Saturday, September 06, 2008

Living the Rock ‘n Roll Dream, by Buzz Cason

Living the Rock ‘n Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason, by Buzz Cason

I heard Buzz Cason play at the Palo Duro Records Unofficial SxSW Showcase last spring along with Tommy Alverson, Trent Summar, and Dallas Wayne—yeah, that was a great night! The four artists took turns playing songs and telling stories. During one of Buzz’s stints in the spotlight he played the oft-recorded “Everlasting Love” which as it turns out, he wrote (although I must admit, I had more fun hearing “Barbeque” off his latest album). The next day I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon in a group of musicians that included Cason and was thoroughly entertained by his stories. When I discovered he’d written a book about his career I jumped at the opportunity to read it, and found that he is as entertaining in prose as he is in person.

Cason’s music has been recorded by a huge variety of performers: Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Reed, Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Derailers, Jan and Dean, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, U2, and the Beatles to name just a few. He started writing and performing in the 1950’s, long before agents and promoters controlled the industry. Can you imagine Rascal Flatts cramming into a beat-up Ford and driving all night to make a show in the next town? This book is a unique first-hand look into a completely different world. Cason hung out with Elvis, signed Jimmy Buffett to his first contract, and founded the Creative Workshop. He tells stories about meeting Sinatra, Kris Kristofferson, Bo Diddley, and MLK. He has been a composer, a singer, a chipmunk, and now an author. He has a unique perspective on the history of American popular music and I enjoyed every page of this book.

First Sentence:
The first time I can recall anyone suggesting that I participate in singing any other kind of music other than church hymns was when my neighborhood friend, Lewis Dale told me about this thing they called “hillbilly music” that was so popular on radio WSM’s Grand Ole Opry.

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