Nashville, TN -- Nashville rock and soul pioneer Buzz Cason will share stories and songs as the next subject of the acclaimed Poets and Prophets series at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, July 5, at 1:30 p.m. The in-depth interview and performance dovetails perfectly with the 10th anniversary of the museum’s Grammy-winning two-disc compilation Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues, 1945-1970, a set cataloging Nashville’s rich and too frequently overlooked R&B scene, and the exhibit it accompanied. Robert Knight’s iconic “Everlasting Love,” which Cason co-wrote and co-produced, is the album’s luminous closer. More Night Train-related events will be announced later this month.
Hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray, the 90-minute program will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum’s Frist Library and Archive. Held in the museum’s Ford Theater, Poets and Prophets is included with museum admission and is free to museum members, although seating is limited and passes are required for admittance. The interview and performance will be streamed live at the Museum's Streaming Link.
Immediately following the program, Cason will sign limited edition, commemorative Hatch Show Print® posters. (Visit the museum’s website for complete admission and signing details.)
The late-night soul music pumped by WLAC into young Buzz Cason’s crystal radio sealed his fate. In 1956, at age 16, the Nashville teen formed and fronted the Casuals, who backed Brenda Lee as one of the city’s earliest rock & roll combos, and toured with acts including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Eddie Cochran. Then, billed as Garry Miles, Cason went solo and scored a pop hit with “Look for a Star” before heading to Los Angeles for a stint with the Crickets. Then it was back to Nashville where he joined Ronny & the Daytonas. He also began building a career as a producer and songwriter.
Cason’s versatility as a behind-the-scenes maestro is staggering: From the soaring pull of the classic “Everlasting Love” and the shuffling soul of Arthur Alexander’s “Soldier of Love,” to the melancholy pop of Ronny and the Daytonas’ “Sandy” and the classic country lolling of Tommy Overstreet’s “Ann, Don’t Go Runnin’,” Cason has written masterpieces in a variety of musical genres. In 1967, the same year “Everlasting Love” first climbed the charts, he produced Clifford Curry’s signature R&B hit “She Shot a Hole in My Soul,” which Cason released on Elf Records, an independent label he started with Bobby Russell.
A testament to Cason’s longevity, he penned a Top Five country hit three decades later with Martina McBride’s “Love’s the Only House.” The Beatles, U2, Pearl Jam, Jan & Dean, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gloria Estefan, Carl Carlton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis, T.G. Sheppard and many others have recorded his songs. Cason also sang back-up for Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison and produced and published early Jimmy Buffett songs. In 1970, Cason opened Creative Workshop studio, activating the recording scene in Nashville’s Berry Hill district.
Now 74 years old, Cason continues to record and perform—releasing six albums in the last seven years. His latest, Troubadour Heart, out on Plowboy Records, revels in his still-potent signature blend of rootsy soul and ambling rock & roll.
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music history. Previous subjects include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Wayne Carson, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Roger Cook, Sonny Curtis, Dean Dillon, Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Kye Fleming, Jerry Foster, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Roger Murrah, Dan Penn, Curly Putman, Allen Reynolds, Mark D. Sanders, Don Schlitz, Whitey Shafer, Red Simpson, Jeffrey Steele, Sonny Throckmorton, Norro Wilson and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.