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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

Christmas Chats with Farmer Jason and Walter Afanasieff, Plus Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes, Nicholas David and Scott Ainslie

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 2:56 PM

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A Conversation with Farmer Jason (Ringenberg)

Mike Ragogna: Hey Jason, looks like things are pretty "scorching" on your new album Christmas on the farm. See what I did there?

Jason Ringenberg: ...

MR: Uh-oh. Soooo what are your favorite moments on the new...

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Crime Of The Century: Chatting with Roger Hodgson, Simon & Garfunkel and Joni Mitchell Box Reviews and a KMC Exclusive

(4) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 8:10 AM

KILL MY COQUETTE'S "CLOSE TO ME" EXCLUSIVE

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photo credit: Brandise Danesewich

According to Kill My Coquette's Natalie Denise Sperl...

"'Close To Me' is a love song. Its about a boy too afraid to let someone in that is in...

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The Apocaloptimist: Chatting With James Lee Stanley and Tony Ferrari, Plus Exclusives From Cracker and Year Of October

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 11:27 AM

CRACKER'S "WAITED MY WHOLE LIFE"

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photo credit: Bradford Jones

According to Cracker's David Lowery...

"We recorded an earlier version of this song in Athens, Georgia, with Ben Mize former drummer for Counting Crows. We didn't use the track but Ben really took...
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#Rowdie: Introducing Mitch Goudy, Plus Andre Costello and The Cool Minors' 'She Took My Hand' Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 2:37 PM

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A Conversation with Mitch Goudy

Mike Ragogna: Mitch, you've got a new album, #Rowdie, and this is your second album, right?

Mitch Goudy: Yes, this is.

MR: Why "#Rowdie"? Why a hashtag?

MG: This album is called #Rowdie, which makes it kind...

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Chats With a Bangle, a Crobot, a Griswold, Jacquie Lee, Guys from Great Caesar and Such Gold

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 7:01 PM

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A Conversation with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs

Mike Ragogna: Ladies And Gentlemen... The Bangles! is the latest yet oldest collection of material from The Bangles. Why did you choose to go back to this era for a new release?

Susanna Hoffs: Gosh, I...

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Chatting With Chris Botti and Madeleine Peyroux, Plus Twin Hidden Covers 'Yellow Flicker Beat'

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 12:45 PM

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photo courtesy of The Blue Note

A Conversation with Chris Botti

Mike Ragogna: Chris, recently, you played the national anthem and it not only made national news but you also brought Reggie Wayne to tears. That must have been an amazing moment...

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From Bulldogs to Elephant Walks: Chats With Johnny Mathis, Monica Mancini and Anson Williams, Plus Matt Hires Works with RMH

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 3:30 PM

MATT HIRES' "HOLD YOU UP" TO BENEFIT RMH

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Photo Credit: Drew Gurian

According to Matt...

"'Hold You Up' is the first in a series called The At Home Project that will raise money and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Upper Midwest. The...
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A Day Drinking Exclusive Webisode, Chatting With Glyn Johns, Sam Llanas and Debra Fine, Plus a Premiere by The Cush

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 10:05 AM

DAY DRINKING - "DUMPED OR FIRED"

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photo credit: Ben Sherman

According to the Day Drinkers...

"Have you heard the one about the radio DJ who walks into a bar...at 9am...on a Monday? Welcome to Day Drinking, a new comedic web series that...
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From UHF and Mandatory Fun to Gulf Coast Blues and Autumn: Chatting with "Weird Al" Yankovic and George Winston...Plus!

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EMPTY HEARTS' "90 MILES AN HOUR DOWN A DEAD-END STREET" EXCLUSIVE

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photo courtesy The Empty Hearts

According to The Empty Hearts' Clem Burke, "'90 Miles...' was one of the very first songs written for The Empty Hearts' record and really reflects...

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Songs From the Big Chair Gets Supersized: Chats with TFF's Roland Orzabal & Curt Smith, Lloyd Cole and Lang Lang...Plus!

