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Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Tips & insights on the voice from professional vocalist, vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Benefit concert for guitarist Byrd Burton

This Saturday, February 23, there will be a benefit concert for my dear friend, legendary guitar player Barry "Byrd" Burton, who is suffering from a recurrence of leukemia.

Here is the blurb with details which I received via email today (thanks to Ronny Light):

"Byrd was a founding member of the Amazing Rhythm Aces and won a Grammy while he was with the group. He has been on many recordings, including a number of Don Williams' classics, including "Living on Tulsa Time". He has worked in the studio & live with Nancy Griffith, Judy Rodman, Dan Fogelberg, Dolly Parton, Brooks and Dunn and many, many more.

The benefit concert will be held at the Jet Harbor Maintenance Hangar at Gallatin Airport in Gallatin, TN from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Byrd is an accomplished aviator and this event is being called "Fly Like a Byrd". Merlin Gene Grigsby will perform and serve as host for the event. An all star band has been put together of some of Nashville's finest session players and there will be many more of us there to perform and help raise money for Byrd. He is in the hospital now taking treatments.

For more info, contact Kathy at Jet Harbor, 615-230-9763 or email Merlin at sparkchaser5@yahoo.com.

If you'd like to make a donation, checks can be made payable to:
  • The Barry "Byrd" Burton Benefit Fund and mailed to:
  • The Barry "Byrd" Burton Benefit FundC/O First Tennessee Bank 429 West Main Street Hendersonville, TN 37075 ".

Byrd and my family go way back... when I lived in Memphis, Tennessee before I moved to Nashville, I used to sing at a jingle company called "Pepper Tanner". My husband John played drums, with Byrd playing guitar, for jingle sessions there. One day Byrd told John about this group he was experimenting in, (which turned into the Amazing Rhythm Aces) quipping something to the effect that "we don't know what we're doing, but we're having fun". It was history waiting to happen.

Later, after the Aces split up and I got a record deal, Byrd started playing in my road band, again with my husband who was playing drums. We did some great shows, such as opening for Meryle Haggard at Harrahs; we also did some "pay your dues" shows in the mud and rain at fairs, in the smoke at clubs, etc... But even though Byrd had been used to the "big time", he never made me feel insignificant, and always - always enjoyed playing music. It was wonderful to be able to spend time, make music, laugh at funny "bus tapes" and really catch up with him (and I'm sure he still remembers the day the band had to be picked up in a laundry truck to get to the airport on time!)

Byrd, though with the physique of a tall bear, is a gentle presence in this world. He lights up any room he's in. Please consider a donation to his medical expenses, try to attend this benefit and hear some great music, and by all means, keep him in your prayers.

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