The Sensational Leah Zeger Vocalist & Violinist

Leah Zeger’s musical success story has been anything but conventional. Her eclectic range and professional experience has literally included every musical style imaginable.Born and raised in Houston, Texas, violinist and vocalist Zeger comes from a family of professional symphony musicians. Having played the violin since the age of six, she has won numerous awards and soloed with orchestras in and around Texas. At 15, she made her solo debut playing the first movement of the Wiieniawski Violin Concerto with the Clear Lake Symphony Orchestra.

That same year, Zeger began studying voice with leading American mezzo-soprano, Katherine Ciesinski. Zeger attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts. Before graduating high school, she performed the “Bach Double” at Carnegie Hall. She won a scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin where she double-majored in opera and violin. At 19 years of age, while earning her degrees, she won a tenured position in the 1st violin section of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, becoming the youngest member on staff.While in the Austin Symphony, Zeger played with soloists including Pinchas Zukerman, Leila Josefowitz, Yo-Yo Ma, and Elvis Costello, as well bands such as Pink Martini, The 4 Tops, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Charlie Daniels, with whom she was selected to duel on the tune “Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

She has appeared on the television show Austin City Limits with both Pearl Jam and Willie Nelson.Zeger has performed and recorded two premier concertos composed by Austin film composer, Graham Reynolds. Her former international touring band, The Hudsons, won Best Folk Band of 2009 in the Austin Chronicle Awards.She performed as the lead singer, violinist, and dancer with the international world-touring fiddle concert sensation, Barrage, across Europe, Asia, and North and South America. She has also appeared as a soloist at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Blues Festival in Chicago, alongside prominent artists Alison Krauss, John Mayer, and Sheryl Crow. Zeger is the lead singer, violinist, and writer for the jazz-infused pop group, Leah and the Moonlighters. Their self-titled album has been aired on stations worldwide.Zeger has performed as a member of Vitamin String Quartet and won positions as associate concertmaster of San Bernardino Symphony and first violinist in the Redlands Symphony while recording the music for a season of Warner Brother’s TV show, Off the Map.She has performed with Strunz and Farah and Gonzalo Bergara at international music festivals, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, Panama City Jazz Festival, SXSW in Austin, and Jazz at the Olympia in Paris.

She has also toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Miley Cyrus, and five-time Grammy-winner Cee Lo Green.Zeger’s recording credits include collaborations with Michael Jackson’s former musical director, Michael Bearden; Bear McCreary, composer of Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead; Kenny Loggins; and string arrangements/recording for Billy Ray Cyrus. She is a member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and resides in Los Angeles.

Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol and Still Rockin’

Bobby Rydell (born Robert Louis Ridarelli; April 26, 1942) is an American singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s, he was considered a teen idol. His most well-known songs include “Wild One” and “Volare” (cover), and he appeared in the movie Bye Bye Birdie in 1963.

With a career starting as a 1950’s teen idol, to the present where he pays homage to both jazz and The Great American Song Book, Bobby Rydell draws crowds across every age group nationally and internationally.

Rydell first took the stage as a professional drummer at the age of 9. A polished performer by the age of 19, he was the youngest person ever to headline the famous Copacabana in New York. Bobby’s recording career earned him 34 Top 40 hits, placing him in the Top 5 artists of his era (Billboard Magazine). Bobby’s hits include million selling singles Volare, Wild One, We Got Love, Kissin’ Time, Swingin’ School, Wildwood Days, and Forget Him, selling a combined total of over 25 million records.

In 1963, Bobby starred with Ann- Margret in the iconic movie “Bye Bye Birdie.” They appeared a few years ago together recently at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences premiere of the digital restoration of the movie.

Bobby Rydell’s influence on popular music has been profound. When the producers of “Grease” wanted to pay tribute to the era in which the popular musical was set, they named the high school where most of the action took place “Rydell High” in his honor.

