Asleep at the Wheel



"Comin' Right At Ya!" Celebrating 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel

In the history of music, an artist or band continuing to perform and create music at a high level for 50 years is a rare feat. In 1970 three friends Ray Benson, Leroy Preston and Lucky Oceans moved to Paw Paw, West Virginia to start a band. After a mutual friend gave them access to his Uncle's cabin on an apple orchard just outside of town, the 3 young friends started to "woodshed" and find others to join them in this adventure to play old style Roots/American music. After a trip to the outhouse, Lucky Oceans came up with the unconventional name that would stick with the band now for 50 years, Asleep at the Wheel.

Soon after the move to Paw Paw, Asleep at the Wheel soon landed a gig opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, DC and also met and played with Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. A year later, they were coaxed into moving to the bay area in California by Commander Cody and band. While creating a name for themselves in the bay area playing clubs like The Longbranch and Freight and Salvage, the band's big break came in 1972 when the band signed their first record deal after Van Morrison mentioned

The Wheel Gets Rolling
"there's some relatively unknown group around that I really dig.
Asleep at the Wheel plays great country music."
Van Morrison Rolling Stone Interview (1973)