Showing posts with label #Elvis Presley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Elvis Presley. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018


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M   Y   L   E   S

Alannah Myles was born in Toronto, Canada listening to FM radio stations that introduced her to an international compilation of music. She was raised in the city of Toronto where she studied to become a graphic artist, splitting time on her family’s ranch in Buckhorn, Ontario and spent her early years competing as an equestrian on the Ontario A Circuit competing in Canada’s prestigious Royal Winter Fair prior to deciding that she would make music her calling. You may click on the link below to visit the family lodge.

Alannah appeared as an actor in TV commercials, modeled, styled wardrobe for local celebrities, worked as a makeup artist and consultant to pay for her early demo tapes in attempts to secure a record deal for her team. Though she was born to a privileged family, she chose to remain independent. After a decade of paying dues; performing concert venues, drinking establishments, nightclubs, coffee houses and hotel bars she spent five long years recording her debut album released by Atlantic Records (Warner Music Group).
Alannah was and will always be married to her music.
The ‘Alannah Myles’ first self titled album released in Canada in the spring of 1989 produced four Top 40 hits, “Love Is”, “Black Velvet”, “Lover of Mine”, and “Still Got This Thing”. Released internationally in 1990, Atlantic records finally hit pay dirt with her number one international smash, “Black Velvet”, winning a Grammy award for best female rock performance, along with several Canadian Juno Awards, a Diamond award for sales in excess of one million in Canada – the only artist who still retains this status for a debut record. After it’s first year of release Black Velvet received the ASCAP award for over one million radio plays and the ASCAP ‘Millionaire Award’ in 2005 for over 5 million radio plays. 
SOCAN in Canada awarded the songs, “Black Velvet” and “Lover Of Mine” each with an award for over 100,000 plays in Canada in 2005 with her #1 hit ‘Song Instead Of  A Kiss” to follow.

Her follow-up multi-platinum album, Rockinghorse (1992) received a Grammy nomination for the title track ‘Rockinghorse’ and three Canadian Juno Awards. Prior to her third, 1995 ‘A Lan Nah’ album she signed with manager, Miles Copeland after attending his annual songwriting retreats in France. After the sale of over eight million records she concluded her alliance with Atlantic Records and in 1997 Ark 21 Records released her fourth record Arrival (1997), which saw the top 40, hit Bad 4 You. 
Atlantic Records cemented Alannah’s release from her 7- 8 album deal with a parting gift, ‘The Very Best Of Alannah Myles (1999) compilation released on WMC and internationally on Ark 21/EMI, re-released as ‘Myles & More’ (2000) on Ark21/Universal Music Group containing hits from all four albums and is scheduled for termination. 
Funds from an out of court settlement with a national Canadian publication afforded Alannah the luxury of spending the time required to record, executive produce and co-write 9 of the 11 tracks for ‘Black Velvet’ leased to an indie label in Canada which has since 2013 been terminated. The album includes a contemporary remake of her classic hit, co-produced with Torontonian Mike Borkosky and Veronica Ferraro from France, mixed by renown producer Terry Brown.

The lease for Alannah’s independently owned 2009 CD, ‘Black Velvet’ was terminated on Sept 1, 2013, repackaged, retitled ’85bpm’ with added tracks including an original re-record of Black Velvet. Returned master recordings of her 1997 ‘A Rival’ CD are now distributed by re-released to all online digital stores and remixed in celebration of her 25th Anniversary.
Expect to hear more music and news for her 28th Anniversary season of 2018.


“Justice is never blind…  She just takes your precious time”.
“A good song lives on til well after we’re gone. It has the power to inspire others and move people’s hearts without their even being fully aware.”
“One Hit Wonder… Yeah, one only needs to get it right once.
“I challenge anyone (including me) to better Black Velvet!”
“God put me on this planet to accomplish a certain amount of things.
Right now, I’m so far behind, I can never die!”


85 bpm


For more information about Alannah Myles visit

And visit her on Facebook at

A  L  A  N  N  A  H     M  Y  L  E  S

And don’t forget to purchase a copy of my book entitled Check the Gs -the true story of an eclectic American family and their Wacky family business … or the second edition entitled … Wacky Shenanigans on F Street- ‘Proud to be Politically Incorrect in Washington DC’ ... available now at You’ll live it!!!

Have a great week everybody!

