Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Ep. 179 - RAY BENSON of Asleep at the Wheel ("The Letter That Johnny Walker Read")

Episode Summary

Our guest on this episode of Songcraft is Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel. The 30-time Grammy nominee and 9-time winner is a Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Famer who has released more than 30 albums, and landed more than 20 songs on the country singles chart. He’ll join us in a few moments to talk about his wide-ranging career as a preservationist and promoter of American roots music traditions.

Episode Notes

Scott and Paul talk about the phenomenon of greatest hits album. What does the term mean? When are they necessary? Which artists warrant them, which don't, and when are they woefully inadequate? 

Our in-depth interview with Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel

As the co-founder and only consistent member of the group Asleep at the Wheel, Ray Benson has carried the torch for Western Swing and other formative musical traditions that helped shape the country genre. The band has released over 30 albums, and landed more than 20 songs on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart. Additionally, Benson has released two solo albums, and a duet album with fellow Texas legend Dale Watson. As a producer, he has worked with Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, and others.

Ray has earned thirty Grammy nominations, winning nine of them over the course of four decades. He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, is in the Austin Music Hall of Fame, received the Texas Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and earned the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. In short, this long tall Texan is a living legend.