SO THERE I WAS

SITTING IN MY STUDIO ONE DAY

THINKING ABOUT HOW I WAS TIRED OF SITTING IN MY STUDIO

 

and it occurred to me
if i just keep on doin what I do out of habit
i'm gonna turn around in ten years

and still be sitting here

so i got rid of everything
let my kids (who are all on their own now)

take whatever they wanted
sold my house
crammed my whole studio into a laptop
and set out on the road

the first song on my new cd

comes real close to sounding like what i felt as i was driving along
and it's still what it sounds like to me
every time i set out

THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

HERE'S SOME OF WHAT'S HAPPENED UP UNTIL NOW. . .

i've been lucky enough to have made my living

as a  songwriter/ performer/ recording studio guy 

since I was nineteen

here (in somewhat cronological order)

are some of the projects i've been involved with- 

and the role I played

writer, guitar player, singer

 

high school

here with my long time friend

and musical partner bob corbin

in our first band

we had no idea then that we'd perform

together most of our careers

 

not sure why we were called the lost lambs

was probably my idea-  sorry

met and signed with

record exec lou guarino (left)

pictured here on the cover of

cash box magazine with chad and jeremy

writer, singer

 

still in high school

lou guarino got us signed to

jubilee records in ny

 

bob's and my first stint as a duo

(forever and ever)

i guess this could have

just as easily been called

"the first and last look at forever and ever"

... and that's ok

 

i ended up working with lou

on a lot of sessions over the years-

some great times

writer, singer, musician, some of the audio engineering

 

our first working band- "gravel".

we were packin them in

six nights a week

eight hours on saturdays

and for the week we got paid $400

to split five ways

then we got a manager

who got us up to $450

 

we finally got a little smarter

and hooked up with manager harry popovich

who eventually got us signed

to columbia records

left to right- terry bates, dave hanner,

mark kamer, bob corbin,  greg benedix

a later version of gravel-

that's right-  bob and i are cowboys

 

kip paxton (left) on bass and vocals

played with us for more than 20 years

left to right-kip paxton, dave freeland,

dave hanner, greg benedix, bob corbin

writer

 

bob and i began making some connections

in nashville

and each got signed

to mel tillis's sabel publishing

 

it was mel's interest in us

that formed our whole connection

to the nashville scene

and we're forever grateful

 

mel had just won

cma entertainer of the year

and he started including our songs

on his albums

and continued to do so for years-

plus he and song pluggers

jimmy darrel and buddy cannon

started getting each of us cuts around town too-

exciting stuff

writer

 

my first actual cut-

the cates sisters

 

it wasn't a big hit but it got on the charts

and look!- my name's on the record

our band "gravel"

added al snyder (left)

on keyboards and vocals

(al played with us for 35 years)

 

and we became

"the corbin/hanner band"

 

left to right- al snyder, dave hanner,

dave freelend, bob corbin, kip paxton

...and we got a logo!

writer, singer, musician

 

mel tillis enlisted producer tommy west

(jim croce, ann murray, and many others)

who produced this record for us

 

and hooked us up with manager bob burwell

(kenny rogers, michael martin murphy)

 

and got us signed to alpha records in LA

 

we were label mates with billy vera

writer

 

my first big single as a writer

 

the oak ridge boys recorded my song

"beautiful you"

and took it to number one

 

and then they were kind enough

to put our band on their tour

as the opening act

great guys

great performers

writer

 

the gentle giant, don williams, recorded my song

"lord i hope this day is good"

 

and he was also kind enough to have our band

be the opener on his tour

"lord i hope this day is good"

is released as a single

and goes to number one across the boards. . .

 

... and goes on to become one of don's standards-

 

eventually even being released on a time/life

collection of all time cool country songs-

 

and on don's "live from england"...

such a thrill to hear the brits

clapping along to my song

 

musician

 

alabama invited me

to play some guitar on this album

what a thrill to be in the studio

playin along with these guys

 

i made sure to wear my PENNSYLVANIA tee-shirt...

for equal representation

 

these guys are hard workers-

for example in the studio

after they finish a take

if they're not happy with something in the vocal

they don't patch up the vocal track

they re-record the whole song

like you'd expect to see on a frank sinatra  session

that's what I mean by hard workers-

and you can't argue with

21 number one records in a row!

