Recording Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Today we wanted to bring you some behind the scenes footage into the recording process behind one of the worlds most prolific performers of all time, Elvis Presley. Here we’ll be diving into the mindings of the audio engineers who crafted some of the most influential and listened to music in human history, and what their expertise has brought into the equation. The first video is a documentary titled If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This exciting film revisits Elvis’ unmistakable voice and features brand-new orchestral accompaniment, along with a duet with Michael Bublé, and appearances by Il Volo and Duane Eddy.

Audio engineers are the silent magicians behind the music we consume on a daily basis. Many of them prefer to keep it that way too. For them, the love of the craft goes far beyond the song itself and into every detail along the way that brings the music into fruition. Among audio engineers is the term “gear junkie,” which describes someone so enthusiastic about the music equipment they essentially become hoarders  and collect more tools than they often have uses for.

We wanted to know the key tools that would be necessary to capture the voice of Elvis and why they are so essential. This was important to us because we know many of our readers are musicians themselves and are trying to create beautiful music of their own from their home studios. The complication in this particular scenario is the fact that technology changes really fast, and much of the recording studios of yesterday carried plenty of gear that is not typically found today. It tends to be clunky and inconvenient for the demands of modern recording but one thing that is undeniable is this vintage gears undeniable character. Without getting to technical, this comes down to circuitry and electronics. Manufacturers of modern music recording gear are very aware of this and either use similar components or model their components off the old ones.


The above image is from Decca Studios which was a recording facility in Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, North London, England. Since 1929, the studio saw the likes of Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, John Mayall, The Moody Blues, and The Rolling Stones. Consoles nowadays are much more advanced, but the concept remains. A single channel receiving audio will have the signal running through a series of EQ, compression, preamps, and perhaps a few processors before it is recorded. These color and define the signal going into them, and in some cases, their parameters can be altered later on. In some cases non. This was the job of the audio engineer.

What we find now is these individual pieces of hardware that existed on a single channel are now sold individually as consumer products so that the modern musicians can build their signal path as they please.

“So how do I sound like Elvis?” you may be asking? We first of all, no audio engineer would first answer with anything else than to sound that good you’ve gotta be that good. No piece of hardware or software will get you there, although they can really help. The vocal microphones Elvis used may have been hot in their day, and in some cases could still be. In order to get that vintage sound you’d have to get your hands on a vintage microphone. This is likely not within your budget and because many other factors are at play in getting this sound you’re best to find something that works within your budget, and find a good engineer who can treat your audio to help you get there down the road. Here we’ve included a link to a complete vocal microphone buying guide:

Next in line, one elements that will influence the tone of your recording more than any other in the signal path will be a microphone preamp. Again, these are now manufactured in smaller individual units fit for a home recording studio. At times, microphones can need a little boost to get the volume up to what’s called ‘line level” so what happens is their signal is put through a preamp. The job of the preamp is to boost the level and in doing so, a preamp gives the signal a sonic fingerprint and definition before sending it to the next unit in the signal path. This is due to the preamps circuitry. Some preamps contain hot glass tubes which power this circuitry and give off a vintage character that we describe as “fat” and “vibey.” For a complete guide on microphone preamps perfectly suited for recording vocals in a home studio, visit:

The fact is, these old studios run entirely on hardware which has a sonic footprint of their own, every aspect masterfully controlled by the engineer. The remarkable tone that we identify in a recording as uniquely Elvis Presley is undeniably connected to the tools of the day. These sounds can be quite successfully replicated, but at the end of the day, that’s all you’re doing: replicating. Not originating.

For more buying guides and product recommendations for home recording, visit Hollagully. They’ve got a wealth of information to get you set up and rollin.

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Eddie Hinton, June 15,1944-July 28,1995

eddie-hintonWith more gravel than an Alabama back road, Eddie Hinton’s “hard singing” approach was as much a part of his unique appeal as his poignant lyrics.

In the early years, he worked with bands like The Spooks and The Five Minutes playing fraternity dances and dingy Southeastern clubs, then became one of the first outside musicians to move to Muscle Shoals, where he played lead guitar for Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section from 1967 to 1971.

As a session guitarist, Hinton played on hit records recorded by Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers, The Dells, Paul Kelly, Johnny Taylor, Elvis Presley, The Box Tops, R.B. Greaves, Boz Scaggs, Evie Sands, The Looking Glass, Toots Hibbert and Otis Redding.