Thursday, August 10, 2017


R  A  Y   W  A  L  K  E  R 
Ray Walker dropped out of school in 1955, moved to Centerville, Tennessee, where he helped to build a radio station, WHLP, worked with the local Church, and, became the youngest school principal in the history of Tennessee. He came back to college in 1956 and graduated in June 1957, with a BA Degree in Speech, Music, Bible, and, Education; worked for Werthan Bag Company during the Summer. By that time Ray and wife Marilyn's third child was on the way.
Ray continued working for the local Church and, in the Fall began teaching school in Davidson County Schools, where he was Assistant Principal, Coach, and commanded a split seventh and eighth grade class. It was April 1958 now, and through a business call to David Lipscomb College, Ray was put in touch with the Jordanaires by his former Choral Director. Gordon Stoker had called there, just prior to Ray's call, to see if the Music Department knew of a bass singer who might fit their requirements. When Ray spoke with the professor, he said to give them his name, which the professor did. Ray was called that afternoon, auditioned at 11:00 that evening, was called at the school the next day and asked to go to Hollywood to do some recording. The school board let him off, he went, came home and completed his school year of teaching, and joined the Jordanaires, officially, June 1, 1958. 

Since that time, while working with the Jordanaires, he had a successful, daily, morning show, "YOUR OWN TIME" on the ABC Channel in Nashville in 1976.  Ray has done modeling, numerous radio, television, magazine and newspaper commercials (locally and nationally). He was a deputy sheriff (as a liaison between trouble youth and distraught families) for twenty-some years and, as were all the Jordanaires, an honorary member of the Tennessee Governor's Staff in Tennessee for many years.

Among the accolades the group has received during his tenure with The Jordanaires is induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the NACMAI (North American Country Music Association International) Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and others.  Ray was inducted into The Rockabilly Hall of Fame, individually, in 2013.  He was, also, awarded the "Avalon Award", the highest award given for contribution and accomplishment by his alma mater', David Lipscomb University, in 2005.

It is estimated that Ray Walker has been recorded on more than 200,000 songs  and including his professional recording with the Jordanaires, and is reservedly believed to be the most recorded voice in the history of music.

Ray was the Bass Singer in "THE JORDANAIRES" for 54 years and 345 days, when upon the passing of Gordon Stoker, March 27, 2013, "THE JORDANAIRES" as a group, officially, came to an end.  Ray, occasionally, performs with country crooner Ronnie McDowell, and others, in programs dedicated to the memory of Elvis Presley. 

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PURCHASE … Ray Walker’s "Live in Concert" at the New Opry House
This CD contains 14 All Time Favorite songs by Jordanaire, Ray Walker …

You can purchase this incredible CD at

For more information about Ray Walker and The Jordanaires visit …


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And don’t forget to purchase a copy of my book entitled Check the Gs -the true story of an eclectic American family and their Wacky family business … or the second edition entitled … Wacky Shenanigans on F Street- ‘Proud to be Politically Incorrect in Washington DC’ ... available now at You’ll live it!!!

Have a great week everybody!

Friday, January 24, 2014

If Elvis Presley played swamp rock he’d be Tony Joe White –Interview

By Ray Shasho

-An Interview with Tony Joe White “Polk Salad Annie” legendary singer and songwriter:

Raised on a cotton farm in Goodwill, Louisiana and sneaking his daddy’s guitar at night to play the blues, Tony Joe White is a true America icon. White’s passion for the blues became apparent at the age of fifteen after hearing an album by legendary country blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Lightnin’ Hopkins.
Raised on a cotton farm in Goodwill, Louisiana and sneaking his daddy’s guitar at night to play the blues, Tony Joe White is a true America icon. White’s passion for the blues became apparent at the age of fifteen after hearing an album by legendary country blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Tony Joe performed onstage playing mainly Elvis Presley and John Lee Hooker cover tunes. After hearing “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry on the radio, White had an epiphany and realized that he should be writing songs about things he knew. His first big hit “Polk Salad Annie” was released from his debut album entitled Black and White on the Monument Records label. The 1969 single peaked at #8 on Billboards’ Hot 100 and was successfully covered by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

In 1970, a song Tony Joe White had penned entitled “Rainy Night in Georgia” was covered by R&B singer Brook Benton. The song reached #4 on the Billboard charts.
Tony Joe White toured worldwide in the 70’s supporting legendary rock heavyweights Steppenwolf, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Sly & the Family Stone to name just a few.

White also composed various tracks on Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair (1989) album including “Undercover Agent for the Blues” (1989) co-penned with his wife Leann White and “Steamy Windows.” White also played guitar, harmonica and synthesizer on the album. Turner’s manager Roger Davies also became Tony Joe White’s manager while signing with Polydor Records.

White’s popularity soared in the 90’s with the release of the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Closer to the Truth album. White attained additional success with subsequent releases … The Path of a Decent Groove and Lake Placid Blues. Tony Joe White toured Europe with Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton. He also opened for Roger Waters in 2006.

His Uncovered (2006) album on Swamp Records featured guest appearances by Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Michael McDonald (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers) and Waylon Jennings.

Tony Joe White’s most recent release is entitled Hoodoo (2013). The album spawns a brilliant array of swamp rock, blues and boogie with a hint of psychedelic overtones. I gave Hoodoo (5) stars. My favorite tracks are … Who You Gonna Hoodoo Now?“Holed Up” a tune about the gratification of solitude, “Alligator Mississippi,” and a mystical track co-penned with wife Leann entitled Gypsy Epilogue.” The album is superbly produced by his son Jody White.

