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Mike Ragogna
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New York-born Mike Ragogna (pronounced ruh-go-nyuh) was signed at 15 as a songwriter by producers Terry Cashman & Tommy West (Jim Croce, Dion, Mary Travers) who additionally developed him as a recording artist for their label, Lifesong Records. His first release came in 1975, a cover of his original “Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes” from the 1975 album Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero (featuring Crack The Sky and Stan Lee), an early “indie” hit at college stations. After writing and recording songs for Tippi Hedren’s international hit movie Roar, he teamed with producer Terrence P. Minogue to record his debut album in 1982, Safari in America. In 1984, Ragogna also wrote jingles for Workbench, Quincy’s Steakhouse, Showtime, and he supplied the Joey Ramone-esque voice for the mega-popular MTV/Saturday Night Live commercial for Atari's video game Pole Position.

Ragogna’s album The Almost Brothers (recorded Everlys/Simon & Garfunkel-style with vocalist Steve Mosto) was released in 1985 on MTM -- Mary Tyler Moore's Nashville-based record company that was distributed through Capitol Records -- containing four charting singles. Label-mates Girls Next Door recorded Mike’s first big hit as a songwriter, “Slow Boat to China,” that was a Billboard Country Top Ten and one of 1986’s top-selling country singles. It also was the first major hit for MTM’s publishing division, Uncle Artie Music, and received an ASCAP award honoring it as one of the most frequently-played country singles of that year.

Mike Ragogna and Steve Mosto then recorded and performed as the groups Body Politic and Bone People before moving on to solo careers. Since 1999, Mike has released a series of solo albums including Minefield Diaries, Writer’s Block, Valentine’s Day, and Summerland that featured "Home," a duet with the late, legendary vocalist Dobie Gray. In 2009, Ragogna released a remixed retrospective of his last four albums titled Greatest Hits, that title being a wiseguy nod to his days as a record business executive. Ragogna’s new box set, The End of the Line: 1975-2013, is a career spanning, four-disc box set that not only includes his best recordings but also those by artists who have recorded his material.

Over a 16-year period, Ragogna also performed A&R duties for various record labels, including EMI-Capitol, Universal, BMG, and Razor & Tie, where he produced and oversaw catalog compilations and reissues for many acts. Additionally, he has supplied the teacher's voice for hundreds of courses for the online school, Universal Class, and currently, he is a radio personality on KRUU, the Midwest’s only solar-powered station, TV and online host of Fairfield 2.0 and Fairfield 3.0 in addition to being a contributor to The Huffington Post.

Entries by Mike Ragogna

Solo Concerts, Stealin' Home & Similar Skin: Chats with Bruce Hornsby, Iain Matthews and Umphrey's McGee...Plus!

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Bruce Hornsby

Mike Ragogna: How are you doing, Bruce?

Bruce Hornsby: I'm doing fine, but "...you don't come to Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!"

MR: [laughs] "Fredo, you're my brother and I love you....

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Politics, Storytellers and Milltowns: Chatting With Kinky Friedman, Billy Joe Shaver and Mark Erelli

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 9:53 AM

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photo credit: Brian Kano

A Conversation with Kinky Friedman

Mike Ragogna: Kinky, apparently, Texas still is resisting the legalization of marijuana while you're a pretty strong proponent. How are you feeling after the election results?

Kinky Friedman: I think it's something. Had...

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Failure, Alarms and After Parties: Chats with The Posies, Dry the River's Peter Liddle and Ghost Town's Kevin McCullough

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 9:30 AM

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A Conversation with The Posies' Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer

Mike Ragogna: As Peaches & Herb would sing, "Reunited and it feels so good!" How are you guys doing?

Jon Auer: Not too bad!

Mike Ragogna: So what is all this about failure?...

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Friends, Rain Plans, Love Songs & Lullabies: Conversations with Smokey Robinson, Israel Nash & Darryl Tookes

(1) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 8:35 AM

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A Conversation with Smokey Robinson

Mike Ragogna: Just the other day, I picked up your Icon sampler, the little collection that Universal released. Though I know all those songs by heart by now, it never fails, I'm always hearing something new in them...

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Dead Daisies and Beyond: Chats With Dizzy Reed, The Verve Pipe's Brian Vander Ark, Jean-Luc Ponty and Uriah Heep's Mick Box

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Dizzy Reed

Mike Ragogna: Hey Dizzy, Guns N' Roses DVD Appetite For Democracy 3D Live at The Hard Rock Casino was recently released. Do you think this release is a good representation of what was going on during that period...

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CMA Songwriting: Chats with Bob DiPiero, Billy Currington, Carrie Underwood, Easton Corbin, Kix Brooks, Chris Young, Ronnie Milsap & Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 9:18 AM

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Chats with Bob DiPiero, Billy Currington, Carrie Underwood, Kix Brooks, Easton Corbin, Ronnie Milsap, Chris Young & Little Big Town's Kimberley Schlapman About The CMA Songwriting Series

Mike Ragogna: Bob, where did the idea come from to start-up a Songwriter's Series at the...

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Rocker Recap: Conversations With Ted Nugent, KISS' Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 12:13 AM

ROCKER RECAP...

My feeling about interviews with artists and bands is that these are people who you are inviting into your virtual house and they should be shown respect based on their being your guests. I believe it doesn't mean you have to agree with what they say or even...

