Music Recording, Distribution with Memphis Guitar Legend Gary Talley of the Box Tops
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Good morning. Good morning, everybody. It’s Mike Stewart with Mike Stewart dot live. Yeah, the the online YouTube podcast television show that’s all about audio and video and music, and just all kinds of fun stuff. But also try to learn a little bit and share some experience. I’m really excited today, because today is about my relationships in Nashville. So I got my national shirt Look, look at that picture on that. There’s a guy in that T shirt there. I’m going to be bringing on here in a minute, I got a lot of fun things I want to talk about. One of the reasons that this show is relevant to internet audio is that the projects I’m doing these days over the internet with recording and audio. And then of course, one of the things that I love about here in Nashville, is the fact that there’s just so many great musicians, so many legendary musicians, people that you know, you get to meet like fact that I had wine, not wine myself, my wife had wine for Mother’s Day at a little place down the street here called the wine down Nashville. Wine boutique, we had a Mother’s Day brunch over there. And and the place is owned by the guitar player. I mean, the bass player of the monkees, the current monkees band, I mean, that’s the kind of crazy things that you see here in Nashville that that I don’t think you see anywhere else in the world. Well, I want to tell you a quick little story. And one of the reasons you know, those of you that know me,
I am passionate about music. You know, it’s one of the reasons I have my over here. You can see it over here and get my hands right here. And I can’t I can’t get my hand. There it is over there. My gold record hanging on the wall. But I was part of the pack man. A lot of people know as part of Pac Man fever. And you know, what got me back into music is my internet marketing friend that a lot of you guys know, Armand Morin. We created a project years ago called Michael E. Austin. And we took in 2006 that record to number one in Billboard magazine, with nothing more than internet. So that really brought me back to my passion of music, even though I did music years ago. And years and years ago, I’ll tell you the year was 1976. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. And I got into a band that was playing local hotels, and the sax player
got a guitar player. And we rehearsed. And I mean, I was blown away by this guy. This guy was just one of the most incredible guitar players I’ve ever heard before. I’ve never worked with anybody that good before. And he was just so humble and so sweet. And so good to us guys. And such a good friend. And this is 19 I think 1977 or 78, somewhere in there many many years ago. And we went over to his house to take pictures for the band. I wish I had a copy one of those pictures of last long since lost it. And I went in his house. And there were gold records like a like that. I went over there exactly what I’m looking at the mirror I can’t see which way my fingers were. There you go. There we go live records hanging on the wall. And it said this guy was in the Box Tops, the the band that had the hit the letter. And and I asked garius as these name is Gary pally, and I said, Gary, you are a member of the buck stops. And you can remember this was like about 10 years after they’d had their hits. And he said, Yeah, and, and I said, Oh my gosh, wow, what a history. So we became friends. And it was so good for us to play in the back Box Tops had long since disbanded. And Gary had moved from Memphis, to Atlanta. And so we got to be friends. And then things happen, time went on. And then back in around 1980 or 81, Gary moved to Nashville, and I stayed in Atlanta, and we went all these years. And you know, you just lose touch with people. Um, but at the same time, when I moved here to Nashville, I made a point to reconnect with Gary. And what’s so exciting about that is, you know, that’s what, what kind of the lesson you want to know is, is that when you make relationships, you never know what they can lead to in the future. So always try to do the right thing and, and always try to make friends. So in the process of making friends with Gary.
