The Weary Kind
T-Bone Burnett, born Joseph Henry Burnett, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and soundtrack and record producer. He received an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for the song “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart.” Also serving as one of the film's producers, he jointly nabbed an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Burnett won Grammy Awards for the soundtracks of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Walk the Line” and for his collaboration with k.d. lang on the album “A Wonderful World” (2002). He produced the Grammy Award winning Alison Krauss and Robert Plant album “Raising Sand” (2007). He also has produced many other artists like Natalie Merchant, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch and his former wife, Sam Phillips, to name a few. Although he has gotten his greatest fame as a producer, Burnett has released several solo albums, such as “The B-52 Band & the Fabulous Skylarks” (1972), “Truth Decay” (1980), “Proof Through the Night” (1983), “T-Bone Burnett” (1986), “The Talking Animals” (1987), “The Criminal Under My Own Hat” (1992), “Tooth of Crime” (2008), “Twenty Twenty – The Essential T-Bone Burnett” (2006) and “The True False Identity” (2006).
Burnett had one child with former wife Sam Phillips.
Sam Phillips' Ex
Childhood and Family:
Joseph Henry Burnett, who would later be popular as T-Bone Burnett, was born on January 14, 1948, in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, where he later established his own recording studio in lieu of attending college. In 1972, he moved to Los Angeles to further pursue his music career.
In 1989, Mr. Burnett married singer/songwriter Sam Phillips. The marriage produced one child. The couple have since divorced.
While living in Fort Worth, TX, a then twenty something T-Bone Burnett contributed drums to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy's bangle hit, “Paralyzed.” His debut appearance was on “The Unwritten Works of Geoffrey, Etc.” (1968) as a member of the pseudonymous Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit and Greenhill. The album, on which he also produced and wrote four of eleven tracks, was released in 1968 through UNI Records. The same year, he also produced six songs for a group of friends, then known as The Case Hardy Boys. Burnett would continue to produce songs for the band even after they moved to Los Angeles ad used different names such as The Fare and El Roacho.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Burnett, under the name J. Henry Burnett, launched the studio album “The B-52 Band & the Fabulous Skylarks” in 1972 on UNI. He sang lead vocals, played guitar and co-produced the album with Danny Moore. The same year, he also produced Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark's “Delbert & Glen.”
Between 1975 and 1976, Burnett toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue. After the Revue disbanded, he joined forced with two other members of Dylan's band, David Mansfield and Steven Soles, to create the rock group The Alpha Band. The band recorded three albums on Arista named “Alpha Band” (1977), “Spark in the Dark” (1977) and “ The Statue Makers of Hollywood” (1978), before they disbanded in 1979.
In 1980, Burnett released the studio album, “Truth Decay” on Takoma Records label. Produced by Reggie Fisher, it marked his first solo album since 1972 and his first as T-Bone Burnett. Two years later, he released an EP titled “Trap Door” on Warner Brothers label, with Fisher as producer. The record produced the radio hit “I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance.” Following this, he toured as an opening acts for The Who in several occasions.
Burnett returned with a new album, “Proof Through the Night,” in 1983. Produced by Jeff Eyrich, the album charted at No. 188 on the Billboard Pop Albums. The song “ When the Night Falls” received some airplay on FM Radio. After the release of another EP, “Behind the Trap Door” (1984), which featured collaborations with Bono, Bob Neuwirth, and Richard Thompson, Burnett released a self titled album in 1986 under the Dot label, with David Miner as producer. An album of acoustic country music, it was later rereleased by Universal Special in 1995. It was followed by “The Talking Animals” in 1987. The album was released on Acadia label and produced by Burnett and David Rhodes.
