Edwin Leo Burks Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 21, 1932, and grew up in West Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas.
Burks played live music on KFFA Radio in Helena starting in the 1940s and later worked there as a radio announcer. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War and then attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he formed the band The Tee Cups. Burks was an early member of the band Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks and performed with them on many occasions including their 1959 American Bandstand appearance. He has traveled nationally and internationally, performing solo and with bands such as The Eccentrics and The Four Score over the course of his musical career.
Burks was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2003.