Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Bill Dees On WFMU

Friday, January 27th, 2012

If you missed Bill’s interview on the Night People show on radios station WFMU or, you would like to listen again…they have a podcast!

Here’s the link.

Merry Christmas! and a little favor to ask

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Hey guys, first off we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! You guys are the greatest and thanks so much for the continued support of the site and the music and eveything. We feel like we are just getting started and learning as we go (as always) but you all make the journey a lot of fun. Best to you and yours this Christmas season.

This next part is between you and me and the fence post, ok?

Bill and I have been getting together, over the last few weeks, and working on a duo presentation for live performances.  Bill on piano and guitar, me on guitar. We have done some of this in the past, even gone on the road with it but, it’s been a while so, it requires some work together to get it together.

Now, this kind of show is the sort of thing that would normally run about an hour 15 minutes or so. That’s kind of a standard amount of time to shoot for, we can always go shorter or longer to fit the venue but, an hour fifteen is like a starting point. The thing that is getting us a little hung up is; how do we cover all the bases in that amount of time? You see, for that amount of time, you figure about 20-22 songs. Again a rough estimate but, you have to figure in some time for storytelling, banter, a general shucking and jiving between songs.

So, we have to have some stuff Bill wrote with Roy, some stuff from Bill’s records, maybe some new stuff, some honky tonk piano, some ballads, some movers, I usually do a couple, we usually do some things we wrote together, and pretty soon as we think this way, we’ve got way more than 20-22 to choose from and we get stumped. Which is pretty much where we are now.

So, we want a little input from you guys. You know the tunes you know the catalog. Say, for instance Bill and I were coming to your area, what would you want to hear? Keep in mind, it’s just the two of us; some things work sometimes they don’t. But, we can make a lot of racket for two guys and we usually find a way.

Again, Mery Christmas and thanks for a good first year!

B.B.C.2’s “In Dreams”

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Hey guys, I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving.

I just got an email from my buddy Sam about this series that B.B.C.2 is doing called “In Deams; The Roy Orbison Story”. The first episode ran the other night and you can find it here. Following episodes will air on the 8th, 15th and 22nd. I’m sure they will be available following airing.

I just listened to the first one and it’s real interesting; really well done. It’s about the early years and has interviews with Sam Phillips, Fred Foster and Joe Melson among others

Bill did an interview for this show and my guess is that some of that will be on the next episode as it looks like they are going in chronological order.

CDs are on the way-yayyyy!

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

OK Ok Okay-it’s official-the CDs are on the way-yayyyy!

There was an issue that was really a non-issue so, the discs should be at The House of Dees early next week. For those of you that contacted me last week about the mail orders, the info I gave you is now valid. And, if you did not contact and would like to get a copy of Bill’s new CD before it is available elsewhere send me an email using the “Contact” feature, located in the side bar and I will send you the info.

It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks, starting to see the first bit of color in the leaves.

A guy from England, a DJ named Johnny Black, got a hold of me last week and he was hoping to interview Bill for a Roy tribute that, I think aired over the weekend. The way I hear it, Johnny ended up sending a list of questions that Bill responded to by writing answers out longhand and then, Nancy typed his answers (four pages!) and sent them to Johnny. Nancy is a good sport isn’t she? Anyway, if any of you in Britiain heard this show, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hey, I got a question for you. “Where Does The Time Go”?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

O.K. guys, about the new CD “Where Does The Time Go”.

Here’s the deal; we are expecting delivery on them any day. Might be tomorrow, might be a week. When we get them, the plan is to send a batch to CDBaby, who we have worked with on every release then, when CDBaby has them ready to go, we will do some kind of “official” release.

The problem is, that’s still going to take a little bit of time and I know that some of you would maybe like a shot at getting your hands on a copy before all of that.

So here is what we are going to do.

