Ed Bruce - vocals, guitars, mandolin; Tom Johnson - lead guitar; Johnny Yates - fiddle; Jimmy Johnson - bass, vocals; Tommy Revelli - drums; Keith Brown - keyboards
Ed Bruce is known for a deep, rich baritone voice that helped secure a number of country hits during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is best known for his songwriting, having penned the perennial Outlaw anthem, "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."
This is one of several live radio broadcasts Bruce cut for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio series. "Red Doggin' Again," "I Love You," "We Don't Dance The Two Step Anymore," "Love's Found You And Me," "Neon Fool," and "Maverick Didn't Come Here To Lose" are among some of the more memorable songs performed in this 52-minute set. He hits a real highlight with the gentle country ballad, "You're The Best Break This Old Heart's Ever Had." Also here are the classics "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," "Texas When I Die" and "The Last Cowboy Song," which closes the show.
Ed Bruce never saw the commercial success that many of the country artists he wrote for did, but he certainly has made a mark. As a songwriter, he has written hits for Tanya Tucker, Crystal Gayle, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, among others. He began his career as a rockabilly artist at age 17, in 1956, when he cut his first sides for the legendary Sun Records (original home of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash). His career on that label fizzled quickly, and he re-emerged in the 1960s as a rock 'n' roll artist. In 1967, he signed with RCA, who re-shaped him as a country artist. Among his first minor hits was a country version of the current Monkees hit "The Last Train To Clarksville."
His career as a songwriter began to take off in the 1970s, and received a big boost in 1976 when Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had a #1 hit with the Bruce song, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." In 1980, Ed Bruce signed to MCA Records, who were finally successful in breaking him as a hit-making country act, even if it was only for a few years.
While at MCA (during the period this show was recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert Series) Bruce charted with a number of songs including "Diane," The Last Cowboy Song, "When You Fall In Love (Everything's A Waltz), "Evil Angel," and "Love's Found You And Me." His biggest hit, "You're the Best Break This Old Heart's Ever Had" went as high as #5 on the country charts.
In addition to his music, Bruce has actively pursued an acting career; he had a leading role in the TV western series Maverick starring James Garner.