Running With Chet Atkins – An Interview With Randy Goodrum

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Randy Goodrum is a keyboardist, manufacturer and songwriter who has written (or co-written) a lot of widespread songs, together with Anne Murray’s #1 hit “You Wanted Me” (1978) and “Damaged Hearted Me” (1979), Michael Johnson’s “Bluer Than Blue” (1978), England Dan & John Ford Coley’s “It is Unhappy To Belong” (1977), Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie” (1984), DeBarge’s “Who is Protecting Donna Now”, cowritten with David Foster and Jay Graydon, Toto’s “I will Be Over You” (1986) and Chicago’s “If She Would Have Been Trustworthy…” (1987). He additionally co-wrote with Brent Maher a few of Dottie West’s hits within the past due 1970s and early 1980s, together with her No. 1 Nation hit in 1980, “A Lesson in Leavin'”.

He carried out as a keyboardist on recordings through numerous artists in quite a lot of genres of tune together with Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick, Steve Perry, Earl Klugh, DeBarge, Al Jarreau, Steve Wariner, and George Benson.

Randy toured broadly with Chet Atkins and carried out and produced cuts on lots of Chet’s albums. As a co-writer with Chet Atkins, Randy wrote “To B or to not B” and “Waltz for the Lonely” amongst others. Randy’s tune “So Comfortable Your Good-bye” received a Grammy award for Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler in 1991.

Randy Goodrum used to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Corridor of Repute in 2000.

Randy divides his time between initiatives within the Los Angeles house and in addition in Nashville. His most modern CD “JaR” is a collaboration with songwriter Jay Graydon.

TR: How did you get began with Chet?

RG: I performed in short at the street with Roy Orbison and I used to be enjoying on a Roy Orbison consultation with a man named Steve Schaefer, and I advised Steve that I had heard the piano participant gig for Lynn Anderson used to be coming open. So I discussed that and Steve advised me, “You wish to move check out to play with Jerry Reed, I believe he’d truly like what you do.” So I went available in the market and Jerry used to be running on “Lightning Rod” whilst I used to be there. So I auditioned for Jerry finding out learn how to play that tune.

TR: How do you play Lightning Rod at the piano?

RG: I used to be simply comping him. However I finished up writing and enjoying the bridge solo at the completed recording. They’d the monitor minimize, and I went over to this little studio with Jerry and Paul Yandell and I advised them I had an concept for a solo in a single spot, and so they favored it and so I demoed it. Smartly, then they performed it for Chet. After that they referred to as me into the studio and I went in and sat down and performed the piano section. And something I will by no means put out of your mind used to be the doubling.

TR: The doubling?

RG: In the ones days they’d play a component within the studio, then play the precise solo over most sensible of it on a distinct monitor to get a chorused impact. So I performed the solo thru after which when it used to be completed Chet stated, “Smartly that is just right, now why do not you double it” and so I did and once they performed each tracks again and so they stated “One thing is improper, we did not get the second”. They noticed the sign transferring however they could not perceive why they could not pay attention the doubling at the play again. Smartly it seems it used to be a precise, nearly phase-locked double.

TR: You performed it precisely the similar whilst you had been doubling the solo on a brand new monitor? I suppose they had been astounded at that.

RG: I have no idea in the event that they had been astounded however I may say inspired. Let’s put it this manner, it wasn’t a foul day for me. However anyway that is how I met Chet. Jerry had advised him that I used to be a jazz participant and Chet favored that and naturally in the ones days Jerry used to be far and wide musically himself.

TR: Do you bear in mind what 12 months it used to be?

RG: 1974 or 75 possibly, I have no idea. After that I were given a telephone name from Chet’s secretary in the future and she or he stated “Are you booked at 2 o’clock at the 21st? Chet needs you over at Studio A at Columbia.”

And I used to be like “Oh my God, I’m going to play a consultation for Chet Atkins!” I bear in mind telling my spouse that I assumed this used to be means an excessive amount of too quickly.

So I went over there to studio A at Columbia at 2PM and no one used to be there. So I assumed I used to be within the improper studio. I began pondering “Oh my God, I’ve had my shot and blown all of it in the similar day”.

