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Cason, Buzz (27th November 1939-16th June 2024)

He was a singer-songwriter, arranger, producer and author born James E. Cason in Nashville, Tennessee, who would sometimes sing under the pseudonym Gary Miles.

In 1956 he was asked to lip synch “White Christmas” for the Noel Ball Saturday Showcase and it all started from there. In the 1950s he was a co-founder of the group The Casuals that was probably the first rock and roll band to come out of Nashville and his first self-penned song “My Love Song For You” made his local chart’s Top 10. The Casuals were soon snapped up as the backing band for Brenda Lee.

He then recorded with The Statues for Liberty that was made up of himself and The Jordanaires‘ Richard Williams and Hugh Jarrett, was a member of Ronny & The Daytonas and then in 1960 took the plunge into a solo career under the name Gary Miles.

As a solo artist he saw success with his “Look For a Star” and realising he would maybe like to pursue the songwriting and other sides of his musical career he went to Los Angeles to work with Snuff Garrett and Leon Russell , with whom he would produce The Crickets as well as sing for them, and Nashville to arrange for Bill Justis. During these late years in the 1960s he found his biggest success when he wrote “Everlasting Love” which flew up the charts to No. 1 in the UK and No. 6 in the US for Robert Knight and has since been recorded by many artists.

His other songs that have been performed by artists as wide-ranging as Pearl Jam, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy Roe, U2, Jan & Dean, Bobby Vee, Placido Domingo , The Hollywood Argyles, Brian Hyland, The Fleetwoods, David Essex, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, Mel Tillis and The Beatles include “Soldier of Fortune”, “Popsicle”, “Tennessee”, “Love On a Mountain Top”, “Sandy”, “The Joker Went Wild”, “Honey” and “Little Green Apples”.

In 1970 he was the founder of the Creative Workshop studio that was used by many of the time’s successful artists such as Dolly Parton , The Doobie Brothers, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers , Emmylou Harris, Jerry Reed  and Olivia Newton John for the album that gave her the hits “Sam” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. He ran a publishing house in collaboration with the songwriter Bobby Russell, who he also earlier recorded with as The Todds, but in 1974 he gave it up and in the 1980s he formed his own band B.C. & The Dartz who released several albums.

Having sung backing for many artists he could be heard with Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Swan, Bob Wills, Jimmy Buffett, and Kenny Rogers among many others and features on albums that include his own Buzz and Hats off To Hank as well as Nashville Rebel by Waylon Jennings, Gideon by Kenny Rogers , One Way Ticket To Paradise by David Loggins , Faded Love: 1947-1973 by Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Jesus was a Capricorn by Kris Kristofferson, Tom Jones Country by Tom Jones, Love Has No Reason by Debby Boone and A White Sports Coat & A Pink Crustacean, Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, Down to Earth, Havana Daydreamin’, Before the Salt, Before the Beach, High Cumberland Jubilee and A-1-A by Jimmy Buffett .

As an author he published his Living the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Casson in 2004.

He was inducted into the Nashville Public School Hall of Fame in 2005 and that same year nominated for the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

He died in Nashville, Tennessee in June 2024 when he was 84 years old.

Jimmy Buffett recordings
Havana Daydreamin’ (Jimmy Buffett )

Spurzz recordings
Cowboy Stomp! (Buzz Cason/Fred Weller)
Epic 9-50911 ZSS 167440

Here he is with The Love Notes performing “Bring It On Home”…