He has toured as guitarist for R&B greats, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and Ted Taylor.

Redding was the performer that had the most obvious influence on his style…an influence that appears not only in the vocal phrasing, but also in the attitude of the songs themselves.

“Redding had the attitude of a man succeeding in the world,” Hinton said, “especially with men and women.”

It is this attitude that gives Hinton’s songs the gift of hope in seemingly hopeless situations. The quality of these songs has been recognized even from the early days. They have been recorded by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Bobby Womack, Cher, Tony Joe White, Gregg Allman, Bonnie Bramlett, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, The Box Tops, The Sweet Inspirations, UB40, and the Nighthawks.

It was also in Redding that Hinton saw “Somebody who would go out and go ahead and sing what their soul is telling them to do.”

It is with this in mind that Hinton created his startling soul searing style. The music also reflects the rhythm and power of miles walked in pride and determination.

Neither the years nor the music industry were kind to Hinton. His personal recording efforts were untimely. In 1977 Hinton worked with producer Barry Beckett and the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section which resulted in the release of his Capricorn Records album “Very Extremely Dangerous.” The album was critically acclaimed, but coincided with the fall of that record label, and left Hinton emotionally battered.

hintonIn 1982 Jimmy Johnson of the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section took Eddie into the studio and recorded six songs for a proposed album. The project was never leased, and it looked as if the material would become forgotten. The disappointment combined with a divorce sent Eddie into a tailspin.

As his personal life unraveled, changing musical trends saw the upsurge of Disco and the passing of many opportunities for live bands. Eventually, Hinton found himself living on the streets of Decatur, AL. It was there that he ran into an old friend, John D. Wyker. Wyker, a native of Decatur, had known Hinton since the early 60’s in the University of Alabama drum and bugle corps. He had also served his time in the rock and roll wars, and was sympathetic to Hinton’s refusal to take a handout.

Eddie was sitting on a bench at the bus stop in front of the Salvation Army when I first saw him,” Wyker said. “He had his clothes in an old garbage bag and a small handleless suitcase.” Wyker, who was engaged in forging his own comeback, realized Hinton actually had more to offer in his intense emotion packed songs. So with the help of friends Owen Brown and Jeff Simpson, he began guiding Hinton through his paces in Birdland Recording Studio. The project was merged with the songs recorded by Jimmy Johnson, resulting in the favorably reviewed “Letters From Mississippi.”

The album rekindled Hinton’s career. Released throughout Europe, Hinton found himself performing again. His performances throughout Alabama were widely reviewed, but his personal devils persisted and his shows were inconsistent.

As the decade came to a close, “Letters From Mississippi” had been released in the United States, first as a Swedish import by Rounder Records, and later as a collectable CD issued by Mobile Fidelity Audio. Having proven Hinton to be a marketable artist, Wyker moved Hinton to Bullseye Blues records, a subsidiary of Rounder. There Hinton recorded two albums “Cry And Moan,” and “Very Blue Highway.”

His health was improving, and having reconciled his relationship with his mother, Hinton moved back home to Birmingham. He continued to write startling songs, and attracted the attention of an Italian promoter who arranged a short tour of Northern Italy.

He had returned to Birdland Studio in early 1995 to record a new album, and had recorded tracks and vocals. As he prepared to return to the studio to finish the recordings, Hinton suffered a fatal heartache.

During his last years, Eddie had put many of his demons behind him. He had renewed the relationship with his mother, and it became easier to catch him with a smile on his face. The hard living, walks between Alabama cities to visit friends, and manic moments were no longer a part of his life.

The good life now began to take it’s toll, however, he gained weight and got little exercise. It eventually became his undoing.

Now that he is gone, his legend continues to grow. None of us who knew Eddie will ever forget his explosive moments. Nor can we forget the waves of kinetic emotion generated by his better performances.

He is missed.

– Dick Cooper

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The Bill Chase Story


This page is dedicated to the remembrance of Bill Chase and all his recordings that have stood the test of time… …Still, amoung the finest trumpet recordings ever made, here, he lives on… 

“Bill Chase is trumpet”

Twenty three years after his untimely death in a plane crash, Bill Chase is still recognized as one of the premier exponents of Jazz-Rock fusion. Earning his laurels in the lead trumpet chair for bands headed by Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, and Woody Herman he went on to establish his own group to explore the area between Jazz and Rock.

