March 19, 2008
For Immediate Release
CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY HOSTS ROCK 'N' ROLL LEGEND
BUZZ CASON IN GHEENS RECITAL HALL
By Rachel Crenshaw, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— Rock 'n' roll legend Buzz Cason, author, songwriter, publisher and director of Creative Writer's group, talked about life in the music industry at Campbellsville University in The Gheens Recital Hall Wednesday, March 19.
Buzz Cason, Nashville author, songwriter, publisher and creative writers' group director, performs at Campbellsville University during a session on the start of rock 'n' roll in a class. He also talked about being a songwriter. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
Cason has published music with several different recording artists including: Kenny Rogers, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Johnson, and Tanya Tucker. "Everlasting Love," recorded by Gloria Estefan and U2, and "Soldier of Love," recorded by the Beatles, were just some of the hits produced by Cason. In addition, he has been a back-up singer for Conway Twitty, Elvis Presley and Billy Swan. Not to mention, he was a member of the first rock 'n' roll band "The Casuals."
"I was living the rock 'n' roll dream," said Cason as he strummed on his acoustic guitar. He said it all started in 1956, when he was given the opportunity to lip-sync "White Christmas" for a local talent show. This performance introduced Cason to a whole knew world of music, in which he found very appealing. He said from that moment on he was dedicated to music.
Cason said he even began to learn harmony from singing in his local church choir.
Growing up, Cason said he was highly influenced by the rhythm and blues genre and the early recordings of Elvis Presley. This led Cason to Nashville, Tenn., where he soon participated in forming the group "The Casuals." Cason said their first album contained his first song, "My Love Song for You." The band became a touring act in 1957, before they became the backing band for Brenda Lee.
This was the beginning of a lifelong career in music for Cason. He said he went on to be a songwriter, background vocalist, and founder of the Creative Workshop. Cason said the Creative Workshop is a two-studio recording facility where Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, the Judds, the Doobie Brothers and Emmylou Harris have recorded material.
Cason, said in the 1980s he built and later sold Creative Workship II, which is now known as Blackbird, to Martina McBride and her husband John.
Cason performed many of the songs he had written and produced on his acoustic guitar including "Soldier of Love" in which he encouraged audience participation.
Cason said he still enjoys writing and publishing songs through his companies, which are affiliated with BMG Songs for international sub-publishing.
"I became a Christian at age nine," said Cason, "and I have seen the many wonderful and miraculous things that can happen to a person when they have Christ in their lives. Just remember you belong to him, and he'll never leave you."
Cason thanked Campbellsville University for allowing him to present his story and said it was thrilling to be on campus. In addition, he handed out signed copies of his book "The Adventures of Buzz Cason, Living the Rock 'n' Roll Dream." He also gave those attending copies of his two CDs.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 29 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 "America's Best Colleges," CU is ranked 22nd in "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the South and eighth in the South for "Great Schools, Great Prices." CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America's Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.