Songwriter Buzz Cason discusses his career and performs during this 2014 Poets and Prophets program, held to mark the tenth anniversary of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s exhibition and Grammy-winning CD, “Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945–1970.”
In 1956, Cason formed the Casuals, who recorded for Dot and backed Brenda Lee as one of Nashville’s earliest rock & roll combos. He scored a 1960 Top Twenty pop hit (billed as Garry Miles) with “Look for a Star” before stints as a member of the Crickets and Ronny & the Daytonas. In 1962, Cason co-wrote “Soldier of Love” for R&B legend Arthur Alexander, and the song was later covered by the Beatles and Pearl Jam.
Cason co-wrote and co-produced “Everlasting Love,” a Top Twenty pop hit for Nashville R&B singer Robert Knight in 1967. The classic song has lived on through recordings by Carl Carlton, U2, Gloria Estefan, and others. That same year Cason produced Clifford Curry’s signature hit “She Shot a Hole in My Soul,” releasing the R&B single on Elf Records, an independent label Cason started with Bobby Russell.
Highlights of Cason’s varied career also include co-writing Martina McBride’s “Love’s the Only House”; producing and publishing Jimmy Buffett’s early songs; singing backup for Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison; and opening the Creative Workshop recording studio.
During the program, Cason discusses his Nashville upbringing; passion for R&B and early rock & roll; musical and songwriting beginnings; signature songs; working with then-unknown Jimmy Buffett; and opening Creative Workshop recording studio.
The interview is bookended by performances, with an opening medley of Cason’s early hits—including “Tennessee,” “Popsicle,” and “Soldier of Love”—and closing performances of “Troubadour Heart” and “Everlasting Love.”
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