Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2019 Hall of Fame will honor North Texas Music Legends

In April 2019, DSA plans to induct the following legends from the North Texas area.

Born in Dallas, Tx, Stephen Stills is one of rock music's most enduring figures with a career now spanning six decades, multiple solo works, and four hugely influential groups – Manassas, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN), and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for Buffalo Springfield and CSN, is a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, and is a BMI Music Icon (with CSN). As renowned for his instrumental virtuosity as for writing era-defining anthems including "For What It's Worth" and "Love The One You're With," Stills is ranked #28 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, calling his acoustic  picking on "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" "a paragon of unplugged beauty." Three of Stills' albums are among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Buffalo Springfield Again,Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Déjà Vu. In 2013, Stills released Carry On, a four-CD anthology capturing the remarkable scope of his career using 83 tracks (25 unreleased) to retrace the musical paths he's explored. Most recently, Stills toured with The Rides, his blues-rock trio with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg, behind their debut album Can't Get Enough. This year, he is on tour, solo and with Crosby, Stills & Nash. As hosts of the 2nd Light Up The Blues Concert in downtown Los Angeles, Stills and his wife Kristen recently helped raise over $320,000 to benefit Autism Speaks' research and advocacy efforts for families and individuals impacted by the disorder. Light Up The Blues, a documentary-style film recorded at last year's concert, is #2 on iTunes' Concert Films chart.


Steve Miller was a mainstay of the San Francisco music scene that upended American culture in the late '60s. With albums like Children of the Future, Sailor and Brave New World, Miller perfected a psychedelic blues sound that drew on the deepest sources of American roots music and simultaneously articulated a compelling vision of what music - and, indeed, society - could be in the years to come. Then, in the '70s, Miller crafted a brand of pure pop that was polished, exciting and irresistible - and that dominated radio in a way that few artists have ever managed. Hit followed hit in what seemed like an endless flow: "Take The Money and Run," "Rock'n Me," "Fly Like an Eagle," "Jet Airliner" and "Jungle Love," among them. To this day, those songs are instantly recognizable when they come on the radio - and impossible not to sing along with. Their hooks are the very definition of indelible. Running through Miller's distinctive catalog is a combination of virtuosity and song craft. His parents were jazz aficionados - not to mention close friends of Les Paul and Mary Ford - so, as a budding guitarist, Miller absorbed valuable lessons from that musical tradition. When the family moved to Texas, Miller deepened his education in the blues, eventually moving to Chicago, where he played with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy and Paul Butterfield. In recent years, Miller has immersed himself in the blues once again. And, as always, whether he was riding the top of the charts or exploring the blue highways of American music, he is playing and singing with conviction and precision, passion and eloquence, and making records that are at once immediately accessible and more than able to stand the test of time. 


Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, the eldest child of a traveling salesman. Their family moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, then to Plano, Texas (at that time a farm town), just north of Dallas. He attended a Dallas private school, St. Mark's School of Texas, where schoolmate Mal Buckner gave him the nickname "Bosley", later shortened to "Boz".
After learning guitar at the age of 12, Scaggs met Steve Miller at St. Mark's School. In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller's band, the Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison together, playing in blues bands like the Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains. 

Leaving school, Scaggs briefly joined the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene in London, then traveled on to Sweden as a solo performer, and in 1965 recorded his solo debut album, Boz. He also had a brief stint with the band the Other Side with Mac MacLeod and Jack Downing. Returning to the U.S., Scaggs promptly headed for the booming psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967. Linking up with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor in 1968. Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968, releasing his second album, Boz Scaggs, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman, in 1969. Scaggs then signed with Columbia Records; his first four albums for Columbia all charted, with his best peaking at No. 81. In 1976, using session musicians who later formed Toto, he recorded Silk Degrees. The album reached #2 on the US Billboard 200, and #1 in a number of other countries, spawning four hit singles: "It's Over", "Lowdown", "What Can I Say", and "Lido Shuffle", as well as the poignant ballad "We're All Alone", later recorded by Rita Coolidge and Frankie Valli. "Lowdown" sold over one million copies in the US and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, which was shared by Scaggs and David Paich. The 1980 album Middle Man spawned two top 20 hits, "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jojo"; and Scaggs enjoyed two more hits in 1980-81: "Look What You've Done to Me", from Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and "Miss Sun", from a greatest hits set. Both were US No. 14 hits.