During the 1980s, Burnett also produced a number of albums by other artists. They were included Leo Kottke's “Time Step” (1983), Los Lobos' “How Will the Wolf Survive?” (1984), Marshall Crenshaw:'s “Downtown” (1985), Elvis Costello's “King of America” (1986), BoDeans's
Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” (1986), Peter Case's self titled album (1986), Tonio K. Romeo's “Unchained” (1986), Tommy Keene's “Run Now” (EP) (1986), Tommy Keene's “Songs from the Film” (1986), Los Lobos' “By the Light of the Moon” (1987), Roy Orbison's “In Dreams” (1987), Elvis Costello's “Out of Our Idiot” (1987), Sam Phillips's “The Turning” (1987), Roy Orbison's “A Black & White Night Live” (1988), Sam Phillips' “The Indescribable Wow” (1988), Los Lobos' “La Pistola y El Corazón” (1988), Leo Kottke's “My Father's Face” (1989), Roy Orbison's “Mystery Girl” (1989) and Elvis Costello's “Spike” (1989). Besides, he produced the “Sylvester” soundtrack in 1985. In 1988, he served as musical director in the TV special “Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night.”
In 1990, Burnett recoded the song “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson,” a tribute album to singer-songwriter Roky Erickson. The following year, he contributed the song “Humans from Earth” to the soundtrack of the film “Until the End of the World” (1991), which was directed by Wim Wenders and starring Solveig Dommartin, William Hurt and Sam Neill. He also produced the soundtrack album. It was not until 1992 that Burnett release a new solo studio album. “The Criminal Under My Own Hat” was released via Columbia Records and was produced by Burnett and Bob Neuwirth. The album became his last solo album for about 14 years. 1992 also saw Burnett work on some songs with his friend River Phoenix for the comedy/drama movie “The Thing Called Love.”
Burnett kept on busy throughout the 1990s producing albums for such artists as Joe Henry (“Shuffletown”), Sam Phillips (“Cruel Inventions,” “Martinis and Bikinis” and “Omnipop (It's Only a Flesh Wound Lambchop”), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (“Live Two Five”), Dirty Looks (“Five Easy Pieces”), Bruce Cockburn (“Nothing but a Burning Light”), Spinal Tap (“Break Like the Wind”), Wendy Matthews (“Lily), Roy Orbison (“King of Hearts”), Seven Stories (“Everything You Want (Nothing That You Need)”), A.J. Croce (“A.J. Croce”), Counting Crows (“August and Everything After”), BoDeans (“Go Slow Down”), Jackopierce (“Bringing on the Weather”), Bruce Cockburn (“Dart to the Heart”), Michael Petak (“Pretty Little Lonely”), Jimmy Dale Gilmore (“Braver Newer World”), The Wallflowers (“Bringing Down the Horse”), Gillian Welch (“Revival”) and “Hell Among the Yearlings”), Daniel Tashian (“Sweetie”), David Poe (“David Poe”), Tonio K. (“Ole”), Five Easy Pieces (“Five Easy Pieces”), The Surfers (“Songs from the Pipe”), Freedy Johnston (“Blue Days, Black Nights” and “Joseph Arthur: Vacancy” (1999). Burnett also served as musical archivist on the 1998 comedy film “The Big Lebowski,” by Coen Brothers. He also co-produced the film soundtrack.
In 2000, Burnett produced the soundtrack of the comedy film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” a reunion with filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. The album emerged as best seller and has been certified 8x platinum by the RIAA for selling over 7,421,000 units in the US. It won three Grammys, including one for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, which he shared with engineers Mike Piersante and Peter F. Kurland. Burnett, who also composed the score, also picked up a BMI Film & TV for Special Citation, BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award nomination an Online Film Critics Society nomination, a Phoenix Film Critics Society nomination and a Chicago Film Critics Association for his efforts. With David Mansfield, Burnett composed the score for the film adaptation of “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” (2002), which was directed and scripted by Callie Khouri and starred Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd.
