I Feel Like Cryin’ Capitol Records #F2963
1955 It’s A Cold, Weary World / Spiteful Heart Capitol Records #F3101
1955 I Guess I’m Crazy (For Loving You) / That Sweet Love Of Mine Columbia Records No. 21432
1956 Broken Hearted Me / Stay Close To Me Columbia Records No. 21483
1956 Everybody’s Rockin’ / It’s Heaven Columbia Records No. 21528
1956 All The Time / I’m A Fool About Your Love Savoy Records No. 1503
1957 My Heart’s On Fire / Speak To Me Baby Savoy Records No. 1509
1957 Telephone Baby / No Blues Tomorrow Savoy Records No. 1521
1962 You Are My Sunshine / Doggone That Moon Milestone Records No. 2013
1968 My Crazy World / There’s Something On Paula Records No. 295
  • A Little Bit Of Nothing
  • Won’t It Be Nice
Capitol Records (not issued)
  • I’m Jealous
Columbia Records (not issued)
  • All By Myself (live)
  • I’ve Got Nothing But Love
  • Old Memories Come Back
not issued

All singles prior to Milestone 2013 were issued as 78rpm and 45rpm records with the same issue numbers and Milestone 2013 onwards are 45rpm only issues.

References[edit]

  • Werly Fairburn at Allmusic
  • Matthew Duncan, UK record collector, has given additional discographical data to this article having referred to Barry John's Rockabilly Price Guide for 45rpm records and vintage recordings from his own personal collection.