Turn Your Radio on!
Bill Coleman began playing music while in grade school in his home in Oregon. He taught himself to play guitar by emulating folk greats such as Gordon Lightfoot, Peter Paul & Mary, and The Limelighters. By the time the Beatles came along in 1964, Coleman had been performing for two years at local community, and school events. The transition to Rock and Roll was natural, and he found himself forming and performing in several local bands in the Portland, Oregon music scene throughout his high school years. Bill met an equally talented singer/songwriter, Scott Riordan, while attending college at Western Oregon University. The two formed the highly successful northwest Folk/Rock band, 'Blackhawk County' in 1974, and shortly thereafter wrote and recorded their first hit single titled, 'Oregon (I Can't Go Home)' for JoAnn McDaniels, a native Oregonian imprisoned in Turkey. A band was formed around the duo, and they quickly became the opening act of choice for touring Folk and Country recording artists such as Hoyt Axton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Jeff Walker, Maria Muldauer, and Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. After touring the western United States for several years, Bill began a solo career,performing Classic Rock & Roll, Folk, and Old Time Civil War Music, including his large catalogue of original songs throughout Oregon and the United States. In 1994 Bill decided to pursue a lifelong interest in the Civil War with the release of his first collection of Civil War songs. The popularity of 'Tenting Tonight' led him to release four more collections of folk music centered on the Civil War: 'The Haunting War;' 'The Last Roses;' 'Tunes of Glory;' and 'Chantilly Remembrance.' Jeff Clouser, music critic for 'Civil War Times Illustrated' wrote, 'Expressive and evocative, Coleman's folksy voice suits the tales he tells.' In these collections, Bill demonstrates his talent as a composer by writing no less than twelve original Civil War songs. During this time he has teamed with wife, Carla, to write and perform five Civil War theatrical presentations for the stage. Their original production, 'Taps: The Civil War in Word and Song' has been heralded as one of the most moving, and entertaining programs that deal with the Civil War. Dick Peterson, of the Conflict Theater, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania writes, '. . . brilliantly produced, and outstandingly portrayed! Gettysburg visitors found 'Taps' to be the one show not to be missed!' Their most recent production, 'The Haunting War' has become, by far, the most popular of their presentations as they entertain audiences across the country. While touring the Southern Appalachian region of the United States, Bill developed an interest in traditional gospel music, and released a collection of his favorite songs titled, 'Turn Your Radio On!' in April, 2003. The success of this collection has lead to the formation of a new band called 'The Good News' Gospel String Band that features a wide variety of inspirational styles from blues to bluegrass, and folk to soul!