Before we get to the CD credits, I would like to take a moment to say thank you to the people who played a major roll in getting this project off of the ground. First, I would like to say thank you to Jim Whaley who as executive producer made the project happen. I would also like to send out a very special thank you to Norbert Putnam, the CD producer, for delivering a product that sounds like I have always dreamed that my songs could sound like. I need to send out a HUGE thank you to all of the musicians who came in and played on this CD. Their knowledge and talent are obvious when you listen to the tracks they laid down for this project.
I also need to say a very special note of thanks to all of the fans who come out and support me and the songs that I write. Without you, none of this would be possible.
And last, but never least, I want to say thank you to Debra Mosley, who has supported me and dreamed with me when everyone else said that what we were trying to accomplished was impossible.
And now, on to the credits!
Producer Norbert Putnam
Norbert Putnam grew up in the Muscle Shoals area of North Alabama and at the age of 19 dropped out of college to play bass on the first hit records that established “Muscle Shoals” as a recording destination. In 1964 The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (David Briggs, Jerry Carrigan, Norbert Putnam and Terry Thompson) opened the first Beatles concert in Washington, DC) A few years later Putnam moved to Nashville and quickly became Nashville’s busiest pop/rock bassist playing on thousands of recordings. (See sound on sound interview) In 1970 Norbert and best friend David Briggs formed DANOR Music and constructed the surround sound Quadrafonic Studio. That same year good friend Kris Krisofferson asked Putnam to take over the production of Joan Baez’s “Blessed Are” album. The subsequent hit single “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” sold over a million copies and soon Jimmy Buffett (Margaritaville), Dan Fogelberg, as well as New York and LA record labels came calling. Putnam became Nashville’s top pop-rock record producer and Quadrafonic became Nashville’s most successful independent studio. Danor Music went on to rank in the top ten of Nashville’s music publishers and produced three world famous writers, Troy Seals, Will Jennings and Max T. Barnes. In 1980 Putnam moved south to Franklin and opened “The Bennett House” studios, a pioneering effort that would bring more than seventy studios to the area. A few years later, with pal Denny Purcell, Putnam formed “Georgetown Masters” with NP’s esoteric hi-fi listening design. Georgetown went on the become one of America’s “top five” mastering facilities. Norbert or “Putt” as he was called by Elvis, was recently inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. In 2003 Putnam’s career took a different turn when he designed studios for the new Delta Music Institute at Delta State University. Norbert was then asked to serve as Director and taught producer/engineer studies there for two years. Recently, Norbert and his talented designer wife Sheryl have established residence back in Tennessee to be near their expanding number of grandchildren. Nashville was of course the location of Putnam’s most successful endeavorers. Governor Phil Bredesen recently signed a unanimous Senate proclamation acknowledging Putnam’s contribution to Tennessee music. Norbert is presently in the process of establishing a new publishing and production company, as well as and serving on The Alabama Music Hall of Fame board of governors.
Leland Sklar - Bass Guitar
Lee Sklar has has over 2000 albums to his credit,. His very recognizable bass playing style has been heard on hits by Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Hall & Oates, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Clint Black, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Nils Lofgren, Lisa Loeb, among may many others.
His television and motion picture credits are also extensive and include playing for such shows as Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, Simon and Simon, and also on many motion pictures, including Forrest Gump, Ghost, Kindergarten Cop, and My Best Friend's Wedding.
In the late '60s, after completing his education at California State University - Northridge, Sklar met James Taylor and they started playing together. When Taylor's "Fire and Rain" became a huge hit record, Sklar's career began to gain steam.
Over the years Sklar has worked with nearly all of the top session players, but joining with drummer Russ Kunkel , guitarist Dan Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge, the quartet would come to be known as the Section. The Section recorded three of their own albums between 1972 and 1977.
Paul Leim - Drums
For most musicians, there is a distinct separation between various segments of the entertainment industry. Few other musicians have so successfully bridged the gap between records, motion pictures, live performance and television. Paul has compiled an enviable "track record" in all four areas and has earned his distinction as one of the foremost drummers in the entertainment industry worldwide.