I said, Hey, I want to put a Beatles band together. Do you know anybody that want to be in my Beatles band is Nashville Beatles jam, calm. I named it basically to have a web address. You go to Nashville, Beatles jam calm, you can see all about us. And I didn’t think Gary would want to do that. But he said yeah, I’ll be in your Beatles band and I went up
Wow, that’s gonna be fun. And of course, that just made the relationship even get stronger. So let me tell you a little bit about Gary. You know, let me show you a picture. Right up there in the right corner, there is the publicity photo of the Box Tops from the 60s, as Gary in the top right hand corner. It’s bill Cunningham, who’s still in the boxtops band. Guess the guy with the glasses. Gary can correct me. That’s Danny. And then Alex Chilton, and john was the keyboard player. And anyway, those were the four original Box Tops. So Gary and Bill are founding members of the Box Tops, fact you can check the box tops out at Box Tops comm fact I encourage you to go to Box Tops calm. Because one of the things that we’ll want you to be aware of is we want you to see the tour schedule, and also stream our music and all the streaming services and, and there’s going to be a lot of things because as as my relationship has grown with these guys, you know, now I am the keyboard player for the boxtops. In fact, here is the the About Us page from boxtops. calm. And you can see there there’s bill Cunningham today, who is the bass bass player, there’s Gary today, guitar and then that’s our manager and guitar player, Rick Levy, and in good old Ron presents, yeah, call him celebrated. Mr. K is a great, amazing drummer who we got to have on the show someday because he’s got lots of awesome stories. And there’s your yours truly Mike Stuart internet audio guy, I’m now playing keyboards with the boxtops. So that’s kind of the intro, we’re gonna talk about some of the projects that are related to the internet. So without any further ado, I want to bring my friend, guitar Memphis hero. And one of the best guys in the whole wide world. That dumb. Here is Gary Talley. Hey, Mike. Hey, Gary,
all the way live from across town. There you are in in your studio. And I’m glad that you’re being a part of my live stream today. And hopefully, we’ll get some more folks on here. We’ve got some folks live right now. And maybe we’ll get a few more and we can take some questions. Let me let me get started here. I mean,
my God, we could take a long time talking about all the places you’ve been and all the places you played and the people you’ve met the projects. Why don’t you tell the folks what you want them to know, right now before I get into some particular questions, because I know things that I think people would know, but you were a young band in Memphis, and I think you were called the dough vales. And the next thing you know, you’re the Box Tops with a top number one, record the letters. Tell us about it. Okay, well, it was the Deerfield like the car. Okay. And
we everybody in Memphis was in a band, it seemed like back in the 60s, and there were lots of bands and
I guess they call them garage bands, cuz we all rehearsed in the garage. That part’s really true.
In fact, in fact, we rehearsed Alec actually at Alex Hilton’s house, and sometimes they bill Cunningham’s garage.
Anyway, when I joined the band, it was the dividuals band.
Alex had just joined the band.
And so our producer, Dan pin was
was hired by chips moment who owned the studio where the dejenne trees had recorded previously, they did keep on dancing, and our manager was their manager.
what happened was
after recording the letter, we couldn’t use the dividends because it was already trademarked. And we had to think of another name. So everybody remembers it a little differently. But all of a sudden, we were the boxtops. And
and we thought, I don’t know who thought of the name even but
I remember thinking, I don’t know if I like that name. That’s kind of weird. And then
our manager would give us these checks, we would get these weekly checks.
Sort of like a per diem, but it was a it was per week.
Anyway, but his name was Roy Mac and it said Roy McElwain doing business as DBA The buck stops. So we figured, oh, he owns the name. He must have trademarked the name. So
anyway, the letter got to be number one, and we thought, Well, I guess it’s not a bad name after after all, you know, we got a number one record so we didn’t, we didn’t worry about it after that.
Anyway, so all the boxtops was was a
That the high point of my life, I guess, because we were, we were touring and we were playing with all the big stars and we met. You know, we met all the big not all of them but all the American stars. Anyway, we didn’t meet all the English stars. We didn’t meet the Beatles and The stones but
but we were, we toured with the Beach Boys and we met Jimi Hendrix and we
toured with the rascals and we played with just about everybody that had records on the charts. In the 60s, the doors, we met the doors played with the doors.
It was pretty amazing. But
that lasted for three years. And then Alex and I quit at the same time in 1970. And then I moved. Shortly I moved to Atlanta, I moved to Atlanta in 71 and started doing studio work, guitar playing and
played on a lot of jingles.
McDonald’s, coke commercials,
Dodge vans, all kinds of stuff.
In fact, I played on that Billie Joe royal thing where he’s up on the mountain doing things go better with Coke.
And some dodge band stuff. Why anyway, a lot of a lot of commercials that you saw on TV and heard on the radio. Anyway.
That’s what I met you in the 70s in Atlanta and
played a lot of gigs and more a lot of played a lot of tuxedo gigs and hotel ballrooms and played auctions out in the country and all every conceivable kind of gig in the world, who had played with some wonderful musicians there. But people weren’t making records in Atlanta. Paul Davis actually was the only one. Starbuck made a record. They did moonlight fields, right. And Paul Davis came out and he recorded in Atlanta, but other than that, people weren’t making records in Atlanta.