Beautiful quickly Chet walks in. He used to be through himself and he sat down and took his guitar out of the case and had me sit down down on the piano and I stated “Are we going to do a consultation?” and he stated, “No, I simply need you to turn me some issues. I need to be informed some new change chords, and new issues I will be able to play.”

So we sat down for approximately 2 hours and I confirmed him some voicings, change chords and a few other scales; modal, reduced, and so forth.

I will by no means put out of your mind that when the consultation Chet and I were given in an elevator after which in steps Porter Wagoner and Chet says, “Good day, I would like you to satisfy my pal Randy – in truth he is my trainer!” and I referred to as my Dad who used to be a guitar participant later that day and stated “Chet Atkins simply referred to as me his trainer!” I believe my Dad dropped the telephone. (guffawing)

I had one of these just right rapport with him and in addition Jerry. We truly noticed eye to eye musically I believe. They understood advanced chord progressions and jazz. I do not play jazz simply because it is flashy, however to me it touches the soul. The colorations if completed in moderation could make any tune higher. I felt like Chet and I simply attached that means.

Once we wrote “Waltz for the Lonely” it used to be like that. Chet may make you such a lot higher and Chet and I wrote a large number of stuff in combination.

TR: I used to be going to invite what it used to be love to collaborate with him as a songwriter.

RG: He and I shared something in commonplace – we worshipped the melody. I used to be in a automotive with him in the future and on radio there used to be a business and a part of the tune in it used to be the tune “Take me out to the ballgame” and Chet made a remark about what an ideal melody it used to be and I assumed possibly he used to be kidding. In my thoughts that tune used to be more or less hokey and old-fashioned, however then as I mentally stepped again and thought of it, it truly is a great tune, truly, this is a just right melody – a outstanding, unforgettable and completely designed melody. And Chet opened my eyes to that.

He used to mention issues or do issues that will make you stroll away smarter. You could possibly go away somewhat bit higher than when you were given there.

TR: You wrote “Daybreak” which Chet did with George Benson at the Keep Tuned album and in addition “To B or to not B”. What’s the tale in the back of “To B or to not B?”

RG: He sought after to write down one thing in the important thing of B. I will by no means put out of your mind that as a result of I hated enjoying in the important thing of B. We got here up with this cool little melody then attempted to seek out little refined issues lets weave in to make it extra appealing. We wrote a large number of songs in combination and a large number of them did not get recorded.

TR: What used to be your courting with Chet like?

RG: I might get calls all of a sudden from him and he would invite me over to hang around with him.

One time my spouse Gail and I had been sitting at house, I believe we had been doing one thing out at the porch when Chet drove up. This used to be a couple of years ahead of his dying when he had began the use of a cane.

He were given out of his automotive and walked over and had a cassette participant with him and he put a cassette in and performed this gorgeous tune and I assumed it used to be nice and requested him what he sought after me to do with it and he stated, “Not anything, I simply sought after to percentage it with you – I assumed this used to be one thing Randy and Gail Goodrum would really like.” Then he were given again in his automotive and drove off.

TR: He simply sought after to percentage it with you as a result of he concept you could find it irresistible.

RG: Exactly.

You are aware of it truly more or less affected me when he used to be let move at RCA. I noticed a sea exchange in Nashville again then. I felt like that they had been pronouncing they didn’t need to get too cutting edge. That is simply my standpoint as a result of ever since then it’s got so arranged.

Do not get me improper, there’s not anything improper with group and I shouldn’t have a combat with Nashville. I without a doubt have made my means in the course of the trade however guys like Chet had been actual renaissance males. They’d no concern in generating. They sought after Nashville to in reality be a Track Town.

Chet used to be the type of person who made an affect as a result of he used to be a southern guy making actual tune. He wasn’t the fellow looking to stamp out cookie cutter data that will be referred to as “nation”. He had the imaginative and prescient that he may minimize the rest and it could be a Nashville document, it could have that flavoring. He used to be keen to check out the rest; he simply sought after to do just right stuff.

