For four decades, Buzz Cason has invented and reinvented himself. It all started in 1956, when
Cason, then an Inglewood, TN teenager and junior at Isaac Litton High, was given the opportunity to
lip-synch "White Christmas" on the Noel Ball Saturday Showcase, a local talent show on WSIX-TV
(ABC), then Channel 8. Reluctant to delve into a television musical, Jim Seymore, a fellow art
student organizing the show told him, "It'll be fun and there'll be lots of girls there!" His
intent has been to be on the other side of the camera, possibly studying film directing in college,
but the idea of performing (with girls!) suddenly appealed to Buzz. Musically in those days, rhythm
and blues and early Elvis recordings were having their influence on him. Cason sang in the youth
choir at his local church, learning harmonies from his mother, Rosa, an alto.
Cason indeed enjoyed performing on camera and met the musicians at the television station, soon
forming a group they called, "The Casuals", generally recognized as Nashville's first rock-n-roll
band. Ball produced the band. Their first album, which contained Cason's first song, "My Love Song
For You", co-written with Richard Williams, vocalist and keyboardist with the Casuals. The record
came out first on Nu-Sound, Ball's label and was later picked up by Dot where the song made the
local top ten. By 1957, The Casuals had become a touring act, replacing The Everly Brothers on a
tour of 60 fair dates. Later, legendary manager, Dub Albritton heard the group and The Casuals
became Brenda Lee's backing band.
During this same period, Cason met Bobby Russell, an aspiring writer at the old Globe Recording
Studio located above Mom's Tavern (now Tootsie's Orchid Lounge) and the two began to co-write. At
the urging and support of Gary Walker of Lowery Music, they wrote and recorded "Tennessee" as a
studio group, The Todds, which also boasted Bergen White, now a noted arranger/composer, for Paul
Cohen's Todd Label. The song was covered in '58 by Jan and Dean on Liberty, produced by Lou Adler.
Thus came their first Hot 100 record on the BILLBOARD chart and an association of more than 25 years
began. Prior to moving to California, Cason wrote another Todd's single with Russell. "Popsicle"
was also covered by Jan and Dean and was a top 20 hit in 1963.
Meanwhile, Cason was introduced by former Jordanaire, Hugh Jarrett, to Snuff Garrett in between
engagements and became a vocalist for Snuff's first recording group called The Statues. The group,
which included Cason, Jarrett and Richard Williams, released a hit single, "Blue Velvet" on Liberty.
In 1960, Cason began to pursue a solo career and hastily recorded (under the name Garry Miles)
"Look For A Star", to beat British singer Garry mills' version to radio. Cason's version hit #16 on
the charts and outsold the British version. After this point, Cason reinvented himself between each
set. He would back up Lee with The Casuals, slip back stage, change his coat and his glasses and
reappear as Garry miles. Cason and the group appeared with virtually every popular act of that era.
In 1962, Cason moved to Los Angeles as Snuff Garrett's assistant. During this period, Leon Russell
was a session player. He and Cason produced a group called The Crickets in a version of the song
"La Bamba". The song did well in England and Cason toured with the group. When in Nashville, he
worked for the noted arranger, Bill Justis, who was also known for his Memphis smash hit production
of the song, "Raunchy". Through Justis, Cason met Bucky Wilkin, lead singer of Ronny and the
Daytonas. They co-wrote "Sandy" and the song became an instant top 20 record. An album of the same
In 1966, Cason and Russell started a publishing and record company, Rising Songs, with Fred Foster
(then president of Monument Records). From this association came "Everlasting Love", co-written
with Mac Gayden and recorded in 1967 by Robert Knight.
In 1967, Cason and Russell returned to their successful partnership by forming their own publishing
company, Russell-Cason Music. Out of this partnership, they published and wrote songs including
"The Joker Went Wild", "Honey" and "Little Green Apples". In addition to Rising Sons, the duo
performed an innovative feat by founding yet another independent label, Elf, for their productions
with Larry Uttal of Amy Mala Bell. "It was cool", says Cason, reflecting back on those exciting
days. "I had a red phone on my desk. Larry wanted us to have a hotline to New York always clear to
get right to his desk." Cason produced "She Shot A Hold In My Soul" on Knoxville R&B great,
Clifford Curry and it was Elf's first chart record. Other Elf hits included Russell's "1432
Franklin Pike Circle Hero" with Russell as the artist and "Cry Baby Cry" by Van and Titus, and R&B
act co-produced and co-written by Cason and Mac Gayden. Russell-Cason was quite a successful
combination, but both men felt it was time to move on and the publishing company was sold to Welk
Music in 1974. (Russell moved to Los Angeles and formed PixRuss Music).
