Monday, 18 May 2009

Cincinnati Crooning

While I'm sure this is common knowledge if you grew up in the 1970s in Cincinnati, Ohio, it was presented to me today and totally made me laugh. If you follow hockey, you know the man to the left as Rick Dudley. Rick played for the Sabres and Jets in the NHL, and for the Cincinnati Stingers in the WHA. He spent a year or two in the AHL and IHL as well. Of course, he's probably best remembered by the younger crowd for his coaching stops in Buffalo and Florida, and for being the architect of the Lightning team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Today, he's the assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. For a guy who was never drafted into the NHL, he's carved out a pretty good career in The Show. And to think that he could have toured North America in a different way had he followed another path that was laid down during his time in Ohio.

Confused? Well, Rick Dudley actually wrote music! And not only that, but the guy even produced his own '45 and released it to the world! In 1975, Dudley produced an album under the label of Do Right Records that featured two songs: A-side's Natural Man and B-side's I Don't Want To Cry. Mad Dog Music published this masterpiece album, and was engineered by Phil Burkhardt.

According to an interview done by Jeff Marek and Dennis Beyak on Hockey Night In Canada radio, Dudley said that the whole music phenomenon started when he was discussing music in Cincinnati Stingers' dressing room. A few of the Stingers had indicated that they would hang out and play music to pass the time on the road, and they invited Dudley to come out and hang out with them. One thing led to another, and Dudley began singing at these get-togethers. This led to Dudley writing music, and the rest is music history.

The Stingers, once they got a hold of the album, used it for a myriad of marketing purposes, and Dudley made a name for himself for a few years in the Ohio city for something other than hockey. When Cincinnati was rejected entry into the NHL, Dudley's album was lost in the shuffle, and he moved onto Buffalo to continue his hockey career. His music career, however, was pushed to the back-burner as he re-joined the NHL.

Now, I'm not trying to embarrass Mr. Dudley in any way, and I really respect the fact that he has this musical talent. Of course, it's campy, 1970s AM-dial stuff, but Dudley is officially a musician. Thanks to a great site called, you can hear Dudley's singing live on your computer.

Here is Natural Man and I Don't Want To Cry in Windows Media Format. Get yourself a roaring fire going in the fireplace, pull out the old bearskin rug, and grab a couple of glasses of champagne for you and your significant other. The sounds of Rick Dudley will increase the romanticism tenfold. At least. He's Cincinnati's Marvin Gaye without any doubt.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being from Buffalo, I have a 45 of Rick with the songs "I'm Going Home" and "Don't it Make You Want to Go Home"

Crazy . . .