15 episodes

Join hosts Lee Zimmerman & cohost Billy Hubbard as they take you backstage for conversations with singer songwriters, musicians, and music industry professionals! Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. Lee is a former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS affiliated television stations. Lee recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. Lee also played a key role in securing airplay for Jimmy Buffett’s first major hit, “Margaritaville” so you can blame him for the fact that it’s become something akin to a Parrot heads’ national anthem! During his time at Capital records Lee also worked with such legends as Paul McCartney, Bob Seger, the Steve Miller Band, and others. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net. Podcast producer/cohost Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East Tennessee. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars and his YouTube channel has over 3 million viewers. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com *My Backstage music intro/outro credit: Billy Hubbard 'Waitin' On The Wind" available on all outlets and iTunes at https://music.apple.com/us/album/waitin-on-the-wind/1212970936?i=1212971289

My Backstage Pass With Hosts Lee Zimmerman and Billy Hubbard

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Join hosts Lee Zimmerman & cohost Billy Hubbard as they take you backstage for conversations with singer songwriters, musicians, and music industry professionals! Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. Lee is a former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS affiliated television stations. Lee recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. Lee also played a key role in securing airplay for Jimmy Buffett’s first major hit, “Margaritaville” so you can blame him for the fact that it’s become something akin to a Parrot heads’ national anthem! During his time at Capital records Lee also worked with such legends as Paul McCartney, Bob Seger, the Steve Miller Band, and others. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net. Podcast producer/cohost Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East Tennessee. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars and his YouTube channel has over 3 million viewers. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com *My Backstage music intro/outro credit: Billy Hubbard 'Waitin' On The Wind" available on all outlets and iTunes at https://music.apple.com/us/album/waitin-on-the-wind/1212970936?i=1212971289

    Musical Funnyman Ray Stevens

    Musical Funnyman Ray Stevens

    Ray Stevens is known mostly as a musical funnyman, no surprise really considering the novelty songs that he took to the top of the charts during a successful string of hits that dominated the radio waves throughout the 1960s. These days, songs such as “Ahab the Arab,” “The Streak” and “Gitarzan” might not find favor with those of a politically correct persuasion, but back in the day, they established Stevens as an artist with a clear affinity for sarcasm and satire. Indeed, after a career that spans some 65 years, Stevens remains committed to the cause of keeping his listeners entertained and engaged. After beginning his musical journey strictly as a songwriter, he got his big break when he was signed to Mercury Records in 1961, and it was there that he gained fame not only for the aforementioned comedy classics, but also with several “serious” songs as well — among them, “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Misty.” They were both big crossover hits that helped to establish him as both a country superstar and a reliable purveyor of pop songs suitable to be shared with any type of audience.

    These days, at the age of 82, Stevens remains as active as ever. He made plans to release four albums in 2021 alone, and, equally impressively, all four — Great Country Ballads, Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass), Slow Dance, and Nouveau Retro (What’s Old Is New Again) — will be on the proverbial record store shelves by the end of May and also available as a special-edition box set, Iconic Songs of the 20th Century (The Soundtrack of Our Lives).  Clearly, he’s showing signs of slowing down.  

    Learn more about Ray Stevens at https://raystevens.com/ and checkout Ray's Nashville show CabaRay at https://raystevenscabaray.com/  which is now fully open regular hours!

    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com  

    • 28 min
    Melanie Safka - The Iconic Woodstock Artist Famous For “Beautiful People,” “Brand New Key,” “Peace Will Come,” and “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma”

    Melanie Safka - The Iconic Woodstock Artist Famous For “Beautiful People,” “Brand New Key,” “Peace Will Come,” and “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma”

    Melanie Safka — generally referred to by her first name only — epitomized the persona of the eternal flower child, a shy, waif-like woman whose memorable appearance at Woodstock summed up the sentiments of the time — innocent, unassuming and with songs that resonated with the optimism of the age. Her work shared that sweet sensibility, as reflected in songs such as “Beautiful People,” “Brand New Key,” “Peace Will Come,” and “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma,” among the many.

    Now celebrating the 50th anniversary reissue of her landmark album Gather Me, as well  as the half century reissue of her classic song “Brand New Key,” Melanie shares her story with "My Backstage Pass" as she looks back on a career that spawned well over 40 albums, some of which were released on her own record label, Neighborhood Records. That in itself was was an unheard of accomplishment at the time, one that came about as the result of her decision to defy her record company, ensure ownership of her material and make the music that she wanted to create. Learn more about Melanie Safka online at https://www.melaniesafka.com and tune in for a fascinating interview with the legend herself on "My Backstage Pass" 
    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com  

    • 54 min
    Billy Droze - One of the fastest rising stars in roots music of his generation

    Billy Droze - One of the fastest rising stars in roots music of his generation

    Dolly Parton said about Billy Droze - “When your beautiful wife gave me your CD I listened to it and was very, very impressed. You have all the talent in the world and I hope they love your music as I do. Love, Dolly” 
    At only 35 years of age, Billy Droze has acquired the title of “hit songwriter” and has been touring and making music non-stop for more than a decade. This truly unique artist and highly prolific songwriter, with lyrics that dig deep into the heart of life, melodies and a guitar style that combine his traditional roots with a modern twist that’s all his own, and a voice so beautiful, earthy and sincere that every song gives you goose bumps, has already been solidly received by both fans, industry leaders and musical peers. 
    Droze was considered for the prestigious 2018 Grammy Awards along with the IBMA and ICMA Awards. Together with bluegrass superstar Rhonda Vincent, he hosted the 2018 ICMA Awards at the historic Grand Ole Opry House. His name is becoming synonymous among Folk, Americana, Country, and Bluegrass listeners alike. Added to his many musical accomplishments, he is now President of RBR Entertainment. Billy is one of the fastest rising stars in roots music of his generation.
    Read more about Billy Droze at https://billydroze.com

    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com  

    • 32 min
    Robert Vincent - Americana Music Association UK's 2021 Artist of the year AND Album of the Year!