Howard Steele- The Record Master

Howard Steele has just about done it all in the music business. Growing up in the west Texas town of El Paso, he played in local bands (including notables Dalton Powell, Jim Reese and Bobby Fuller). When discussing his band days he refers to the band – The Maggits as his most successful and favored group which included, Mike Kelly, Mike Ciccarelli, Jim Reese, Bert Peters and Howard. While honing his playing skills he learned the art of mixing and engineering recordings which would eventually set the tone for an engineering/producing career that only a few experience. In that chapter of his life, he garnered 22 gold and platinum records working with the best in the business. He, along with record mogul Richard Perry, owned Studio 55 in Los Angeles where the magic happened. Howard eventually left LA and returned to his hometown of El Paso briefly. He worked several years in Nashville engineering and producing groups. He now lives in Aurora, Colorado where he is the principal partner with HJSA Consulting which develops Network Operation Centers, Emergency Operation Centers, Control Rooms, Educational Support Systems, Corporate Headquarters, broadcast and production studios.

Tia McGraff & Tommy Parham

Hailing from just south of Toronto, Ontario Canada, Tia McGraff is an internationally-renowned, award-winning Americana/singer-songwriter and author. Accompanying Tia on her musical journey is her life/musical partner, Tommy Parham. The two met and married while both were living in Nashville, TN and have enjoyed an extensive career performing, song writing and recording together for more than 12 years.

They bring such an honesty and passion to their music that they have even been described as the modern day, Johnny and June! 2015-2017 were stand out years for Tia and Tommy, with sold out shows around the world (including the coveted, Bluebird Café, in Nashville, TN); international acclaim for their cd release Crazy Beautiful and radio play on such notable shows as Bob Harris Country on BBC Radio 2 in the UK. With the 2018 release of Stubborn In My Blood, first single, “Strong” is already reaching beyond all demographics and boundaries, having been adopted by women’s empowerment groups around the world! New single, a cover of the classic, “One Tin Soldier” is sure to light up summer radio playlists.

A gifted author, Tia’s children’s book, Jake The Road Dawg has helped raise funds and awareness for her local chapter of The Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Seven international CD releases, various film/tv placements, and numerous nominations and awards (including Americana CD of the year first round nomination for 2016 Grammy Awards), have earned Tia and Tommy a respect in the music industry and a global fan base. The duo have a gift for ‘getting to the heart of the matter’ and writing relatable songs about life, love and this crazy world we live in.

Episode 8: John Beland – Man behind the legends.

John Beland is an American songwritersession guitarist, recording artist, producer and author. Beland’s career as guitarist started out in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, playing sessions and local live gigs with Kris Kristofferson, as well as future Eagles members, Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon. Beland’s first major break came in 1970, when he played lead guitar for a young Linda Ronstadt. He helped Ronstadt put together her first serious solo band, Swampwater. Along with bandmates Gib Guilbeau, Thad Maxwell and Stan Pratt, Swampwater toured the country with Ronstadt, appearing with her on many notable television shows including The Johnny Cash Show. Swampwater recorded two landmark country-rock albums for Starday-King and RCA Records. The group was one of the first Los Angeles bands to record in Nashville, known for their smooth harmonies and Cajun rock style.

After working with Ronstadt, Beland became a much in-demand guitarist, engaged by such high-profile artists as Arlo GuthrieJohnny Tillotson, Kris Kristofferson, The Bellamy BrothersMac DavisDolly Parton and The Flying Burrito Brothers. As a solo artist, Beland recorded for Ranwood Records, scoring a chart hit in 1969 called “Baby You Come Rollin’ ‘Cross My Mind”. Beland also became the last artist to sign with The Beatles’ record company Apple Records in 1973. As a session guitarist, Beland recorded with many music business legends in the United States and internationally. For over twenty years, he was the creative force behind the pioneering country rock band from CaliforniaThe Flying Burrito Brothers. Through his leadership, the group achieved nine hit country singles for Curb Records in the early 1980s. Beland was also instrumental in the comeback of rock and roll legend Rick Nelson in the late 1970s, arranging and playing on Nelson’s last hit single “Dream Lover”, as well as Nelson’s much-acclaimed album The Memphis Sessions. He also toured and appeared with him on Saturday Night Live in 1979.

