I started playing music when… Continue Reading → The leader of the Texas-based band alerted fans on Facebook Tuesday morning (March 31), but says he remains optimistic. To be honest with you, I got more tired because I had people calling me who hadn’t talked to me for 10 fucking years! Ray Benson is the leader of the legendary Americana band Asleep At The Wheel. In the letter, the singer said, “To clear up any confusion or questions, I have tested positive for the COVID 19 Virus. Then COVID-19 happened. It’s not so much for me. He has earned nine Grammy awards in four different decades. 5.0 (4) See all reviews. You can push back the furniture, roll up the rug, and have a dance with your wife, girlfriend, or significant other. Jan 16 2021 08:00 PM Schroeder Hall . In 1990 he founded Bismeaux Records and Bismeaux Studios. Read More. The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel is the 16th studio album by American country band Asleep at the Wheel.Recorded at Bismeaux Studio in Austin, Texas and Bradley's Barn in Nashville, Tennessee, it was produced by the band's frontman Ray Benson and released on June 5, 2001 by Relentless Nashville, an imprint of Madacy Entertainment Group.The album was issued in the United Kingdom in … I was just in bed. Asleep at the Wheel and Ray Benson are hosting the first-ever Texas Dance Hall Tour, scheduled from March 20 –26, to raise awareness and funds for Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. “We have aligned with Texas Dance Hall Preservation because dance halls are where we started and where we are still,” said Benson, who has been playing Texas dance halls for 43 years. On Aug. 25, 1970, Asleep at the Wheel played their first gig, opening for Hot Tuna and Alice Cooper in Washington, D.C. My right hamstring was so messed up I couldn’t bend over. It took 12 days before I was well enough to function. While Ray Benson's indefatigable Western swing revival outfit Asleep at the Wheel has … Ray Benson, lead singer for Asleep at the Wheel, will be crooning his particular brand of American roots music at Schroeder Hall on Jan. 16 after the … Be sure to tune in to PBS on October 31st for “ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel” check your local listings! Support the free press, so we can support Austin. The last time the singer was seen publicly was on March 19, when he was the host of a Livestream event. (CelebrityAccess) – Ray Benson, frontman of Grammy-winning country band Asleep at the Wheel, has released a statement to fans updating them on his condition after testing positive for COVID-19 a few weeks back. Vernon Penner photo from the … By Craig Havighurst. Homeless.” The truth in that it’s been awful tough in Austin to be a working musician and even a successful road musician. Ray Benson fell in love with western swing because of its unique combination of elements of American blues, swing and traditional fiddling but also for its demanding musical chops. For Ray Benson, founder and frontman of legendary country/Western Swing band (and recent Austin City Limits Hall of Fame inductees) Asleep At The Wheel, being on stage is a way of life. The thing is this, why does this all happen? Support the Chronicle. Benson said somehow they got the club’s owner to pay them $50 — a low payday even in 1970. It’s not war. I did the Luck [Reunion livestream] on March 19, and on the 20th, I went down. RB: Absolutely. I just knew I was sick. Tickets . Heck, they were Americana before anybody really knew what Americana was. Above Bismeaux Studio A. Chris and Martin Theophilus (Phantom Productions, Inc.) interviewed Ray Benson at Bismeaux Studio B for the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording. We’re doing it out at the Starlight Ranch, this little old town they built that looks like Fifties Texas. It didn’t even enter my mind. Photo courtesy Ray Benson. Ray Benson and Asleep At the Wheel were American way before Americana was cool. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Greatest Hits Live - Asleep at the Wheel on AllMusic I have another friend who’s an epileptic and moved to Oregon to get her medicine. If Ray Benson isn’t onstage, he can likely be found on his bus, talking music with one of his bandmates in Asleep at the Wheel, big fat joint in hand. Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in 1970 along with several friends, including his former Philadelphia schoolmate Lucky Oceans, a pedal steel guitar … RB: The last line of what I said was, “Don’t believe that right-wing bullshit.” I’d been watching TV and it was the same old bullshit: “Oh we have all the tests we need,” but I couldn’t get a fuckin’ test! We were playing shows with George Strait for 15,000-20,000 people. I’d lost 35 pounds. [citation needed]. Asleep at the Wheel is a contemporary torchbearer for the subgenre of country music known as Western swing, a more danceable kind of country music that originated in the 1920s. Now, there’s nothing we can sell but ourselves. In 2015, Ray Benson published an autobiography, Comin' Right at Ya (co-authored by David Menconi), chronicling his life and the history of Asleep at the Wheel. Because there’s too many people and people go to places they never did before. The 6’7” Ray Benson has been the one constant in Asleep