In concert venues and sound stages all over the world, Paul has performed for a seemingly endless list of top artists, composers and producers including John Williams, Doc Severinsen, The Berlin Orchestra, The London Symphony, The Boston Pops, Tom Jones, Randy Travis, Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and “ELVIS, The Concert” with the “TCB Band”.
Paul performed on the motion pictures, "Star Wars “Return of the Jedi”,"The River", “Tank”, “The Legend of DB Cooper”, and “Dirty Dancing”. Episodic television series and specials include ‘Wonder Woman”, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard, three “Elvis” mini-series, "Fall Guy","Spencer for Hire","The Tonight Show","Growing Pains", “Battlestar Glactica”, “Barbara Mandrel and the Mandrel Sisters”, and "Dolly". He has performed on “The Grammy Awards”, eight years on Dick Clark’s "American Music Awards", 4 years with the “Academy of Country Music Awards”, and the perennial “Grand Ole Opry”.
His multiple Gold and Platinum album credits include, Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Peter Cetera, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Michael W. Smith, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, PUR, Lorrie Morgan, Mark Chestnut, Lyle Lovett, Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, Colin Raye, Montgomery Gentry, Lonestar, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Bob Seger and Kenny Chesney.
Of the thousands of records, soundtracks and albums Paul has played on, over 150 have been Dove, Grammy, CMA, ACM, CCMA, American Music Award, or Academy Award Recipients. Multiple Gold and Platinum recordings with top artists total over 300 million units sold representing over 4 Billion dollars in record sales.
8 time Academy of Country Music drummer of the year Nominee, multiple winner of Nashville Music Award, “Drummer/Percussionist”, and Nashville Music Row Magazine’s “Top 10 Music All Stars” award winner. Most recently he is winner of “Drum Magazine” Drummie of the Year, (Country Category) 3 Years in a Row and Modern Drummer Magazine “Reader’s Poll”, Drummer of the Year, (Country Category) for an Eighth year in a Row (2001 – 2008).
Shane Keister - Keyboards
Keister was born in Huntington West Virginia and grew up in the small southern Ohio town of Portsmouth. He began playing the piano at the age of three. As a child and teenager, he studied piano under Dorothy Knost. In junior high school, he studied percussion and jazz under Ralph Harrison. In High School, Shane was accompanist for the Portsmouth High School Choir under the direction of Charles P. Varney. He was a contemporary and fellow music student with Kathleen Battle, although he was a few years younger than Ms Battle. Already a technically skilled classical pianist, as early as junior high school he began playing with local rock and roll bands and performing in clubs and local venues. He was one of the first local keyboardists to own and use a Leslie Speaker Cabinet. The bands Keister played in were quite popular and were very busy in the local rock scene. He moved back to Huntington, West Virginia in his senior year of high school where he continued his piano studies with Mary Shepp Mann. He attended Marshall
University his freshman year and transferred his college studies to North Texas University for one more year. Keister moved to Nashville in 1972 and quickly established himself as a very capable and well-rounded studio musician. His career flourished and in the late 80’s, he composed and produced the musical scores for Doctor Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam and Earnest Goes to Camp. At the request of the late Ahmet Ertegun, Keister moved to New York in 1989 to work for him as a staff producer/arranger at Atlantic Records. Keister worked extensively with Ertegun until 2000 when he decided to again pursue his career independently. He continues to do studio work today, as a Pianist/synthisyst and as a producer/arranger.
He won a Dove
Award for Instrumental Album of the Year—along with Michael Omartian, Dann Huff, Tommy Sims, Tom Hemby, Terry McMillan, Chris Rodriguez, Mark Douthit, and Eric Darken—for the album The Players in 1997.
He has worked with a long list of musicians over the years, including Elvis
Presley, Billy Joel, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith and Lou Marini.
Larry Byrom - Guitars
Guitarist and songwriter Larry Byrom has performed on over a 100 albums in genres ranging from rock to country to somewhere comfortable in between. Byrom was born in 1948 in Huntsville, AL, but spent a lot of his childhood in South Bend, IN. He dropped out of high school to try out his dream of reaching rock stardom. When it didn't work out as he planned, he made a detour and found success on his own terms.
