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Mon Sept 29, 2003

Guitar legend and rock and roll pioneer Paul Burlison dies in Horn Lake

     Rock and roll guitar pioneer Paul Burlison died yesterday at his home in Horn Lake, Mississippi. He was 74 and had a long battle with cancer.

     Burlison influenced Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

     He established himself in the 1950s with a string of rockabilly hits, including "Tear It Up," "Honey Hush," "Lonesome Train," "Rock Therapy" and a version of Tiny Bradshaw's blues classic, "The Train Kept A-Rollin."

     He teamed with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette to form the Rock 'n' Roll Trio.

     They won Ted Mack's Amateur Hour three weeks in a row in 1956.

     The group recorded for Coral, a subsidiary of Decca, and made more than a dozen records.

     The Yardbirds, Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith played cover versions of Burlison's hits with special emphasis on his guitar riffs. 

     Burlison was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, and moved to Memphis with his family in the mid-1930s.

     A funeral service will be Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Southaven, Mississippi.

 (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.