Asleep at the Wheel Frontman Ray Benson Discusses Half a Hundred Years of Songwriting: Stream the Nakedly Examined Music Interview Online

This week’s Naked­ly Exam­ined Music pod­cast fea­tures the Gram­my-win­ning Texas swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, which Ray found­ed in 1969. They’ve released 26 albums of orig­i­nal tunes and clas­sic cov­ers while tour­ing con­stant­ly, with Ray being the only con­sis­tent mem­ber through their var­i­ous line-ups.

Your host Mark Lin­sen­may­er talks with Ray about the title track from Half a Hun­dred Years (2021), “Ped­er­nales Stroll” from Keepin’ Me Up Nights (1990), and “Am I High” from The Wheel (1977). Intro: “The Let­ter (That John­ny Walk­er Read)” from Texas Gold (1975). Clos­er: “The Road Will Hold Me Tonight” feat. Emmy­lou Har­ris and Willie Nel­son, record­ed in the ear­ly 80s but only released now on the new album. Learn more at

Watch the video for “Half a Hun­dred Years.” Watch “Am I High?” live on 80s TV. Here’s the band live recent­ly at the Paste Stu­dio and play­ing their 25th Anniver­sary show on Austin City Lim­its in 1996. Their most famous tune is “Hot Rod Lin­coln.” Here they are with Willie Nel­son. Here’s a very old TV per­for­mance of “Take Me Back to Tul­sa.” Hear all of “The Let­ter (That John­ny Walk­er Read).

Image by Mike Shore.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast host­ed by Mark Lin­sen­may­er, who also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast, Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. He releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

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