In the mid-'60s, Byrom joined a band called the Precious Few. He went right to professional status, performing on Dick Clarks Caravan of Stars. Byrom's next step was to head out to California where he joined the group Hard Times, appearing on the Television Show Where the Action Is. The Hard Times group called it quits before long. Byrom, undaunted, got together with Nicolas St Nicolas and formed another band, T.I.M.E., which unabbreviated is Trust in Men Everywhere.
Before 1970, T.I.M.E. had transformed into a new rock band, Steppenwolf. Byrom recorded a number of hit songs with the group, including some he penned himself, like "Hey Lawdy Mama." In 1972, he left Steppenwolf to start another band, Ratchell. When it had little success, he went back home to Alabama to think about his career and where he wanted it to go. Where it went was to country music and into the studio.
By 1980, Byrom was living in Nashville, TN. He soon began working steadily as a session guitarist for superstar country artist like Barbara Mandrell, Eddie Rabbit, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers. Byrom's skills with slide, acoustic, and electric guiter, as well as his songwriting, kept him in constant demand. Over the years he added more recordings to his list of credits, working with well-known country singers such as Lorrie Morgan, Brooks and Dunn, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Clint Black, and many others.
Billy Gibson - Harmonica
Billy Gibson first picked up the harmonica at a very young age. “It was cheap and I could easily make sounds with it.” After high school, Gibson’s desire for learning and improving as a musician took him to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he played with blues guitarist Johnnie Billington and drummer Bobby Little in Billington’s group The Midnighters. “Johnnie and Bobby taught me how to make it in this business,” Gibson recalls.
Like many before him, Gibson eventually left Mississippi for Memphis. “Beale Street was my university of blues,” recalls Gibson, referring to the lessons learned as a Beale Street performer. “For a young musician, all you have to do is look and listen and you can learn so much.”
Gibson’s talent and commitment have not gone unrecognized. He received an endorsement from Hohner, his harmonica of choice in 1999. He has made guest appearances on national recording artists’ CDs including Deborah Coleman’s Soft Place To Fall (Blind Pig 2000) and Michael Burks’ I Smell Smoke (Alligator 2003). Around the same time, Gibson received a BA in music from the University of Memphis.
Gibson’s career has been a constant progression and immersion into many genres of music, with blues being the foundation and primary inspiration of his artistic endeavors.
Jim Spake - Saxaphones
Saxophonist Jim Spake lives and works in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, where he has made his living in music since high school. After attending Berklee College of Music, where he studied with David Liebman, Bill Pierce, and Steve Grossman, Jim returned to Memphis and began gigging with local jazz & R&B groups. While still in his early twenties, he toured with Levon Helm, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brenda Lee and in the 80s Spake became more active in Memphis's recording studios -- everything from jingles to album sessions. Over the years he's backed touring artists such as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, The Four Tops, Mose Allison, Chuck Berry, Ben E. King, and Johnny Mathis.
Memphis's rich musical history continues to draw producers and artists here to record - perhaps to capture some of the "magic." In recent decades, Jim's saxophone work is an integral part of the mix. Sessions with Al Green, John Hiatt, Toots Hibbert, Lucero, Solomon Burke, Cat Power, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Rod Stewart, Alex Chilton, and Ike Turner occasionally lead him back out on the road.
From '93 to '01, the Sweet Soul Music International Soul Festival in Porretta Terme, Italy was an annual opportunity for Spake to work with such Soul/R&B icons as Lavern Baker, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, Dan Penn, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Mavis Staples, Solomon Burke, and Irma Thomas. The 90's also found Jim touring with Bruce Willis's Accelerators. Spake was selected by the Memphis chapter NARAS for the Premier Woodwind Player Award eight times between 1987 and 2001. In 2002 he was inducted into its Hall of Fame. This spring Jim toured Europe/UK with George Thorogood & the Destroyers.
Jim contiunes to stay busy w/ his own group, as well as Spondoolicks, Di Anne Price and her Boyfriends, The Jumpin' Chi Chis, and just about anyone who's got his number.