#405 – January 25, 2012 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Formed a Band – The Tom Livesay Story

1. Foolish Sad Robot – “I Recorded It”
from: The Complete Foolish Sad Robot / Independent / 1995-96

2. Foolish Sad Robot – “Personal Rock Song”
from: The Complete Foolish Sad Robot / Independent / 1995-96
[One of 23 songs recorded with Ike Sheldon and Tom Livesay. Performed at The Rhumba Box.]

3. The Whittlers – “Vans”
from: Reduced Bit By Bit / Independent / Summer 2000
[One of four full length albums created by Tom Livesay and Phil Wade between 2000 – 2004]

“I Formed A Band – The Tom Livesay Story” chronicles the musical history of Tom Livesay‘s life, through every band he has played in, starting with The William Jewel Orchestra and Jazz band and following through 24 years of Tom’s life, playing in 12 bands, where Tom played bass, sang lead vocals, played synthesizers & casios, wrote or co-wrote (probably) over 150 songs, recorded (probably) over 200 songs, and engineered or produced just as many tracks, if not more. Tom Livesay has collaborated with a very long list of KC’s best musicians including: Ike Sheldon, Phil Wade, Beste Ellis & Nate Gawron (who became The Wilders) Amy Farrand, Jeff Brown, Tony Zager, Matt Brahl, Patrick Frazier, Mark Smeltzer, Randy Wolf, Mark Stevenson, Mike McCoy, Jeff Nichols, Mark Reynolds, Stephen DiFranco, Marco Pascolini, Paul Guinto, Wm. Howell, Jennifer Appell, and many others…

Tom grew up in Independence, and graduated from Chrisman High School in 1984.

WJC Jazz Band, February 12, 1988, Kansas State Jazz Festival

After High School Tom was accepted into William Jewell College in Liberty, MO where her played saxophone in the William Jewell Orchestra & Jazz Band. It was in this band where he met future longtime collaborators: Jeff Brown (trumpet) & Ike Sheldon (trombone).

1987 – 88 Tom formed The Freshman Senators with 3 friends who needed a bass player. Tom sold his saxophone, and bought a bass.

4. The Freshman Senators – “Butterfly Fan”
from: The Freshman Senators / Independent / 1988
[Originally released on cassette. Re-released as a single w/ 2 other songs on cassette in 1990. Winner of local radio station call in contest. William Jewell Band w/ Tony Zager – Guitar, David King – Drums, Brian Meredith – Guitar & Saxophone, Tom Livesay – Bass. Friend Jeff Brown formed rival band: The Industry.]

1988 after William Jewell College Tom moved to Midtown, near KCAI, and continued with The Freshman Senators.

1989 Tom formed Wig Newton with Ike Sheldon after Ike graduated and moved to midtown. Wig Newton was influenced by bands of the day: Jane’s Addiction, Faith No More.

1990 – 91 Tom formed Knotty Pines with Tony Zager (of Freshman Senators)

5. Knotty Pines – “Zuleika”
from: Geek Mythology / Independent / 1991
[Antony Zager – Guitars, Tom Livesay – Vocals & Bass. Released on Cassette. Recorded at Westend Studios. Dedicated to The Freshman Senators & Wig Newton.]

1989 to 1991 there was some overlapping between The Freshman Senators, Wig Newton and Knotty Pines. At William Jewel Ike Sheldon had been a vocal music major, in Wig Newton, Ike used his operatic tenor, as well as rapped. We do not have any Wig Newton recordings, but Ike did contribute guest vocals for the Knotty Pines, “Geek Mythology” release, which gives us an example of Ike’s pre-The Wilders vocals.

6. Knotty Pines – “Planet Janet”
from: Geek Mythology / Independent / 1991
[Special lead vocals by Ike O. Sheldon. co-written by Livesay/Zager/Sheldon. Antony Zager – Guitars, Tom Livesay – Vocals & Bass. Released on Cassette. Recorded at Westend Studios. Dedicated to The Freshman Senators & Wig Newton.]

1991 Tom formed The Young Johnny Carson Story with William Jewel Orchestra Members Jeff Brown, Ike Sheldon. The Band’s name came from Ike Sheldon’s dream where he was in a made-for-TV movie, playing the part of a young Johnny Carson.

1992 The Young Johnny Carson Story released “Nerd”

7. The Young Johnny Carson Story – “You’re Too Beautiful”
an unreleased track / Independent / 1992
[Jeff Brown – Guitar & Vox, Tom Livesay – Bass & Vox, Ike Sheldon – Guitar, Bass & Vox]

What happened when Tom Livesay asked Johnny Carson permission to use his name for their “musical project”?