Larry Henley has earned dual fame as both singer and songwriter. Yet one would be hard pressed to find a common link between his two trademarks in these separate mediums; the playful gibberish indulged by Bread and Butter has little in common with the sincere sentiments of Grammy award winning Wind Beneath My Wings. Wind Beneath My Wings has evolved into a familiar slogan. Granted, its proximity to the six million mark in radio airplays makes it hard to ignore. A standard at weddings and funerals alike, it has also been material for a Playboy cartoon. Few songs offer the succinct and sincere emotional foundation that such versatility requires. The vast spectrum of artists who have recorded it gives testimony to its cultural magnitude. His other numerous hits, include  Lizzie and The Rainman (Tanya Tucker), He's A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen) (Janie Fricke), Shotgun Rider (Delbert McClinton). 

While visiting relatives in Shreveport, his brother in law pulled a prank on him by telling the Diamond Head Lounge's house band, The Dean and Mark Combo, that Larry was "famous". After being coerced onstage he was invited that night join the band, and also offered a contract by an agent from Mercury Records who happened to be in the crowd. (Only later did he sign a contract with Hickory.) After getting his feet wet in Shreveport clubs he ventured to Nashville, where he cut his first singles. He was then ready to make the next obvious leap: New York. There he donned a tuxedo and perfected his stage presence in smoky Village nightclubs. That training underfoot, he returned to Shreveport and rejoined the Mathis brothers to form The Newbeats. They became popular in England where they headlined with Jerry and the Pacemakers, The Kinks, The Dave Clark Five and emerging Motown artists such as The Supremes, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.
Henley's early success as a pop star may have tempted him to rest on his laurels. But his curiosity and passionate need to write songs have garnered him top honors including CMA Song of the Year, ACM Song of the Year, NSAI Songwriter of the Year and various other achievements. Henley was born in Arp, TX.

Rod Phelps   When Rod was at Baylor he started booking acts like Bob Hope and Brother Dave Gardner. Bob Hope you've heard of, and Bro. Dave had a comedy act that gave rise to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
      It was this activity that induced his cousin, Sheri Helt, a student at Oklahoma State University, to call him about a singer who was playing the "Strip" in Stillwater, OK. She said that all of the students at OSU really liked this new guy, and suggested that he go hear him.
   He went to a place called Wild Willie's on a Friday night and, walking in, he had some immediate concerns. One, the air was blue from cigarette smoke, and he's a non-smoker. Two, Wild Willie's didn't take credit cards, so he had no idea how he was going to pay for an evening's tab just to listen to some dude who probably wouldn't be any good anyway. Three, the men's room didn't have a commode, it had a bathtub that served as a urinal.
  He listened to the guy and introduced himself afterwards and told him that he was pretty good and he would like to do a demo on him. He found an 8-track facility and the next Friday they did four live sets, two cover and two original. They mixed them on Saturday, and on Sunday he came by the house and he gave him the reel-to-reel demo we had done, a list of his contacts in Nashville, the confirmation number of the hotel he had set up for him to stay in, and a handful of his credit cards.
   He said, "Rod, I'm going to have to use these credit cards because I don't have any money". Rod told him that he had given them to him to use, and all Rod asked was that he (1) go to Nashville, (2) become a star, (3) pay him back when he could, and to (4)  thank him when he won his first Grammy.
   Well sir, Garth Brooks went to Nashville, became a star, paid Rod back when he could, but never thanked him when he won his first Grammy. You can read about this in "Chicken Soup for the Country Soul".
   Rod's nephew, Tye Phelps, who owns the Love and War in Texas restaurants, asked him to listen to a female act playing at the Plano L&W. Rod went to listen to her, and she wasn't all that good. The other act on the bill who did impress me was a young blond from Lindale, Texas. Rod got a couple of demos from her dad, Rick Lambert, and sent them to his contacts in Nashville, mostly label heads. The rest is history.
   Other folks Rod has helped over the years include Chris Cagle (whom Rod hired as nanny because he said he had no money, no job, and no place to live) and Rory Lee Feek (former DSA member of Joey and Rory fame), whom Rod moved to Nashville, along with his two daughters. He had two daughters the same age, and Rod gave Rory the downstairs master bedroom suite. Rory signed with Harlan Howard soon thereafter (one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville history) and Rory went on to become one of the best known Christian songwriters and performers of all time, especially when he joined forces with, and married, Joey.
   Rod also has had the good fortune to work with Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy", "Bend Me, Shape Me"); Richard Leigh ("Don't you Make My Brown Eyes Blue", "Greatest Man I Never Knew"); Don Schlitz ("The Gambler"); Tommy Barnes ("Cherokee Outlaw"); Randy Boudreaux ("Goodnight Sweetheart", ""Brokenheartsville", "Alibis", "Who Needs You Baby").
   Rod has helped these local folks you might recognize as DSA writers include Rory Lee Feek, David Banning, Dickie Kaiser and Steve Hood.
   By simply hanging around individuals in broadcasting, Rod worked with Howard Cosell, Verne Lundquist (Rod got him his divorce from his first wife and introduced him to his second wife) and Roger Staubach, whom Rod got on the speaking tour.
   Rod was the first attorney Buddy Magazine turned to some 44 years ago.

