Featured this week on the Not Just Jazz Network is vocalist/recording artist Laura Pursell, with her new single “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”, from her new CD “Lost In Time (A Tribute to Bill Pursell)".
“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” from the new CD “Lost In Time (A Tribute to Bill Pursell)", is a promise and vision fulfilled, of pianist /composer Bill Pursell by his daughter Laura Pursell.
This is a human-interest story of a father and daughter's musical journey, after 20+ years of recording. “Being the daughter of Julie and Bill Pursell was a gift from the creative heavens and a challenge”, says Laura.
Performing and recording with her father garnered a newfound father/daughter relationship on the fast track. It was a family affair - Laura’s uncle Raymond Clawson produced all of the recordings in Nashville, and her mother assisted in creating a cavalcade of performances.
“Netcom Music is pleased to announce the release of our newest album, 'Lost in Time'. This album represents the grand finale for my brother Bill Pursell’s career in collaboration with his daughter and my niece, Laura Pursell. I am so proud of both of them and honored to have worked with them and been a part of this process,” says executive producer, Raymond Clawson.
Growing closer as musical colleagues, friends, and collaborators, they had a few artistic differences, but Laura always relied on her father's direction. They covered it all from radio interviews, live appearances, and a local news talk show (KCAL) in LA.
In 2018, Julie Pursell heartbreakingly passed away from vascular dementia. Bill transferred his grief into words and music, which then became the beginning of their final album together. Tunes were chosen and Bill began writing arrangements.
This project was very important - it was his personal tribute to his wife Julie. In August 2019, they went into The Tracking Room with Steve Mauldin and a rhythm section to cut three new tracks: “Sweet Dreams”, “Motherless Children” and an original composition he wrote for Julie, “Lilacs (Lost in Time)”.
In 2020, the pandemic hit, and they had no idea when they’d be back in the studio, but Bill continued to sporadically work on the arrangements nonetheless.
In August 2020, Bill Pursell was horrifyingly diagnosed with Covid, and after a fierce, brief battle, he died less than a month later, on September 3rd, at the age of 94. The day before he died, Laura promised him she would finish the album that they had begun.
“This was our last album, and Dad knew it. He poured his heart into these arrangements and he wanted it to be our best. The fact that he died before we could finish it together was heartbreaking. So, the gravity of this unfinished business, as well as my father’s legacy, has been weighing on me for 2-1/2 years. I can finally exhale. And as I release it to the Universe, I hope Dad can hear it”, says Laura.
“Laura was determined to dig in and streamline what needed to be done to make this promise a reality, her tenacity in keeping its heartbeat alive was driven by love and acceptance. Being involved with this project was a gift of love, it oozes from the glorious string movements to the soulful rendering of Laura’s vocals. It truly was a family affair to witness such profound love and a vision realized”, says Jaijai Jackson of the Not Just Jazz Network.
The next phase of the Pursell musical offerings is not only an active record label, Netcom Music to continue to thrive, but to release a collection of music outlining the many wonderful projects of both Bill and Laura’s musical journey. In mid-spring, Laura steps forward with her upcoming single “Shooting Star”.
Bill Pursell, a legendary pianist, composer, arranger, and Music Row sideman to Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins, Marty Robbins, and more. He was a colorful individual. He was a musical genius, an educator, a bohemian, and a storyteller with an Irish sense of humor - a man of many moods who expressed himself best through music.
Although he was best known for his instrumental hit “Our Winter Love” in 1963 (Columbia Records) and for his Music City contributions, he preferred to be remembered for his symphonic work, including his "Piano Sonata No. 2", and "The Heritage Symphony" (the only symphony ever written and performed for the city of Nashville).
In the hope that his vision has been realized, and with the support of all the musicians who worked with him over the years (and who returned to complete this project), what once began as a tribute to Laura’s mother turned out to be a tribute to both of them.
To learn more, be sure to visit Laura Pursell’s new website at http://laurapursell.com and check out her feature on the Not Just Jazz Network at http://notjustjazznetwork.com
Featured this week on the Not Just Jazz Network: Netcom Music with its latest release “Lost In Time (A Tribute to Bill Pursell)” by Laura Pursell, which captures the heart about family, loss, and love.
Bill Pursell and Raymond Clawson merged their efforts and created Netcom Music to fund Bill Pursell’s music and his daughter’s, vocalist Laura Pursell, with the new release "Lost In Time (A Tribute to Bill Pursell)”.