So I played in this band called Yikes. And
chips moment, who I knew from back in the Memphis days came to hear us. And William Bell came to hear us and
chips chimps invited us to come to Nashville and record this is in 1980.
so we did, but we didn’t get a record deal from the stuff we did with chips. However, chips asked me to stay in Nashville, he said, I think you’ll make a good record, man. That’s the way he put it. And
and so my wife and I stayed in Nashville and the other guys went back to Atlanta. And I hadn’t been in town but three days when I played on a Tammy wine album,
and then I played on a Willie Nelson and Webb Pierce album and a Billy Joe royal album. And
what came next? I don’t know. I played on Willie and wailings WWE to album and are saying I played on one song and sang backup on Willie’s
always on my mind, which was a monster hit and
and then I played on the road with seemed like every country act that ever existed, you know, in the 80s
Johnny Lee and Shelley West and Bobby bear and Charlie McLean and I, I played with them a lot. And then I did miscellaneous short gigs with
people like Randy Travis and I played with Tim McGraw the first time he was ever on TV. And
just a lot of country artists, I can’t even think of all of them. And it, I added them all up. And it seems like that I’ve played with about 115 major label acts. Wow, that’s between 1967 and now.
And I started teaching guitar A long time ago and I made an instructional video called guitar playing for songwriters in 99.
And that was the first instructional guitar video that would ever been made for songwriters. And
and so teaching guitar is one of my
favorite things to do. It’s not as much fun as playing but when I do like teaching and I want to make playing guitar accessible to more people,
Hard people who think they’re too old to learn how to play, or think it’s too hard and you got to have talent in all those myths about playing a musical instrument.
Well, you know, that’s one of the things that brings us around to the internet. I mean, you know, you know, you’re, you’re so humble and so, so amazing. You know, like I said, I remember when, when you said mentioned, William Bell, William Bell, is a Memphis
legend from Stax Records, wrote born under a bad sign and and was a big r&b artist. When I moved to Atlanta in 76, he was on Mercury Records and had a number one record called trying to love to, and being a kid and naive, he was in the yellow pages, and I called him up and he answered the phone. And, and I told him, I was a songwriter. And he said, Well, come on down. Play me your songs. And we’ve been friends ever since. And in fact, I was there at chips a studio with you. You had since been in Yikes. And I think john and john and Jim Mark Marin. Yeah, yeah, I’ve ever, you know, they built a studio that later, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, brought the whole hip hop world to Atlanta, you know, so there’s a lot of famous big time connections to all these relationships. But I was with William and stayed in Atlanta, but I’m ever I was there that day that he brought yikes into chips, a studio. So our paths have crossed so many times.
And then, of course, you know, I had kids and move on. I had a house and a studio and a business in Atlanta. And then a 20 years ago, I was when I got into the internet and and most of the folks that watch or listen to this podcast, or watch this YouTube channel, you know, they know me as the internet audio guy, but I mean, my deep rooted connections go like back with you. Now, I didn’t do all the things that because the Box Tops in Nashville opened up a lot of doors for you. I mean, you know, Sam, more of Sam and Dave, you were, I guess, his music director, guitar player for many, many years. And, and, you know, I was being a Beatles fan here. You got Beatles, Billy Preston was the probably the closest thing to a fifth Beatle that really ever was. And you were his guitar player for many, many years playing with him. Well, I played with him just for about a year. Uh huh. I played with Sam Moore for several years. And actually, I got the job playing with Billy Preston through Sam.
Because they were friends. And
and Bill, I have to say playing with Billy Preston was the highlight of my musical career. I can’t think of anything that could possibly top that. Unless they invited me to join the Beatles or something.
I did you’re just it’s just the Nashville Beatles. Yeah. Yeah. Right.
Next to playing in the Nashville Beatles jam join with Billy Preston has been the highlight of my career. Well, you know, a fact there’s going to be a big Let it be. re edit come out for Beatle fans, it’s probably gonna have a lot of Billy Preston in it. So mean, you’ve got to go to that when it comes out.
So any rate?
Let’s talk about I want to talk about in fact, folks, if you’re interested in guitar lessons with Gary, if you want to look at his history, go to Gary talley.com.