At the Wheel since 1970. Asleep at the Wheel bandleader Ray Benson has announced he’s recovered from COVID-19. Check out their upcoming tour dates here! Nelson has a long-time interest in western swing and had toured with the band in 2007. The Wheel played country standards “Cocaine Blues” and “Truck Drivin’ Man”—as straight as a band could be with a long-haired, barefoot guitarist standing 6-foot-7. Out January 10th. Here’s my assessment of what needs to happen: Everybody needs to understand how to take their damn phone and project it on a flatscreen television. For 50 + years, Ray has overseen the release of 25+ albums, countless tours, and has won nine Grammy Awards. series. We have tickets and exclusive holiday bundles including VIP Zoom meet and greets with Ray Benson or Katie Shore as well as all of your Asleep at the Wheel gift needs available now. Ray Benson (born Ray Benson Seifert, March 16, 1951) is the front man of the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel as well as an actor and voice actor. A… New recipes and food news delivered Mondays, All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed). I would have stayed silent and said nothing, but it was at the exact same time as [John] Prine came down with it, so everybody thought I was gonna die. ... Asleep at the Wheel has sung the gospel of swing for nearly 30 years, garnered all kinds of critical and popular success, and, always, played great music. Want to know where Asleep At The Wheel will be playing next? The stars aligned in 1970 when three friends Ray Benson, Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston moved to Paw Paw, West Virginia (it’s not a … I said, “What’s that?” She said, “It’s a COVID test.”, Twenty-four hours later, they said, “You’re positive.”. I’ve already done a little bit of politicking on the medical side. Frontman Ray Benson phoned in last week to discuss the landmark year few predicted. Him and I are both 69. I don’t want to encourage group gatherings. Watch the teaser video for the upcoming single "I Got Rhythm" from Deborah Silver with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel! It was heartwarming. Ray Benson is the former host of the Texas Music Scene TV show. “I was a child performer. In 1973, their debut album, Comin' Right at Ya, was released by United Artists. Ray Benson is best known as the co-founder of the country music band Asleep at the Wheel.The band, founded in 1969, has won nine Grammy Awards. The Grammy-winning Austin singer-guitarist announced the news on his Facebook page, saying he … Son Aaron, 29, edits movie trailers in Los Angeles. Asleep at the Wheel is a contemporary torchbearer for the subgenre of country music known as Western swing, a more danceable kind of country music that originated in the 1920s. On Aug. 25, 1970, Asleep at the Wheel played their first gig, opening for Hot Tuna and Alice Cooper in Washington, D.C. Category: 1980s, Asleep At The Wheel, Austin, Austin City Limits, Country Music, Fiddle Music, Jazz Music, Johnny Gimble, Music, Music Concerts, Ray Benson, Swing music, Videos By L E February 7, 2020 Leave a comment A Ride With Bob includes the live performance of 15 of Wills’ best-known songs in a plot that interweaves Ray Benson’s present day with various stages in Wills’ storied career. Katie Shore from my band and her husband both had an episode in the end of February and just figured they had colds. Musician - Asleep at The Wheel. This has shut everything down. In 2007, the Austin Chronicle recognized Benson for Male Vocals, Band of the Year, Songwriter, Record Producer, and for the Country Genre. When this happened and all our things got cancelled, the fundraising people said we can do this online and we did all that. Ray Benson, co-founder and frontman of country band Asleep at the Wheel, has detailed his battle with coronavirus. I kind of equate it to horse racing and how stupid we’ve been on that when we’re surrounded by Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Then in October, we had this huge, two-day concert planned, with all these guest stars at the Long Center – outside and inside. In 1970, Benson, a Jewish native of Philadelphia, formed Asleep at the Wheel with friends Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Their “At Home Dance” encourages fans to roll up the rug and two-step. He has since recovered and continues to appear in streaming performances during the worldwide pandemic. Ray is the founder of the world-renowned Western swing band - Asleep at the Wheel. 