Classically trained as a youth, Chase graduated from Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he studied under Herb Pomeroy. He also studied with Armando Ghitalla of the Boston Symphony. Chase’s parents encourage his interest as a child, offering violin lessons first, then were supportive as his enthusiasm moved from instrument to instrument.

Although his father had played trumpet as a member of the Gillette Marching Band, Chase did not recall him as an inspiration for that instrument. His mother’s side of the family was also very musical. His grandfather was able to play the piano by ear, and his great-uncle was first trombone player with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and Enrico Carusso.

After high school Chase began studying at the New England Conservatory, but a difference of direction with the Trumpet professor sent Chase in search of other instruction. He was soon at the Berklee School of Music studying with John Coffey. Although Coffey was a trombonist, he also taught trumpets at the school. “Coffey’s whole teaching was correct embouchure. That was one thing he corrected me on right away. I was definitely not using my lips properly. The placement of the mouthpiece on my lips was wrong and he corrected that for me.”

Chase credits Ghitalla with giving him a “groovy attitude” towards the trumpet. “He loves the trumpet–absolutely loves the trumpet,” Chase said. “I developed a thing like that too. I love to play it. I chaseclove the sound of it, and as I play and get older, it gets stronger. The longer I play the trumpet, the more I like to play it, the better I’m getting at playing it, and the more fun I have with it.”

It was while still a student at Berklee in 1952 that he was invited to an event which changed his direction. A fellow student asked Chase to attend a Stan Kenton performance. “Those were the days when Maynard Ferguson was in the band, playing all that powerhouse horn,” Chase told Los Angeles Times writer Leonard Feather during a 1971 interview. “My ears opened up like a parachute. I couldn’t believe him! All that night and next day I was making noises to myself, trying to recapture Maynard’s sound.”

He was soon immersed in the big band sound, buying up all the records he could find, and comparing their lead trumpeters. His Berklee instructor, Pomeroy, was also trumpet-leader of a Boston orchestra, and Chase was soon a member of that band. “One night,” Chase recalled, Maynard Ferguson came into the club. “I told him, if you ever need a trumpet player, call me up. To my amazement, not long afterward he did.”

Chase played with Ferguson about a year, then later gained experience aboard the Stan Kenton bandwagon before spending most of the early and middle 1960s with Woody Herman.

“That was hard work–I had to play lead trumpet and set fire to the whole band. Even when we saw nothing but buses and hotel rooms and ballrooms, when my chops were beat or swollen, I just forced myself to keep going. Woody was an inspiration; he’s a true pro. He showed me that my primary duty was never to let the public down,” Chase said. The respect was mutual. Herman recalled Chase to be the best “lead Trumpet” to pass through his band.

This page is dedicated to the remembrance of Bill Chase and all his recordings that have stood the test of time… …Still, amoung the finest trumpet recordings ever made, here, he lives on… 

“Bill Chase is trumpet” After leaving Herman’s band, Chase found himself in Las Vegas, working as a freelance musician and arranger, with artists such as Vic Damone, Johnny Carson, and others. It was also at this time that the Beatles came on the scene, and his interest turned toward rock. He was soon writing blistering arrangements combining the best of both worlds.

As the 1970s began, Chase found himself thinking of creating his dream band. The group evolved over six months into the four trumpets, four rhythm instruments and one vocalist arrangement which earned the group a “Best New Artist” grammy nominationin 1971.

When his group Chase blasted on the scene with “Get It On,” Chase rocketed to national attention with his horn section using to full advantage delicate contrapuntal figures, swinging riffs, cdgramyingeniously-scored colorations as well as powerful climaxes. All lying atop the potent rhythmic base of the group.

The trip to the top was swift. Chase was soon in demand by Johnny Carson, The Smothers Brothers and many of the other hot variety shows on television. His live performances entranced audiences around the U.S. and abroad, and the dynamic excitement of his musical arrangements captivated music educators. His “Get It On” was a staple of halftime performances across the nation.