If you are interested in getting a copy or copies before “Where Does The Time Go” is available to the general public; look to you right, in the sidebar and send me an email to the address there…where it says “Contact Us”. You can either click on the email address or copy/paste it, however you would like. Then, I will email a reply to you with info on how to order. When the CDs arrive, we will start sending them out.

Now, we won’t be able to do a credit card transaction with this “pre-release”; credit card orders will have to wait until we have CDBaby set up.

So, just send me an email and I will let you know the details.

September 19, ‘08

Friday, September 19th, 2008

It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon in the Ozarks. I run out of adjectives for the weather, they don’t really tell the story. This is the time of year that’s like a little window between the seasons. Summer is gone but, it’s not really Autumn (I prefer Autumn to “Fall”, makes me sound old maybe). People say things like, “there is a snap in the air” or describe an Autumn day as “crisp”. It’s not crisp, no snap but, there’s a unique vibe to this kind of day, it’s comfortable; the kind of day that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.

I drove to town earlier and there are a lot of yard sales going on; must be yard sale weekend, I guess. There are a couple of sales per block in the neighborhoods. I saw a group of Amish women crowded around a van that was full of stuff. I had a notion to stop and get the whole story but, you don’t want to intrude, you know? They all looked so delighted.

What good are the material things, all the technology if, we don’t take time to experience? The old saying is, “Stop and smell the roses”. I like how Warren Zevon put it; “Enjoy every sandwich”.

The day got me thinking that way.

I realized, this morning, that I have a pretty good stack of CDs here that people have asked me to listen to. So, I made it a point, I’m going to catch up on some of this. I put a CD on while checking email, another one while showering and getting dresed and put a couple in the CD changer in the car for the drive. And it dawns on me that I’m doing the very same thing that bugs me. I’m listening while in transition. That’s how we do it now, we listen to music while we are doing other stuff. It’s not really the listening experience, it’s a peripheral activity. We are so used to having the portability, the convenience, that listening to music is more like a soundtrack to our day where it used to be an event.  It’s really multi-tasking, isn’t it?

It’s now on my mental checklist of things to do; sit back, close eyes and listen.

Bill’s show up in Ozark was scheduled for last Saturday. Saturday was also the day that the tail end of Hurricane Ike was set to hit the area, which it did. The folks who put on the show made the last minute call to move it to Friday instead. Consequently, it wasn’t a large crowd but, Bill said it was enthusiastic and he had a great time. Bill always gives it 100% regardless of the situation.

Let me tell you this guys; Bill is raring to go, he is eager to go out and play some shows. If any of you are involved or, know somebody who is involved in a community theater or, maybe a house concert series let them know about Bill Dees. Tell the about the website, let them listen to your CD. Let’s see if we can’t put together a few select dates for this, one of a kind, storyteller.

September 12, ‘08

Friday, September 12th, 2008

I was talking to Bill yesterday and he wanted to make sure that anybody in the area over the weekend knows that he is playing at Farma Pauluza:

Saturday, September 13th, 2008: 12 noon - 9:28 pm

12 Bands Ranging from BlueGrass, Country and Rock and Roll

* The Underground Blues Division
* Hot Box
* Bill Dees “Song Writer of Oh Pretty Woman”
* RedKneckers
* J “Jack Johnson Style Singer”
* Crab Apples
* Ty “Guitarist”
* Ebenezer Underground

We are still working on 4 more bands.

We are having Beer, Wine, Water, Natural Soda, Ribs, Turkey Legs, Corn on the Cobb, Sandwiches, All u Can eat Salad Bar, a Champaign Toast, Face Painting, Nascar Racing, Karoake, Rock Climbing, Jumbo Blow Up Gym, All you can drink keg beer from 8:28pm-9:28pm, slippery pig catch (catch a pig and keep 40 pounds of pork, giveaways, dance video’s, comedians, magicians, frog race and much much more.

We are raising money to build a local supermarket and raise money to get hot houses going in Ozark Year around. We want to have local amazing produce all year long. Push the farmers market heavy and get everyone involved and put a plan into place so we work together as a team.

