Asleep at the Wheel
- John Morthland
- , revised by Travis D. Stimeling
American western-swing band. The group was established in Paw Paw, West Virginia, in 1970 and became one of the leading participants in the western swing revival centered around Austin, Texas, during the 1970s. The group’s personnel has frequently been in flux, but the best-known combination consisted of the bandleader, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Ray Benson (Seifert), the singer, songwriter, drummer, and guitarist Leroy Preston, the singer and guitarist Chris O’Connell, the steel guitarist Lucky Oceans (Ruben Gosfield), and the pianist Floyd Domino (James Haber).
In 1971 the group moved from West Virginia to Berkeley, California, at the recommendation of the rockabilly musician Commander Cody and the entertainer Wavy Gravy. For the following two years the group toured as the backup band for the country singers Stoney Edwards, Freddie Hart, and Connie Smith. In early 1973 they moved to Austin, where they met the former members of the Texas Playboys Jesse Ashlock and Al Stricklin and became one of the leading acts in the city’s progressive country-music scene. In ...