A letter dated March 14, 1994, from Carson Productions read:

Mr. Livesay,

“Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the use of mr. Carson’s name in your musical project. However, I must inform you that it is in the best interests of Carson Productions to unconditionally refuse permission for the use of the name in any form. To persist in doing so will result in immediate litigation. We wish you luck in the persuit of your project, but must insist in your finding a new name.”

– Carson Productiona

1994 the band changed their name to My Childhood Hero and added drummer Amy Farrand to the group.

In the notes, on the cassette release, it reads “We support, Rhumba Box, Gee Coffee, The Dhurries, Shallow, Trouble in Mind, Secular Theme, Danger Bob, Frogpond, and Shiner.”

8. My Childhood Hero – “fiesta ware”
from: The Young Johnny Carson Story Is Now My Childhood Hero / Whiney Piney / 1994 [Jeff Brown – Guitar, Tom Livesay – Bass, Ike Sheldon – Guitar & Bass, Amy Farrand – Drums. Guest artists: Betse Ellis – Violin & Angel, Mark Smelzer – feedback, Phil Wade – Angel. Recorded live to 2-track ny randy Wolf in Mark & Leslie’s attic, February, 1994.]

1991 (while playing with Young Johnny Carson Story, and My Childhood Hero) Tom also started playing bass with the band Cher fronted by Mike McCoy. Tom played with the band on two cassette releases: “By Named Sue” (1991) and “The Gambler” (1992).

9. Cher – “Chop-Chop Life”
from: Boy Named Sue / Independent / 1991
[Released on Cassette. Mike McCoy Guitar & Vox, Jeff Nichols – Drums, Tom Livesay – Bass, Mark Reynolds – Free Bass]

Raucous life shows, sometimes hostile audiences, it was during a Halloween show when 3 of the 4 members quit and walked off stage, in the middle of the set, leaving Mike McCoy alone on stage. Mike eventually reformed the group with Lisa McKenzie on Drums, and Heather Grehan on Bass, and renamed the band Cher UK and rerecorded many of the songs from the two cassette releases, in Minneapolis, for the 1993 release on Red Decibel Records, “She’s A Weird Little Snack.”

1995 – 96 Tom formed, Foolish Sad Robot with Ike Sheldon, Tom’s 8th band in 8 years. With Ike, at least 23 songs were recorded. The band played in many venues & developed a following.

10. Foolish Sad Robot – “Postpone”
from: The Complete Foolish Sad Robot / Independent / 1995-96
[One of 23 songs written & recorded with Ike Sheldon and Tom Livesay.]

1993-95 The Dhurries, formed with Betse Ellis on Violin, and Phil Wade on sitar, drums, & guitar. Phil was into East Indian ragas. The Dhurries played local coffeehouses including Whistler’s Mother in Westport where they became fans of the Young Johnny Carson Story and Foolish Sad Robot. Tom Livesay, Ike Sheldon, Jeff Brown, Betse Ellis and Phil Wade played together a lot in those days.

11. The Dhurries – “Red Ribbon”
from: Yeppers / Barry Lee Compilation for KKFI / 1995
[Betse Ellis & Phil Wade. Originally recorded on Barry Lee‘s radio program, “Signal To Noise,” in 1995. On a Signal To Noise radio show Ike Sheldon joined Betse & Phil to play a “string tune” they’d been experimenting with after Ike started playing his father’s old country records. Some say this was the beginning of The Wilders. A You Tube video of Ike, Betse & Phil on Signal to Noise is on our Wednesday MidDay Medley Facebook Page.]

1996-97 William Jewell Orchestra members: Tom Livesay, Jeff Brown & Ike Sheldon teamed up with Phil Wade (formerly of the Dhurries and The Pedaljets) and Stephen DiFranco (formerly of Bad Manners) to form a new band: Day Sleeper

12. Day Sleeper – “Meteor (Reprise)”
from: When The Meteor Comes / Independent / 1997
[Tom Livesay (lead vox on this song) – Bass & Vox, Phil Wade – Lead Electric Guitar & Lap Steel Guitar & Vox, Ike Sheldon – Fender Rhoades & Electric Piano, Jeff Brown – Vox & Electric Guitar & Acoustic Guitar, Stephen DiFranco – Drums. Recorded at The Tic Ranch, Frazier Farm, mixed at band’s house, 3605 Jefferson. Songs written by Jeff Brown & Day Sleeper.]

