There will be a Buzz on the night
By John Firminger
When it comes to a musical career, Buzz Cason has done it all – singer, songwriter, musician, sideman, recording artist, record producer, song publisher and author.
In the late 50s James E ‘Buzz’ Cason was a member of The Casuals, Nashville’s first young rock’n’roll combo.
They subsequently became Brenda Lee’s backing band and toured with her around the world.
In the 60s after relocating to California, Buzz had a brief recording career under the name of Garry Miles and recorded a US cover version of “Look For A Star”, theme song from the British film ‘Circus Of Horrors’.
In Los Angeles, he became the assistant to Liberty Records producer Snuff Garrett, producing acts such as Bobby Vee, Gary Lewis and The Crickets, and he worked alongside people like David Gates, Leon Russell and J J Cale. It was with The Crickets, who were – at the time – enjoying a revived career, that Buzz also recorded with, and toured the UK as a member, in 1964, playing guitar, drums and as lead vocalist. They performed at the Royal Albert Hall and appeared live on ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’
It’s as a songwriter that he’s has had probably his biggest successes with “Everlasting Love”, a big US hit for soul star Robert Knight and a No.1 hit in the UK for The Love Affair – and, in recent times, a hit for Jamie Cullum.
Another big success followed with “Soldier Of Love” a big cross-over hit for R&B star Arthur Alexander, and also a massive US hit when revived by rock superstars Pearl Jam. However, the song really went global with The Beatles’ version, included in their Live At The BBC collection.
Joining forces with fellow songwriter, Bobby Russell, a couple of the hits they published and co-wrote were “Honey” a big hit for Bobby Goldsboro and “Little Green Apples” a biggie for Roger Miller.
Other songs in Buzz’s hit list include numerous big Stateside hits like “Sandy” (Ronny & The Daytonas), “Popsicle” (Jan & Dean), “Emmylou” (Oak Ridge Boys), “Another Woman” (T.G. Shepherd), “To Love” (Placido Domingo), “Love’s The Only House” (Martina McBride).
Living up to his name, Buzz (a nickname for someone who’s always busy!) continues to maintain an industrious lifestyle and career in music, as a performer and recording artist, with his latest album ‘Troubadour Heart’ currently on release in the UK.
The album features songs all written or co-written by Buzz, with guest appearances of names like legendary songwriter Dan Penn, Rolling Stones’ sax-player Bobby Keys, and acclaimed Nashville fiddle-player Buddy Spicher. Combining various musical elements from down home country to southern rock, this latest collection defines the collective term, ‘Americana’.
At the end of July, Buzz is making a rare and brief visit to the UK. Included in the daters of shows on the visit, Buzz presents ‘An Evening With’ session at the Regent Hotel, Doncaster on Monday, July 28. It will be a friendly and informal affair, with Buzz performing some of his songs, solo and acoustic, as well as some backed by a small band.
He will include some of the songs he’s had success with as well as acknowledging his association with The Crickets. He and the band were reunited in 2012 at their induction party to the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame.
Because of this connection, the Doncaster date will serve as a special occasion for fans of The Crickets, of whom a number are expected to attend the gig from various parts of the country.
Backing Buzz is a three-piece band featuring highly-acclaimed Sheffield guitarist and sometimes member of The Cruisers, Chris Firminger who also provides a support spot.
Tickets on door; £10, doors open at 7.pm.