2020 began as a banner year for Asleep at the Wheel. One afternoon this March, the visage of Ray Benson, founder and leader of the band Asleep at the Wheel, flickered before my eyes. Jan 30 2021 08:00 PM Luckenbach Texas . His son, Sam, 32, has produced the group’s last two albums and plays guitar on them. I’m not well off, but I’m not gonna lose my home or starve. Ray Benson founded Asleep At The Wheel in 1970. In 1990 he founded Bismeaux Records and Bismeaux Studios. Heck, they were Americana before anybody really knew what … RB: Nope. Western swing is what Benson calls "jazz with a cowboy hat," is a thrill to hear live, and thanks in large part to the Wheel’s 40+ years of promotion, is a living and creative genre of music today. In addition to his work with Asleep at the Wheel, Benson is also an accomplished producer whose credits include albums by Dale Watson, Suzy Bogguss, Aaron Watson, James Hand and Carolyn Wonderland; also single tracks for Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Brad Paisley, Pam Tillis, Trace Adkins, Merle Haggard, and Vince Gill. Plans for a 50th anniversary Asleep at the Wheel reunion show and recording session in the band’s hometown of Austin had been done in by the coronavirus. They gave me a flu test and sent me home. Ray Benson has been one of the strongest names in Country Music for the last forty years. Some of the songs you can dance to and some of the songs you can smoke a joint, drink a beer, whatever. Nothing. Asleep at the Wheel … This was the location of the first paid gig for Asleep at the Wheel in 1970, according to lead singer Ray Benson. Nov 16, 2020. About a week and a half ago, they tested for antibodies. The group relocated to Austin in 1973 after a suggestion from Willie Nelson. [5], Benson announced to his followers on social media that he was diagnosed with the coronavirus in March, 2020. I’m dealing with a very sick person who is dying right now and who’s benefitting from the use of marijuana. You can watch the full discussion now on our website. The entire band – Tony Garnier plays with Bob Dylan, Chris O’Connell is in San Francisco, Lucky [Ocean]’s in Australia, Leroy [Preston]’s in Vermont, etc – was coming in to make an album and we were filming that. That’s why I said earlier about the big screen TV. Ray Benson is famous for being the leader of the country band, "Asleep at the Wheel," noted for their Grammy Award-winning exploits.. They were all very temporary in terms of the effect on the existence of a band or venue. He is also a trustee for the Texas chapter of NARAS, a board member of St Davids Community Health Foundation, and a board member and founding member of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). Some 100 musicians have played with Asleep at the Wheel over the years and today Benson remains its only original member. It took 12 days before I was well enough to function. 5.0 (4) See all reviews. That same year, Asleep at the Wheel released their third Bob Wills tribute album, Still the King: Celebrating the Music of … Ray Benson, leader of Grammy-winning country band Asleep at the Wheel, is updating fans about his condition after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Ray Benson, co-founder and frontman of country band Asleep at the Wheel, has detailed his battle with coronavirus. Safe to say you never experienced anything shaking up your profession like COVID-19? We will be playing your favorite Asleep at the Wheel classics and holiday songs from our 3 Christmas records all from the Texas North Pole! I kind of equate it to horse racing and how stupid we’ve been on that when we’re surrounded by Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. These days the kings of Western Swing, Asleep at the Wheel and Benson, with his deep baritone vocals, have come a long way from those humble beginnings. The play continues to tour throughout the country. In an interview, Benson said that when he was on the Board of Directors for Austin City Limits, he urged them to start a spin-off show that focused on Texas bands because Austin City Limits had grown beyond its original scope to become an international show. Some other acts are having people in the audience while they do their livestream. Ray Benson, backstage at ACL Fest in 2018. “I was dizzy, nauseous, and deadbeat tired. We were also celebrating our 50th year and had all these events planed. Benson has been presented numerous awards throughout his career. My right hamstring was so messed up I couldn’t bend over.”, “We used to joke about Asleep at the Wheel being the disaster band because we got stranded when Mount St. Helens erupted, we were playing a gig outside of Three Mile Island when [the nuclear reactor melted down], and we were scheduled to play the White House when 9-11 happened.”, Benson and Katie Shore leading Asleep at the Wheel at ACL Fest 2018, “Fifty years ago, I went to a lecture by Paul Ehrlich, who wrote that book [, “I was on the Marijuana Policy Project board for a number of years. Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson originally revealed on March 31 that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, announcing the news on Facebook.After his story made the news, Benson shared an official statement thanking family, friends and fans for their messages, telling those who reached out that he appreciates it "more than you know." I was dizzy, nauseous, and deadbeat tired. A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19, better known as the novel coronavirus.. Benson revealed his diagnosis via … Against all odds, Asleep At the Wheel is one of these. Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson has tested positive for COVID-19. And that’s not even taking into account law enforcement. Photo courtesy Ray Benson. After being mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine by Van Morrison, they landed a record deal with United Artists. It’s too many people.”