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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

Shades of Blue, Tiger Eyes & Beyond: Chatting with Joe Bonamassa, Jim Peterik and Sondre Lerche

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 12:07 AM

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A Conversation with Joe Bonamassa

Mike Ragogna: Joe, what's the Different Shades Of Blue story?

Joe Bonamassa: I wrote it in Nashville and we recorded in Vegas. I took the year off from recording last year because I wanted to write a whole...

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The Boomtown Rats Return: A Conversation with Bob Geldof, Plus a Chat with Finch's Nate Barcalow and Lots of Exclusives

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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photo courtesy Bob Geldof

A Conversation with Bob Geldof

Mike Ragogna: Bob, I'm honored to be talking to the Man Of Peace.

Bob Geldof: You are indeed honored! [laughs] I'd forgotten I was and now my head has swollen so large the...

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Magic & Transmissions: Conversations with Sérgio Mendes and Starset's Dustin Bates

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 9:05 AM

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A Conversation with Sérgio Mendes

Mike Ragogna: Sérgio, your new album is titled Magic. What kind of magic went into creating and choosing the material as well as recording it?

Sérgio Mendes: Well, the whole process for me was very magical. I call...

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Motorcycles, Riptides & More: Chats with Loudon Wainwright, Vancy Joy, John Velghe and Rocco DeLuca

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 8:26 AM

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A Conversation with Loudon Wainwright III

Mike Ragogna: You've got a new album, Haven't Got The Blues Yet and it looks like you're kind of expanding your style here. What prompted that?

Loudon Wainwright: The producer on the new record, Haven't Got The...

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Music Industry Executive Meets Social Advocate: Chatting with Lava Records CEO Jason Flom

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 12:16 AM

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photo courtesy Lava/Republic Records

A Conversation with Jason Flom

Mike Ragogna: Jason, let's catch up on you. You were recently honored by Russell Simmons, Michael Bloomberg and all these folks from the Simmons Art For Life Foundation. Let's go into that first....

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BLUESAmericana & Beyond: Chatting with Keb' Mo', Richie Kotzen, Ishmael Herring and Warren Cuccurullo

(1) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 8:40 AM

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A Conversation with Keb' Mo'

Mike Ragogna: Hey Keb', how have you been since our last chat?

Keb' Mo': I've been good. I've been on the road, doing the road thing, having fun, playing music.

MR: You're touring with G. Love, right? What...

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Remembering Jesse Winchester with Mac McAnally, Plus Walter Salas-Humara, Joe Rathbone, Mikey Wax & Eddy Faulkner

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 8:30 AM

THE DELTA RIGGS' "THE RECORD'S FLAWED"

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photo credit: Fiona Garden

This Delta Riggs exclusive video was shot around the streets of London during the band's UK & European tour earlier this year and features original artwork and animation from drummer Simon McConnell....

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From Fillmore East To The Moon: Chats with ABB's Jaimoe, CPD's Steve Perry, POTM's Sam & Barry Shear and Cris Cab...Plus!

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Phases Of The Moon's Sam & Barry Shear

Mike Ragogna: Sam and Barry, what inspired you to form a "Phases Of The Moon" festival? What's the history?

Sam Shear: I was attending college in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. For my Bachelors...

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

(1) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 11:36 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

(2) 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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