The years to follow proved to be very successful for Cason, not only as a vocalist behind superstars
such as Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers, but also as a songwriter. Cason felt the need for a studio
to produce and bring writers and artists together in a relaxed, state-of-the-art atmosphere, so in
1970, he founded Creative Workshop, a two-studio recording facility where Dolly Parton, Merle
Haggard, The Judds, The Doobie Brothers and Emmylou Harris have recorded material. Papa Don
Schroeder cut Carl Carlton's million selling version of "Everlasting Love" for Duke Records there as
well. This studio was the start of the Berry Hill Music Scene.
Just prior to the founding of Creative, Cason had been introduced to Jimmy Buffett from Mobile by
Travis Turk, an engineer at Spar Studio in the Baker Building. The pair had produced Jimmy's first
album for Barnaby, "Down to Earth". The subsequent album, "High Cumberland Jubilee", was cut in the
new Creative Workshop, where Turk was its' first engineer. Cason continues to publish approximately
50 of Buffett's early compositions. Cason sang background on Buffett's first five LPs for ABC,
produced by Gant.
The formation of Southern Writers Group coincided with the opening of Creative Workshop, and the
catalogue has been spawning hit songs ever since. "Bluer Than Blue", written by Randy Goodrum, was
produced there by Brent Maher and Steve Gibson and published by Maher and Cason. But the biggest
copyright of the '70s for Cason came when piano bar entertainer Steve Gibb turned in "She Believes
In Me", a mega-hit for Kenny Rogers, produced by Larry Butler. The song has achieved sales of over
20 million units and also received a "Song of the Year" Grammy nomination.
After remodeling the original room in 1976, Creative Workshop with its' Tom Hidley designed control
room, Nashville's first "from the ground up" Westlake" room and the beautiful Sphere Eclipse
console, the studio became a state-of-the-art facility. Olivia Newton John's 1976 album for MCA,
produced by John Farrar, "Don't Stop Believing" and "Sam" were hits from that project. "Just When I
Needed You Most" by Randy VanWarmer was also a hit recorded at Creative.
In the late 1970s and into the eighties, Cason continued to write songs. He had a number one, "Ann,
Don't Go Runnin" by Tommy Overstreet. He co-wrote "A Million Old Goodbyes" with Bobby Russell and
Steve Gibb; a hit for Mel Tillis, "Another Woman" with Dan Penn for T.G. Shephard and "Timeless And
True Love" by the MacCarter Sisters with Austin Roberts and Charlie Black. In England, Robert
Knight's '74 release of Cason-Gayden's "Love On A Mountain Top" was a pop/dance hit and later a UK
hit by Selena in 1990 on Atlantic.
During the '80s Cason built and later sold Creative Workshop II, at that time, Creative Recording,
to Brent Maher and the Dan Williams Music Group. The Judds hits were recorded there as well as
numerous national jingles. The studio is now known as Blackbird and is owned by country superstar,
Martina McBride and her husband, John.
The '90s arrived with good news! The Beatles released the long awaited "Live at the BBC"
recordings, which contained Cason's "Soldier of Love", co-written by Tony Moon and previously cut by
Arthur Alexander in 1962. In 1995, "Everlasting love" was re-cut by Gloria Estefan. River Road had
a minor hit with "I Broke IT, I'll Fix It" in 1997, a song co-written with Byron Hill and "Forgotten
But not Gone", co-written with Johnny MacCrae is included on Gary Allen's latest CD from Decca, "It
Would Be You". Cason continues to write and produce working out of the original studio. In 2002,
he co-produced RADIO CAFE with Anthony Crawford on ArenA Records.
Four decades and Buzz is still rockin'! He said, "If I hadn't met Bobby Russell, I never would have
known a real songwriter and never would have made it in the business. He was not only a true
genius, but a great, great friend." "Every song has a life of its' own. I try to make mine unique
and fresh and not get hung up on trends unless a groove is out there so neat that you cannot resist
it. A great song will find its' way like a person chases their childhood dreams. Hopefully,
someone eventually falls in love with them!!"
Cason once heard Sinatra say, "I loved every minute of it", referring to his life in entertainment.
Cason also says, "That pretty much sums up my career. God's been good! My family and I have been
blessed and I wouldn't change a thing. I've met and worked with wonderful people and look forward to
the new millennium with excitement and a positive outlook!"