He’s very accessible on Facebook. He loves and in fact, one of the things that we took on this year, Gary is is you using the internet and, and using
audio recording programs to start doing recording projects again. I mean, when you move to Nashville in the 80s, there was no internet, there was no computer, it was all tape, it was all you had to go to a studio or you didn’t record. And nowadays, it’s amazing. I mean, in fact, you know, some of the the new artists, great, a great example is Billy Eilish, it was the biggest one of the biggest Grammy winners for the last couple years, everything they do they do in their bedroom on a Mac computer, you know, with pretty much the same program you use. Um, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s all about capturing the talent. So, you know, one of the things that I want to talk about is, let’s talk about some of the tools that you’re using to record today. I mean, I use a PC. And there’s lots of great programs for the PC that will let you do multitrack, what’s called multitrack recording and audio, I use magics acid, and there’s also Logic Pro, that works pretty well on the PC. There’s a bunch of problems, but you’re using GarageBand. Now, yeah, how do you feel about using GarageBand these days? It does everything that I needed to do right now I might upgrade to something. I tried using the starter version of Pro Tools and that was just way too complicated for my computer to couldn’t do it and
I’m just using a MacBook Pro and a little focus right interface that’s about that big. And that’s all you need, actually, you know, if you’re doing guitars and and singing, and and basically session work, you can, you know, that’s another thing folks when you want and if you know anybody in the world that wants an authentic Memphis guitar guy who knows Memphis guitar and blues guitar and, and the guitar that was made famous in the Memphis areas of the 60s, you know, Gary Talley, calm his place to go. Now I’m going to show a couple more pictures here and talk about a couple other things. But you know, what, here’s what we’re using. We’re using recording programs over the internet. We’re using audio interfaces, I get most of my equipment firstname.lastname@example.org course there’s Guitar Center has a lot of this equipment. And then we use Dropbox. If you don’t know what Dropbox is, Dropbox is a great place to where, you know, when I got to do something for Gary, I actually use Google Drive, Google Drive and Dropbox are the same thing. Dropbox is a branded version of file sharing. Google Drive is comes with your Gmail address. And guess what? It’s free. Free is good. So I like free.
But you know, what, what happened is, is we started this Beatles band. And hopefully that made our relationship a little bit better. And last year,
I guess it was during COVID, you know? Well, right before COVID.
There was I planted a little bug in Gary’s ear. I said, Hey, Gary, if you’re keyboard player, they had a really good keyboard player, Barry Walsh. At the time, I said, if if Barry ever needs a gig sub, put me down as one of your alternates, you know, I’ll be glad to be an alternate for the boxtops. Well, the opportunity came up.
There was two or three gigs last January, that Barry could not make. So I got to play with the guys.
And I really enjoyed it. And and then it just it came to the point where the opportunity became for me to be the number one guy. And so I was become the number one call for the box tops. And I’ll take Gary, going out and playing those songs with you guys to an audience that appreciates the songs is that’s the highlight of my music life. I can’t thank you enough for making that happen. But that all happened because of the relationship and also doing a good job. You got to do a good job. And then when COVID hit, you know, you and I are sitting here going well, great. Every one of these shows we had booked has has yet to happen. They’re getting ready to start up in June. But you know, you and I looked at each other and went, Oh, gosh, it all is. We don’t know when it’s coming back. So you and Richard Fleming had this project.
And and I said, Gary, what’s what’s meant for that? He said, Well, it’s a it’s a combination of Memphis and Cincinnati is Richard from Cincinnati. Yeah, yeah. So and the songs were just fun and good. And you asked me You said, Do you have a had the ability to put organ on those songs? And I said, Well, I got an old keyboard. But you know, but I think I can I can play the parts. And I’m ever we played them. And you say, well, the parts are good, but the sounds are kind of
the word in music as cheesy. They were cheesy.
And so guess what? I went to ik multimedia.com. And I found this amazing. Hammond Oregon
software. I mean, back when you and I were kids, a ham in Oregon wait as much as a car.
And it took up about as much room as three refrigerators. And now it’s completely software. And so I got to play. Hammond B three on the through the roof album by man fanatee which is Gary and Richard. Richard and Gary write songs together. Richard is amazing songwriter so as Gary, but these these guys, you know, are the real deal. And I really felt like a session musician again. You know, you brought back some joy in my life there. And I said, Oh, Gary, why don’t you and I work on a project. And you said well, you know, how would I do that and we got you the equipment and you learn
To use the internet and GarageBand and now, I sit here in my studio and you set your studio and we created
Nash Memphis, I stole your Cincinnati idea. I figured why the heck not. And
I just want you to be aware Is that another way to use the internet is and this is what I helped some on the box tops. But you can put up unlimited music if you’re a writer or musician or a band.
