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IN HIS OWN WORDS

RAY BENSON OF ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

“I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs in what had been horse country, and in the 1950s we even went down to see Gene Autry at a local TV station. I could read music; not enough to hurt my playing! I played tuba in a Dixieland band and improvising was where it was at. We had a blues band in ninth grade, then a square dance band in Vermont. When we played Gloria, Van Morrison mentioned us, and then the record labels came running. We were on the pub rock scene and best friends with Clover [who became Huey Lewis And The News], and we knew Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers on the LA scene, and then Asleep At The Wheel opened for Emmylou Harris.

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