How did Gordon Burns die? TV star Country Boy Eddie who gave Dolly Parton her first break dies at 92

How did Gordon Burns die? TV star Country Boy Eddie who gave Dolly Parton her first break dies at 92
Gordon Burns aka Country Boy Eddie dies at the age of 92 (WBRC/video screenshot)

WARRIOR, ALABAMA: Gordon Burns, a TV and radio personality known as "Country Boy Eddie," has died at the age of 92. Famous for hosting 'The Country Boy Eddie Show with Country Boy Eddie' on WBRC Fox6 news from 1957 to 1993, the radio personality became a household name in the process.

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With the start of 2023, the entertainment industry has already lost a number of well-known figures, including singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, iconic guitarist Jeff Beck, former child star Adam Rich, and Earth, Wind, and Fire drummer Fred White, Burns' death adds yet another loss to the fraternity.  

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How did Gordon Burns Die? 

A statement from the family said Burns died “peacefully at his home in Warrior.” “He was a trailblazer for both the Alabama music and television scenes, and his contributions will continue to live on,” the statement reads as per WBRC. It further read, "The Burns family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the viewers, fans, musicians, and everyone else who made his life so special.”

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A look at Gordon Burns' Career

Burns, a native of Blount County, went door-to-door at the age of 13 selling 10-cent packs of garden seed in order to fund the purchase of his first fiddle, he also fantasized about being a musician.

He eventually became a regular member of the 'Happy Hal Burns' radio show band.

In 1993, Burns recalled how he had originally applied for a job on the show in the early 1940s. "Back in around 1942 I walked in one day with my fiddle to see him," he said. Hal nicknamed me "Country Boy," and the title has remained ever since.

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Subsequently, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry and even played alongside the renowned Bill Monroe. In addition, he was the host of a radio program called 'Hillbilly Bandstand', which was a huge success during the early days of rock 'n' roll. Over a period of time, he worked his way up to Channel 13, the first stop in his television career.

His most notable role, however, was as the homey, folksy host of 'The Country Boy Eddie Show', a WBRC morning variety show that aired in Birmingham from 1957 to 1993. 

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Up to a hundred television stations in the South broadcast the variety show, which featured musical performances, comedic interludes, in-depth interviews, casual conversation, and even funeral notices and commercials. He invited ministers, legislators, and wrestlers to his home.

How Gordon Burns gave Dolly Parton one of her first platforms

'The Country Boy Eddie Show', gave a platform to many new country artists a platform to showcase their talent, it gave them a chance to perform for the world. Eddie made advantage of his platform to highlight up-and-coming country performers like Dolly Parton, whose popularity skyrocketed after making an appearance on his show. Today, the actress is most well-known for being an early adopter of blending country and pop music.

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Dolly Parton performs on stage at ACL Live during Blockchain Creative Labs’ Dollyverse event at SXSW during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals  on March 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
Dolly Parton's popularity skyrocketed after making an appearance on 'The Country Boy Eddie Show with Country Boy Eddie' (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

Tammy Wynette, who had a fiery reputation as the "first lady of country music," was one of the artists that he assisted in introducing to the globe. In an interview with WRBC at that time he said, "She's the greatest I think of any female artist we've had in country music," and he said this with much admiration.

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People Mourn the loss of the star

Mark R Hall, the former mayor, mourns the loss of the legendary star. He quoted in his tweets, "My Mom had the #CountryBoyEddie show on TV every morning before I had to run out to catch the school bus. I once won a 17 jewel wrist watch & some ALAGA syrup when they pulled my name from the Epp’s Jewelry daily prize drawing on live TV! I was 10 & will never forget that! #RIP." Mike a reporter from GDA wrote, "Sad to learn Gordon Edwards Burns, known as Country Boy Eddie, has passed away at the age of 92. Of course, he hosted the long-running Country Boy Eddie Show on WBRC from 1957 to 1993. Prayers and condolences to his family."



 

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