Western swing legend Ray Benson dropped by the GRAMMY Museum on Aug. 31 to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of his GRAMMY-winning band Asleep At The Wheel.
Before an intimate audience of 200, the "post-modern king of Western Swing" engaged in a conversation about the band's storied career, constant reinvention, notable collaborations, and latest album, It's A Good Day. Following the discussion, Benson fielded questions from the audience and performed a brief set.
Asleep At The Wheel has been a Western swing touchstone since forming in 1970. Frontman Benson formed the group with steel guitarist Lucky Oceans and rhythm guitarist Leroy Preston, and soon added vocalist Chris O'Connell and keyboardist Floyd Domino. Their debut album, Comin' Right At Ya, was released in 1973, and the group relocated to Austin, Texas, in 1974. Through different lineup changes over the years, Benson has remained constant and kept the band a viable recording and touring act. "I carried the load for many, many years, but I've always just wanted to have a band, as opposed to Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel," said Benson. Asleep At The Wheel has won eight GRAMMY Awards, the most recent for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Cherokee Maiden" in 2000.
Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include American Express Presents The Drop: Seal And David Foster (Sept. 26), American Express Presents An Evening With Jerry Lewis (Sept. 28) and An Evening With Alan Parsons (Sept. 29).
For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org.
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