News About American Spirit

Smells Like American Spirit

[Published in the 17 March 2003 issue of The Legend-News. Author: Ed. Floden.] [Source]

A few issues ago, we mentioned a Critter sighting (well, hearing) of a new album containing C.W. McCall material. Well, it’s true. Coming this Memorial Day to a retailer near you will be American Spirit, by Mannheim Steamroller and C.W. McCall, a collection of patriotic songs and spoken words.

Bill Fries, the real C.W. McCall, was at the American Gramaphone studios in Omaha, Nebraska a few weeks ago, recording voice-overs; he’s the narrator for the spoken word tracks. And for the fans of Bill’s songs, American Spirit will include a digital re-recording of The Best Damn Trucker’s Anthem Ever, “Convoy”. The Rubber Duck rides again!

Ed. Floden, the Space Cadet, attended a recording session that was held at St. Michael’s Church, in Chicago’s Old Town area, on Thursday, March 13. Seems that when Bill Fries was at AG, he mentioned some of the web sites about C.W. McCall: our own C.W. McCall: An American Legend, Miles Lumbard’s The Narrow Gauge Circle, and David Frederick’s CONVOY: The Movie. Dan Wieberg of AG contacted the masters of those sites, and invited them to attend the session. Unfortunately, the only person who was close enough to Chicago was Ed., who lives in McHenry, Illinois, about 45 miles northwest of the city. Ed. arrived at St. Michael’s in mid-afternoon, and observed the recording session from set-up to tear-down.

In the first half of the session, Chip Davis conducted a group of brass and percussion players from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of “Fanfare For The Common Man” by Aaron Copland. Later that evening, the CSO Choir (sans orchestra) performed “American The Beautiful”, “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”, and “Home On The Range”. (Yes, “Home On The Range”.)

Immediately following the conclusion of the session, Chip and crew flew back to Omaha to continue working on this album, which is expected to be a big seller. Its upcoming release has already been promulgated (Whoa! Big Word Alert!) to major retailers in the U.S. Chip Davis says that Target and Wal-Mart, among others, have placed large pre-orders for American Spirit.

We’ll continue to report on this album as we receive more information. Later this week, we’ll post some pictures of the session on the American Legend web site.

‘Convoy’ Composers Reuniting After Twenty-Five Year Split

[Published 2003 March 11 in the “Weird News Headlines and Stories” section of NCBuy.] [Source]

OMAHA, Neb. (Wireless Flash) — It’s not exactly an ABBA reunion, but two titans of pop culture are reuniting for the first time in two decades — the guys that did the 1976 novelty hit, “Convoy.”

C.W. McCall, who recited the C.B. radio-oriented lyrics in the original ditty, is currently in Omaha, Nebraska, recording “American Spirit,” a patriotic album with fellow “Convoy” composer Chip Davis.

Davis is better known as the brains behind Mannheim Steamroller, which, until now, he thought of as only a Christmas-oriented band.

However, this new CD will be more oriented towards patriotism and include spoken-word pieces by McCall and a remake of “Convoy” featuring many of the original musicians.

It’s a reunion no one ever thought would happen.

Although the two collaborators have always been on good terms, McCall has long been retired from the music biz and Davis has long insisted the Steamroller only perform Christmas music.

“American Spirit” will be released around Memorial Day.

BRAND NEW C.W. McCall ALBUM TO BE RELEASED ON May 20th, 2003 !!!

[Published on 2003 March 17 in the Tales of the Four Wheel Cowboy section of The Narrow Gauge Circle. Author: Miles A. Lumbard.]

American Gramaphone contacted us to help get the news out to all the diehard C.W. fans. On May 20th, C.W. McCall and Mannheim Steamroller will release an ALL NEW compact disc titled “American Spirit”. It’s billed as a collection of stories/songs about the fabric of America, and American life.

As a dedicated long time fan of C.W. McCall, and a proud American, it is a privilege to be able to present this to you all. As I get more information from A/G I’ll be adding it here, and as soon as I can get a separate page for the CD together, I’ll be posting it.

So far we know that the title is American Spirit. It will be released on May 20th. The title track is also the first track, and begins with C.W. reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance. We also know that among the music recorded by Chip and The Steamroller in Chicago, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the CSO Choir, were Fanfare For The Common Man, America The Beautiful, Battle Hymn of The Republic, and Home On The Range.

Now I don’t know about you, but just imagining those pieces with Bill’s great deep voice conjuring images of American life over them has me getting weepy already.

Ed Floden was lucky enough to be able to attend the recording session, and Chip told him that Wal-Mart and Target have already placed very large pre-orders.

My contact at A/G will be sending pictures from the recording sessions, and if we’re really lucky, some MP3 clips.