He played both rock and jazz concerts fitting in with both audiences, and winning the admiration of musicians in both genres. In 1974, Chase chartered a plane to take him and three band members to a performance in Jackson, MN. The weather was bad with a low ceiling, and the airport in Jackson had little communications equipment. The plane went down, but was not found until the next day. There were no survivors. – Dick Cooper

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A Little Helping Hand

What do the following entertainers have in common? Shoji Tabuchi, Doug Gabriel, Jess Hudson, Michael and Kelly Jackson, the Texans, Buddy Green, Terry McBride, Lori Locke, George Giddens,Chisai4 Fred Carpenter, John Paul Cody, Linda Davis, Cliff Wagner, David Evans, Shauna Smith, Sami and David Straub, Bill and Randy Brooks, the late BoxCar Willie, Buck Trent, Johnny Long, Bill Holden, Jack Robertson, Susan Hudson, Scott Reiley, Joe Tinoco, Lonnie Smith, Craig White, Rick Inman, Randy Hardison, Dennis Parsons, Steve Tennehill, Kenny Walker, Kimberly Dawn, Dean Church, Shane Vorhaban, David Milligan, Greg Bailey, Jerry Dykes, David Houseman, Ava Barber, and many others.

Answer: They all had their first regular performing job in Branson with Chisai Childs at her Starlite Theatre on West Hwy. 76 between 1981 and 1988.

There’s a story behind every one of those names and Chisai is working on a book to tell them.

Some short notes include: Shoji Tabuchi is now amazing audiences’in his own theater. Doug Gabriel has had his own show for several years and is now performing in the new Starlite Theater.

Jess Hudson and Jerry Dykes are performing as “The Two Old Cats.” Michael and Kelly Jackson brought their Texas Goldminers to Branson and performed for many years and are now at the Lowe’s new BransonTown USA theater. The Texans (the Masters Four when they came to Branson) had their own show for years.

Terry McBride, who played bass for Chisai, formed McBride and the Ride and made history. Lori Locke, who started with Chisai when she was 12 years old, is now performing on Splinter Middleton’s Down Home Show at the 76 Music Hall. Shauna Smith is presently staying at home caring for her baby.

George Giddens performed on Campbell’s Ozark Country Jubilee and other area shows and is now with the Jim Owen morning show in Branson and the Pine Mountain Jamboree in Eureka Springs, AR., in the evening.

Fred Carpenter played fiddle at the Starlite and is now with Emmy Lou Harris. Linda Davis is now a major country music star. Cliff Wagner, who was the first non-country performer in Branson with his singing and dancing, is now with the Presleys.

David Evans played keyboard for several Branson shows and is now in the ministry full time.

David Straub had his own show before being killed in an attempt to rescue young men on Baird Mountain. His widow, Sami, performed with the Presleys and is now in full-time ministry with her new husband, David Stauffer. They have the Sunday morning worship service at the Braschler Theater.

BoxCar Willie bought a Branson theater and performed until his death from leukemia. Buck Trent has his own breakfast show at Wintermute’s Dinner Bell Restaurant. Johnny Long is now with Jeannie Kendall.

Bill Holden performed with Tony Orlando and the ’50s Show. Jack Robertson had two top-100 records on the Billboard charts. Joe Tinoco and Lonnie Smith are now with the Disney organization.

Craig White is now the performance director at the Remington Theater. He and Rick Inman were drummers for Chisai. Randy Hardison went on to the Grand Ole Opry. David Houseman is now producing and directing for his production company, Table Rock Entertainment.

Dennis Parsons, Steve Tennehill and Kenny Walker were the first horn section on a Branson show. Kimberly Dawn is recording for RCA. Dean Church has played fiddle for several Branson shows and is now with the Braschlers.

Shane Vorhaban, John Cody’s son, is with the ’50s Show and Remington Theater. David Milligan is with the Presleys’ and has his own recording studio. Greg Bailey has been on several area shows and toured with Loretta Lynn. Eric Steele is with the Platters and Ava Barber is back in Branson on the Welk Show after having her own show at Myrtle Beach.

Bill Brooks formed his own show, “Bill Brooks Family and Friends.” The Cody twins had their own show, “Cody Country,” and Buddy Green performed in his own show.

Greg Bailey was the first band member hired by Chisai after she purchased the theater. “I got the keys and went down to open the theater and Greg was sitting on the ground on his crossed legs,” Chisai said. “I said, ‘Can I help you?’ and Greg said, ‘I come with the theater.’ He went on to say he had been hired and didn’t get to start work before the theater was sold. ‘So, I come with it,’ he said.”

Dean Church attended the Starlite show when he was 14 years old. At intermission, he approached Chisai and said that his dream was to play the fiddle with Shoji Tabuchi. “I asked him if he could play the fiddle and he said he could,” Chisai said. “I put him on the second half of the show and he was able to fulfill a dream as well as get a job.”