Tony Joe White is a rare gem in today’s ambiguous music world. He’s an original and could easily be described as a cult hero. White will be performing various southern dates beginning February 12th in Birmingham, Alabama.
I had the rare pleasure of chatting with Tony Joe White recently about Hoodoo his latest album, The inception of “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia,” his friendship with Elvis Presley, and of course my notorious ‘Field of Dreams’ question.

Here’s my interview with legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist and swamp rock and blues icon… TONY JOE WHITE.

Ray Shasho: Tony Joe …how’s it going man?
Tony Joe White: “Good man, how are you doing this morning?”
Ray Shasho: Are you in Nashville?
Tony Joe White: “I live by the river in a little town about forty miles out called Leipers Fork.”
Ray Shasho: Did you grow up in Oak Grove or Goodwill, Louisiana?
Tony Joe White: “I grew up in Goodwill, Louisiana. It really wasn’t even a town; it was a church, a cotton gin, a grocery store, and then farms all around there down to the swamp. Oak Grove was about fifteen miles away.”
Ray Shasho: What was it like growing up in Goodwill?
Tony Joe White: “Well, we really never did see any town at all because there was the cotton fields, the swamp, the river, and we worked to pick cotton and worked the fields back in there. If you wanted to go to town you waited till Saturday and rode with somebody fifteen –twenty miles.”
Ray Shasho: Is that part of Louisiana considered Cajun country?
Tony Joe White: “Goodwill is up in the northeast end of Louisiana about twelve miles from Arkansas. When you head on down south like Baton Rouge or Lafayette, right there is where the line changes, and the food, the language, and the music is totally different.”
Ray Shasho: Who were some of the influences that triggered you into becoming a professional musician?
Tony Joe White: “Down on the cotton farm there was my mom and dad, my older brother, and then there was five sisters in between us, and I was the youngest. Everybody played guitar or piano and sang. But I would just listen back in those days. Then one day I was about fifteen and my brother brought home an album by Lightnin’ Hopkins. I heard that and boom, turned it around man. I started sneaking my dad’s guitar into my bedroom at night and learned the blues licks. I was into Lightnin’, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and then all of a sudden Elvis pops up about that time. We had house parties with all the kids from the Bayou and the blues is all we played.”
Ray Shasho: Did you get to play with some of the early blues legends like John Lee Hooker?
Tony Joe White: “John Lee a little bit back in the dressing room, but I did a whole album with Lightnin’ Hopkins. I played guitar and harmonica on an album called California Mudslide. It was just me and him … he was always a hero.”
Ray Shasho: You’ve been fortunate to play with some distinguished players and artists over the years like …Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and J.J. Cale to name just a few.
Tony Joe White: “Through the writing and my songs over the years and I’d get to go with them into the studio and play guitar or harp… from Elvis to Joe and artists all over the world, I was really lucky with the songs.”
Ray Shasho: You got to know Elvis Presley?
Tony Joe White: “Yea. His producer was a friend of mine here in Nashville and also my publisher. He called us and said hey we’re getting ready to do “Polk Salad Annie” live in Las Vegas and we want to send a plane down to Memphis and pick you and your wife up and bring you to Vegas and watch us record it. So we sat out there for a week and listened to the show every night and hung out in the dressing room. It was so cool man; it was just like me and you talkin’ right now. Later on at Stax Records in Memphis they did a couple more of my songs down there. So we got to hang out a few times. Elvis always treated me really good.”
Ray Shasho: If Elvis only sang the blues, he would be Tony Joe White. There were definite similarities between you and him.
(All Laughing)
Tony Joe White: “Back in that dressing room in Las Vegas, Elvis had an old acoustic guitar. Every night he’d get it and say okay show me another lick. So I’d show him a couple of blues runs and I thought by the end of the week he was going to have it down where he’d know a few licks but he’d forget them each night. But he didn’t have to play.”
Ray Shasho: I always wondered how proficient Elvis was on the guitar.
Tony Joe White: “He only knew a few chords and hung it around his neck because it looked good. He could make a few chords but he really loved the blues licks.”
Ray Shasho: Your first album entitled Black and White had several musicians that had also played with Elvis?
Tony Joe White: “I think the drummer had played with Elvis and the keyboard player played some with him. Most of the boys were living in Nashville and trying to make a living playing country music. So when I came into town and had a little bit of blues hangin’ off of me, it gave them the chance to really go at it in the studio. We had some really good first takes …everything.”
Ray Shasho: Tony Joe, I’m going to include a review of your latest album entitled Hoodoo with this interview in my column. It’s a very original and refreshing sound and I’m giving it (5) stars. Just a great album!
Tony Joe White:It’s funny, across the world …England, Australia and everywhere, I’ve seen more excitement and good reviews on this album since “Polk Salad Annie” and Closer to the Truth. People are really jumping on this album for some reason. People from the press and magazines say the sound on the album is like you guys just walked in, plugged up and started playing, and didn’t think much about it. And I said that’s exactly the way it went down.”
Ray Shasho: A lot of blues albums, especially today, are comprised of classic cover tracks … but you’re an original.
Tony Joe White: “Swamp rock is what most called it in the early days, which is blues that you can dance to. I never really went in for …My baby left me Monday morning…I always liked to try and write something that would make you want to boogie a little bit. We left so much breathing room in the album. Jody my son who produced the album has been listening to me since he was five, so he knew exactly where to leave stuff out and just let it breathe. ”
Ray Shasho: My very favorite tracks on Hoodoo are “ Who You Gonna Hoodoo Now?” and “Holed Up.”
Tony Joe White: “Holed Up” is the catalyst on how we all want to get sometimes man. Get yourself a little trailer house and back it up to a river and stay there. J.J. Cale used to do that. They had an airstream and he was kind of a hermit type guy anyway. J.J. stayed holed up a lot of times.”
Ray Shasho: I sensed several psychedelic riffs on certain tracks on the album.
Tony Joe White:I’m still using the original Wah peddle which I call a ‘Whomper’ that I did on “Polk Salad Annie.” I bought a Tone Bender back in 1968 which is kind of an old fuzz box made in England. So I’m still using those two pieces and that’s where you’re getting that psychedelic feel like the hippie days.”
Ray Shasho: The track “Alligator Mississippi” had an interesting story behind it.
Tony Joe White:Highway 61 out of Memphis, which is according to everybody the old blues road, which the people we’ve been talking about all played up and down that road. “Alligator Mississippi” is just outside Clarksdale and is nothing but a big ole grocery store on the side of the road where a lot of people just hang out in the parking lot, drink, smoke, gamble and everything. It’s just a meeting place in a totally black community. But if you needed to stop there late at night you’d better do your business and get on out.”
Ray Shasho: You collaborated on the track “Gypsy Epilogue"a sort of mystical tune with your wife Leann?
Tony Joe White: “Leann and I write about two or three songs a year together and they’re usually really powerful songs. She did “Undercover Agent for the Blues” (Tina Turner) and Leann wrote most of all that and I put music to it. To me “Gypsy Epilogue” was one of the most mysterious songs on the album. I told her when I first saw the first verse written down … “A gathering of spirits, a scattering of souls …we all are born naked and some will grow old” … I said man where are you headed with this? So we worked on it for awhile and I got the guitar, got the chorus going and then she finished the last part … “No one can see but they hear the dogs bark.” Dogs can see spirits, so anyway she ended it with chill bumps.”