In between the projects, Burnett also produced albums by Joseph Arthur, Evan and Jaron, Sam Phillips (“Fan Dance”), Natalie Merchant, Minibar, Gillian Welch, John P. Hammond and Ralph Stanley. He also produced the soundtrack of the documentary and concert film “Down from the Mountain” (2001), which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Top Country Albums. Burnett collaborated with k.d. lang for the jazz album “A Wonderful World” (2002), which Burnett also produced. The album won a 2004 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
In 2003, Burnett served as executive music producer on the Anthony Minghella directed war movie “Cold Mountain,” starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger. He also produced the soundtrack “Cold Mountain: Music from the Motion Picture,” which was a huge success. Burnett received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Original Song and a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for the song “Scarlet Tide,” sharing with Elvis Costello. He also shared a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for his work on the album. The same year, he also produced the soundtrack album of “A Mighty Wind,” Rusty Truck's “Broken Promises” and Warren Zevon's “The Wind.”
2004-2005 saw Burnett produce such albums as Sam Phillips' “A Boot and a Shoe,” Autolux's “Future Perfect,” Adam Freeland's “Back to Mine,” Bruce Cockburn;'s “Speechless,” and Ralph Stanley's “Distant Land to Roam: Songs of the Carter Family.” He also was credited as executive music producer on the films “The Ladykillers” (2004), “Don't Come Knocking” (2005) and the commercially and critically hit biographical drama “Walk the Line” (2005), by James Mangold. Burnett also produced the Grammy Award winning soundtrack from the latter film, which was released on November 15, 2005 via Wind-UP label. The album earned platinum status in the US and won a 2007 Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Burnett also received a BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award nomination for Film Music for his work in the film.
In 2006, Burnett released a studio album titled “The True False Identity,” his first solo album since 1992. It was followed by the compilation album “Twenty Twenty – The Essential T-Bone Burnett” (also 2006) and “Tooth of Crime” (2008), a selection of music written by Burnett for the 1997 production of Sam Shepard's play “The Tooth of Crime.”
Burnett was credited as executive music producer on the 2006 film “All the King's Men” and music producer on the 2007 Julie Taymor helmed film “Across The Universe.” Between 2006 and 2009, he also produced the albums of Cassandra Wilson, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Brandi Carlile, John Mellencamp, Rusty Truck, B.B. King, BoDeans, Akiko Yano, Moonalice and Elvis Costello (“Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”).
Burnett served as producer, songwriter and composer on the musical/drama film “Crazy Heart” (2009), starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall. The film brought him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind,”sharing with Ryan Bingham. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture, a Satellite for Best Original Song, a World Soundtrack for Best Original Song Written Directly for Film, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Award for Best Song, Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics Choice Award for Best Song, Palm Springs International Film Festival Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Music/Score and was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award for Best Music and a Grammy for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Burnett and fellow “Crazy Heart” producers Robert Duvall, Rob Carliner and Judy Cairo, along with director Scott Cooper, netted a Best First Feature honors at the 201o Independent Spirit Awards.
In 2010, Burnett was credited as executive producer, music producer and composer in the TV series “Tough Trade.” The same year, he also produced Jakob Dylan's “Women + Country,” Willie Nelson's “Country Music,” Robert Randolph and the Family Band's “We Walk this Road,” John Mellencamp's “No Better than This,” Elton John & Leon Russell's “Union,” Secret Sisters's self titled album and Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses's “Junky Star.” Recently, in 2011, he produced Gregg Allman's “Low Country Blues” and the soundtrack of “ Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.”
Academy Award: Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
Broadcast Film Critics Association: Critics Choice Award, Best Song, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
Independent Spirit: Best First Feature, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
Palm Springs International Film Festival: Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
World Soundtrack: Best Original Song Written Directly for Film, “Crazy Heart,” 2010
Las Vegas Film Critics Society : Sierra Award, Best Song, “Crazy Heart,” 2009
Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA): Best Music/Score, “Crazy Heart,” 2009
Satellite: Best Original Song, “Crazy Heart,” 2009
Grammy: Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. “Walk the Line,” 2007
BAFTA: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music, “ Cold Mountain,” 2004
Grammy: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, “A Wonderful World,” 2004
BMI Film & TV: Special Citation, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” 2002
Grammy: Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” 2002
Florida Film Critics Circle : FFCC, Best Soundtrack and Score, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” 2001