Chisai will go down in history for many Branson firsts. They include tributes to Wayne Newton, Tony Orlando, Glen Campbell and Andy Williams, with all of them coming to Branson with their own theaters later. The Starlite did segments of Broadway shows and musical movies with full costume and set changes. They included the Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, Mary Poppins, West Side Story and Copacabana.

Other firsts included a full-time hair and make-up person backstage; tours of backstage for bus groups; Christmas Special with live two-hour television coverage; New Year’s Eve show; the first show to change its schedule every night; specials for Mothers’ Day, Independence Day and Easter; going year ’round in 1983; first horn section; first dancing other than clogging; first ’50s show on Thursdays and Big Band show on Saturdays; first weekly television show from Branson; first twin baby grand pianos; and first with a stage lift and revolving stage.

The television show, “Chisai and the Ozarks,” was totally paid for by Chisai and featured all Branson performers on Springfield channel 33 at 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Chisai also had the first live radio show from Branson, “BoxCar’s Bandstand.” She was also Branson’s first female to own a Branson show, perform comedy and emcee the show.

Chisai’s dressing room was a favorite of those taking backstage tours. There was a crystal candelabra hanging from the ceiling. Lighted mirrors reflected the racks of costumes with beads and glitter. A Plexiglas wall contained sparkling earrings, combs and necklaces. Widebrimmed hats covered a hall tree and furs and flowers were stored along with more costumes and wigs. All was looked after by a full-time hair dresser and wardrobe mistress.

Chisai’s road to Branson started with her birth in Tokyo, and that explains her first name. She started entertaining at the age of six. After being named Miss Talented Teen in 1965, she toured seven countries, entertaining service men at USO shows.

Chisai owned her own dance studio for many years, teaching all types of dancing from ballet to acrobatics. She has always been interested in country music, along with all other styles of music. She owned the Grapevine Opry in Texas where she made friends with many of the country’s biggest stars when they performed for her show. BoxCar Willie was a regular on the show. The Opry was named the fastest-growing country music show in America. All that led to a performance at the Grand Ole Opry by Chisai.

Chisai entertained by singing, dancing and performing comedy. “If it comes right down to it, I suppose I get more enjoyment out of doing comedy than anything else;’ she said. “My most favorite thing in the world is to make people laugh.”

…from the Branson’s Review — Oct/Nov 1999..

Willie Nelson’s Impromptu Visit to Chishi’s Grapevine Opry…

…( Phil ) York stopped the session ( a recording session with Willie )so that he could drive to Grapevine for the radio broadcast, and Willie, his sister Bobbie, Paul English and Jody Payne tagged along, ….

Miss Childs received a call from York as he ( York ) was leaving the studio in Garland telling her that he would arrive just before the radio portion of the show began, and that he was bringing Willie. She thought York was joking, but soon learned how serious he had been.

“I was in my dressing room, ” Chisai said, “when he came in we shook hands, and he introduced himself. We went backstage, and a local group, the Focal Minority, was performing. They had just finished the second song in a six-song set when Willie said, “I want to play.” I said, “Now?” and he said, “yes.” We were near the end of the first show, with an audience for the second show in the lobby.

I went on stage and told the group they were through. A member of the group argued that they had only sung two songs and they had four more to go. I told them “no, they were through, and Willie and his band started plugging up.” I told the audience they had to get up and let those with tickets for the second show have the seats, but that they didn’t have to leave. We opened the doors to the lobby and then opened the doors to the theater. We soon had a crowd of a couple thousand people spilling into the street.

“Willie didn’t have a bass player with him, so I told my bass player to stay on stage and play with him,” Chisai said. Willie was at the pinnacle of his career, and gave one of the most heartwarming performances he has ever recorded.

He played for 45 minutes, and then moved outside to sign autographs and talk with his fans. He stayed until he had signed everyone’s autograph and had his picture made with everyone that wanted one.

“The performance was great for the Grapevine Opry,” Chisai said. “After that it was cool for world class performers to just drop in at the Opry, and over the next six months it happened again and again. Just because Willie Nelson had made it cool.”