“As a matter of fact, I’m getting ready to go into the studio as soon as we’re done talking and mix two songs that Leann and I just finished. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Ray Shasho: Will those songs be part of the next album?
Tony Joe White: “Yes probably so, I hadn’t really planned on a next one or anything, songs just pop up with us and I’m lucky enough to have a studio that I can just go in anytime I want and call my drummer or bass player and have freedom with it. We do most of the songs on a first take and sometimes I would just sing and play to my drummer or bass player, maybe thirty seconds of the song, and then I’d say okay we’re going to hit record so just play what comes out of your heart.”
Ray Shasho: Both Elvis Presley and Tom Jones recorded your song “Polk Salad Annie.” Which version do you like best?
(All Laughing)
Tony Joe White: “I’ve got to say, I love Elvis’ version of it because watching him do it live every night …it really shook him up. Man, he would catch fire. He told me that he felt like he wrote the song. I said… well, you probably ate a lot of Polk growing up. But it set him on fire man.”
Ray Shasho: When you think of Elvis’ musical repertoire, “Polk Salad Annie” was always an important song on his setlist.
Tony Joe White: “I know … it was the first song that I got cut by someday else from my first album. Brook Benton did “Rainy Night in Georgia” and they sent me a copy in the mail on a 45rpm and I played it around fifty times in a row. I couldn’t quit listening to it and how someone else could grab your words, interpret it, and just make you feel the whole thing. So after hearing Brook I learned how to sing it myself.”
Ray Shasho: “Rainy Night in Georgia” is such a beautiful song, what’s the origin behind it?
Tony Joe White: “When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real but hit pretty close to the bone, and lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.”
Ray Shasho: Tony Joe, my favorite version of “Polk Salad Annie” is yours. It’s one of those classic late 60’s hits that helped define the decade.
Tony Joe White: “They’re still playing it somewhere and when I hear it I always turn it up like it’s the first time. All of a sudden in the midst of what was happening music wise on the radio, ole “Polk” stuck out like a sore thumb. But then it stuck out in the right way.”
Ray Shasho: Tony Joe, here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview. If you had a ‘Field of Dreams’ wish like the movie, to play, sing or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that be?
Tony Joe White:Man, I’ve just about covered them all. But I’d say Sade. I’ve loved her music for so long and we’ve had the same manager. Roger Davies managed Tina Turner, Sade, me, Joe Cocker …and so we’ve seen each other a good bit. I’ve told her that we’ve got to hook up one day and she said that she loved my guitar and we’ve got to do it. We’ve talked about it for about seven years and so far we haven’t done it yet … but still maybe.”
Ray Shasho: Any tour dates coming up?
Tony Joe White: “We’ll be going out in February but I think most of the dates are in the south. I’m sure we’ll be back in Europe or Australia in April. I always like to go back to Australia especially because the people over there remind me of early Louisiana or Texas days on a Saturday night. Either way it’s good to play in America for awhile.”
Ray Shasho: Tony Joe, thank you for being on the call today but more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us and continue to bring.
Tony Joe White: “Thank you for calling Ray …take care man!”