    Robert Vincent - Americana Music Association UK's 2021 Artist of the year AND Album of the Year!

    If you haven't discovered the incredible Liverpool based artist Robert Vincent, you are certainly in for a treat!

    Since his debut album ‘Life in Easy Steps’ in 2013, Robert Vincent from Liverpool has been one of the most acclaimed new voices in Americana, Country and Folk. Having received the inaugural Emerging Artist Award from ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris in 2016 – who described Vincent as “absolutely magnetic”, Vincent was then invited onto BBC4’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test: For One Night Only’. That performance marked a real breakthrough for Vincent, establishing him as one of the UK’s leading lights in Americana and propelling him to #1 in the iTunes Country chart. 
    On Robert's latest offering ‘In This Town You’re Owned’, he returns with his most relevant album to date, produced by Brit Award winning Ethan Johns – who has won acclaim for his production work with, amongst others, Paul McCartney, Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling, Kings of Leon, The Boxer Rebellion, The Staves, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Tom Jones. What a great result for Robert and Ethan Johns scooping Album of the Year. Overall fantastic achievements for Robert. What an unbelievable climb it's been after so many years of writing and recording.
    Robert has performed extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA alongside such classic artists as Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, James Blunt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Beth Neilson Chapman and Paul Carrack. Exciting times ahead as plans are now well under way for Robert's return to a live stage. Stay tuned for future announcements on ‘THIS TOWN TOUR 2021/22’ and ‘STRINGS ATTACHED’ concert events.

    Be sure to check out Robert Vincent online at https://robertvincentmusic.com/ and his music that is also available on iTunes and most outlets!
    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com  

    • 34 min
    "Paul" of Peter, Paul, and Mary - Noel Paul Stookey

    "Paul" of Peter, Paul, and Mary - Noel Paul Stookey

    This episode our guest is a man well known as one of the most prolific forces behind the early ‘60s folk revival and a champion of civil rights during the decades that came after. His name is Noel Paul Stookey, the "Paul" who was an essential part of the trio known throughout the world as Peter, Paul and Mary. Always served on the front lines when it comes to advocacy and education, he, along with Peter Yarrow and the late Mary Travers, helped bring those populist precepts into the modern era in the midst of a tidal wave of social change that swept across America and the world throughout the iconic era of the 1960s. The group also played a critical role as part of the transition to modern music, sharing the songs of Bob Dylan, John Denver and Pete Seeger with audiences that were, up until that point, often unawares. Following the death of Mary Travers in 2009, Stookey doubled down on a solo career he intimated in 1971 with his Paul And album, and he’s been at it ever since. His latest album, the aptly titled Just Causes, consists of a collection of his songs that span the past 50 years, and, as the title implies, continues to share his commitment to concerns he’s focused on since early on. Please join us as we revisit the history of this major musical mainstay. Learn more about Noel Paul Stookey and his music at http://www.noelpaulstookey.com/ and you can even add your own selfie to his music video at https://www.revolution1x1.org

    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com 

    • 50 min
    Bruce Sudano - Singer/Songwriter who built his reputation writing for his late wife Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, and The Jackson's, is now creating magic & music on his own

    Bruce Sudano - Singer/Songwriter who built his reputation writing for his late wife Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, and The Jackson's, is now creating magic & music on his own

    This episode of My Backstage Pass we speak with singer and songwriter Bruce Sudano. Mentored early on by pop wiz Tommy James of Tommy James and the Shondells fame, Bruce Sudano was one of those fortunate few who was able to achieve a parallel career as both an artist and songsmith. He achieved his greatest glories by way of the material made famous by others — among them, the Jacksons, Dolly Parton and his late wife, Donna Summer. Nevertheless, he was seduced by the stage early on, and his initial efforts with the bands Alive N Kickin’ and Brooklyn Dreams netted him a recording contract and led to his first solo album, The Fugitive Kind in 1981. In the meantime, he formed a personal and professional relationship with disco diva Donna Summer for whom he penned the smash hit “Bad Girls.” It proved a highly lucrative collaboration; aside from the series of songs Summer went on to record, Sudano was also able to contribute to several successful soundtracks —“Thank God It’s Friday,” “The Hollywood Nights,” “Perfect,” and “American Hot Wax,” the latter of which featured Brooklyn Dreams in the role of a fictitious band called the Pantones. A top five single, “Heaven Knows,” soon followed, and after the two married, life seemed ideal. Donna's passing brought their magical partnership to a premature end,  but Bruce has bounced back by returning to the solo spotlight with music of his own making. We talk with him as he shares his saga and talks about what's ahead for him in the future. Learn more about Bruce Sudano and his music at http://www.brucesudano.com

    Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at lezim@bellsouth.net

    Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com 

    • 43 min

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