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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Roger Bartlett

Bill DeYoung

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Musician Roger Bartlett has only lived in the St. Petersburg area for two years, but he brought a whole lot of history with him. The prolific singer, songwriter and guitarist was a key member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band in the mid 1970s, when Buffett was making his legend as a storyteller with the iconic albums A1A, Havana Daydreamin’ and Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.

In fact, the earliest incarnation of the “band” was just Buffett and Bartlett; armed with acoustic guitars, they barnstormed the country for two years as a duo, before ascending success necessitated adding a drummer, bassist and harmonica player.

They were indeed wild and crazy days, as Bartlett chronicled Thursday on The Catalyst Sessions.

He also talked about his father, who was the announcer on radio’s Louisiana Hayride when the likes of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley made regular appearances. Bartlett’s old man was also a DJ with one of the most racially diverse (and popular) radio programs of early to mid ‘50s Shreveport.

Then there’s the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which used his song “Fool For a Blonde” in a pivotal murder-and-mayhem scene (Bartlett had nothing to do with making the film, by the way).

On The Catalyst Sessions, he performed a beachy new song, “Sunset,” and indulged his host with a spirited run-through of “Fool For a Blonde.”

Today: Veteran Tampa Bay TV newsman Mike Deeson; streaming on the Catalyst Facebook page at 7 p.m.

All Catalyst Sessions episodes are archived on our YouTube page.

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