Tickets are $20 dollars in advance and you get in 2 children 12 and under free if you purchase early, and day of $24 dollars and kids 12 and under $8 dollars.

Buy advance tickets online - $20:

Tickets and more info at Da Barefoot Chef (417) 861-8896.

I got an email from our good friend Down Under, Chris O’Neill, this morning. Chris is a great guy and he’s been spreading the good word about Bill for years now. Chris is wondering when the record is going to be available and wondered if he could get a tracklist.

Well, all I can say is I’m waiting and eager to see the new CD too guys. It’s going to be soon. The least I can do is give you a track list, Chris.

Where Does The Time Go Tracklist

1. Billie Sol
2. Run, Rabbit Run
3. Ride, Cowboy Ride
4. River Queen
5. Goodbye
6. I Didn’t Know
7. Where Does The Time Go
8. Rollin’ Down (That Open Road Again)
9. Linda Doesn’t Love Here Anymore
10. Don’t Stop (Loving Me)
11. I Am With You Still
12. When Will I Learn
13. It May Take A Long Time

The band is…

Lou Whitney, bass; D. Clinton Thompson, guitar; Lloyd Hicks, drums; Joe Terry, keyboards and myself on guitar. It’s the same core musicians that are on the “Castin’ My Spell” album. This time however, we had Robin Reese and Joy Steele come in do some stellar background vocals. We first became aware of what Joy and Robin bring to the table when they did some work on my record.

Bob and Laura Stilson put the artwork together and it’s going to be worth the price of admission by itself. Here is just a small teaser-the disc graphic.

Oh, Pretty Woman and The National Recording Registry

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

“Oh, Pretty Woman.” Roy Orbison (1964)

The last of Roy Orbison’s string of hits for Monument records, “Oh, Pretty Woman” was his most enduring recording. Orbison and co-writer Bill Dees tapped out the initial rhythm of the song while sitting at Orbison’s kitchen table. In the recorded version, this became the infectious and well-known opening guitar riff and propulsive drum beat. Artists as varied as Al Green, John Mayall and Van Halen have performed the song, and 2 Live Crew sampled the opening on their 1989 album, “As Clean as They Wanna Be.” That appropriation, made without authorization, led to a U. S. Supreme Court case (Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.), which ruled in 1994 that the commercial song parody qualified as fair use under Section 107 of the U. S. copyright law.

The above description is from the National Recording Registry. You may have heard earlier this year that “Oh, Pretty Woman” was added to the National Recording Registry.

But, what is the National Recording Registry?

The National Recording Registry is a list of sound recordings that “are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.” The registry was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, which created the National Recording Preservation Board, whose members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress.

So, it’s a collection of important recordings housed and preserved by the Library of Congress. Have you ever seen a plaque like this….

…from the National Register of Historic Places when you walked in to a building? I liken the National Recording Registry to the Historic Places Registry only using audio landmarks. At this time, there are 250 recordings in the Registry and “Oh, Pretty Woman” was added this year. If you consider the millions of possible recordings, not just songs, any recordings that pertain to our culture, to have one selected is quite an honor.

Here is the list of recordings added this year.