. Benson was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2002, was given The Texas Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, and recognized as an Outstanding Producer by the National Academy of Recording Arts in 1988. Do you see this time as an opportunity for the legalization and recreational sale of cannabis in Texas? Fredericksburg, TX . So we have the technology down and we’re gonna start figuring this out. It had been a rough two weeks. Entering the rarified arena of bands lasting a half century uninterrupted, Austin’s Western swing legends planned a … We wanted to tape it outdoors, because some of the guys have compromised respiratory systems. The event was a replacement for the planned "Luck Reunion" scheduled to hold this year. It started as the best year ever. The String – Ray Benson on Asleep At The Wheel at 50. Well, on my computer screen, actually, courtesy of FaceTime. © Provided by Austin American-Statesman Ray Benson, front man for Asleep At The Wheel, performs with Willie Nelson on Austin City Limits for the band's 25th anniversary in 1995. Though the band's lineup has changed greatly over the years (about 90 people have been part of Asleep at the Wheel at some point), Benson has always remained at the helm as the band's driving force. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands. AC: What does that mean for a band in a financial sense, having all those opportunities go away? In the Spring of 2005, Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel began the production of "A Ride With Bob" that follows the travels of legendary singer/songwriter Bob Wills. For God’s sake, Oklahoma has medicinal marijuana!”, GSD&M b-day bash for Asleep at the Wheel leader runs three hours, The unofficial Teapot Party anthem and other half-baked ideas, Ambitions inch higher as the Lege finds common ground on cannabis, One click gets you all the newsletters listed below, Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events. We used to joke about Asleep at the Wheel being the disaster band because we got stranded when Mount St. Helens erupted, we were playing a gig outside of Three Mile Island when [the nuclear reactor melted down], and we were scheduled to play the White House when 9-11 happened. In 2015, Ray Benson published an autobiography, Comin' Right at Ya (co-authored by David Menconi), chronicling his life and the history of Asleep at the Wheel. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. Copyright © 1981-2021 Austin Chronicle Corp. All rights reserved. I was on the Marijuana Policy Project board for a number of years. RB: No. The last thing the police force wants to do is arrest pot smokers. I went to my doctor and I thought I had anemia or something, and she stuck this thing up my nose. 2020 began as a banner year for Asleep at the Wheel. … Join us at 11pm ET for a one-hour New Year’s Eve performance on special episode of Ray Benson’s “Austin Outer Limits” on SiriusXM Willie's Roadhouse, channel 59! Ray Benson is best known as the co-founder of the country music band Asleep at the Wheel.The band, founded in 1969, has won nine Grammy Awards. Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson Announces COVID-19 Diagnosis Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson has revealed that has tested positive for the coronavirus, sharing the news with fans on Facebook on Tuesday, March 31. Paul Shaffer and Vince Gill also perform on this album. Check out the discussion between Terry Lickona and Ray Benson at the legendary Studio 6a to learn this and more! That’s fine, but I think it’s still a little early for that. In 1970, Benson, a Jewish [4] native of Philadelphia, formed Asleep at the Wheel with friends Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Since then, the group has released more than 20 albums and earned 9 Grammy awards. The band will perform at Allegany High School on March 8 as part of the Tri-State Concert Association’s Country LIVE! I didn’t have a fever or cough, but I was sick. Photo by Scott Newton courtesy of Austin City Limits. AC: The state is going to have to go through a massive economic recovery to get past this. Ray is the founder of the world-renowned Western swing band - Asleep at the Wheel. The band, though; it’s so hard to keep a band together, and financially, it’s tough right now. His son, Sam, 32, has produced the group’s last two albums and plays guitar on them. That way there’s a larger than iPad-sized image to enjoy and also some kind of interconnectivity between the audience and the bands. Nonetheless, the irrepressible country torchbearers livestream into living rooms on Saturday. The group relocated to Austin in 1973 after a suggestion from Willie Nelson. He has won multiple Grammys and collaborated with artists from all over the musical landscape, including Willie Nelson and The Chicks. That’S fine, but I think it’s still a little bit of politicking on the 20th I. Had toured with the band, though ; it’s so hard to a! Independent, free press, so we have that technology, but were. All very temporary in terms of the world-renowned Western swing band - Asleep at Wheel. Experienced anything shaking up your profession like COVID-19 and we’re gon na dance. 12 days before I was sick audience while they do their livestream relocated to Austin in 1973 a... 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