Beland has also received awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) during his career. As an award-winning songwriter, Beland’s songs have been recorded by a wide variety of recording artists from various genres. They have included artists from pop, folk, gospel to country music.

#johnbeland, #swampwater, #flyingburritobrothers

Episode 7: Bobby Cochran – A Musical Renaissance Man

Bobby Cochran, American guitarist, singer, author, engineer, songwriter, life coach and record producer, was influenced at an early age by his uncle EDDIE COCHRAN (SUMMERTIME BLUES). On July 1, 2017, Bobby and his uncle Eddie Cochran were both inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame!  Early on, Bobby set his aim on becoming a master guitarist, and went on to work with many prominent groups, including Steppenwolf, The Flying Burrito Bros., and Leon Russell.

A consummate musician, Bobby’s playing has been compared with many of the world’s greatest guitarists, such as Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Albert Lee, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Danny Gatton, Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Jimi Hendrix! A veteran studio and concert musician, Cochran’s lead work has moved critics and peers to comment, “Exhilarating”, “He’s one of the 12 best guitarists in the country”. “His playing glistens with spontaneity”. “…Brilliant!”, “World Class Blues”. “Blistering Rock and Roll!”, “Virtuoso guitarist!”, “Lyrical, like a bird singing”!

#bobbycochran, #steppenwolf, #bobbyandthemidnites

Episode 6: Mike Stone – Karate, Priscilla Presley and the Power of the Positive Mind

Mike was born in Hawaii. As a boy at school, Mike was already athletic and excelled in sports basketball, football, track and field. He even became co-captain of the basketball and football team. He received an award for outstanding achievement in the field of basketball. Mike first got into contact with martial arts at the age of 17, when he began training Aikido, where he was fortunate to train under a world class instructor. After graduating, within three weeks Mike voluntarily enlisted in the US Army for three years. There he met Karate instructor Herb Peters. Karate would become the most important thing for Mike. Mike received his black belt in six months. When he was 20 he became the youngest and only undefeated Karate Champion in history, winning 91 consecutive black belt matches. He is also an undefeated Forms Champion. Mike has won every tournament he has been in and won every title at least twice. Mike also had the privilege of working with friends and martial artists Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Mike was inducted in the Black Belt Hall of Fame twice.: first in 1971 as Fighter of the Year and second in 1994 as Instructor of the Year. As a popular instructor, Mike got to train celebrities like Priscilla PresleyMichelle PfeifferEngelbert HumperdinckMike Post and many more. 

In this interview with Rick Kern, host of TalkandRockRadio, Mike discusses his Karate career, relationship with Priscilla Presley, protecting one of the biggest record producers in the industry and his philosophy of positive thinking.

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Episode 5: Tapestry – The Band and Their Virtual Reunion 48 Years Later

In 1974 there were three guys all looking for the same thing; forming a vocal show group that had the right chemistry, sound and an opportunity to share their talent with the world. The group was born and was called Tapestry. It was composed of a singing drummer from El Paso , Texas, a singing guitarist from Springfield, Ohio and a singing keyboard player from Westminster, California. The group, after rehearsing for two weeks, played its first job at the Sahara, Lake Tahoe for what was supposed to be for one week and held over for six. During that time Tapestry was marquee’d with Elvis, Diana Ross, The Fifth Dimension, The Jackson Five and Isaac Hayes. During their almost four year stint they toured Canada three times (six months each time), played all throughout the U.S. except for just a few New England states. They performed with or accompanied notables Pete Barbutti, Jackie Vernon, Command Performance and the all-girl Korean group – The Dae-Han Sisters. One album was recorded at QCA Studios In Cincinnati, Ohio. The group had many offers to play out of the country including an opportunity to play for the Shah of Iran, a tour of Johannesburg, South Africa and doing their shows on a cruise line. It was a great and memorable ride – never to be forgotten.

