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On Thanksgiving evening 2008, TNT aired a profile piece on Wayman Tisdale, former NBA star who was battling bone cancer, with a love of music. The segment aired on the TNT program “Inside the NBA” with Charles Barkley.
The network contracted Bob Humphrey Video Services who hired Director of Photography Tracy Ready and Sound Technician Bob Fazio to work with TNT producer John O’Connor and Correspondent Jim Huber on the story.
Note from Tracy Ready:
Sadly, Wayman Tisdale lost his battle to cancer, but he was a true champion of the spirit. I had the opportunity to shoot this story for TNT, thanks to my good friend and colleague Bob Humphrey. Wayman seemed so strong, so vital when we were shooting on location with him, that I never dreamed he would be gone after a few short months. When we met him, he was being fitted with his prosthetic leg, and his good nature and positive attitude made everyone feel welcome, it what would have been for any of us, a very awkward situation. I can honestly say he was one of the most kind, gentle, joyful individuals I have ever met.
When Sound Mixer Bob Fazio and I were driving back to Texas from the production in Oklahoma, we talked at great length about how fortunate we were to have had the experience of being in Wayman’s presence for a couple of days. In our business we meet and shoot with all types of people from celebrities to scumbags, politicians, visionaries and air-heads alike. There are very few shoots that stick with you as being memorable, and this was certainly at the top of memorable occasions in my career. Most remarkable, is that Wayman’s moving performance at his brother’s church left no doubt in our minds that we were in the presence of greatness, and had just witnessed something none of us will ever forget.
I am eternally grateful to Bob Humphrey for having the confidence in me to shoot on his behalf, and to John O’Connor at TNT to have had this once in a lifetime experience. I am also sad to say goodbye to an amazing presence in life – Wayman Tisdale.
Tracy Ready is a Director of Photography / Writer / Producer based in Dallas, Texas.
TRACE ELEMENTS – STUDIO CD – MUSIC RELEASE
Trace Elements is a Texas based recording band project spearheaded by vocalist Tracy Ready, whose career as a Director of Photography in television and documentary production has been interspersed with a passion for music with recordings and live performances as a vocalist in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas. Additionally, Tracy has been writing song lyrics and collaborating on original music since 1978. He was fortunate in his youth to know and be mentored by legendary musicians Augie Meyers and Doug Sahm, of Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados fame. As an adult, Tracy pursued a career in television, spent 5 years as a cameraman for CNN, and has now owned Trace Productions, an award winning video production business, for more than 12 years.
Trace Elements consists of some of the finest blues, rock and jazz musicians that Texas has to offer, a “who’s who” of Dallas and San Antonio professional players. The core band for recording is Sparky Montoya – Keyboards, Kevin Lewis – guitars, Mike Beall – drums, and John Echols – bass.
The first Trace Elements studio CD “Welcome to the Color Bar” (working title) is in production, with initial sessions completed at January Sound in Dallas and Blue Cat Studios in San Antonio.
In it’s entirety, the CD will be far from a standard blues record, but it will have some excellent blues numbers. It will be more conceptual in nature, also encompassing rock, Americana, and jazz styles as they have been an inspiration on Tracy’s personal experience growing up in the music scene in San Antonio, and later in Dallas. It will be a unique project, heavily marketed online, with additional promotional ties as part of the soundtrack to the documentary films “Dallas Electric”, and “South Texas Soul”. The idea is to have a multilayered approach to the marketing of the music and the documentary films whereby people who like the film will be interested in checking out the Trace Elements CD, and vice versa.
Musically, Trace Elements is a culmination of all the bands and songwriting collaborations Tracy has been part of since 1978. It features stellar professional musicians and guest appearance by Augie Meyers, whose status as a Grammy award winner, and legendary performer should by itself garner attention from music press and spur radio airplay, both in the U.S. and in Europe. The song “Elvis es mi Gato”, written by Tracy and Augie, is an infectious polka with a novelty hit lyric in the midst of a blues / progressive rock album, with Augie on accordion. Americana radio will love this one.
Additionally, blues great Brian “Hash Brown” Calway appears on 2 more songs, T-Bone Walker’s “Tell Me What’s the Reason” and the Willie Dixon classic “I Live the Life I Love”. His appearance is expected to attract additional attention from the blues music community in Dallas and North Texas.
These initial sessions produced 7 tracks, including one song “Prosperity Street” written by Augie Meyers some forty years ago, reworked with a New Orleans style groove by the band. This song has never been released in any form, is an uncovered gem that will surprise many.
Tracy’s original songwriting and collaborations with other writers will figure heavily in the album, with modern rock tracks, a funk / jam powerhouse called “Open Mind, Open Eye”, plus a driving Texas shuffle, “Turning Blue”, a blues rock showcase featuring guitarist Kevin Lewis.
The recording will continue with another tracking session in April 2009, with mix down and completion by August of 2009. Co-Producing the project are Tracy Ready and Composer / Arranger Sal Salvador. Songs from the San Antonio recording sessions are co-produced by Clay Meyers and Tracy Ready.
Engineering at January Sound – Tye Robison; Engineering at Blue Cat – Joe Trevino. These folks all were true professionals to work with, and we appreciate their skill and dedication to the craft.
Basic tracks recorded for seven songs. Currently working with Sal Salvador producing demos for four more songs, to then record in two more sessions with the band. Vocal, guitar and keyboard overdubs and mix to be conducted at Sal’s home studio to ready the CD for release.
Promotion: We are building fan base using social media networks and preparing to release selected tracks for review on jambase.com and garageband.com. New website is being built by Clay Meyers, CDM Grafx.
Tracy Ready, Vocals; Kevin Lewis, guitars and fretless bass