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‘Okie from Muskogee’ co-author Roy Burris, Tulsan, Passes

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Great Tulsan Roy Burris – a drummer for Merle Haggard’s band The Strangers – died Tuesday in the town he was born in.

The 79-year old’s heart – which had kept the beat for umpteen thousands of songs for Haggard in the late 1960’s – finally gave out as he slipped from this mortal coil. Burris had helped ol’ Merle pen the classic honky tonk number as they were driving through the Sooner state in 1969. The story is that Merle woke Burris up with the basic concept after seeing a roadsign for Muscogee, and the rest is history.

Born in Tulsa, ‘Eddie’ moved to Bakersfield California as a child, graduating High School there before enlisting in the Navy during the Korean War. Hired by Haggard after a fill-in spot as a drummer, Burris retired from the music scene and drove trucks and owned a bass fishing shop.

Eddie is survived by his wife, three children (and a stepson), five grandchildren and two great grandchildren

[WHY WILL WORDPRESS NOT EMBED THE URL? ARGH. Here is a video featuring Roy on the drums:


Written by thetulsan

April 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

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