Gordon Edwards Burns, an Alabama TV personality nicknamed “Country Boy Eddie” who was an early supporter of Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Emmy Lou Harris and other budding country superstars, has died at 92. His family confirmed his death but did not provide a cause, saying merely that he died “peacefully at his home” in Warrior, Alabama.
Burns was the host of The Country Boy Eddie Show with Country Boy Eddie, a talent showcase for rising stars. The folksy Burns hosted the show from 1957 at age 27 until his retirement in 1993.
His family’s statement noted “He was a trailblazer for both the Alabama music and television scenes, and his contributions will continue to live on. The Burns family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the viewers, fans, musicians, and everyone else who made his life so special.”
Burns was akin to New York’s long-running Joe Franklin Show, where guests were treated like superstars even though they had yet to gain widespread acclaim.
That helped my show,” Burns once said. “I love people, and I love people who didn’t have a chance.”
Beyond music, Burns provided a platform for comedy, interviews, funeral announcements, advertisements, and general folksy talk with an assortment of locals, ranging from politicians to pro wrestlers.
The program aired mornings on WBRC and on 100 other television stations throughout the South, according to Al.com.
No details on survivors or memorial plans was immediately available.