Edited excerpts from “The Story Behind It All” by Dick Cooper

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The 90’s flare of Primal Therapy


Primal Therapy were a 10 piece Toronto-based band that was inspired by the group Chase, whose 1971 hit “Get It On” topped the charts. Chase was at the height of their popularity, along with groups like Blood, Sweat and Tears, Chicago and Lighthouse. Bandleader Brian Scriver assembled Primal Therapy to resurrect the music of Chase with a 90’s flare.

Brian Scriver – Leader, Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Humber College graduate; trumpet teacher; recorded/performs lead trumpet with Big Bands, jazz, and rock groups.

Vincent Murray Thomas – Vocals
Humber College graduate; vocal training by opera singer Maria Pellegrini; lead vocals/trumpet in musicals; performs in a Latin band; leads a progressive alternative rock group “Hammerthumb”.

Lara Klymko – Vocals
Vocals, piano; background in Opera, Classical and Jazz; leads a progressive alternative rock group “Bridge the Groove”.

John Minnis – Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Vocals
Graduate Western University; lead trumpet/vocals/guitar/keyboards at Deerhurst Resort; toured Canada and the United States in various show bands.

Bob Rice – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Humber College graduate; professional Toronto jobbing musician.

John George – Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Vocals
Laurentian University Undergraduate; Bachelor of Arts- Music and Classical studies; Lead trumpet in Toronto area Latin and Big Bands.

Evan Tarleton – Bass
Humber College Music Faculty; extensive performing/recording with jazz/classical ensembles, country/western groups, rock and Big Bands; upright and electric bass.

Anesti Karntikis – Guitar
Humber College graduate; professional Toronto jobbing musician.

Dean Stone – Drums
In various groups including “One Step Beyond” – instrumental funk group touring Canada and the United States.

Anthony Panacci – Keyboard
Humber College Faculty; professional Toronto studio musician; performed with Liona Boyd.

Anesti Karntikis – Guitar
Humber College graduate; professional Toronto jobbing musician.

Primal Therapy
n. (pry-mal th’e-rapi) a method of psychotherapy that treats neurosis by teaching patients to relive traumatic experiences and to express feelings through Angry Screaming and other verbal or physical acts of aggression.



Band Members have very eclectic backgrounds from opera to rock, chosen not only for their musicianship but for their youthful energy – an energy that is essential to a group of this nature. The excitement generated by Primal Therapy is due to its unique instrumentation, soulful vocals, complex and powerful horn lines, extended jazz solos and a potent rhythmic base.

Past performances include the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, Beaches Jazz Festival, Celebrate Toronto Street Festival,

Hamilton – Hess St. Jazz Festival and Markham Jazz Festival.

Not for the weak at heart, this band, at full cry, will knock your fillings loose!!

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A Man of the Trumpet: Walt Johnson



Played lead trumpet on the album “CHASE WATCH CLOSELY NOW” 

Toured and recorded as lead trumpet with ELVIS PRESLEY until his death


Received Platinum Album from LIONEL RICHIE for his work on “ALL NIGHT LONG” 

Recorded several albums with BARRY MANILOW

Played lead trumpet on :

all three of the “NAKED GUN” movies





the ROCKY movies





Also, he can be heard playing on many TV shows.Other artists Walt has performed with are Barbara Streisand, The Pointer Sisters, The Commodores, Wayne Newton, Johnny Mathis, Melissa Manchester,Lionel Hampton,Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini and is one of the premier players in the Los Angeles studio scene.



This CD is a enjoyable mixture of trumpet playing by a true master trumpet player, Walt Johnson. Walt has played lead trumpet for a host of top-of-the-charts musicians including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Richie, Joe Walsh, Barry Manilow, and he is presently working with Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The trumpet playing on some of the pieces will evoke memories of the style of Bill Chase, others of Freddie Hubbard, Herb Alpert, Maynard Ferguson, and Chuck Mangione for Walt credits all of these artists with having an influence on his own uniquely personal style of play.

The CD includes pieces in which Dino Johnson teams with his father, Walt, to present an all-Johnson arrangement. Another song is the “Chase” hit of the ’70s, Get It On, sung by Terry Richards who co-wrote and sang for the original recording.

The tonal crispness, the precision of attack, the pureness of each note, and the diversity of the music played on this CD establishes Walt Johnson as one of the premier trumpet players of this era.

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The Diamonds Classic Cuts


It’s bediamonds-1en 47 years since THE DIAMONDS released an instant million selling hit , Little Darlin ‘. The song continues to sell and to date has sold approximately 20 million copies.

