Nashville Cats: Salute to Bergen White
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June 15, 2013 - Oklahoma-born Bergen White was raised the son of a Baptist minister, traveling from city to city singing in church choirs until his family settled in Nashville when he was fourteen. His musical career began as a vocalist—working as a solo artist,singing harmony vocals with the Marijohn Singers, adding background vocals in the studio on hits like “Lucille” (Kenny Rogers), and as a member of Ronny and the Daytonas. White’s horn arrangement on Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie”caught the ear of Elvis Presley, who asked Bergen to work on his records. Other notable songs that feature White’s arrangements are “Come Monday” (Jimmy Buffett), “The Grand Tour” (George Jones), “Please Remember Me” (Tim McGraw), and “Smoky Mountain Rain” (Ronnie Milsap). While never giving up singing and recording, his credits as an arranger appear on records from artists as diverse as Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, Joe Simon, and George Strait.This interview is illustrated with vintage photos, film footage, and recordings.