Half brothers Raymond Clawson and Bill Pursell met for the first time in 1990. Ray was a long-time entrepreneur and businessman. Bill was a musician, session player, arranger, and composer as well as a Professor at Belmont University in Nashville. Neither Bill nor Raymond had any idea that either one had a half-brother 20 years apart in age. They started exploring the possibility of working together and starting a music company, and in 1999, Netcom Music was born.
Their first project was “The Goodyears of Music,” a rollicking and wistful collection of instrumental standards with Bill on piano, Craig Nelson on bass, and Buddy Harman on drums.
Soon after, “Millennium” was recorded, which included a remake of Bill’s hit record from 1963, “Our Winter Love” and a beautiful original composition for his daughter, “Laura’s Song”. They finished the album with an instrumental original entitled, “A Time Remembered.”
Raymond and Bill took over Laura’s LA burgeoning project of jazz and swing standards under the Netcom umbrella, and “It Had to Be Swing” was released in 2000.
Soon after, “Unkissed” was released. The single “What Only Love Can Do” received generous airplay.
Bill and Laura recorded A Christmas album comprised of fifteen-holiday songs and two originals, the title track “That’s What Christmas Used to Be” and “Under the Mistletoe”. The title track continues to receive airplay every holiday season.
Netcom Music produced five albums in the span of two years. “The Very Last Dancehall Left in LA” and “I Wanna Look Good For My Man” were recorded in 2015. Bill wrote the arrangements on seven of the songs and Steve Mauldin, who was in charge of production, did the others.
In 2018, Bill’s wife Julie passed away from vascular dementia. It was his dream to honor her memory with an album. He penned music and lyrics to a haunting orchestral piece, which he named “Lilacs (Lost in Time)”. This last album started coming together in August 2019, with Bill and Laura back in the studio to record 3 songs at The Tracking Room - “Sweet Dreams”, “Motherless Children”, and of course, “Lilacs”.
Bill began working on the arrangements in 2020, then Covid arrived and everything came to a halt. He had finished the arrangements on “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”, “Convince Me” (an original song that Netcom Music discovered 20 years earlier but never recorded), “Faraway Places”, and “Every Love”.
Tragically, Bill passed away from Covid on September 3, 2020. Raymond and Laura were determined to finish the album and in January 2022, they went to Ocean Way Studio on Music Row to complete it. They recorded the four tunes Bill had arranged, and three more, including “Tender Wish”, the last piece of music Bill had ever written and played in the summer of 2020 as a gift for Raymond and his new wife Kay.
“Netcom Music has emerged with a classic formula proven to be successful. Netcom Music offers great artists, well-crafted songs, beautiful arrangements played by the most highly skilled musicians, expounding the universal struggles of mankind and our journey through life. Each project appears like a breath of fresh air in a stale atmosphere of stagnant musical styles”, says legendary producer Steve Mauldin.
“It was my Dad’s dream to finish this very personal album. He wasn’t able to do it in his lifetime, and I’m so grateful to Netcom Music for allowing me to complete it”, says Laura Pursell.
“We are very proud and excited at Netcom Music to release our newest Album, ‘Lost in Time'. This collection of songs contains the last work of my brother, Bill Pursell, and the brilliance of his arrangements of this music truly embody his spirit and musical genius. We know you will love it!” says Raymond Clawson, owner of Netcom Music.
In honor of the tribute to Bill Pursell, Raymond and Laura coordinated two events to kick off these musical works, one on May 13th at the Hard Rock Cafe, 6901 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 105, Los Angeles, CA, with Laura Pursell’s band celebrating the last music of her father. The event will be hosted by Leeza Gibbons, to raise awareness of Leeza’s Care Connection, which is close to the family’s heart due to Laura’s mother, Julie Pursell, who passed from vascular dementia.
In addition, another event in Nashville is slated at the well-known venue 3rd & Lindsley, 818 3rd Avenue S, Nashville, TN, June 15th, 2023 with Laura Pursell and the Nashville All-Stars.
“It is an honor to feature such a beautiful project, ‘Lost In Time (A Tribute To Bill Pursell)’ - it is a musical keepsake, for it takes you into the heart of love and family,” says Jaijai Jackson of the Not Just Jazz Network.
Be sure to stop by and enjoy the feature at http://notjustjazznetwork and to learn more and purchase go to http://Netcom-music.com.