Monday, December 17, 2012

YEAR IN REVIEW: Classic Rock Music Journalist Ray Shasho Reflects on 2012

 By Ray Shasho

Once again, it’s time to rank the most popular classic rock music articles for the entire year based on readership page views. In 2012 …Ray Shasho conducted (34) in-depth interviews with some of the greatest music and entertainment legends of our time, and reviewed numerous concerts and events around the Tampa Bay area.

Since joining in December of 2010, Shasho has solely orchestrated and conducted (57) in-depth interviews with rock & roll and TV folklore. Ray’s only motivation is a bona fide respect for the artist and his never-ending compassion for the music.
2012 was another awesome year for classic rock music. The music legends continue to sell-out local venues, draw huge crowds at outdoor events, and perform on packed cruise liners sailing the seven seas.

I had the great privilege of chatting with two important artists who sadly left us in 2012. Ronnie Montrose (Guitarist/songwriter/producer/Van Morrison/Edgar Winter Group/Gamma/Montrose) and Michael Hossack (Drummer/Doobie Brothers/U.S Navy Vet) … thank you for all the great music and so many wonderful memories.

We also say goodbye to these music artists and pioneers in 2012 Ravi Shankar(Indian Sitar player/influential to George Harrison) Ed Cassidy (Drummer/Spirit), Dave Brubeck (Progressive Jazz pioneer), Michael Dunford (Composer/guitarist/Renaissance ), Andy Williams (Pop crooner/Christmas season icon), Mark Abrahamian (Guitarist /Starship), Larry Hoppen(Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter/Orleans), Hal David (Songwriter), Marvin Hamlish(Composer), Scott McKenzie (Singer/songwriter), Jon Lord (Founding member/ keyboardist/Deep Purple), Bob Welch (Guitarist/singer/songwriter/ Fleetwood Mac), Robert Nix(Co-founder and drummer/Atlanta Rhythm Section), Robin Gibb(Singer/songwriter/ Bee Gees), Donna Summer(Pop/ Disco/ singer/songwriter), Donald “Duck” Dunn(Bassist/ Booker T.& the MG’s), Adam Yauch (Founding member/ The Beastie Boys), Levon Helm (Vocalist/drummer/ The Band), Bob Birch( Bassist/Elton John),Greg Ham(Multi-instrumentalist/ Men at Work), Chuck Brown (“Godfather of Go-Go” music) Dick Clark( Rock & Roll pioneer),Jim Marshall(Inventor of the Marshall amplifier), Kitty Wells(Singer/songwriter), Earl Scruggs (Bluegrass pioneer/ banjo virtuoso), Davy Jones (Singer/ The Monkees), Michael Davis( Bassist/MC5), Whitney Houston( Singer/songwriter/actress), Jimmy Ellis( Lead singer/the Trammps), R. B. Greaves(Singer/songwriter/hit-maker), Don Cornelius(Soul Train/music pioneer), Pete Cosey(Jazz/Blues/guitarist), Mark Reale (Guitarist/Riot), Etta James( Multi-genre singer), Johnny Otis (Songwriter/musician/producer), Bob Weston(Guitarist/Fleetwood Mac), Larry Reinhardt(Guitarist / Iron Butterfly/Captain Beyond), and Fred Milano (Dion and the Belmonts). …Their spirit and music will live-on forever!

*The most read article for 2012 was about the passing of legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose ...

Here are the Top 10 rankings for the most popular interviews of the year based on readership page views. (Note: Facebook likes/shares have been reset several times on many articles due to Examiner restructuring their look).
1 -Ian Anderson: A conversation with the Scottish Gent we attest as Jethro Tull
2 -Chris Squire: Squackett, Jon Anderson and ‘Yes’ on Broadway
3 -Roger Fisher: HEART original guitarist: 'Being voted out saved my life'
4 - Roger McGuinn: David Crosby can reunite 'The Byrds' without him
5 -Tommy Roe: tried to get Beatles signed: Both rejected by ABC Records
6 -Lou Gramm: Foreigner legendary vocalist embraces a second chance at life
7 -Greg Lake: of Emerson Lake & Palmer reveals: I really am a ‘Lucky Man'
8 -Johnny Winter: Rock ‘n’ roll was a disguise; I really wanted to play the blues
9 -An interview with music legends Micky Dolenz & Gary Puckett -Happy Together 2012
10 - Annie Haslam: the enchanting songstress of Renaissance
Honorable Mention’s…
Suzi Quatro: rock ‘n’ roll heroine in an unzipped exclusive interview
Frank Marino: legendary guitarist sidelined with severe pain
Jim “Dandy” Mangrum: southern rock pioneer with Black Oak Arkansas
Peter Rivera: the heart and soul of Motown’s Rare Earth
‘Candice Night’: Medieval Princess: A fairytale journey with ‘Ritchie Blackmore’
Steve Hillage: The intergalactic musical evolution of a guitar rocketeer
Eric Johnson: An extraordinary and diverse guitarist with rock fusion mastery
Paul Kantner: captain at the helm for Jefferson Starship
Gino Vannelli: Exclusive Interview with an international superstar
Henry McCullough: divulges divine intervention while with Paul McCartney & Wings
Andy Powell: talks about the longevity and mystique of 'Wishbone Ash'
Nils Lofgren: Springsteen guitar virtuoso: Review ‘Old School’
Ex Judas Priest Metal Master: Atkins May Project 'Serpents Kiss'
Kim Simmonds: British blues of Savoy Brown –CD Review: ‘Voodoo Moon'
Tom Rush Interview: Celebrating 50 years of storytelling and music
Maria Muldaur rekindles the spirit of 'Memphis Minnie' on her latest release
Michael Des Barres: Silverhead rocker & TV villain ‘Murdoc’ chats with Examiner
What is a Merrell Fankhauser? The most interesting cult figure in rock history
Review: New release Blue Moon Harem ‘FINLAND’ -Interview: Demetri Joannou
Here are the Top 5 concert reviews for the year based on readership page views. (Note: Facebook likes/shares have been reset several times on many articles due to Examiner restructuring their look).
1 -The Zombies are brilliant for sold-out Largo Cultural Center
2 -Happy Together Tour draws another packed house at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
3 -Blondie magnificent at Firefly Gala: Interview guitarist/songwriter Chris Stein
4 -Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band superlative for sold out Ruth Eckerd audience
5 -Summer concerts and rock and roll on the high seas
In 2011, Ray added a new segment to his column entitled ‘Classic Rock meets Classic TV’
Here was the top Classic TV interview for 2012 ...
Marty Ingels Interview: A Brooklyn wisecracker with hutzpah who became a TV Icon
As always ... I want to thank all the public relation firms, artist management, concert promoters, and venue staffers that I’ve worked with throughout the year, but especially to the Examiner readers who have graciously surfed their way to my column. Also special thanks to photographer Mark Weaver for some remarkable shots in 2012.
Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at
GREAT HOLIDAY GIFT! Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at or -Please support Ray so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting. 

~~Pacific Book Review says Ray Shasho is a product of the second half of the 20th century, made in the USA from parts around the world, and within him is every trend in music, television, politics and culture contributing to his philosophical and comically analytical reflections collected in his fine book of memories. I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting so many memories of my own life, as I too am within a few years of Ray. So to all, I say if you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book! It’s a great gift for your “over-the-hill” friends, or for their kids, if they are the history buffs of younger generations trying to figure out why we are the way we are.

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