Willis Alan Ramsey


Willis Alan Ramsey

Willis Alan Ramsey (born 1951) is an American singer/songwriter, a cult legend among fans of Americana and Texas country. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Dallas, Texas. Graduated from Highland Park High School in 1969, was a prominent baritone in the High School's Lads and Lassies Choir playing a leading role in the musical Camelot, his senior year. In 1972, he released his only album, "Willis Alan Ramsey", on the Shelter label that received critical acclaim. The album included "Muskrat Candlelight" which was covered twice in short order, first by America in 1973, then by Captain & Tenille, who scored a #4 hit with the tune. Both America and Captain & Tenille recorded it as "Muskrat Love." Owing to conflict with his label, Ramsey left Shelter at the end of his contract.

In the 1980s, he moved to Great Britain [ [http://www.willisalanramsey.com/content/bio.htm Biography] ] to reconnect with his ancestry and study traditional and modern music narrative. At the same time, he enjoyed a revival in the United States, due in part to numerous artists who cut versions of Ramsey's songs, including Jerry Jeff Walker ("Northeast Texas Women"), Waylon Jennings, Shawn Colvin ("Satin Sheets"), Jimmy Buffett ("The Ballad of Spider John," "Northeast Texas Women"), and Jimmie Dale Gilmore ("Goodbye to Old Missoula"). In 1989, he returned to the United States and began performing again. Backed by Champ Hood, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire (of Uncle Walt's Band fame), Ramsey could often be found on the same bill with another Dallas singer-songwriter, Alison Rogers. The two married in 1991 and continue to perform together. In 1996, Ramsey and Rogers co-wrote Lyle Lovett's hit, "That's Right, You're Not From Texas".

In 2000, Ramsey appeared on Austin City Limits, showcasing his new material, along with his many older classics. He is currently mixing his new album, "Gentilly", an independent release, financed by old friends and fans mostly from the Dallas and Austin area. Co-produced by Willis, Alison Rogers and Jamie Oldaker, guest musicians include Oldaker (drums, percussion); Sam Bush & Tim O'Brien (mandolin, vocals); Viktor Krauss, Roscoe Beck & Freebo (bass); Bruce Bouton (steel guitar); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Walt Richmond (piano, organ); Joel Guzman (accordion); Marcia Ball, Tommy Malone, Abra Moore & Alison Rogers (vocals). Willis, Alison and Everett Moran are engineering.

References


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