Asleep at the Wheel is a American country music group that was formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia, but based in Austin, Texas. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception. In their career, they have released more than twenty studio albums, and have charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard country charts. Their highest-charting single, “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read“, peaked at #10 in 1975.
In 1969, Ray Benson and Lucky Oceans (Reuben Gosfield) co-founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia, and soon after they found themselves opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, DC. A year later, they moved to East Oakland, California at the invitation of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. After being mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine by Van Morrison, they landed a record deal with United Artists. In 1973, their debut album, Comin’ Right At Ya was released by United Artists. At the request of Willie Nelson, they left Oakland for Austin in 1974.
Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel have been presented numerous awards throughout their career. Most recently, the 16th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Award for the making of “A Ride With Bob”, recognition by Mayor Kirk Watson of Austin, Texas, and the Darrel K. Royal Music Patron Award by The Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association. In 2007, The Austin Chronicle recognized Asleep at the Wheel for Band of the Year, Best Country Band, and into their Hall of Fame. Benson was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2002, was given The Texas Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, and recognized as an Outstanding Producer by the National Academy of Recording Arts in 1988. He has also been given numerous Citations of Achievement by Broadcast Music, Inc. for his work in the country music field. Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel have been one of the strongest names in Country Music for the last forty years.