Buzz is currently President/Owner of SOUTHERN WRITERS GROUP USA, a unique collection of writer-owned
publishing catalogs, and CREATIVE WORKSHOP recording studio. A native of Nashville, Buzz dedicates
most of his time these days to writing and publishing songs through his companies, which are
affiliated with BMG Songs for international sub-publishing. Buzz is not only well-known but also
well-respected by other music professionals in Nashville, and his list of professional credits
include: Board of Governors of National Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), National Trustee for
NARAS, Southern Writers Advisory Committee (ASCAP), East Coast Advisory Committee ASCAP, and a
member of CMA.
Hits Written or Co-Written by
Buzz Cason Include:
"Everlasting Love" (Gloria Estefan - 1994, Robert Knight, Carl Carlton & U2) - "Soldier of Love"
(The Beatles "Live At The BBC" & Pearl Jam '99) - "Timeless and True Love (The McCarters) - "Ann,
Don't Go Runnin'" (Tommy Overstreet) - "Another Woman" (T.G. Sheppard) - "Emmylou" (Oak Ridge Boys)
- "A Million Old Goodbyes" (Mel Tillis) - "To Love" (Placido Domingo) - "Rainbow Valley" - "Love on
a Mountain Top" - "Fantasy Island" - "Popsicle" & "Tennessee" (Jan & Dean) - "Bar Wars" (Freddy
Weller) - "Sandy" (Ronny & The Daytonas) - "Forgotten But Not Gone" (Keith Palmer) - "I Broke It,
I'll Fix It" (River Road/Capitol - "Love's The Only House" (Martina McBride) - "The Bird Song"
(Meredith Edwards) "Glory Bound" (Oak Ridge Boys '03) "Timeless & True Love" (Jeannie Kendall and
Alan Jackson '03)
Buzz Cason Publishing/Co-published
The Following Hits:
"She Believes in Me" (Kenny Rogers) - Several of Jimmy Buffett's earlier compositions including "
"The Great Filling Station Hold Up," "In the Shelter," "The Captain and the Kid" - "Bluer Than Blue"
(Michael Johnson) - "I'll Come Back as Another Woman" (Tanya Tucker) - "If It Ain't Dixie" (Alabama)
- "New York Hold Her Tight" (Restless Heart) - "If I Ever Had to Say Goodbye To You" (Eddy Arnold) -
"Honey" - "Little Green Apples" - And Many Others!
Buzz Cason's Credits as a
Back-up singer for Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Buffett,
Conway Twitty, and Billy Swan.
Member of Brenda Lee's back-up group, "The Casuals," a member of the group, "The Statues," appearing
on Liberty Records with the hit, "Blue Velvet," a member of "Ronny and the Daytonas" and performed
lead vocals for "The Crickets," also on Liberty Records.
Solo venture on Liberty Records as artist Garry Miles with the smash hit, "Look For A Star," and
most recently formed his own Rock-a-billy style band, "BC & The Dartz."
Buzz Cason's Credits as a
Artists - Freddy Weller, Dickey Lee, Gary Dunham, Pepper Martin, Bobby Russell ("1432 Franklin Pike
Circle Hero"), The Crickets, Buddy Knox, South By Southwest and more; Music Videos - "She Loves Her
Truck" (To The Max) and "Risky Business" (Buck Hall), both aired on CMT.
Buzz Cason's acting credits for various videos, commercials and jingles are included in the
following extensive list:
Music Videos: Ricky Van Shelton's "Keep It Between the Lines" (Sony Music, 1991) and Suzy Boguss'
"Letting Go" (Liberty, 1992)
Television Commercials/Other Video: "Dallas Furniture Companies" television spot - Service
Merchandise Corporate Video, "Old Fashioned Courtesy" - First American National Bank (video spot)
V/O's & Jingles: RC, McDonalds, Burger King, Coca Cola, Discover, PB Max, Ford, Kraft Foods
The client list for Buzz Cason's CREATIVE WORKSHOP Recording Studio has included:
Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, The Judds, Michael Johnson, Dottie West, Emmylou
Harris, Merle Haggard, The Gatlin Brothers (including 5 of their #1 hits), The Doobie Brothers,
Dolly Parton, Leon Russell, Randy VanWarmer
Buzz's book, THE ADVENTURES OF BUZZ CASON - LIVING THE ROCK 'N ROLL DREAM will be released April 11,
2004 with an accompanying acoustic CD. Also, the CD, East Of Nashville which reflects stories of
the book as well, has produced two singles, "Girl Do You Wanna Go Around Just One More Time" and
"Goin' Back To Alabama" have charted on numerous Americana stations. He recently produced a
singer/songwriter CD on Anthony Crawford, which was released on ArenA Recordings. The CD, "RADIO
CAFE" has received critical acclaim and airplay on over 150 Americana and Triple A format radio
stations. Crawford has co-written two songs with Steve Winwood for Winwood's '03 CD release. Cason
and Crawford also co-wrote "Glory Bound", a single by the Oak Ridge Boys.