 

they were always very encouraging to us

 

they eventually recorded two of bob's songs-

"fire in the night" and "can't keep a good man down"

each one becoming a number one hit

 

 

writer, singer, musician

 

corbin/hanner band still touring-

our second album on alpha records

produced by tommy west

 

 

writer

 

the oak ridge boys

along with their producer ron chancey

and their arranger bergen white     

did a beautiful job on my song

"happy christmas eve" 

on their christmas LP

 

it became a standard in their

live christmas show for years

 

it warms my heart to think that the christmas celebrations

of some excited kids had my song playing in the background

writer

 

a burl ives cut!

it doesn't get any better than that

he recorded my song

"time has treated you well"

 

when burl came to nashville to find songs

he didn't want any tapes

it was just writers sitting around in a room with him

taking turns playing him songs

and if one of the songs moved him...  he'd cut it

writer, producer, musician, singer, some engineering

 

at this point in the story

bob and i stopped performing

for a period of about 6 years

each of us pursuing other avenues

 

i was mostly writing and producing music

for tv and radio commercials

in new york and pittsburgh

with gerry dolezar and barney lee

(pictured are some of the products

about which I sang my heart out)

And Then...

writer, musician, singer, co-producer

 

 

producer harold shedd

(alabama, billy ray cyrus,  shania twain, and many others)

accepted the job as head of A&R

for mercury records nashville.

 

he called us up and said-

"i know you guys haven't been

performing for a while

but if you get back together

i'll sign you to mercury"

 

what an opportunity-

of course we said yes

a fond memory of the contract negotiations

happened when we were asking for this and that

and harold said-

"now remember, when I go up to new york

to get this past the lawyers

they're gonna say,

'you're puttin WHAT back together?' "

 

 

two albums

on

mercury records

writer, musician, singer, co-producer

 

 

writer

 

a  glen campbell cut !

 

he did a beautiful job on my song

"wild winds"

 

what a talent

 

writer, musician, singer, co-producing, some audio engineering

 

our first album on our own "lil red hen" label

singer

 

the corbin/hanner band performs

the national anthem

at the last ever steelers/browns game

at three rivers stadium

 

i missed the choreography rehearsal

left to right- al snyder, dave hanner,

bob corbin, kip paxton

writer, musician, singer, co-producing, some audio engineering

 

"by request"

the second record on our own label

where we had our fans vote

for which of our unreleased songs

they most wanted to hear.

writer

 

my song "lord i hope this day is good"

keeps getting recorded

 

here anne murray did a beautiful album

of classic songs produced by tommy west

and my song was the opening track!

 

the record had a lot of great songs

such as lennon/mccartney's "let it be"

so like i told my friends-

"this album includes some of me and paul's best stuff"

 

writer

 

leeann womack also recorded

"lord i hope this day is good" on this album!

 

thanks to her beautiful voice

and the great song "i hope you dance"

the album went triple platinum

writer, musician, singer, co-producer, some engineering

 

on this album

bob and I did our own versions

of many of our songs that other artists

had made famous

occasional co-writer, occasional musician, some engineering

 

by this time my son jake and my daughter casey

are also making their living in music-

their band "donora" signed to rostrum records

(wiz kalifa, mac miller)

getting many placements in movies, tv, and commercials

 

they occasionally ask for my opinion

or ask me to play a little

 

i'm a very proud dad.

writer

 

indie recording artist  bonnie 'prince' billy

did a cool job recording my song "pancho"

which I wrote when I was twenty

 

my son helped me to learn that bonnie billy

is considered a very hip artist

 

i'm wonderin if that makes me hip too. . .

i don't know

i'm just askin

writer, musician, singer, co-producer, engineering

 

"and the road goes on"

bob's and my last cd together

 

don't be sad- read on

 

Headline

 

Country-Rock duo Corbin/Hanner

ending performance career

my buddy bob decided to retire from performing

so after 45 years of working together

we announced the corbin/hanner band's final show

 

it was at a large club in pittsburgh

and we expected to maybe get a few more people than usual

but were amazed to sell out an 800 seat show in one day

so we added a second show and that one also sold out

 

our fans traveled from as far as california and texas

what a wonderful, heart warming, goodbye they gave us

 

much of the time in this business you guage your success

by how many records you sell

 

but what it really comes down to is the amazing fact that

our fans had made our records

part of the background music to their lives

 

what an ultimate honor

AND WHAT HAPPENED THEN? . . .

bob took off for the beautiful pacific ocean

on the coast of ecuador

i took off for. . .  tionesta creek

and beyond. . .

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