Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Asleep At The Wheel
Artist:Asleep At The Wheel
Song:San Antonio Rose
Album:Western Standard Time
Since the early 70s, Asleep At The Wheel has kept the legacy of Bob Wills and Western Swing alive with their mix of strong musicianship and good natured humour. The leader of Asleep At The Wheel is Ray Benson (born Ray Benson Seifert Mar. 16, 1951 in Philadelphia). Singer/guitarist Benson grew up listening to jazz and he started the group in 1969 with steel guitarist Lucky Oceans (born Ruben Gosfield Apr. 22, 1951), guitarist Leroy Preston and female singer Chris O'Connell. They started out as straight country but switched to western swing after listening to Merle Haggard's tribute album to Bob Wills. They started opening for rock acts and got the attention of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen manager Joe Kerr and he got them to move to San Francisco. They added keyboardist Floyd Domino and signed with United Artists. After their 1974 debut album Comin' At Ya, they switched to Epic Records and moved to Austin, TX. They made a couple of albums and switched to Capitol. They also added trumpeter Bobby Womack & violinist Lisa Silver. The 1975 album Country Gold was a top ten country hit. What really cemented the Asleep At The Wheel fanbase was appearing on the very first episode of the long running PBS series Austin City Limits. They also won a Grammy in 1978 for their instrumental version of Count Basie's One O'Clock Jump. Eventually they went back to Epic in 1985. Western Standard Time is a 1988 album of country swing standards including this fine cover of the Bob Wills classic San Antonio Rose. Of course Asleep At The Wheel has had several personnel changes over the years but they continue to tour and record. Their latest is the Christmas CD Santa Loves To Boogie in Sept. 2007. They are a lot of fun to listen to so here's Asleep At The Wheel with Dwight Yoakam performing San Antonio Rose.