Bill Vancil was a prominent figure in radio for many years, as a voice talent, program manager, and executive. In 2013 he was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. “In the glory days of music radio – country or pop didn’t matter,” says Bill. “A hit was a hit. On the radio you might hear Patsy Cline played right next to Tony Bennett. Sometimes a hit by a country artist would be covered by a pop artist and become a hit all over again, and vice-versa. So covering songs is not a new idea. ” What is new, is Bill giving the songs his own spin, without forgoing the essence of the original. An example is his version of Johnny Cash’s “Stand By Me.” Bill does it in a bossa nova mode. Incidentally “bossa nova” in Portugese means “new style.” For this first “Smooth Country Covers” album, Bill Vancil has chosen five classic country songs with meaningful lyrics and indelible melodies. He created the music backings while recording the vocals. He explains, “I prefer playing keyboard while singing, instead of multi-tracking.”
1. Help Me Make It Through the Night was written by Kris Kristofferson and was a number one country hit for Sammi Smith in 1971.
2. You Don’t Know Me has been recorded by dozens of artists, the best selling version by Ray Charles in 1962.
3. I Walk the Line was written and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1956 and became his first number one hit, selling over two million copies.
4. Blue Eyes Cryin’ In the Rain first recorded by Roy Acuff in 1947, later by Hank Williams and others. It helped jump start Willie Nelson’s career in 1975.
5. Heartaches By the Number was first recorded by Ray Price. The Guy Mitchell version hit number one in 1959.
Physical copies of the CD version of the album will be available to order Mid-August.
My first single.
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Where I record my songs.