Chet did “Chester and Lester” with Les Paul and produced such a lot of various issues – comic Brother Dave Gardner, Roger Whitaker, Perry Como, Jerry Reed and a wide variety of various other folks he concept had been just right. He did such a lot and so they had been all so just right. I want I knew what used to be taking place in his thoughts when he left RCA as director of A&R. To me that used to be an actual turning level for Nashville.

There have been a number of other people who moved to Nashville that had been hoping it could develop into the tune heart of The us, to not make New York or LA move away however to make it a fully multifunctional town within the south in order that you did not have to pick out up and transfer all your circle of relatives. I’ve to mention, after having a look again at that generation, that when Chet used to be fired from RCA, Nashville turned into a less-interesting town.

TR: Ray Stevens stated that one high quality Chet had as a manufacturer used to be that he may take a stack of data a foot top and pick out the hit out of it. Was once he that just right?

RG: I have no idea what his batting moderate used to be however infrequently he would convey songs to a consultation and in the beginning you could scratch you head however then after a little you’ll say, “Oh yeah, I am getting it!”

TR: Inform me concerning the Nashville “A Crew”. Are you able to inform the parents who have no idea what the Nashville A Crew is?

RG: Now not positive in the event that they nonetheless use that time period, however there was once a smaller scene within the sixties and early seventies. The A group used to be a bunch of studio musicians who had been used to play on almost the entirety. They had been 2 deep in each and every class and they’d get the decision for a large number of periods.

TR: You’ve gotten stated you loved jazz however how would you categorize your self musically? I do know that on the internet they categorize you as an grownup recent artist.

RG: Smartly I’ve written an terrible lot of the ones sorts of songs and they’re a few of my greatest hits. As a songwriter you should categorize me there. But additionally I am additionally within the Nashville Songwriters Corridor of Repute and I have written a number of nation hits. I have had rock hits. I take a look at all more or less various things. I am doing a challenge now with my pal songwriter Jay Graydon referred to as JaR, which is extra like a Steely Dan more or less staff.

So I will be able to serve as in a large number of other genres.

A part of the rationale I’m so various I believe is on account of the place I grew up. I am from Arkansas and that house is truly the birthplace of loads of American tune. I imply should you take into consideration it you’ve got blues, rock n roll, jazz, nation, rhythm and blues and all of these things which mainly began in that area and whilst you had been in a band you needed to play all of it. You could not say “Oh I am simply going to play acid rock this night”. You had in an effort to play all of it. In order that used to be more or less a blessing for me. Once I performed at the street with Chet he performed the entirety. I imply he may play previous requirements, jazz, appalachian issues and a wide variety of stuff. You simply had in an effort to play it all, and do it authentically.

TR: I believe his target audience truly favored that variety too.

RG: One time he referred to as me when I had moved out to California. He used to be popping out to the west coast and he requested me to play piano for a exhibit he used to be doing for “Keep Tuned”. And he employed a number of LA guys, he had Harvey Mason, Abe Laboriel, me and Darryl Dybka, and I stated “Chet you’ve Darryl on piano, what do you want me for?” Any he stated “Simply come, I would like you to come back to the gig.”

Chet is certainly one of a couple of individuals who would name me to do a gig and I would not know precisely why I used to be meant to be there, however I would move anyway. So I’m going to the Hollywood Palace and about part means into display he stops and says “Now we have an overly particular visitor within the target audience this night – Ms. Sarah Vaughan! – Sarah come on up and sing a tune”.

So he seems to be round at me and says “You keep!” Then he advised the remainder of the band to go away. So Sarah comes up at the degree and she or he used to be in a questionable state, smartly let’s simply say she used to be drained. And so she comes up and turns to me and says: “I Were given it Dangerous and that Ain’t Just right”.

Then I unexpectedly discovered why he referred to as me to be there, it used to be as a result of I knew that tune. So I performed the intro and Sarah sang and after she used to be completed, Chet’s supervisor on the time, Fred Kewley got here as much as me and says “That used to be almost about the good factor I have ever observed”. And I stated “For a jazzer it is a day-at-the-beach!”