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From Guardians Of The Galaxy To The Mystery Of Edwin Drood And Way Beyond: A Conversation with THE Rupert Holmes... Plus!

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 7:55 AM

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A Conversation with THE Rupert Holmes

Mike Ragogna: Okay, let me take a deep breath and do the Rupert Holmes recap...here we go. You've won Tony awards as a playwright, lyricist and composer, your first novel was made into a movie with Colin...

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Rockabilly, Empty Hearts & Psycho Sisters: Chats with Brian Setzer, Elliot Easton, Vicki Peterson & Susan Cowsill... Plus!

(1) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 8:35 AM

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A Conversation with Brian Setzer

Mike Ragogna: Brian, let's talk about your new album, Rockabilly Riot! All Original. It's all original material and you start it off with the adrenalized "Let's Shake." Rockabilly's really all about the shake, isn't it?

Brian Setzer: Yeah!...

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Chats with CBS This Morning: Saturday's Anthony Mason, Chase Rice, Gentle Giant's Derek Shulman & William Gage Blanton

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 12:29 AM

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photo courtesy CBS News

A Conversation with CBS This Morning: Saturday's Anthony Mason

Mike Ragogna: Good This Morning, Anthony!

Anthony Mason: [laughs]

MR: You've been in journalism for over thirty years. When did you start focusing on interviews?

AM: Well, it was...

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Conversations with Billy Gilman, Ernest Ranglin, Mary Sarah and Gangstagrass' Rench, Plus Ben Jaimen's "Satellites" Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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photo credit: Lost In Translation

A Conversation with Billy Gilman

Mike Ragogna: Billy, it seems like only yesterday when you made history becoming the youngest singer to reach the top Billboard Country Albums spot. Do you even remember that these ten years...

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From Eve Of Destruction to Already Gone: Conversations with Jack Tempchin and P.F. Sloan, Plus a Godsmack Track

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 8:47 AM

GODSMACK'S "GENERATION DAY"

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According to Godsmack's Sully Erna...

"'Generation Day' is a song about the new digital world taking over the music industry. And as a fan of the 'Analog World,' I really miss the days of putting the needle down on vinyl...

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Dear Governor Cuomo: A Conversation with Natalie Merchant, Plus Catching Up with Freda Payne

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 8:36 AM

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A Conversation with Natalie Merchant

Mike Ragogna: Natalie, what have you been up to lately beyond the new album?

Natalie Merchant: I've become extremely active in the fight against hydraulic fracking in New York. Where are you based?

MR: Iowa, though I grew...

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Still On The Levee & The Boat That Carries Us: Conversations with Peter Himmelman and Chris Smither

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 12:01 AM

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A Conversation with Chris Smither

Mike Ragogna: You've got a newly recorded, two-disc retrospective, Still On The Levee. You've had this wonderful career that the masses...

Chris Smither: ...don't know a thing about!

MR: [laughs] Yeah, what is that?

CS: Back before cable,...

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Yes! & A Life Worth Living: Conversations with Jason Mraz and Marc Broussard, Plus a Joe Bonamassa Video Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 7:38 AM

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A Conversation with Jason Mraz

Mike Ragogna: It's Jason Mraz! So you're doing a world tour with Raining Jane.

Jason Mraz: Yep, I'll be taking Raining Jane with me on the road, so we'll be able to recreate this album and obviously, we'll...

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Chats With The Rippingtons' Russ Freeman, Rick Braun and Craig Bickhardt, Plus Hollis Brown and The Mojo Gurus Exclusives

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 12:02 AM

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A Conversation with The Rippingtons' Russ Freeman

Mike Ragogna: Russ, you recorded your new album Fountain Of Youth with vintage equipment. Why?

Russ Freeman: I'm always looking for textures to feature and try to get a sonic reality, a sonic palette. In...

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Chats With Ivan Neville and The Berman Brothers, Plus Exclusives by Geneviéve Bellemare, Home Video and Dream Alive

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 8:32 AM

"LIVE AND DIE" WITH GENEVIÉVE BELLEMARE

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Photo credit: Jenny Affan

According to Geneviéve Bellemare...

"This song was written with Mitchell Froom. He sent me the keyboard and drum intro you hear in the beginning. I remember him either saying something about radiohead...
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So U and More: Conversations with Neal Schon, Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Edgar Winter

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Neal Schon

Mike Ragogna: Neal, what is it creatively that satisfies you, playing solo or with Journey?

Neal Schon: Well, Journey is more about well-crafted songs and well recorded and produced songs, and I think that what I enjoy about...

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From Eagles to Jersey Boys: Interviews With Irving Azoff and Bob Gaudio, Plus a John Mark Nelson Exclusive

(2) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 11:37 AM

Eagles Soar Past $145 Million Worldwide

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photo credit: James Glader

Having been in existence for almost five decades, the iconic American band the Eagles continue to surprise and mesmerize, selling out multi-night runs at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Inglewood's Forum and...

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A Drum God, Juno Jammers and Superheroes: Conversations with Terry Bozzio, July Talk and Magic Man

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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photo credit: André Ozga

A Conversation with Terry Bozzio

Mike Ragogna: Terry, when did your devotion to percussion and drums begin and who are some of your early musical heroes?

Terry Bozzio: Surf Drum Music, Sandy Nelson etc., then The Beatles on...

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