Fairburn listened to the Grand Ole Opry and played guitar as a youngster, learning to play from a local blues musician alongside the hillbilly music he heard on the radio. With the outbreak of World War II, he took a job at a New Orleansshipyard, and then served in the Navy in Hawaii.
Upon his return to New Orleans he trained as a barber and attempted to start a singing career simultaneously. Known as the "Singing Barber" on local radio stations such as WJBW and WWEZ, he became a local country music star. In the early 1950s he also began recording, starting with Trumpet Records, and following this, Columbia, Capitol, and Savoy (often with his backing group called The Delta Boys). Fairburn also owned a label called Milestone Records in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Fairburn's style blended elements of country, blues, and New Orleans-style R&B. He became well known throughout the South, and appeared on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas without ever having scored a regional hit in the area. As rockabilly became more popular, he adapted to the style, and remained a regional favorite, though he never made the national charts.
In 1964, Fairburn sang his tune "I Guess I'm Crazy" on Louisiana Hayride, and Jim Reeves decided to cover the tune. This version was the single in current rotation when Reeves was killed in a plane crash in July of that year.
Fairburn continued to perform after moving to California in the 1960s, nearly up until he died of lung cancer in 1985. Nine years later, Bear Family Records collected his singles and released them on CD as Everybody's Rockin'.
|1953||Camping with Marie / Let’s Live It Over||Trumpet Records No. 195|
|1953||I Feel Like Cryin’ / Baby, Call on Me||Trumpet Records No. 196|
|1954||Good Deal, Lucille / Baby He’s a Wolf||Capitol Records#F2270|
|1954||Love Spelled Backwards Is Evol / Nothin’ But Lovin’||Capitol Records #F2844|
|1954||Prison Cell of Love / I Feel Like Cryin’||Capitol Records #F2963|
|1955||It’s A Cold, Weary World / Spiteful Heart||Capitol Records #F3101|
|1955||I Guess I’m Crazy (For Loving You) / That Sweet Love Of Mine||Columbia Records No. 21432|
|1956||Broken Hearted Me / Stay Close To Me||Columbia Records No. 21483|
|1956||Everybody’s Rockin’ / It’s Heaven||Columbia Records No. 21528|
|1956||All The Time / I’m A Fool About Your Love||Savoy Records No. 1503|
|1957||My Heart’s On Fire / Speak To Me Baby||Savoy Records No. 1509|
|1957||Telephone Baby / No Blues Tomorrow||Savoy Records No. 1521|
|1962||You Are My Sunshine / Doggone That Moon||Milestone Records No. 2013|
|1968||My Crazy World / There’s Something On||Paula Records No. 295|
||Capitol Records (not issued)|
||Columbia Records (not issued)|
All singles prior to Milestone 2013 were issued as 78rpm and 45rpm records with the same issue numbers and Milestone 2013 onwards are 45rpm only issues.