“At the start of his audio autobiography, If the Devil Danced in Empty Pockets, songwriter-guitarist Ken Spooner says he originally considered writing a book about instrumentalists and the important role they play in popular music. As he began logging his stories, however, he found himself heading in a different direction. The resulting cassette-only book, named after a No. 1 country hit that Spooner co-wrote for singer Joe Diffie, is part memoir, part music-industry commentary, and part behind-the-scenes curtain-lifter. It’s filled with the kinds of stories usually passed between musicians in backstage dressing rooms, or by songwriters over tumblers of sour mash.” from “INNER VIEW” By Michael McCall Nashville Scene Sept 24, 1998
Born Ken Joseph, In Brooklyn In 1947_ Musician and songwriter since 1956 . Turned pro in 1961. Guitarist & Hammond Organist & Veteran Of Long Island NY Band Scene In The 1960’s. 1961- 62 First band “The Islanders”, played music for all occassions followed by several other bands that specialized , C & W , Italian Lounge Acts etc. 1964 – The Continentals all R&R Bar Band 1965 – 66 The Strangers Top 40 Bar Band ………”MISS – MANAGED” by Mazur Enterprises ( Danny & Irwin) As Mrs Murphy’s Basement, we Recorded For United Artists In 1968 with Tommy Kaye producing, along with The Hassles at Studio 3 (Three doors down from Carnegie Hall ) in NYC. We Also “Toured The Island”with the Hassles. And so I ask the musical question __ WHO NEEDS A MANAGER WHO TAKES 20%, OF WHAT HE TELLS YOU THEY WERE PAYING YOU ___ TO TOUR LONG ISLAND ??? ___ Billy Joel used my Hammond A-100 to record the Hassles, Hour Of The Wolf Album. On The Hassles history web pages, they too talk about the absurdity of being “Managed by Mazur” ………My other NY credits include working with, Albert Grossman & Bennett Glotzer 1968-69 (managers of Bob Dylan, Band, Joplin, Peter Paul & Mary, Blood Sweat & Tears and many many more ) With Glotzer we started preparing to record for Columbia Records only to have our producer Andy Kulberg (Blues Project) bail out of NY and move to San Francisco. Then Glotzer brought in Robbie Robertson to produce and that went no where fast, other than one quick visit to the Bearsville Studio at Woodstock. Robbie was kinda busy with The Band In ’68. And Then … With Main Man Mgmt (David Bowie’s Co) in 1976. We cut three things for RCA. I still recall mixing in a studio in NYC while Felix Cavaliere was working in the other room across the hall. That was my swan song as far as being in the NY Music Biz ……… Moved To Florida 1978, Changed My Last Name To Spooner (My Mother’s Maiden Name) & Worked the acoustic and folk circuit with acts like Leo Kottke, Doc Watson, Seldom Scene, Arlo Guthrie , John Hartford and more ……..Moved to Nashville in 1987. My original demos played a significant part in Joe Diffie getting signed to Sony Epic label. Co wrote Diffie’s # 1 hit song “If The Devil Danced In Empty Pockets…He’d Have A Ball In Mine” Other cuts by Walter Hyatt, Lyle Lovett, Carol Elliot, Ericson Holt, Sharon Moore. Ron Williams, Kacey Jones, Sheila Deck ………As a journalist I have written for Country Music, Stock Car Racing, Road King magazines. Author of 3 books with two more to be published soon. Proud Member of ASCAP’s # 1 Club
Alaska born, Florida raised by a Guitar/Mandolin picker from the Black Zion Community just outside Pontotoc, Mississippi.Billy has been on stage since winning his first talent show contest at age 5. After sharing the stage for 10 years with his family band including award winning #1 Artist Judy Rodman, Billy began writing his own music and playing Night Clubs in the Memphis area with local bands eventually following his sister’s footsteps to the Nashville area. After many years trying to make it big in the music industry Billy married the Pastor’s daughter at the church he attended and turned away from the unpredictable life of a musician. In that time he concentrated mainly on developing his skills as a Master Auto Mechanic into a business of his own. All that time he never stopped writing and playing. It was not until Billy’s wife died from Ovarian Cancer, and afterwards co-writing a song called “A Crack In My Armor” with sister Judy Rodman that Billy returned to the music scene. Grammy Award winner Randy Khors used it as the title cut on his first album release. That prompted Billy to once again dive in to the dirty waters of the Music Industry. Check out Billy’s rendition of the song made famous by Curt Cobain with Nervonna, Willy Guthrie, LeadBelly, Bill Monroe, and Dolly Pardon called “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” .
Nascar style go-cart racing/Music events will be coming to a city near you with the Singing Mechanic performing his Original Music along with Classic Hits. Be sure and visit with Billy Devereaux at one.