Having me do this used to be like going as much as a banjo participant and pronouncing are you aware “Foggy Mountain Breakdown”? (guffawing)

All over again, when I used to be in Nashville Chet referred to as me one morning at about 7AM as I used to be almost about to go away the home for a exercise and stated “Good day let’s meet for breakfast on the Loveless Café”. And I stated “smartly I nonetheless have my figure out garments on, what time you need to satisfy?” and he stated “Come at eight o’clock and do not fret about what you’ve on.”

So I head available in the market and once I arrive he is sitting there with Mark Knopfler. He sought after me to satisfy Mark however he did not need me to get all tweaked up and it used to be humorous I used to be actually there in exercise shorts and a t-shirt. I had breakfast with them and Mark used to be utterly cool. You at all times concern about the ones more or less other folks however Mark used to be nice, he used to be one of the vital pleasant ones.

TR: In fact you wrote “So Comfortable Your Good-bye” which Chet and Mark did in combination and it received a Grammy. Why do you assume Chet sought after you to satisfy Mark?

RG: He simply sought after me to satisfy Mark; there used to be no trade or the rest.

TR: Perhaps he concept you guys had been suitable or he concept there used to be one thing equivalent concerning the two of you.

RG: There have been no expectancies or assumptions that it could result in one thing, I believe he simply knew it could paintings. It used to be a Chet factor to do one thing like that. He used to be a unfastened, unencumbered spirit.

TR: I noticed a video of the place you had been on the Bluebird Café speaking about your days as a tender songwriter buying groceries your songs round and being became away, and so forth. What used to be that procedure like?

RG: I used to do a large number of songwriting seminars and as soon as at a seminar in San Francisco I requested the group “What number of of you’ve been writing for a 12 months or much less?”, and a majority of arms went up. Then I requested what number of were writing five years and in spite of everything what number of were writing 10 years.

By way of then simplest three arms had been up and I advised them, “That is how lengthy I were at it ahead of I had the rest minimize. Numerous you other people are going to get your emotions harm, get discouraged and surrender, and that’s the reason k.”

What you must expand is a way of deciding whether or not an individual rejected your tune as it wasn’t just right or as a result of it’s not the appropriate day to play for them, or if they simply have dangerous style, no matter. It is like a golfer who hits a foul shot and also you simply have no idea why it went dangerous. If you determine your frame used to be shifted the improper means and that’s the reason why the shot went dangerous then you’ll alter.

I CAN take no for a solution. It is like once I took them “You Wanted Me” and so they advised me it would not paintings, that it wanted a refrain. And I stated “No it does not.” I were writing a truly very long time at that time and I knew there have been a large number of songs that had been hits that didn’t have a refrain, like “When Sunny Will get Blue” as an example. Now a much less skilled publisher may return house and write a refrain and finally end up with a seven minute piece of rubbish.

However there is not any simple one sentence solution to buying groceries a tune, it is more or less like democracy, it is at all times evolving.

TR: Is there one thing about Chet that people would possibly not know?

RG: I believe he used to be an overly beneficiant, dependable, delicate guy, and as I stated a renaissance guy. A super guitar participant unquestionably about it however he used to be at all times having a look on the larger image, the entire universe.

He used to be my boss, however I might additionally say we had been just right pals. I used to be at all times welcome to come back over and his spouse Leona would infrequently name me and inquire from me to come back repair the TV or one thing. I felt like prolonged circle of relatives.

However one time particularly sticks in my thoughts. In 1976 when my dad died I used to be sitting at house a couple of weeks later and I heard a knock on the door, and Chet used to be status there and he stated “Good day Randy, you favor video video games do not you?” and I stated yeah and he stated “let’s move play some” and so we went to this position he had discovered and I performed a few video games and he used to be simply looking at and in spite of everything I requested him, “What are you gonna play?” And he stated, “Not anything – I simply concept you may love to do this and get your thoughts off of items.”

And that is the reason the type of individual he used to be.

TR: Smartly thanks for speaking with me lately Randy.

RG: My excitement.



Source through Tom Redmond

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A biographical sketch paints an abbreviated picture of someone's life. It can be written about someone else's life or your own life. If you're writing about someone ...