“I Formed A Band – The Tom Livesay Story.” continues…
A chronicle of the musical history of Tom’s life, through every band he has played in, over the past 24 years.

1995, Phil Wade started listening to bluegrass music.

1996 Ike Sheldon, Betse Ellis and Phil Wade formed The Wilders with Matt Kesler (Phil’s band mate from The Pedaljets) sometimes on Bass.

1997 -1998 Tom moved to Arizona with a friend. While in Arizona Tom recorded some solo recordings using casio keyboards.

13. Tom Livesay – “Jumbo Jet Beat”
from: Tom Livesay’s Greatest Hits / Independent / 1998 [Tom’s solo work.]

1998 The Wilders released the first recording: “Cornbread, Molasses and Sassafras Tea” on Rural Grit Records. Ike started hosting The Rural Grit Hour at The Grand Emporium.

1999 Tom Livesay moved back to KC from Arizona and joined: Snakebite Orphans with Mark Stevenson, Marco Pascolini (of Mr. Marco’s V-7), and Matt Brawl (of Sandoval).

1999 Tom Livesay engineered the recording of The Wilders 2000 release: “The Wilders.”

The Wilders

(Note: In 2011 After 15 years, 10 albums, and constant touring, The Wilders announced last month that they would be taking an extended “hiatus.”)

14. The Wilders – “Righten That Wrong”
from: The Wilders / Rural Grit Records / 2000
[Ike Sheldon – Lead Guitar & Vox, Betse Ellis – Fiddle & Vox, Phil Wade – Mandolin & Dobro & Banjo & Vox, Nate Gawron – String Bass. Rec. Live Dec, 1999, at Randy Wolf’s house. Engineered by Tom Livesay & Randy Wolf. Jeff Brown plays Bass on this song.]

2000 – 2004 Tom formed The Whittlers with Phil Wade

15. The Whittlers – “They Wanted Songs”
from: Reduced Bit By Bit / Independent / Summer 2000
[One of four full length albums created by Tom Livesay and Phil Wade between 2000 – 2004]

2000-2004 Tom & Phil Wade recorded 4 albums, while working together at The KC Art Intitute.

16. The Whittlers – “Dressed Up and It’s Hot”
from: Sci Fi Runaway / Independent / January – February 2001
[Song includes a guest rap from Ike Sheldon. Album included guests: Betse ellis, Ike Sheldon, Nate & Mary Gawron, Wm. Howell and others.]

17. The Whittlers – “Stuck in Missouri With You”
from: Touch The Artist / Independent / Summer 2002
[Album was made up entirely of covers. This song was made famous by Stealer’s Wheel. Jeff Brown played drums on several tracks. Ike Sheldon played piano and keyboards on several tracks.]

18. The Whittlers – “Another Night Gone”
from: Nobody’s Happy / Independent / Summer 2004
[written by Betse Ellis. Tom on Vocals, Ike on Piano, Phil on Guitar. Recorded as a surprise for Betse.]

2001 Tom Produced albums for: Wm. Howell & played bass for Paul Guinto aka Redbirds

19. Wm. Howell – “Born Again”
from: Sweet Boy / Independent / 2001

2001 Tom released his first solo release with guest appearances from Ike Sheldon, Phil Wade, Beste Ellis, Tony Zager, Matt Brahl, Patrick Fraizer, Mark Smeltzer, Kim Stanton, Mark Stevenson, Paul Guinto, Wm. Howell,

20. Tom Livesay – “Kids Feel Stifled!”
from: Gazer / Independent / 2001
[co-written with student in Beijing, Tony Zager & Tom Livesay, Guitar by Tony Zager, cyborg vocal by Wm. Howell. Bass, Vocals & Synthesizers by Tom. Drums by Matt Brawl.]

21. Tom Livesay – “Lover Slash Friend”
from: Gazer / Independent / 2001 [co-written by Ike & Tom. Guitar & Tamborine by Ike Sheldon.]

22. Tom Livesay – “Stripmall Opens”
from: Gazer / Independent / 2001 [cello by Betse Ellis.]

23. Tom Livesay – “ReRelease”
from: Gazer / Independent / 2001 [Guitar by Patrick Frazier]

Present day – Tom is raising his 8 year old daughter Hirut, adopted from Ethiopia.

Recently Tom has been working on new songs.

24. Foolish Sad Robot – “Sad Hour”
from: The Complete Foolish Sad Robot / Independent / 1995-96

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:
and kkfi.org

Sources for Notes: Artist’s websites noted above and wikipedia.org

Show #405


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