Richard Williams of 1956 group called "The Casuals"

Richard Williams 1957

Richard Williams, a native of Nashville, Tennessee has lived in Florida for over twenty years where he continues to be one of the top singer/keyboard artists of our time. Richard, with Buzz Cason, Billy Smith, Chester Powers and the late Johnny McCreery formed Nashville’s original rock ‘n roll band, "The Casuals" in 1956. 


Richard, Buzz and a Fan
"The Casuals" toured all 50 states and Canada with rock stars of the day including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, The Big Bopper and ultimately became Brenda Lee’s first full time back up band during the time of her mega hits and for several years thereafter. 

Richard becomes a mentor to Gary Edwards and SAGE
In 1971, Gary formed a new band and called it "Gary Edwards and SAGE"!  The group was made up of: Mike Winebrenner on keyboards, Richard Streander on lead guitar, Wes Scott on bass guitar and Glen Howerton on drums.  Gary said; "This group of musicians were absolutely awesome". They played The Rebel Room in Lexington, Kentucky for about six months in 1971 and at the end of their contract, took the show on the road. They played clubs all over the South, Midwest, North, as far up as Maine and South to the Keys in Florida.  The first gig after hitting the road was at The Harness House in Springfield, Illinois where Gary met Richard Williams, who, along with James "Buzz" Cason founded Nashville's first Rock n Roll Band in 1956 called "The Casuals". By the time Gary met Richard, "The Casuals" had become the "Casual Teens" and toured as Brenda Lee's backup band and recorded for Dot Records. The Casuals under the leadership of Richard and Buzz became the teen heartthrob of the time! 
"Richard and I have been friends for over 40 years. He and Buzz Cason were part of the original Casuals that backed Brenda Lee when she had her hit Sweet Nothin. They toured with her for many years".

In 1970 Buzz Cason opened a recording studio, Creative Workshop. in Nashville. Buzz co-wrote, with Mac Guyden "Everlasting Love" which was a huge hit for Carl Carlton in the late 60's. The song has been recorded by numerous artists over the years. 
"Buzz and Creative Workshop produced my first album in 1976 On With the Show. They also did Jimmy Buffet's music and many other big name stars!  We have been friends since the early '70s". 
Richard Williams mentored Gary and the group and helped   create a Las Vegas style show. Taking Richards advice and recommendations from 1971 through 1974 Gary and SAGE  worked 50 weeks a year in nightclubs all over the United States. Richard continued to provide them suggestions, based on his experience with The Casuals, Brenda Lee and many others. In the summer of '74 Gary and SAGE were booked into "The Breakers" in Panama Beach, Florida. 
Gary said;"I finally realized it was during this period that I had developed into an "Entertainer" and not just a singer".  My shows and style, even today are the result of Richard Williams' coaching and molding".
He also said; "After much hard work, rehearsals, pure perseverance and the teachings of Richard Williams, our dream did eventually come true, we opened in Vegas on the first of January 1974 at the Hilton Hotel with Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, B.B. King and the comedian Mort Sahl was a smaller lounge". It appeared that Gary was on his way to international stardom."The experience was tremendous and working with these stars was one of the most exciting experiences in my career"!

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