Journey's Neal Schon, Robbie Dupree and Redgum's John Schumann


Journey's Neal Schon on latest album 'Freedom'

They are a rock outfit that achieved massive success in the 1970s and ’80s, Journey’s blend of melodic hard rock and epic balladry has resulted in 25 gold- and platinum-certified albums. The San Francisco-based act began combining jazz fusion and progressive rock elements. With the arrival of vocalist Steve Perry, who made his studio debut on the group’s fourth LP, Infinity, the band began heading towards mainstream rock royalty. Between 1978 and 1987, the band notched a string of singles (“Wheel in the Sky,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Lights,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”) that have become permanent fixtures in the classic rock radio lexicon. 

A long hiatus preceded the release of 1996’s Trial by Fire, which would serve as Perry’s last outing with the group. Since then, Journey has remained a constant challenge for founding guitarist Neal Schon, who has led the band through two lead singers -– Steve Augeri from 1998 to 2006, and Arnel Pineda since 2007 -– and five more studio albums including Arrival (2001)

Journey was formed in 1973 by Neal Schon (a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana), bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after the first album). Another former Santana member, keyboard player and singer Gregg Rolie joined shortly after. This lineup recorded Journey (1975), the first of three moderate-selling jazz-rock albums (Journey, Look Into the Future, and Next) essentially given over to instrumentals. By 1977, the band was looking to emulate the rock radio dominance of contemporaries like Foreigner and Boston. They conscripted Steve Perry, whose soulful, Sam Cooke-inspired tenor would become the key to unlocking mainstream success. The results were immediately felt upon the release of 1978’s Infinity, which sold a million copies within a year and included the hits “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights” -– by this time, Dunbar had been replaced by Steve Smith. Evolution (1979) was similarly successful, yielding the band’s first Top 40 hit with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” as was Departure (1980), which became one of the group’s highest-charting efforts

Neal Schon interview

How Robbie Dupree survived industry changes

Born Robert Dupuis, he is known professionally as Robbie Dupree, an American singer best known for his hit songs “Steal Away” and “Hot Rod Hearts”

Robbie Dupree started his career singing on the street corners of Brooklyn. He studied the work of R&B legends like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. By 1970, he was performing on the club scene in Greenwich Village with bandmate , the legendary Nile Rodgers in a group called New World Rising. Robbie spent the next several years establishing himself as a self-sustaining musician. Acting on the advice of a friend, Robbie packed up and moved to Woodstock, New York. It was 1972.

The Woodstock arts colony was in its heyday, the local clubs and studios filled with brilliant musicians and songwriters. Robbie formed a number of bands in those early years, among them The Striders, Small Fortune, and Chrome Willie and the Sparks. He toured extensively and during this time, his songwriting began to take shape. National recognition came in 1976 when his song, “When You’re Down,” received the American Songwriting Festival Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Song. In 1978, Robbie made the decision to pursue a solo career. He moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with old friends Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta. Together, they produced his first solo recording. In 1980, Robbie signed a contract with Elektra Records. His debut self-titled album yielded two Top 10 singles, “Steal Away” and “Hot Rod Hearts,” and earned him a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist. To date, “Steal Away” has been played on American radio almost three million times. It stands as a true pop classic.

Over the past 25 years, Robbie has released 11 albums. Robbie’s music can be heard in major motion pictures, network television shows, and national sports events. VH1 recently featured a profile of his enduring career. He continues to record and maintain a full touring schedule, performing on concert stages around the world.

Check out the interview with Robbie Dupree in this week’s episode.

John Schumann and Redgum

Redgum was an Australian folk and political music group formed in Adelaide in 1975 by singer-songwriter John Schumann, Michael Atkinson on guitars/vocals and Verity Truman on flute/vocals; they were soon joined by Chris Timms on violin. All four had been students at Flinders University and together developed an intensely passionate and outspoken outlook. They are known for their protest song exploring the impact of war in 1983’s “I Was Only Nineteen (A Walk in the Light Green)”, which peaked at #1 on the National singles charts. The song is in the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) list of Top 30 of All Time Best Australian Songs created in 2001.

Redgum also covered Australian consumer influences on surrounding nations in 1984’s “I’ve Been To Bali Too”, both hit singles were written by Schumann. “The Diamantina Drover”, written by Timms replacement, violinist/vocalist Hugh McDonald and “Poor Ned”, written by Trevor Lucas of Fairport Convention, are examples of their bush songs. Lucas produced their best performed album, the June 1983 live LP Caught in the Act, which peaked at #3 on the National albums chart. Schumann left the band and pursued a solo career from 1986, Atkinson left in 1987 and Redgum finally disbanded in 1990.

John Schumann on solo work, Redgum and The Vagabond Crew

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