Ervin Drake: Songwriter

April 3, 1919 – January 15, 2015

Ervin Drake could be considered one of the greatest songwriters of The American Songbook.  He joined us for a candid interview and his wife Edith shared her perspective as well.  Some of the Standards Ervin Drake wrote include “I Believe” and “It Was a Very Good Year.”  He also wrote English lyrics to the song “Tico-Tico” and “Quando, Quando.”  The songs of Ervin Drake have been recorded Some of the most celebrated singers and musicians of our time have recorded Ervin Drake’s songs including Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Frankie Laine, Duke Ellington, Steve Lawrence, Diana Ross, the Kingston Trio, and Perry Como…just to name a few.  Ervin Drake is also a visual artist and has also worked as a television producer.  He also worked with such legendary acts as Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle.  He was the President of the American Guild of Authors and Composers for many years and was a recognized person in New York’s theatre and cabaret scene.

 

Billy Vera: Singer, Songwriter, Music Historian, Actor

Singer and songwriter BILLY VERA is interviewed for the radio by Paul Leslie. His song “At This Moment” was a #1 hit song, most recently  recorded by Michael Buble.  Billy Vera has been a singer-songwriter of a #1 hit record as well as an actor, music historian and voice-over artist.  His latest album “Billy Vera Big Band Jazz” pays tribute to great black Amerian songwriters from the 1920s-1940s and was recorded at Capitol Records Studio A.  The album features a duet with singer Tamela D’Amico.

 

Michael John LaChiusa: Musical Theatre and Opera Composer, Lyricist & Librettist

In the world of musical theatre, Michael John LaChiusa is well known for his shows including “Hello Again,” “Marie Christine,” “The Wild Party,” and “See What I Wanna See.”  He is respected as a composer, lyricist, and librettist.  In addition to Michael John LaChiusa’s work in theatre and opera, he is also a performer of his own work at concert and cabaret venues.

In this interview LaChiusa talks about his influences, history and work.

Wesley Cook: Singer-Songwriter

Recorded several years ago, this was an in-studio interview and acoustic performances with singer-songwriter Wesley Cook.  He had released his first album “We’ve Been Here Before” featuring only vocal and acoustic guitar.  He performs many songs from this album as well as a few songs that had not yet been recorded and a couple that have yet to be put on an album.  This is an interesting artifact and the performances are soulful and played with great feeling.

 

Billy Gill: Singer-Songwriter

 Listen in and dig the Billy vibe!  Billy Gill came by to tell the story of how he came to be and played a few of his songs “live” and “unplugged.”  The songs make him feel groovy, and he hopes they make you feel groovy too.

 

 

Peter Mayer: Singer-Songwriter

Peter Mayer had returned from Mexico and invited us in to do this interview while also playing many of his songs (old and new) on acoustic guitar.  Mayer had just released his album “Musicbox.”  Both as a solo artist and with his band PM, Peter Mayer has released 13 studio albums and 2 live albums.

This is the perfect introduction to those who are new to Peter Mayer.  For those whoare fans already, you will feel like you were right there…like we were, listening to Peter tell the stories of the songs and then play them.

Roger Cook: Songwriter

Hit songwriter Roger Cook gives a rare interview about his life as a songwriter.  An inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Roger Cook has written songs in the pop and country genre.  Some of his well known songs include “Long Cool Woman in a Blue Dress,” recorded by the Hollies, “I Believe In You” and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” made popular by Coca-Cola.

Some of the songs Roger Cook wrote include “You’ve Got Your Troubles” recorded by the Fortunes, “Good Times, Better Times,” recorded by Cliff Richard, “Home Lovin’ Woman” recorded by Andy Williams, “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” by Gene Pitney and others.  He co-wrote “I Just Want to Dance with You” with John Prine.  Prine recorded it and then it went on to become a major hit for George Strait in 1998.

Cook has also been a recording artist in his own right.  His albums include “Study,” “Meanwhile Back at the World,” “Minstrel in Flight” and “Alright.”

Roger Cook is not only a great songwriter, he’s a great interview subject as you will soon hear.

Peter Buffett: Composer & Musician

Peter Buffett is a prolific composer of music and also a New York Times best-selling author.  He has recorded 17 studio albums, 2 EPs and 33 singles.  Many of his compositions have been heavily influenced by Native American music, but he has never limited himself to a single genre.  In Kevin Costner’s acclaimed 1990 film “Dances with Wolves,” the Fire Dance music was provided by Peter Buffett, one of the most crucial parts in the film.

Peter Buffett is the author of the book “Life Is What You Make It,” in which he shares the story of his pursuit for fulfillment in life.  You will find Peter Buffett to be a laid-back and yes, inspiring man.  You will enjoy his perspective.

 

Maury Yeston: Composer, Lyricist, Educator & Musicologist

Maury Yeston allows us into his musical mind!  He is a composer, lyricist, educator and musicologist.  Perhaps best known for his music and lyrics heard on the Broadway stage, Maury Yeston wrote the lyrics and melodies for “Nine,” (based on Fellini’s film 8½ )as well as “Titanic.”  Maury Yeston is a Tony award winner.  He wrote the music and lyrics for “Phantom,” based on the 1910 novel “The Phantom of the Opera.”  Yeston also wrote a great deal of songs for the Broadway musical “Grand Hotel.”
In addition to several original Broadway cast albums of his songs, a compilation album of his songs was released in 2003, entitled “The Maury Yeston Songbook.”  Broadway actress Laura Osnes released an entire album of his songs entitled “If I Tell You (Songs of Maury Yeston).”

If you are fascinated by the art of songwriting or a lover of musical theatre, this interview will be of great interest.  He freely expresses his thoughts and recollections.  Writers and lovers of songs alike will enjoy this fascinating interview.

Peter Stormare: Actor, Musician, Playwright, Theatre Director

Peter Stormare is known for a lot of roles, including as “the wood chipper guy” from the movie “Fargo,” or “the nihilist” from “The Big Lebowski.”

At the time of this interview, he was playing the role of John Abruzzi on the popular television show “Prison Break.”

What you may not realize is that he is an incredibly talented songwriter and recording artist.  It was U2’s Bono who first encouraged him to make albums.

In this interview, Peter Stormare talks about his music, his friendship with Jeff Bridges, his band “Blonde From Fargo,” and the television show “Prison Break.”

We hope we have the chance to interview Peter Stormare again!