THE DIAMONDS, like other creative, forward looking artists, see the durability of the 50’s music as a lesson as much about the future as about the past. “We’ve been pleased to find a growing audience among the age group 25 and up. These people have graduated from loudness and sheer volume, to an appreciation of quality, style, and entertainment value in music. They like songs they can remember tomorrow, or even 20 years from now.”

Part of THE DIAMONDS strength lies in the diverse musical backgrounds of the individual members of the group Top tenor, Bob Duncan, got his first taste of the Top-10 at age 17 with The Safaris. After high school came a brief stint with The Four Preps, then on to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where Bob sang with Westmont’s scholarship quartet. wpe3.jpg (7743 bytes)He later became part of a quartet which auditioned for, and landed a spot on, The Lawrence Welk Show. The quartet stayed with Welk for three years. Upon completion of six years of college study, Duncan’s interest in church music led to a career as a Baptist Minister of Music, first at Downey, then Oxnard, California. He continued his work in television via seasonal specials and commercials. Bob began singing with THE DIAMONDS in 1979, joining long time bass singer John Felton. The group was riding the wave of nostalgia sweeping the country because of movies like American Graffiti and television shows Iike Happy Days.

diamondsC1Bass singer Jerry Siggins has accumulated some impressive musical credits of his own. Jerry worked throughout the United States, Japan, and Australia as a singer and actor. He spent five summers at Jackson Hole’s Pink Garter Theater and has guest starred on The Tonight Show, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and The Love Boat. Before setting down roots as a permanent member of THE DIAMONDS, Jerry enjoyed a successful commercial career and was actively involved in Southern California theater. He sang in a doowop group called Danny And The Dappers and was a mainstay at Disneyland and Disney World as a vocalist with The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. Steve Smith has been the lead singer with THE DIAMONDS since 1982. Bob Duncan notes, “Steve is a powerful lead singer with a recognizable voice, and that’s something every quartet needs.” Steve, the solo male voice on The Lawrence Welk Show for five years in the mid-sixties, also sang lead with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He was very active as a Los Angeles studio singer, working on The Carol Burnett Show, and has sung the theme song for several movies.

Baritone singer Gary Owens has spent the longest time as a Diamond, joining forces with John Felton in 1975. A well rounded musician, Owens learned his craft as a journeyman bass player around Los Angeles while earning his undergraduate degree in music at California State University, Long Beach. In the early 1980’s, Owens took a brief hiatus from THE DIAMONDS to complete his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Southern California. Besides singing, and playing saxophone and flute, Owens does most of the vocal arranging for THE DIAMONDS. In that capacity, he is well aware of the group’s particular effectiveness. “THE DIAMONDS are four distinctive individuals,” he notes, “with one strong group personality. The four of us as a unit have a special chemistry, and it is that chemistry that gives us our unique identity.”


Little Darlin’

The Stroll


She Say

Church Bells May Ring

Why Do Fools Fall In Love

Walking Along

A Thousand Miles Away

Ka-Ding Dong

Zip Zap

One Summer Night


Live and Well

Diamonds are Forever

Classic Cuts

Silhouette From The Past

We’re Still Rockin’

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In the Studio with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Django & Jimmie is a duet album by prolific American country music artists Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. This profound recording by two of the worlds most influential country superstars marks their sixth and final collaboration album and Haggard’s final album prior to his death in April of 2016.

The album was recorded at Arlyn Studios and the heart of downtown Austin, Texas. The studio was built and designed by Steve Durr & Associates in 1984 and is owned and operated by partners Lisa and Freddy Fletcher, Will Bridges, and T Murphey. Arlyn offers three distinct studio spaces and one of the most impressive equipment lists in the entire country, featuring a one-of-a-kind vintage NEVE/API hybrid console and a Solid State Logic 4048 G+.

Django & Jimmie is a fourteen track album produced by Buddy Cannon, and the albums title track is a tribute to musicians Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers.



The Full Moon Ensemble: Music of Scotland, Ireland, and Early America

“Appearing on a bill of world class artists, the Full Moon Ensemble, came, saw and conquered the hearts of the Scottish people. These six talented musicians from Alabama, weave the fine threads of Celtic music into a tapestry of passionate reels and nostalgic ballads. Occasionally we may fortunate to be invited into their magical world, if offered, I urge you to accept their invitation — they’ll take your breath away. HASTE YE BACK!!”

