Ben Wasson, while serving as radar man on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, danced at the local U.S.O. club in New York City to Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue. Little could he know that a short time later he would be in far away Clovis, New Mexico at the legendary Norvajak Recording Studio singing into the same microphone and produced by the same producer, as the late great Buddy Holly. “From New York City to the dusty town of Clovis, N.M. is a stretch of the imagination that’s still a little hard to comprehend.” Ben, like many of the trend setting artists of that era, had the privilege to work under the tutelage of the innovative engineer/producer/composer Norman Petty, who musically influenced the entire free world with his distinctive genius and who is also in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Along the way, Ben recorded with some of Nashville’s greatest talents, namely producers - Tommy Allsup (Rockabilly Hall of Fame), Brien Fisher (Grammy Award Winner), Norris Wilson (Songwriters Hall of Fame) and musicians - Pete Drake (Steel Guitar Hall of Fame), Lloyd Greene (Steel Guitar Hall of Fame), Weldon Myrick (Steel Guitar Hall of Fame), Hargus Robbins (Hall of Fame Honoree), Buddy Harman (Hall of Fame Honoree), and The Jordanaires (Rockabilly Hall of Fame) - many who are now members in the hall of fame. Sweet Country - Legacy Edition represents the communal vigor and vitality of some of the finest country and western musicians of the 20th century.
A note from Ben Wasson:
There comes a momentous time in the life of an individual that forever alters the direction of their path. Such a time for Tommy Allsup, the producer of the first two songs on this CD, was when he lost a toss of a fifty cent coin to Ritchie Valens on February 3, 1959 in Clearlake, Iowa that decided who went with Buddy Holly on the plane. This loss forever changed his life. Ritchie, Buddy and the Big Bopper went down in a tragic plane crash while Tommy was left to grieve the loss of his friends. Tommy has gone on to become one of the world’s premier guitarists and a Texas legend in his own right. My personal thanks to Tommy for his fine work on Lonely Much Too Long and Goodbye Sunshine. It was so much fun back then - let’s do it again!!
"ODE TO BABY BOOMERS"
©2006 (Caper Records)
Review by Lucky Boyd
As its name suggests, this album will appeal to your memories of the late 50s and early 60s. Ben Wasson worked a great deal in those days picking for some of the top acts of the day. After a quarter century, Wasson has grabbed his guitar and headed to the studio for a new millennium solo album. Listening to this disc will truly take you back to a simpler place and time. You'll find yourself lost in time as Wasson wanders effortlessly through a collection of original material peppered with great covers including W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." Wasson's voice is most Elvis-like on "Winds of Change" and you might hear influences from Holly and Orbison thrown in on several tracks. Wasson credits his son, Brad, with getting him back into the studio. Well done, son. If there's anything the music world could use right now it's a nostalgic musical bridge between where we are and from whence we came. Baby Boomers rejoice!