Tony Joe White official website
Tony Joe White tour dates
Purchase Tony Joe White’s latest release Hoodoo at
Tony Joe White on Facebook
Tony Joe White on Twitter
Tony Joe White on Myspace

Very special thanks to Jody White

Coming up NEXT…My interview with Geoff Downes legendary keyboardist and songwriter for The Buggles, Asia and YES

Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at

Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at or - Please support Ray by purchasing his book so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting.
“Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I read his on-line classic rock music column on It’s a wonderful read for everyone!”

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Suzi Quatro rock ‘n’ roll heroine in an unzipped exclusive interview

By Ray Shasho

Interview with legendary rocker Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro is an internationally renowned renaissance woman. Although most of her extraordinary achievements in the arts were celebrated outside the United States, she has left a momentous impression as the original first lady of rock ‘n’ roll.

The leather clad, bass guitar slingin,’ Motor City- rock ‘n’ roll queen- Quatro, first gained notoriety in the early 60’s playing venues around Detroit in an all-female garage rock band called The Pleasure Seekers. Her sister Arlene became the bands piano player and Suzi’s older sister Patti Quatro their guitarist. Patti would later become epitomized as a member for yet another all-girl rock sensation ‘Fanny’ (“Butter Boy” #29 Hit on Billboard’s Hot 100).
The Pleasure Seekers shared the limelight in those early days with future rock legends Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and many other acts. In 1965, The Pleasure Seekers recorded two singles, “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” and “What a Way to Die.” In 1968, Mercury Record signed The Pleasure Seekers to a recording contract and the band began touring extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. Also that year, the band toured with Eric Burdon and The Animals.
-Check out the re-released, “What a way to Die” by The Pleasure Seekers available at CD Baby or
With the music scene rapidly changing into heavier album rock format FM radio, the band quickly shifted gears. They formed a new band called ‘Cradle’ which spotlighted the sensational vocalizations of Suzi and Nancy Quatro. Cradle became an incredible psychedelic/hard rock act that toured with groups like The Jefferson Airplane, Jeff Beck, Santana, Ten Years After, Traffic, Mountain, and numerous other bands. The band broke up in 1973.

-Check out the newly released CD by Cradle entitled, “The history” available at CD Baby or (Never released until now) -Notable track, “Ted” is an incredible tune.

Suzi Quatro’s vivacious performances in Cradle caught the attention of legendary British producer Mickie Most (The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, The Jeff Beck Group, Donovan, Hot Chocolate and Lulu). In 1971, Quatro moved to England permanently and signed onto Mosts’ label RAK Records.
Her first single was called, “Rolling Stone” (#1 Hit in Portugal) and featured Peter Frampton (Humble Pie) on guitars, Micky Waller (Jeff Beck Group) on drums and Errol Brown (Hot Chocolate) on back-up vocals. After modest success from her debut single, Most brought in the songwriting and production team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Quatro immediately hit the road on a UK tour supporting the bands Thin Lizzy and headliners Slade.
Suzi Quatro’s second single; “Can the Can” became a #1 Hit in Europe and Australia in 1973. Quatro followed with a string of hits, “48 Crash,” “Daytona Demon,” and “Devil Gate Drive.” Each sold over a million copies.
Quatro supported Alice Cooper on his ‘Welcome to my Nightmare’ tour in 1975 but couldn’t duplicate the notoriety she earned in the UK and Australia. But in 1979, Suzi scored big in the U.S. with the hit, “Stumblin’ In” (#4 Hit on Billboard’s Hot100) a Chinn/ Chapman penned composition performed as a duet with Chris Norman (Smokie).

Suzi Quatro became a household name in the U.S. as ‘Leather Tuscadero’ on the hit Television sitcom, ‘Happy Days.’ Leather was the leader of an all-girl band called, ‘Leather Tuscadero and the Suedes.’ Her sister in the series was ‘Pinky Tuscadero’ a former girlfriend of ‘The Fonz.’ Garry Marshall offered her an audition after seeing a picture of Suzi on his daughter’s bedroom wall.