Alex McKinven
Funding Co-Ordinator
The Mull of Kintyre Music Festival

Sadly, it seems that the Full Moon Ensemble Website was lost in a server crash!  It is now being re-constructed.  Please check back soon for FME information!


Allison King

Scooter Muse

Daniel Carwile

Doug Stokes Amy Carwile Randy Palmer

Full Moon Press!!

“…fiery fiddling..soulful singing…there is some beautiful music here..”
Dirty Linen / July 99

“What a wide range of tremendous musical talent! . . A must hear!”
Gary Morrison
Producer / Celtic Jam & Celtic Stages
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

“The Full Moon Ensemble is a great mix of extraordinary muscianship, excellent material, and thrilling vocals by Allison King!…. A huge hit at the festival!”
Chris Moser
Entertainment Chairman / The Atlanta Celtic Festival

“Apparently, The Full Moon Ensemble has been Alabama’s best kept wee secret!”
Andy Donnelly
Alberta’s CKUA Radio Networks “Celtic Show”

“Full Moon Ensemble’s astounding musical talent, accomodating nature, and great wit and humor held each and every audience member captive throughout our 3 day run! Whether intimate settings  such as a tea garden or romping crowds in the Highland Pub, each and every set created more avid fans for the band here in Ontario!”

Deb Dalziel
Music Coordinator
Fergus Ontario Scottish Festival and Highland Games

“The Full Moon Ensemble is a cosmopolitan blend of Irish / American / Celtic influences combining to create a sound both subtle, free flowing and highly imaginative . . . instrumental virtuosity with haunting  arrangements . . one of the finer American Celtic outfits!. . “
John O’Regan
Journalist / Music Critic
Limerick Ireland

“The Full Moon Ensemble do not belie their heritage or forget their roots whether in far off Ireland or nearby in Alabama. This is one of the most amazing bands in all of Celtic music!”
Chris Range
Celtic Grove Radio

“Rarely are my socks knocked off, but when I heard “Full Moon Ensemble”  perform their driving(and I mean driving)  jigs and reels, and beautiful vocals in their sensitively presented songs I knew I had heard a group  unlike any other on the American Celtic festival circuit. Composed of champion musicians  and gifted singers, this group of five has a great respect for Celtic presentation, while incorporating infectious….drive and some exotic percussion. If they are ever in your town–see them!”
Charlie Zahm
Singer / Songwriter
Celtic & Maritime Music

“The Full Moon Ensemble compares with the best known artists of the Celtic genre,  like Altan, Capercaillie and Deanta!  From lovely ballads featuring the beautiful, clear voice of Allison King  and the Guitar work and tunings of Scooter Muse, to the upbeat reels featuring the fabulous fiddling of  Daniel Carwile, this band is loaded with talent!  Anyone who likes the best of the great celtic  genre will eventually find this band’s cds deserving a place in their collection.”
Scott Ericson
Music Sojourn Broadcast Network

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Frank Sinatra Jr. “As I Remember It” and “It’s Alright

As I Remember It

sinatra jr

Old Devil Moon
The Lonesome Road
The Second Time Around
Ol’ Man River
(On The) Street Of Dreams
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Put Your Dreams Away(For Another Day)and Finale
Night And Day
All Or Nothing At All
I’ve Got The World On A String
Why Try To Change Me Now
French Foreign Legion
Fairy Tales
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
My One And Only Love
Three Coins In The Fountain
I’ll Never Smile Again
Can I Steal A Little Love?
My One And Only Love
Only The Lonely
Spring Is Here
All The Way
Theme >From New York, New York
Star Dust –
Clarinet Reflections
My Way
I’m A Fool To Want You
Don’t Ever Go Away


It’s Alright

sinatra jr 2

Frank Sinatra was one of the greatest Pop Icons of the 20th Century. His dominance of popular music for well over half the  century is unquestioned.  His songs have captured the imagination of generation after generation. Only a talent of this magnitude could have overshadowed those of Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The bloodline continues through this compact disc, and advances into areas never explored. Recorded in Nashville by the cream of the city’s finest musicians, Frank Sinatra Jr., has created the Sinatra Pop Country album. The vocal timbre and style assures the lineage, while the impeccable arrangements and production by Billy Strange pull all the elements together.

Just as Frank Sinatra mapped the boundaries of the popular music, Frank Sinatra Jr. is staking his claim in this realm.
Dick Cooper