2018 Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame

In 2018, our honorees were Bruce Channel, Delbert McClinton, Jerry Lynn Williams, Gary Nicholson and The Nightcaps. 

The program featured the Holland K Smith Band and Barbe McMillen with special guests Joe Milton, Jack Allday, Alexis Tapp, and Jessica Ewy.


2017 Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame

In 2017, our honorees were Freddy King, Cindy Walker, Sam the Sham, Trini Lopes, Gus Levene, and Al Johnson. The No Contact Band  members included Ian Dickson, Allen Larson, Whit Hyde, Craig St. Clair, and Paul Martin Zander and guest performers Barbe McMillen and Michael Brandenberger all chipped to cover the songs.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

In 2016, we honored Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker. Both these players have contributed so much to the roots of all the popular music that has come after. The Stratoblasters were chosen to perform their songs and entertain us. 



Lemon Henry "Blind Lemon" Jefferson was an American blues and gospel singer, songwriter, and musician. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s and has been called the "Father of the Texas Blues".Jefferson's performances were distinctive because of his high-pitched voice and the originality of his guitar playing. 

* Read the article by Billy Bob Hill about the songs of Blind Lemmon Jefferson and Ledbelly. This was so much fun to read and listen to the links to the covers of their songs. Thanks so much, Billy, for an entertaining read and listen.

Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was a pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound.[1][2]In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 67 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"
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It's only fitting that we would start by going back to the roots of popular music - the blues. From out of the cotton fields of East Texas to the urbanization of Dallas's Deep Ellum, Blind Lemon Jefferson brought the blues and popularized the genre. It is likely that he moved to Deep Ellum on a permanent basis by 1917, where he met Aaron Thibeaux Walker, also known as T-Bone Walker. Jefferson taught Walker the basics of playing blues guitar in exchange for Walker's occasional services as a guide.
Jefferson's music is uninhibited and represented the classic sounds of everyday life and he did what few had ever done before him – he became a successful solo guitarist and male vocalist in the commercial recording world. Uncharacteristically, his first two recordings from this session were gospel songs ("I Want to Be Like Jesus in My Heart" and "All I Want is That Pure Religion"), released under the name Deacon L. J. Bates. A second recording session was held in March 1926. His first releases under his own name, "Booster Blues" and "Dry Southern Blues", were hits. Their popularity led to the release of the other two songs from that session, "Got the Blues" and "Long Lonesome Blues", which became a runaway success, with sales in six figures. He recorded about 100 tracks between 1926 and 1929; 43 records were issued, all but one for Paramount Records. Hear Blind Lemon sing "Back Snake Moan".

Walker, who was from a family of musicians, began his career as a teenager in Dallas in the early 1900s, leaving school at the age of 10, and by 15 he was a professional performer on the blues circuit. Initially, he was Jefferson's protégé and would guide him around town for his gigs. In 1929, Walker made his recording debut with Columbia Records, billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone, releasing the single "Wichita Falls Blues" backed with "Trinity River Blues". Oak Cliff is the community in which he lived at the time, and T-Bone is a corruption of his middle name.
Much of Walker's output was recorded from 1946 to 1948 for Black & White Records, including his most famous song, "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)" (1947). Other notable songs he recorded during this period were "Bobby Sox Blues" (a number 3 R&B hit in 1947) and "West Side Baby" (number 8 on the R&B singles charts in 1948). He continued to record up into the 1970's and he won a Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording in 1971 for "Good Feelin'". Walker was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Chuck Berry named Walker as his main influences. B.B. King cited hearing Walker's recording of "Stormy Monday" as his inspiration for getting an electric guitar. Walker was admired by Jimi Hendrix, who imitated Walker's trick of playing the guitar with his teeth. "Stormy Monday" was a favorite live number of the Allman Brothers Band. Hear T-Bone perform "Stormy Monday".

2019 Hall of Fame will honor North Texas Music Legends

In April 2019, DSA plans to induct the following legends from the North Texas area. Born in Dallas, Tx,  Stephen Stills is one of rock ...