Most recently in 2005, Quatro was featured in a documentary film called, Naked Under Leather’ illustrating her life and much-esteemed career. Also that year she recorded a tribute song, “Singing With Angels” dedicated to her lifetime idol Elvis Presley at Emerald Studios in Nashville with Presley’s original backup singers The Jordanaires.

Quatro released her self-written autobiography, ‘Unzipped’ in 2007.

In 2010, Quatro was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame.

Quatro released her fifteenth studio album, In the Spotlight in 2011.

Today Quatro hosts a classic rock radio show called, ‘Wake Up Little Suzi’ on BBC Radio 2.

Suzi Quatro will be performing the stage production of “Unzipped,” her one woman show, at the London Hippodrome Casino from October 29th thru November 3rd.

She’ll also be touring in Germany and Russia for the remainder of 2012.

Earlier this year, while stepping on a flight of steel stairs at Kiev airport the day after a gig, Suzi fell breaking her knee and wrist. She was scheduled to perform in the U.S. for the Detroit Music Awards but unfortunately had to cancel. It would have been her first performance in the U.S.A. in over 30 years. I had the rare opportunity to chat with Suzi Quatro last week by Skype from her home in England about her role as woman pioneer for rock ‘n’ roll, her illustrious music and acting career, and when she might be touring America again.

Suzi Quatro has sold over 50-million records and helped pave the wave for generations of women rockers. Some of the women inspired by Quatro are Joan Jett, The Runaways, Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry to name just a few.

Let’s hope the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame realizes that too.

And just think … it all began when her father gave her a 1957 Fender Precision, her first bass guitar, which she still plays today.

Here’s my interview with singer, songwriter, musician, actress, author, and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer SUZI QUATRO.
Ray Shasho: Hi Suzi, you look fantastic … how are you feeling?
Suzi Quatro: I’m feeling much-much better and walking unaided now for about ten days. I’m walking pretty straight but sometimes I dip a little bit when I get tired. I’m driving, swimming, going to the gym, and slowly getting back to normal. I have to build up my stamina a bit, but my bass playing even though I broke my wrist is better than ever, this is coming back three hundred percent.”
Ray Shasho: So how exactly did you injure yourself?
Suzi Quatro: I was in Kiev doing a show and coming home from the gig. It was the following day; I was going to the airplane and had my rolling bag which is heavy by the way, I had everything with me because I try not to check it. Then they took us down those horrible little steel steps that they seem to do now, so I grabbed the handle, my heel got on the step, down I went with all the weight …my hand and the bag which is heavy, I landed on my knee and broke that, rolled and landed on my wrist and broke that, kept rolling and finally came to rest on my chin. So they sent me home because I didn’t want to be there.”

