Interview with Gary Revel

Interview with Gary Revel 2007

Would you please introduce yourself to the readers and tell us something about your history.
My name is Gary Revel. I was born in the small town of Florala in the state of Alabama USA. I grew up in Florida and graduated high school from Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Florida.
I wrote my first song when I was about 12 years old and formed my first Rock and Roll band when I was 15 years old.
At 18 I joined the United States Navy because I had two brothers in the navy fighting in the Vietnam War and believed it was my duty to follow them.
I was honourably discharged from the Navy in a couple of years and went directly to Hollywood, California where I began my music career. Within a few months I met Jud Phillips who has remained a friend and associate since. His knowledge and expertise of the music business is a vital component to the continuing success of the industry as a whole.
From Los Angeles I moved to New York, Miami, Memphis and then settled in Nashville, Tennessee where I lived for several years all the time continuing to be engaged in the music business but not really ‘making it’ as one might say. I signed some publishing contracts with the Acuff-Rose ASCAP arm Milene Music Inc. The company was the Number One Country Music publisher throughout the world at that time but it wasn’t a great fit for me because all of my music wasn’t country. Roy Acuff once told me if I would concentrate on just doing Country Music he could promise me a place in the Grand Ole Opry and a permanent home for my music at Acuff-Rose. I couldn’t do just Country Music so I didn’t get to the Grand Ole Opry and didn’t have a permanent home at Acuff-Rose.
It was in Nashville where I found myself associated with the accused Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray’s attorney, Jack Kershaw. He and I had some music business dealings and eventually I began to use some of my United States Naval training to help him investigate some ‘usual suspects’ related to some cases he was handling. This led to his request to associate with him in the newly re-opened investigation of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination and the case against James Earl Ray. He firmly believed that the matter was a case of a United States Government cover-up.
This led to the writing and recording of the song, They Slew The Dreamer. It became the subject of a front page news story on its release and I was accused of using my talent to make and distribute promotional gimmicks for James Earl Ray. Actually I truly believed the song spoke to the truth of the matter and continue to believe the same today.
It appeared that I had made some powerful enemies by that time and decided to relocate. I moved back to Hollywood and have lived here since.
Several years ago I met Film-Maker William Sachs and it was at his urging that I began to explore the possibility of make a movie of my MLK assassination investigation story. We have been working on that ever cumbersome project since then and it has had more than it’s share of pitfalls. Time will tell whether or not the movie is ever made.
How was the last year for you? Were there any highlights?
The past year I have been very busy consulting on the development of the motion picture deal that will bring the story of my investigation of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination to film. As always I am still very busy with writing and working on my music as well.
What did you do before you got into the music business?
Since childhood music has been my primary focus. I have experimented with other callings such as; Investigator, Pastor, Financial Consultant, Personal and Business Manager but everything always leads me back to my music.
Country Music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you before?
I write, record and perform various styles of music. My roots are country/rock and roll and I tend to sound country on almost all my recordings but the chord changes and instrumentation throw people off and I sometimes find myself classified in just about every music genre there is. Some say my best performances are when I do Country and some say they are when I do Rock. I’ll have to continue leaving that up to the listener to decide as I really don’t know how to classify myself.
Your current single is being played by radio. What do you think is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?
Well, my Country single, An Old Frame House, is a story-song. I have been told that it prompts a very emotional response in people and they can’t get it out of their heads once they hear it. I have several other singles that are playing right now that are not really Country but I am told that it is the lyrics of my songs that make them so powerful. There is no doubt that They Slew The Dreamer stirs more emotions and controversy than any other song I have written. It’s ultimate achievements will develop out of the ‘life of it’s own’ that it has had ever since I jotted the lyrics down three decades past.
What is your current CD and how is it doing?
In My Dreams is getting played all over the world and They Slew The Dreamer is just starting to get play. They have some of the same songs but most have been remixed and sound like different recordings of the same song.
How did you find the title for the CD and what inspired you?
The title of In My Dreams is the same as the single that inspired it and the same is true for They Slew The Dreamer.
Do you write the songs yourself, and if not, how do you go about finding songs for your albums?
I write most of my songs myself but sometimes co-write. I occasionally do songs I like that others have written and sometimes do covers.
Please tell us about the songs on your album.
Besides In My Dreams and They Slew The Dreamer you’ll find an environmental issue juxtaposed in a Country Music recording of Mother Nature on the CD In My Dreams as well as Little Did We Know, the ballad about the murder of Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw star Stringbean and his wife Estelle. There are two releases of the CD In My Dreams, one has 10 tracks and the other has 15. It also includes the Traditional Country hit, An Old Frame House also My Baby’s Gonna Leave, Land Of Make Believe, Deep Mountain Lake, Just As Long As We’re Together and of course In My Dreams. In the first version I introduced Dale Tuttle’s recording of my song, I Know. I produced and released his single of this song in the late 1980s and it hit the Cashbox Indie charts and seemed to be headed to the top of the national charts. The week it was scheduled to break into the Top 100 the head of the Cashbox Music Charts in Nashville was murdered. I also include a couple of bonus tracks that are demos in the second version.
They Slew The Dreamer contains a remixed version of a big band rock production of Peanut Man, also Land Of Make Believe, My Baby’s Gonna Leave, Treat America Like A Lady, Pac Man On Her Mind, Hollywood Star, Deep Mountain Lake, Meet The Lord In The Sky as well new remixes of In My Dreams and They Slew The Dreamer.
What is the difference between your last and your current album?
They are similar but have some very different production values and remixes of some of the same songs. I just let my music take me to where it’s going and that’s what eventually gets to the public. Both albums are very representative of the kind of music I like and will continue to create.
In every day or every life day there is a story to be told. I find those stories and tell them. That’s what can be found in my albums, my music, poetry, books and screenplays.
Christian Lamitschka ( )

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