1. The first trans-Atlantic broadcast (March 14, 1925)
2. “Allons a Lafayette,” Joseph Falcon (1928)
3. “Casta Diva,” from Bellini’s “Norma”; Rosa Ponselle, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Giulio Setti. (recorded December 31, 1928, and January 30, 1929)
4. “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again,” Thomas A. Dorsey (1934)
5. “Sweet Lorraine,” Art Tatum (February 22, 1940)
6. Fibber’s Closet Opens for the First Time, “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio program (March 4, 1940)
7. Wings Over Jordan, Wings Over Jordan (1941)
8. Fiorello LaGuardia reading the comics (1945)
9. “Call it Stormy Monday but Tuesday is Just As Bad,” T-Bone Walker (1947)
10. Harry S. Truman speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention (July 15, 1948)
11. “The Jazz Scene,” various artists (1949)
12. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” Kitty Wells (May 30, 1952)
13. “My Fair Lady,” original cast recording (1956)
14. Navajo Shootingway Ceremony Field Recordings, recorded by David McAllester (1957-1958)
15. “‘Freight Train,’ and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes,” Elizabeth Cotten (1959)
16. Marine Band Concert Album to Help Benefit the National Cultural Center (1963)
17. “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Roy Orbison (1964)
18. “Tracks of My Tears,” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (1965)
19. “You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song,” Ella Jenkins (1966)
20. “Music from the Morning of the World,” various artists; recorded by David Lewiston (1966)
21. “For the Roses,” Joni Mitchell (1972)
22. “Headhunters,” Herbie Hancock (1973)
23. Ronald Reagan Radio Broadcasts (1976-1979)
24. “The Sounds of Earth,” disc prepared for the Voyager spacecraft (1977)
25. “Thriller,” Michael Jackson (1982)

To see the complete list at the Library of Congress click here. NPR did a 48 minute broadcast about the National Recording Registry in 2003. It’s pretty interesting, they have some of the LOC people talking about the selection and preservation. You can find that broadcast in it’s entirety by clicking here.


Friday, August 29th, 2008

I’ve been at this stuff long enough that you’d think I’d know better. Pretty much every time I’ve been involved in any kind of record release, I went around telling people, “it’s going to be out in a couple of weeks” and, something always happens there’s always delays. It is the nature of indie music.

I was talking to Nancy yesterday and, the new Bill Dees record has been pushed back. And, it’s a drag because, I’ve been hearing from a lot of you guys that are excited about it. Mid September is what I’m hearing now. “Let patience have it’s perfect work” is one I’ve heard Bill quote many times.

Our good friend Dave “Superjock” Smith from the U.K. sent me an email saying that he played “Windsurfer” and “Saturday Night At The Movies” on his Jukebox radio show and said, “man the switchboard melted”. I told Bill about that, Dave and he said to say thanks again and Mercyyyyyyyyyy! We appreciate all the support the DJs overseas have given Bill over the years and Dave has been on board from the beginning with great enthusiasm.

Several years ago, Bill and I had the pleasure of meeting Al Green as we stopped in Memphis on our way to Nashville. A true gentleman. Have you ever heard Al’s version of “Oh, Pretty Woman”? If not click here and check it out, it’s pretty sweet.

News and Notes August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

A few little news items and links today guys.

From the Boston Globe via Blender Magazine comes this item. Presidential candidate John McCain listed Roy Orbison in his personal top ten.

The presumptive Republican nominee put two songs by the ubiquitous Swedish pop-disco group — “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me” — in his top three when Blender magazine asked for the presidential candidates’ favorite tens.

Also on his list: Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra, but no music from recent years.

Barack Obama, by contrast, mixes old and new in his hit list.

“Ready or Not” by the Fugees is his favorite, followed by “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye. Obama’s favorites also include Nina Simone, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra as well,

I’m sure most of you are aware of the Orbison boxed set entitled, “The Soul of Rock and Roll”, that is coming out next month. The liner notes for this set will include Orbison testimonials from artists Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Dolly Parton, Lemmy Kilmister, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt and, from what I understand, Bill Dees.

Among the live tracks included will be a version of Orbison/Dees, “It’s Over” from Roy’s final concert.

Speaking of “It’s Over”, Shara Worden and her band, My Brightest Diamond, have been performing the song at recent concerts. There are several audience clips of Sarah doing a solo version and one that I found with a band arrangement on YouTube. Click here to see the band version from a show at Bush Hall in London.

Chris O’Neill sent a batch of new pictures and I’ve put a few up on page 2 of the fan’s submissions. So, be sure to check those out.