You can stream in all the streaming places like Spotify, Apple Music, amazon music, YouTube Music, really, there are 30 streaming places that people get music. So one of the things that you know, you can see, man, fanatee, Nash, Muse and Nash Memphis, the buck stops, you know, we’re all streamable and in the game is,
the more streams, the more success you have. I mean, when i, you and I were kids, you released 40 fives and get them on radio, and then you would release an album of vinyl of 10 or 12 songs. And that that’s kind of not how it works anymore. You can pay, you know, you can release singles, you can release a new single every day on the streaming services, you don’t do albums anymore. You need to build a library and then bill fan streaming those songs. So the Internet has changed audio, the internet has changed music. I like amazon music, it’s amazing, I can build a playlist of anything I like,
if you know, if you’re a fan of the backstops, or, you know, in my playlist, I got man fanatee, Nash Memphis, the box stuff. And I can turn that on anytime one, and I can see why fans love that. So, you know, we want to share with you that we’re streaming music these days, and that we use the internet, I use a website and I’ll put it up here, if you ever wanted to know how to get music on the internet, and do it and get it everywhere. distro kid.com
that’s what Gary and I use to get all of our music up to the world. So just wanting to make you aware of that’s the way to do it. So
when I’d be remiss if I didn’t
play our song, and then we’ll come back and see if anybody has any questions. You got any final thing else that you’d like to add
to this show? Cuz I mean, my goodness, we’re almost at a half an hour mark, you’re gonna have to wind it up in a minute. Anything else you’d like to say? Before we we say get take some questions and say bye. Well, I hope everybody had a good Mother’s Day. Yeah. And
I got to see my mom for the first time in over a year, a couple of weeks ago. And that was great. And my mom’s a great singer, and she’s on my YouTube channel, singing old gospel tunes. And she her version of one day at a time has gone viral.
And so I want to put a plug for my mommy in there. Yes, yeah. Miss Dana. She’s a sweetheart and a half. And you know, you’re blessed to have have such a sweet mom. And to still have her is just a blessing and a half. And I’m just so happy for you that hopefully you can go down to Memphis a few more times and see your mom and as much as you can. We’re gonna have some time here to do all those things. But once again, go out to boxtops calm
and check us out at Nash Memphis comm check us out at Nashville beetles. So here’s what it is. There’s a internet process Gary called the long tail. Now the words, the short tail means you’ve got one thing that you put all your eggs in one basket. But the long tail means you have lots and lots of baskets. And those lots and lots of baskets add up to something good. So we’re doing an internet process by having all these projects and all these bands that were a part of the internet long tail. So here we go. This is Nash memphis.com. And this is our song, the first song that you and I created together and that project. Now we were going to I want us to put up a whole bunch more My goal is to Phil Nash, Memphis and Memphis, unnati and the boxtops, all three of those areas in streaming with as much new music as possible. And it’s an internet press principle. Lots and lots of little things add up to something of value. So here we go. Here’s our plea to our audience.
Stream our songs on Spotify until we can play live again which is going to start in Alaska this June. Go to boxtops calm and look at the tour schedule and hopefully you come out. See us live
Stage American music
live this guy.
Well there you go. There’s our first ever internet produced remote studio
record for fun and to build an audience to that’s Gary on guitars and vocal that’s me on bass and Oregon and keyboards, and that’s the EZ drummer plugin playing drums.
So we did that whole record by ourselves. So we got a couple of little comments here. Roger says I had the same letter when I was 14 in the 60s. Thank you, Roger.
And Tom says Will you be traveling the country soon any Northwest? Well, very Northwest Alaska.
I think Alaska is the most Northwest we got but you can always go to Box Tops COMM And check out the tour schedule. Here’s our good buddy, Steve. Goody Hey, Steve.
And Tom, Ricci Tom, you need to reach out. Tom is on good guys. radio.com and he else on chaos. And anytime you want to reach out to Gary, be sure to go to Gary Taubes calm and he will respond to you. So if if that’s all the questions we have, Gary, thank you so much for for being here this morning. This was
fun. You’re welcome. Well, all right. With all that being said, folks, this is my store thought live were brought to you. The sponsors of my show are number one, Mike Stewart dot live if you’ve got any questions, there’s my phone number 770-826-3662. We’ve got to be having a new training coming out this month called Virtual event template, Lee virtual event template calm and another new training called Pay Per Click PPC video ads calm and we stream through stream yard checkout join the stream yard calm and most importantly, that gummit go to Gary Italia calm and take Gary up on all the talent that he has. And until the next time. This is Mike Stewart at Mike Stewart dot live you
Keep making that internet audio and keep making things happen. Talk to you soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai