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Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Nite Retro

Welcome once again to Friday Nite Retro - Where the points are meaningless and the answers are all made up! Wait. . .I think that was something else. . Anyhoo. . .take a break from "veepstakes" (It'll be tomorrow morning now!) and journey back in time with me once more to experience an artist you may have, for good or bad, forgotten all about! I was pleasantly surprised by several of the tunes that surfaced when I searched through the work of William Royce Scaggs, better known as "Boz".

Boz was born on June 6, 1944 in nearby Canton, Ohio. His traveling salesman father moved the family to Oklahoma, and then to Plano, Texas where a classmate at his private school nicknamed him "Bosley". The name stuck, and was eventually shortened to just Boz. After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at the same school, eventually becoming the vocalist for Miller's band, The Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison together, and played together in several blues bands. Scaggs appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor,and later secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968. Duane Allman played on that first album with him.

In 1976, he linked up with the session musicians who would later form Toto and recorded his smash album Silk Degrees. The album climbed to #2 on the U.S. charts and #1 in a number of countries across the world, spawning three hit singles: "Lowdown", "Lido Shuffle", and "What Can I Say", as well as the MOR standard "We're All Alone", later covered by Rita Coolidge and Frankie Valli. A sellout world tour followed, but his follow-up album, the 1977 Down Two Then Left, did not fare as well commercially as Silk Degrees.


Lido Shuffle

What Can I Say

It's Over

We're All Alone

The 1980 album Middle Man spawned two top 20 hits, "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jojo".

Breakdown Dead Ahead

Jo Jo

Scaggs enjoyed two more hits in 1980-81 ("Look What You've Done to Me" from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and "Miss Sun" from a greatest hits set, both U.S. #14 hits). But Scaggs' lengthy hiatus from the music industry (his next LP, Other Roads, wouldn't appear until 1988) slowed his chart career down dramatically.

Look What You've Done to Me

Miss Sun

"Heart of Mine" in 1988, from Other Roads, was Scaggs' final top 40 hit but was a major adult contemporary success.

Heart of Mine

Scaggs continued to record and tour sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and for a time was semi-retired from the music industry. He is one of the owners of the San Francisco nightclub, Slim's. Scaggs and his wife grow grapes in California's Napa County and have produced their own wine.

He tours each summer, has a loyal cadre of fans, remains hugely popular in Japan, and released a DVD and a live CD in 2004. Other releases followed. In 2008, Scaggs began an expanded tour, and is scheduled to appear across the country from spring through fall. Check out his official site to see what he's currently up to!

Have a GREAT weekend and thanks for joining me tonight for Friday Nite Retro!

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