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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

Givin' 'Em Hell and Heaven: Conversations With Joe Satriani and Sebastian Bach

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 12:34 PM

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A Conversation with Joe Satriani

Mike Ragogna: Joe, it's an honor to be interviewing somebody who makes such strange, beautiful music.

Joe Satriani: [laughs] Thank you.

MR: Let's start by talking about your complete studio recordings. It has fourteen albums plus a bonus...

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The Force Empire: Chatting With NHRA Superstar John Force, Plus Thunderegg's "Summer Kids" Exclusive

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 8:04 AM

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photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan

A Conversation with NHRA's John Force

Mike Ragogna: Your reputation in drag car racing is legendary, and you just experienced your 139th win. Are you going to be antsy until that 140th win?

John Force:...

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Deadbeat and Dollhouse: Conversations With James Iha and Melanie Martinez

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with James Iha

Mike Ragogna: Let's get into this Deadbeat series. You're doing the new music for this Hulu series, what do you think about it?

James Iha: I like it a lot. It's a funny supernatural comedy. It's a funny...

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ASCAP'S 'I Create Music' EXPO, Plus Conversations with E-Streeter Nils Lofgren and Summer Horns' Mindi Abair

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 12:00 PM

ASCAP'S "I CREATE MUSIC" EXPO

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At the end of the month, ASCAP once again is sponsoring their annual "I Create Music" EXPO, this being the event's 9th time at bat. Listed here is the lineup that's taking shape for The American Society of...

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Masters Of Sex, Girls & 'Boogie Train': Conversations with Michael Penn and Foghat's Roger Earl

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 11:57 AM

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Photo courtesy Cinemedia Promotions

A Conversation with Michael Penn

Mike Ragogna: Michael, what have you been up to recently?

Michael Penn: I've been busy scoring stuff, I've been working on the Showtime show Masters Of Sex and I've been working on Girls for...

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A Conversation with The Both's Aimee Mann & Ted Leo, Plus A Quick Chat with Dolly Parton

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 10:10 AM

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A Conversation with The Both's Aimee Mann and Ted Leo

Mike Ragogna: Of course everybody's asked you this, but how did you guys decide to become The Both?

Ted Leo: Well we were on the road together, we were touring in the fall...

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Tarpaper Sky and Conversations: Interviews with Rodney Crowell and Stanton Moore

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:03 AM

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A Conversation with Rodney Crowell

Mike Ragogna: Rodney, can you give a tour of your new album, Tarpaper Sky?

Rodney Crowell: It started with conversations with Steuart Smith who is a guitar player who normally plays with the Eagles. They actually bought him...

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Chuck E.'s Still in Love: Chatting with Chuck E. Weiss, Plus an Ariana & The Rose Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

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A Conversation with Chuck E. Weiss

Mike Ragogna: [sings] "If it ain't that old Chuck E. Weiss."

Chuck E. Weiss: Oh, you like that, huh?

MR: Between Tom Waits' "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" and Rickie Lee Jones' "Chuck E.'s In...

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Californication Music News, Chats with Mark Rivera and Allen Kovac, Plus Johnzo West and David Berkeley Exclusives

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 7:52 AM

HAPPY ENDINGS (MUSIC FROM THE SHOWTIME SERIES CALIFORNICATION) FEATURES PETE TOWNSHEND, SID VICIOUS & OTHERS

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photo courtesy Showtime

So here's the official scoop on Californication's music followed by a 45 second snippet of a remix of Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open...

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An Oak Ridge Boy and a Carter Girl: Conversations With Joe Bonsall and Carlene Carter, Plus a George Michael Exclusive

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 12:03 AM

A TASTE OF GEORGE MICHAEL'S LIVE "ROXANNE"

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photo credit: Caroline True

According to George Michael's peeps...

"Global superstar George Michael will release his first album in seven years when Symphonica arrives in stores March 18th on Island Records in the U.S....

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Playing The Ponos: A Conversation With Neil Young, Chatting with Linda Ronstadt and Matt Hires' Video Exclusive

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

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A Conversation with Neil Young

Mike Ragogna: Neil, you've always been an archivist and audiophile, so your delivery system for higher quality sound--PonoMusic through the PonoPlayer--must be the culmination of everything you've wanted in a playback experience.

Neil Young: As far as musical...

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Conversations With Brian Culbertson and Loreena McKennitt, Plus Michael Penn and The Whistles & The Bells Exclusives

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 12:11 PM

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A Conversation With Brian Culbertson

Mike Ragogna: You've been pretty musically active lately, Mr. Culbertson! Do you want to give us a little summary of what you've been up to?

Brian Culbertson: Well, I'm releasing a new record independently. It's been a great...

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Conversations With Michael McDonald, Charlie Daniels, Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins and City Under Siege's John Wittlinger

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 12:01 AM

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A Conversation with Michael McDonald

Mike Ragogna: Hey Michael, it's great to talk with you again. Thank you very much for taking the interview.

Michael McDonald: Oh, it's my pleasure, thank you.

MR: I wanted to ask you about the new Dukes Of...

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Life Journeys: Conversations With Leon Russell, Judy Collins and John Gorka

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 11:13 AM

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A Conversation with Leon Russell

Mike Ragogna: Hey Leon, Life Journey, your latest album, was recorded with Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt, Elton John...you have an awful lot of friends rooting for you. Do you feel the love?

LR: Well yeah, it was nice....

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Conversations With Alan Parsons and The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Plus Ki:Theory and The Gloaming Exclusives

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 12:31 PM

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A Conversation with Courtney Taylor-Taylor

Mike Ragogna: Dandy Warhols has a new album, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Live At The Wonder. Why did you go back to that album and can you describe the event beyond the music?

Courtney Taylor-Taylor: So 2013...

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Silver Rails and Circus Hero: Conversations With Jack Bruce and Andy Summers

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 11:14 AM

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A Conversation with Jack Bruce

Mike Ragogna: Jack, you have a new album, Silver Rails with many special guests.

Jack Bruce: Especially guitar players! I must be a glutton for punishment. [laughs] No, I love the guitars, that's what rock music's all about,...

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Kiss Me Once and She's So Unusual: Chatting with Kylie Minogue and Cyndi Lauper

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 10:22 AM

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Chatting with Kylie Minogue

Mike Ragogna: Hey Kylie, how are you today?

Kylie Minogue: I'm a little husky... I've got the promo-cold. I'm doing too much to get stopped by a cold, but it is me, it's not an imposter.

MR: And as...

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From 'Sunrise' to a Place In The Sun: Chatting With Eric Carmen and Ozomatli's Raul Pacheco

(1) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 1:49 PM

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Talking with Ozomatli's Raul Pacheco

Mike Ragogna: Raul, your new album, Place In The Sun, was recorded by your buddy Robert Carranza. How do you think the sound of the group's recordings has evolved over the years?

...

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Chats with Missing Persons' Dale Bozzio and The Wild Feathers' Ricky Young, Plus Arc Iris and The Boston Boys' Exclusives

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 6:00 AM

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Talking with Missing Persons' Dale Bozzio

Mike Ragogna: Are you all excited about your new album Missing In Action?

Dale Bozzio: I am. I think I did a great job.

MR: What motivated recording a new album?

DB: Actually, to tell you the...

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Talking With Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian, a Chat with Michael Maguire, The Who's Tommy Revisited, and the Teacarina

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 12:40 PM

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A Conversation with Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian

Mike Ragogna: Capital Cities is back with the single "One Minute More," from the deluxe version of In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery. Its deluxe tracklist has a lot more material on it, what made you...

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