“I was three and half hours on the plane without any treatment, then two and half hours to the emergency room … then of course you wait for them to treat you. Long story short …they misdiagnosed me, two weeks later they discovered that they got it wrong and I had to have the knee cut, bones re-broken, two screws put in … just wonderful! So now I’m suing the emergency room because I didn’t need all that, they shouldn’t be allowed to get it so wrong. I’ve got a scar on my knee that I didn’t need, I’ve missed three and half months work … maybe should have just missed a month. But I don’t like to dwell on it because it’s all over and I can’t change it, so I’m getting myself back together now.”
Ray Shasho: Well you look marvelous, like back in your ‘Leather Tuscadero’ days on Happy Days. I met Henry Winkler about four years ago in Sarasota at a Boys Club function, he had just written a children’s book.
Suzi Quatro: “He’s a sweetheart and one of my favorite people. He, Ronnie Howard and Garry Marshall gave me such nice quotes for my book cover. Henry and Ronnie Howard actually made the book cover for my autobiography. I called Ronnie Howard up and asked him for a quote and he sent me three pages. Typical director … he said, “Well, I wanted to tell the whole story Suzi” (All laughing).”
Ray Shasho: Talk about performing your one woman show on stage in London.
Suzi Quatro: “It’s at the London Hippodrome Casino October 29th thru November 3rd. It’s called “Unzipped,” a walk through my life; it takes you from my childhood to the present day. I wrote the script while I was housebound. So … I’m getting excited because it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.”
Ray Shasho: Any plans on taking the show on the road?
Suzi Quatro: I would love to … of course this is six nights at a small place which is very classy. We’ll test it out and see if it’s as good as I think it is, see how the audience responds, and if all goes like I think it’s going to go, I can take it anywhere in the world. Because it’s interesting you know … we’re talking about a whole life in show business. In 2014, it will be my fiftieth anniversary as a professional.”
Ray Shasho: I think it’s amazing when rockers make that crossover into stage, screen or television. I interviewed Michael Des Barres recently who is another amazing story. Do you know Michael?
Suzi Quatro: He sang on “Woman Cry” and “Ego in the Night” from the Rock Hard album. And I sang on one of his albums when he was in Silverhead. Boy that goes back a long way doesn’t it? But I’ve known Michael for a long time.”
Ray Shasho: I remember when you toured with Noddy Holder and Slade back in the early 70s, and wore those shiny body outfits … I thought you were part of the glam rock scene.
Suzi Quatro: I did one tour with them before I had hits of my own. I did have kind of a sparkly outfit on but that wasn’t me that was just something to wear so I would stand out at the beginning of their show as a guest opener. Then I came into my own with my leather jumpsuit, it was always my dream to wear that. I never ever saw myself as glam because I didn’t wear makeup … my image is a plain leather jumpsuit which is not glam at all. I’ve always seen myself as rock ‘n’ roll and not glam. I think it got confused because I was the only woman around and it was at that time the glam explosion was happening.”
Ray Shasho: You also toured with Alice Cooper.
Suzi Quatro: I did, with Alice in 1975 … I was the special guest on his ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ tour.”
Ray Shasho: Suzi, what were those days like playing the huge arenas?
Suzi Quatro: “It was not stop work. You’re always on an airplane; you’re always in a dressing room, you’re always trying to get some more sleep if you can. It’s the double-edged sword, a combination of all your dreams because you made it, so hooray all my homework paid off, but then it’s the graft of keeping it there, it’s not making it, it’s keeping successful. Anybody can have a hit … it’s the second one, and the third one, and the fourth one … I’m up to 55 million records now which is pretty damn good and still going strong. I’d love to get back and tour America again, we just stopped and I don’t know why that is but I’ll get back there.”
Ray Shasho: Weren’t you supposed to be performing at the Detroit Music Awards recently?
Suzi Quatro: Yes, my injury. I was supposed to receive a longtime achievement award and at the end my sisters did a thing with Pleasure Seekers and Cradle. I was supposed to play with them and then join some other musicians and do my stuff. Of course I had to cancel, that was the first thing I did as soon as I got home from the hospital … after they told me I’ve broken everything. The first person that I called were the people from that show and told them that I couldn’t do it and felt horrible. I hate canceling anything, I’m the show must go on mentality. If you can crawl you can take the stage. But at this point, I couldn’t even crawl, couldn’t even get off the couch without help. So that was not something to play with, it was a serious injury.”
Ray Shasho: You’re actually the second musician that I’ve talked with recently who has been sidelined with an injury. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush developed frozen shoulder from meticulously editing in his studio. Frank’s an interesting guy, he writes theology.
Suzi Quatro: “He can go talk with Gene Simmons, Gene studied that. We had a long, long debate about it one night. Gene’s a smart cookie you know. I love a good debate and always up for the task. I’m one of those rare breed of rock ‘n’ rollers with a brain, probably because the brains still intact. (All laughing)”
Ray Shasho: So many women rockers have been inspired by you. You’re the original queen of rock ‘n’ roll; some even refer to you as a female Elvis, your biggest inspiration. And you wrote a song recently dedicated to the king?
Suzi Quatro: “Elvis is my whole inspiration … and that’s also in the show by the way. My tribute is called, “Singing With Angels” with guitarist James Burton and The Jordanaires …can you believe it! In the show there’s a film clip of making that and it is awesome.”

“I was the first to have success, certainly not the first female musician by a long shot, but the first rocker/musician to actually go out and say hey … we can do this. I became a benchmark for people… if she can do it, I can do it. I didn’t think I was going to change the world for women; I just did what I did. My big thing was that I didn’t change who and what I was to become successful. I will not be told what to do; I’m a real independent girl. I got lucky that the world was ready for this to happen.”
Ray Shasho: I love Joan Jett, but when I watch Joan Jett … I see Suzi Quatro.
Suzi Quatro: “That is a no brainer. She’s not like me now because I’ve moved my way and she’s moved her way. But she took on the original image and made that more punk. When she first came to the UK and had the hit with, “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and it was on TV, people called me and said I saw you on TV you have another hit … great! So that’s a little bit spooky. But saying that, I’m very proud of what Joan has done. She took my inspiration, grabbed it, and ran with it. I give her credit … she’s done very well. One of my favorite songs is “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
Ray Shasho: Have you and Joan Jett ever played on each other’s albums?
Suzi Quatro: No I haven’t and neither has she. I would someday love to do a gig together. That would be fantastic! We’d have to do a few songs together … that would be fun, maybe that will happen who knows. Be careful what you wish for.”
Ray Shasho: You had such an incredible relationship playing with your sisters in those early bands The Pleasure Seekers and Cradle. And your sister Patti would later become a member for yet another all-girl rock sensation ‘Fanny.’
Suzi Quatro: The Pleasure Seekers was from 1964-1969 and for about a year and a half it changed to Cradle. Then I went to England. We worked nonstop because we were girls, so we got more gigs than the guys because it was unusual. We had the novelty factor going for us. Yea, we go back a long way. The Pleasure Seekers was a cover band, but like most bands are before they have their own hits. In Cradle, we decided to up the ante and started to write all of our own stuff so we did a lot of original material.”

