Prologue: February 15, 1979 Friday's Child You Get a Smile Every Time with the Heads-up Taste of a Ballantine Bright Lights, Big Cities Almost Heaven, West Virginia A Name of Our Own Asleep at the Wheel Goes to Washington Go West, Young Man (and Woman) On the Road Again Into the Mystic with "The Beatles of Western Swing" Austin Calling On the Bus Spinning Texas Gold "Framed" Deadly Sins Write Your Own Song The Zen of Willie The Film Industry Is a Series of Peaks and Valleys 615 Blues Ride with Bob Ride with Job Into the Black Epilogue: Bringing It All Back Home Acknowledgments Index
"I've known Ray Benson for over forty years and never could figure out how he does all he does while asleep at the wheel! This book, however, tells how it all went down!" -- Willie Nelson "It's hard to miss big Ray Benson in Austin, Texas. And there is no missing his love for the music of his adopted state of Texas. Enjoy his improbable story." -- Richard Linklater "Ray Benson is something-creative, fun, entertaining-you'll love this book!" -- Dolly Parton
Ray Benson cofounded Asleep at the Wheel in 1970 and is the only remaining original band member. When he isn't playing with the Wheel, he's producing records, TV shows, and commercials; acting in movies; doing voice-over work; running a studio; and raising funds for numerous charities. He was named "Official Texas State Musician" in 2004 and "Texan of the Year" in 2011. A former contributing editor for No Depression magazine, David Menconi has been the music critic at the Raleigh News & Observer since 1991. He is the author of Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown and coeditor of the American Music Series for the University of Texas Press.
"Highly recommended." * Ink29 * "Asleep at the Wheel and country music fans will have trouble putting down this book, which barrels forward with all the energy of a Saturday night show at a dance hall in Austin. . . . Benson is the wily old veteran, spinning yarns and imparting wisdom learned from years on the road. We'd all be wise to listen." * Jewish Book Council * ""Full of humor and humility and a truly iconoclast outlook on life . . . since Benson started Asleep at the Wheel as a working-class country band, it's one helluva ride worth telling. " * Austin Chronicle * "The man is a trip, literally and figuratively . . . a real relaxin' ride with a mellow fellow." * Library Journal * "A let-it-all-hangout memoir." * Texas Monthly * "Benson has a treasure trove of outlandish anecdotes, assorted nuggets of wisdom, and a deep and vast wealth of musical knowledge to share." * PopMatters * "A pleasure for fans of Benson and the band." * Kirkus Reviews *