#tapestryvocalshowband, #tapestry, #curthespe, #dannyevans, #rickkern, #talkandrockradio, 





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Episode 4: Sonny Melendrez – His Story, Success and Inspiration

Melendrez was born in Silver City, New Mexico.

Twice named Billboard Magazine‘s “Radio Personality of the Year”, he is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Top 100 Radio Personalities of All Time. In 2004 he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

In the late 1960’s, Melendrez was a DJ at KINT A.M. in El Paso, Texas. This was before the advent of KINT FM in the early 1970’s.

In the 1970s, he guest hosted American Top 40 on several occasions and entertained on radio at KIISKMPCKFIKMGG and KRLA in Los Angeles.

He hosted the children’s series You and Me Kid, on the Disney Channel in 1983-90.

In 1985, he returned to San Antonio, hosting morning drive radio shows on KTFM 1985-1997, KSMG 1997-2001, KLUP 2001-2003 and KAHL 2003-2005.

In 1997, the City of San Antonio named the Melendrez Community Center located on the city’s West Side in his honor for his support of Parks and Recreation youth programs.

In 2005 he became a motivational keynote speaker, delivering presentations nationally and worldwide.

“Melendrez is the voice of several characters in the cartoon show “The Jetsons;” he “created many of the sounds heard in the Gremlins movie; was the bug who yelled ‘Oh, no! It’s Raaaaaaid!’ in the popular TV commercial; played opposite Walter Mathau as the voice of Bob Cratchet in the animated TV classic, ‘The Stingiest Man in Town’; and was even the voice of the infamous Fred the Cockatoo in the 70″s NBC TV series, Baretta.”

Feed: http://sonnymelendrez.libsyn.com/rss

#sonnyradio, #sonnymelendrez, #sonnyradio.com

[email protected]

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Episode 3: Karen Taylor-Good – One of America’s Top Songwriters

Karen Taylor-Good (born Karen Berke in El Paso, Texas) is an American singer-songwriter, and one half of the duo StoweGood. Taylor-Good and her then-husband, Bill Taylor, started the Mesa Records label in 1982. Her first single, “Diamond in the Rough,” reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart early that year. Taylor-Good was nominated for Best New Female Vocalist at the 1984 Academy of Country Music Awards. After Mesa Records folded in 1986, she sang jingles for Taco Bell, United Airlines and Peter Pan Peanut Butter.

Taylor-Good became a Warner/Chappell Music songwriter in 1992. She wrote Top 5 songs for Patty Loveless (“How Can I Help You Say Goodbye”) and Collin Raye (“Not That Different”). In 1996, she was named SESAC Songwriter of the Year. Her songs have since been recorded by Diamond Rio, Laura Branigan and Melissa Manchester.

She wrote a book, On Angel’s Wings, and has produced eight CDs of her original material. Taylor-Good has presented her “musical keynotes” to many groups, including The American Business Women’s Association, The National Hospice Foundation, and Lions Clubs International.

In 2011, Karen became part of the songwriting/performing duo, StoweGood, with author, hit songwriter, cancer survivor & sister-from-another-mister, Stowe Dailey. Stowe & Karen have written many, many tear and laugh-inducing songs which are available on their two studio albums, “Love Lives On” and “Beautiful Brokenness” and on their YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1cWSjUfI3NKfi8hZSOfoRQ. They share concerts and facilitate healing retreats across the US, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and the UK.

As of 2020, Karen is living in Nashville with her husband of 38 years, Dennis Good, and her daughter Rachael Good.


Listen to Episode 3 Now: