He was born in Recklaw Texas, Cherokee County, and the oldest son of a sharecropper. It wasn’t but a couple of years and the next child was born, nine of them in all. Times were hard because his daddy wouldn’t work very much or very long before he would load up the kids and move to the next abandon house with no electricity, running water or sometimes a partial roof. There were odd jobs, trapping, picking cotton, and making railroad ties. Sooner or later they would move again, usually they stayed in the piney woods either Cherokee or Rusk County. Out of this childhood came a singer-songwriter. Doyle Burleson saved copper and brass until he had saved enough to turn in and order a guitar out of the Sears Roebuck Catalog; he was 12 years old at the time. Before he had gotten his guitar he was already writing songs and would entertain his brothers and sisters for hours. From six years old until he left Doyle would go out into the woods in the morning and gather whatever nature had to offer: wild onions, wild plums, hickory nuts, black walnuts, greens, Polk salat, sometimes fish, sometimes a squirrel or bird and sometimes he would find a hen’s nest and take the eggs. This bounty he would bring home and his Mama would cook it up. Many times that is all they had to eat for the day. Doyle lied about his age and joined the Army while he was in Kilgore at 16 and after basic training was sent to Korea. Doyle always had his guitar and was never without a song.
When Doyle got out of the service he discovered his daddy had moved the family to Oregon to the Strawberry fields. Doyle followed them and started playing in bands in the Portland area. He met Little Jimmy Dickens who offered him a job but at the time Doyle had small children and could not relocate to Nashville. Doyle worked day jobs and played in the clubs on the weekends. Texas was calling to him to come home. Doyle couldn’t answer the call he had enough of moving and would not do that to his kids.
Then too soon the kids were grown and he was free to follow his dreams. Doyle and his wife moved back to Texas and Doyle recorded his first CD “East Texas Rain” which has been played on Texas radio stations as well as in Australia. He has just released a new album called “Growing up Texas” with songs that talk about his love for all that is “Texas” the piney woods, the black land, fireflies, and all the childhood adventures that make Texas unique. Although Doyle knew hard times he has a great sense of humor and can bring across the mischief in a song yet there is just a shade of sadness there lurking behind the happy lyrics. A story teller Doyle will make you picture “his Texas” even if you have never been there. After listening to the album you have a curious sense of wanting to go to Texas and claim your piece of heaven in Cherokee County.