Golf Participation Includes:
Player Music City News Annual Tournament - '87-'93; Charlie Walker Pro Celebrity Invitational - '87
(Closest-to-Hole winner!); WKDF Toys for Tots - '86-'88, Nashboro Village; Fore The Kids - '93,
Woodmont Country Club; Sea Trails, Myrtle Beach, SC Songwriters Invitational; HoriPro Invitational -
'87-'93, Henry Horton, TN (Scholarship Benefit); Nashville Entertainment Association, Windtree, Mt.
Juliet, TN (Scholarship Benefit); Joe Diffie Benefit Tournament Golf Club of Tennessee; Carl Zander,
Igwani Farms Pro Celebrity, Knoxville, TN; Chairman, Sonrise Golf Tournament, Windtree, Mt. Juliet,
TN; Committee Person, The Eagle Classic, Governors Club, Brentwood, TN, 2001 Eagle Classic (Closest
To Hole Winner) sponsor and committee member.
Buzz Cason Songwriter
1957 - My Love Song For You - (Cason-Williams) - The Casuals - DOT
1959 - Tennessee - (Cason-Russell) - Jan and Dean - LIBERTY
1962 - Popsicle - (Cason-Russell) - Jan and Dean LIBERTY
1962 - Soldier Of Love - (Cason-Moon) - Arthur Alexander - DOT
1964 - The Waiting Game - (Cason) - Brenda Lee - DECCA
1966 - Sandy - (Cason-Wilkin) - Ronny and the Daytonas - AMY/MALA
1967 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) - Robert Knight - RISING SONS
1967 - Cry Baby, Cry - (Cason-Gayden) - Van and Titus - ELF
1968 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) (#1 in UK) - The Love Affair - CBS
1968 - My Rainbow Valley - (#1 in UK) - The Love Affair - CBS
1971 - Rockefeller Square, Bend A Little England, God Don't Own A Car, The Hang Out Gang
High, Cumberland Jubilee - (All:Cason-Buffett) - Jimmy Buffett "High Cumberland Jubilee" - BARNABY
1972 - Ann, Don't Go Running - (Cason) - Tommy Overstreet - DOT
1974 - Love On A Mountain Top - (Cason-Gayden) - Robert Knight (Top Ten UK) - MONUMENT
1974 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) - Carl Carlton - BACKBEAT
1976 - Another Woman - (Cason-Penn) - T.G.Shephard - MOTOWN
1979 - A Million Old Goodbyes - (Cason-Russell-Gibb) - Mel Tillis - WARNER BROS.
1982 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) - Rachel Sweet and Rex Smith - CBS
1982 - Bar Wars - (Cason) - Freddy Weller - COLUMBIA
1985 - Timeless And True Love - (Cason-Black-Roberts) - The McCarter Sisters - WARNER BROS.
1985 - Soldier Of Love - (Cason-Moon) - Marshall Crenshaw - WARNER BROS.
1990 - Soldier Of Love - (Cason-Moon) - The Beatles - CAPITOL
1995 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) - U2 - ISLAND
1998 - Everlasting Love - (Cason-Gayden) - Gloria Estefan - SONY
1999 - Soldier Of Love - (Cason-Moon) - Pearl Jam - SONY
2000 - Love's The Only House - (Cason-Douglas) - Martina McBride - RCA
2001 - The Bird Song - (Cason-Thrasher) - Meredith Edwards - MERCURY
2002 - Radio Cafe CD - (Crawford-Cason) - Anthony Crawford - ARENA
2003 - Timeless And True Love - (Cason-Roberts-Black) - Jeannie Kendall - Alan Jackson - ROUNDER
2003 - Glory Bound - (Cason-Crawford) - Oak Ridge Boys - SPRING HILL
Other songs recorded by The Crickets, Freddy Cannon, Gary Lewis And The Playboys,
Placido Domingo, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gary Allen, Gene Watson,
Jerry Reed, Dolly Parton, Rick Nelson and believe it or not, Rudy Valee.
Page posted January, 2004
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