James Burton was born in Dubberly, Lousiana on August 21, 1939. He first picked up the guitar at age 13. By the time he was 15, he was recording with Dale Hawkins. He also got a job as the lead guitar player on the Louisiana Hayride, backing artists like George Jones and Johnny Horton. By 18, Burton moved to California to work with Ricky Nelson. With Ricky, he recorded Hello, Mary Lou and other classics.