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 12:08 AM

BAHAMAS' "BITTER MEMORIES"

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photo courtesy of Bahamas

According to Bahamas' Afie Jurvanen, "I wanted the song to have something vaguely Celtic about it. Not really bagpipes and whistles, but more in mood. Something elemental and ancient. I think the drums and especially...

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Chats With Randy Jackson and North Of Nine's Jackson Guthy, Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Ben Ottewell, Plus an Ellis Paul Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 9:51 AM

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A Conversation with Randy Jackson

Mike Ragogna: Randy, it's an honor, thanks for the time. Let's talk about a group you're working with, North Of Nine. You met Jackson Guthy after an Ellen performance?

Randy Jackson: Yeah, I was like, "Who is this...

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Chatting with Randy Jackson & North Of Nine's Jackson Guthy Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Ben Ottewell

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:42 AM

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A Conversation with Randy Jackson

Mike Ragogna: Randy, it's an honor, thanks for the time. Let's talk about your group North Of Nine. You met Jackson Guthy after an Ellen performance?

Randy Jackson: Yeah, I was like, "Who is this kid, he's mad...

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Chatting with Randy Jackson & North Of Nine's Jackson Guthy Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Gomez's Ben Ottewell

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:28 AM

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A Conversation with Randy Jackson

Mike Ragogna: Randy, it's an honor, thanks for the time. Let's talk about your group North Of Nine. You met Jackson Guthy after an Ellen performance?

Randy Jackson: Yeah, I was like, "Who is this kid, he's mad...

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Chatting with Randy Jackson & North Of Nine's Jackson Guthy Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Gomez's Ben Ottewell

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:14 AM

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A Conversation with Randy Jackson

Mike Ragogna: Randy, it's an honor, thanks for the time. Let's talk about your group North Of Nine. You met Jackson Guthy after an Ellen performance?

Randy Jackson: Yeah, I was like, "Who is this kid, he's mad...

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Chatting with Randy Jackson & North Of Nine's Jackson Guthy Simple Minds' Jim Kerr and Ben Ottewell

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:06 AM

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A Conversation with Randy Jackson

Mike Ragogna: Randy, it's an honor, thanks for the time. Let's talk about your group North Of Nine. You met Jackson Guthy after an Ellen performance?

Randy Jackson: Yeah, I was like, "Who is this kid, he's mad...

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Flesh And Machine: Chats With Daniel Lanois, Deep Purple's Ian Paice, Chuck Prophet and Charlie Mars, Plus a Renaiszance Clip

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Daniel Lanois

Mike Ragogna: You took a couple of different approaches on your new album, Flesh And Machine. When you first decided to do the project, was this what you had in mind or did it evolve into this?

Daniel...

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Chatting with Genesis' Mike Rutherford, Kasim Sulton and Sallie Ford, Plus a Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 12:09 PM

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A Conversation with Genesis' Mike Rutherford

Mike Ragogna: Mike, Genesis' new anthology, R-Kive, is an overview of the musical creativity of not only Genesis but it includes the works of each member of the band as well. How did it come together?

Mike...

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Triple Play: Conversations with Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta, Live's Chad Taylor and Hellion's Ann Boleyn

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 1:00 AM

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A Conversation with Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta

Mike Ragogna: Gabe, Cobra Starship's latest, "Never Been In Love," features Icona Pop. Who's idea was this mighty union and what was the collaboration like?

Gabe Saporta: We had been...

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Chats with Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey, Dave Koz, Eric Johnson and Kiki Ebsen, Plus a Katherine Jenkins' Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 10:15 AM

KATHERINE JENKINS' "ODE TO JOY"

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According to Katherine Jenkins...

Recording Ode to Joy was so much fun -- it's one of those classical melodies that everyone knows and loves. To have David Garret lend his beautiful talents on the violin make the track...
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Tell 'Em I'm Gone: A Conversation With Yusuf Islam Plus A Hey Rosetta! Video Premiere

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 1:00 AM

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A Conversation with Yusuf Islam

Mike Ragogna: Yusuf, let's talk about your new album Tell 'Em I'm Gone. It seems like you're saying something larger with it overall.

Yusuf Islam: Yeah, I'd say I'm setting myself free in a way, to make the...

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