June 10, 1969 was a red-letter day for Richard and Linda Burleson. Their son, Bennett Edward IV was born in Garland Memorial Hospital. Richard worked in purchasing at that hospital by day, but by night he played his drums every night of the week in Dallas. Both of Ed’s parents loved many kinds of music, so their children were exposed early to everything – classical, jazz, gospel, and hard country (even a little rock and roll).
The family moved around a lot because Mr. Burleson was in sales. Ed’s growing up years were spent in Garland, Denison, Tulsa (the only place that wasn’t in Texas), Conroe, El Paso, and Lewisville, where he still lives.
Ed was in FFA and rode for the Lewisville High School Rodeo Team. Traveling to rodeos and listening to small town radio stations while going down the road introduced him to Texas music – also listening to the Red Neck Roper Review on KNON in Dallas on Friday’s. He accepted a scholarship to Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. While there, he traded a piece of rodeo gear for a guitar. As pitiful as the guitar was, he managed to learn to play a little. While at Hill he sang at the Spring Fling that they have every year.
After college, he moved back to the Metroplex. While riding in a PRCA rodeo in Ft. Worth he acquired a knee injury that led to surgery. It “benched” him just long enough for his love of country music to take hold. He often went to the Three Teardrops Tavern on Industrial Boulevard in Dallas to hear musicians such as Gary P. Nunn, Robert Earl Keene, Junior Brown, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hank Thompson, etc. The owner had a newcomer’s showcase one Sunday afternoon and invited Ed to be one of the featured songwriters. He told Ed if he could put a band together by Thursday night, he could have every Thursday night. Ed did manage to put a pretty good band together, and the rest is history. The only original from that “Thursday night” band is his drummer who is also his dad, Richard Burleson, though Ricky Davis still occasionally plays steel with the present band.
He had the opportunity to do his first recording “Live at Three Teardrops”. The tapes sold out, and no more were ever made. Through backing of friends and production talents of Roy Ashley, Ed recorded his first CD at Clay Blaker’s Cherry Hill studio in the Hill Country. It was titled Comin’ Around. At an engagement at The Broken Spoke Saloon in Austin, Texas, Ed gave a copy of the CD to Doug Sahm. The following Monday morning Doug called Ed and asked if they could get together. He and Ed became fast friends and he became Ed’s manager. He liked the CD so well that he wanted to use it as a foundation and just tweak it some to put it on his Tornado label. It became Perfect World, and went to number 4 on the Americana Charts.
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