“I preferred Pleasure Seekers, my sister and I debate this all of the time, she liked Cradle. I liked Pleasure Seekers because it was a real tight sort of teenage show band which I liked, more of an entertainment band than a serious band. Both bands were instrumental in making me what I am now. In one band I was concentrating on the show and the other concentrating on my bass. So you get the show woman and the bass guitar.”
Ray Shasho: Being from Michigan, you shared the spotlight with some of the greatest rock bands of all-time.
Suzi Quatro: “You name it we played with them, we’re all old friends. Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder, MC5, The Rationals, The Underdogs, Grand Funk Railroad, Brownsville Station. In fact, I’m going to Detroit in August, because this is another thing I had to cancel, I’m doing a big documentary on Detroit for my radio show on BBC Radio 2. I love Detroit and very proud of being from there.”
Ray Shasho: I always believed that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame belonged in Michigan.
Suzi Quatro: “Definitely and when are they going to put me in it. Sometimes they make you wait forever; I don’t want to die for them to put me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I want to get in before that. (All Laughing)”
Ray Shasho: What was the trigger that had you leave the United States and move to England?
Suzi Quatro: I was in Cradle and we were looking for a deal, Elektra Records came to see us and Jac Holzman offered me a solo contract. The very same week … Mickie Most came to see us and offered me a solo contract, so it was obvious that it was my time to go, two offers in one week. Jac wanted to take me to New York and make me the next Janis Joplin. Mickie Most wanted to take me to England and record, and turn me into the first Suzi Quatro, so that was a no brainer … I’m no Janis Joplin and never would be, she is who she is.”
Ray Shasho: “Stumblin’ In” brings back wonderful memories for me because I was a rookie on Top 40 Radio when that song was released, and I played the heck out of that song.
Suzi Quatro: “It was a great song! I had people telling me from America that they heard it nonstop on the radio. I think it was one of Chinn and Chapman’s best compositions, that one and “If You Can’t Give Me Love.”
Ray Shasho: Your album, Back to the Drive was produced by legendary guitarist of The Sweet Andy Scott. I’ve been trying to set up an interview recently with Andy but our schedules haven’t been kind. How did you like working with Andy?
Suzi Quatro: “He’s a friend … I love Andy. We made a very-very good album. A lot of fans think it’s my best album ever. It’s autobiographical, takes you through fifteen years of my life without it being planned, just ended up being that way. And it actually led me into writing the book when I noticed the reaction it was having. People loved hearing the stories so I thought; okay, now it’s time to write the book. But Andy also produced, “Singing With Angels” the Elvis tribute. Working with Andy was great we were always on the same page. Andy and I may do something again in the future.”
Ray Shasho: Why did you choose the bass over the guitar?
Suzi Quatro: “I started on bongos when I was seven, then played piano for quite some time, played percussion in school, and when we started the all-girl band nobody took the bass. So I took the bass. My dad gave me a 1957 Fender Precision ... and I still have it. It was like an epiphany, when I put it on it was completely natural.”
Ray Shasho: Who were some of your favorite bassists?
Suzi Quatro: “Probably James Jamerson is number (1) from Motown. Number (2) is probably Larry Taylor, Canned Heat’s bass player, he was really good, and number (3) is ‘Flea’ from The Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
Ray Shasho: Suzi, did you write your autobiography yourself or had a little help?
Suzi Quatro: “Every single phrase and punctuation mark, I wouldn’t let them change a thing. I said its ether my book or it’s not. If you read it, it’s just like you’re talking to me. I sat down and luckily I’m a great typer, and I just let it flow and started to type.”
Ray Shasho: “In the Spotlight is your latest album, talk a little bit about that.
Suzi Quatro: “It’s gotten probably the best reviews that I’ve ever received in my life and I was humbled by them. The reviews young and old are just unbelievable. I’m very proud of that album. Mike Chapman has done a good job,”
Ray Shasho: How about a message for all your fans in America?
Suzi Quatro: “Get me back to America … the campaign is to get me into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and let me do some gigs in America.”
Ray Shasho: You certainly deserve to be in the Hall and we do miss you performing in America. Suzi, thank you so much for being on the Skype call with me today, but more importantly for all the great music that you’ve given to the world throughout years.
Suzi Quatro: “Thank you Ray, maybe we’ll see you soon.”

Suzi Quatro official website
Order Suzi Quatro’s latest release- In the Spotlight at or on her website.
Hippodrome Casino London official website
Suzi Quatro’s autobiography "Unzipped" available to purchase on

Coming up… recent interviews with Lou Gramm, Steve Hillage, Johnny Winter and Annie Haslam.

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