Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
From Reidsville, North Carolina, Debi Champion began singing with cousins and friends in her home state, then as a solo performer and later with duo's and bands all over NC, SC, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland. She then moved to South Florida in 1976. Debi's unique blend of country, rock, and jazz made her one of the area's favorite entertainers. In 1978 she won the Mark Allen Critic's Choice Award for "Best Female Vocalist" and in 1985 she won the South Florida Music Award for "Best Rock/Pop/Blues Female Vocalist". Debi has appeared in concert with such diverse artists as Spyro Gyra, Bob James, Leon Russell, Dan Seals, The Dirt Band, Gary Morris, Kris Kristopherson, Restless Heart, Suzi Boggus, Dave Mason, Marshall Tucker Band, Ronnie Milsap, Three Dog Night, The Bama Band, and Mark O'Conner. She also toured as a back-up vocalist with Miami Dolphin, Tim Foley, and sang with the Miami Symphony.
Debi now lives in Kingston Springs, outside of Nashville, where she does demo session work, back-up vocals for different artists, and writes songs, some of which you may have heard on HBO or Showtime. She also serves as hostess for songwriter showcases every Tues, Wed, and Thurs night at the Commodore Grill in Nashville. She currently performs at the Commodore, the Bluebird, and at special events.
Jerry was born in a log house in a town with a population of 59. He was raised on music and hard work and from age 9, he traveled beside his father and their team of mules, raising cotton and corn. While at school, he earned extra cents by selling poems to his school seniors. His father had bought him a guitar at age 5 and taught him to play a few chords and soon Jerry was taking part in the family get-togethers. A natural performer, he eventually hit the road and earned money as a picker. Then he went to Parris Island and spent two months learning how to become a Marine. He formed a local group and played weekends.
He began putting melodies to his poems and this led to a recording deal, in 1958, with the Houston-based Backbeat label. Foster’s popularity began to grow, and he secured his first TV series on WSAF Savannah, Georgia. He then moved to KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with his own show and also as talent booker.
Jerry had his first cut in 1968, when Charley Pride recorded The Day The World Stood Still, which reached the Top 5, and followed it up with the Top 3 hit, The Easy Part’s Over, the latter earning the first of their two BMI awards. The following year, Jeannie C. Riley had a Top 40 success with The Back Side Of Dallas. In 1970, Stan Hitchcock had back-to-back hits with Call Me Gone and Dixie Belle. However, that same year, Mel Tillis had a Top 5 with Heaven Everyday.
Tuscumbia AL | Country
How does one describe the talent and career of Marty Raybon in only a few paragraphs? Throughout his epic journey, spanning nearly three decades, Marty has produced a remarkable list of career accomplishments including; multiple number one singles, top selling albums, CMA, ACM, IBMA, and Grammy Awards, along with scores of other accolades. Collectively, his contributions to the recording industry have sold well into the millions and he has performed literally thousands of live concerts at four corners of the earth. But what does all that really say about Marty Raybon?
Statesboro GA | Country
.*Songwriter Gerald Smith is from Statesboro, Georgia, and has resided in Nashville for the past eighteen years. A prolific writer, Smith has penned such number one songs as "What Part Of No Don't You Understand" for Lorrie Morgan and "Every Second" for Collin Raye. He has also written songs for George Strait "Just Look At Me", George Jones "The Lone Ranger", Perfect Stranger "Cut Me Off", Johnny Rodriquez "The Bitter Inn", "Behind His Last Goodbye" also by Lorrie Morgan, and many Others.*..He most recently has a cut on World Champion Bull Rider Justin McBride's CD called "Good Saddles Ain't Cheap" cowritten with Varble & Denny. ..Gerald is also a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BS degree in education. He has performed on stage with Roy Clark, Mike Snyder, Barbara Mandrell, Jerry Reed, Ricky Van Shelton, Waylon Jennings, George Lindsey, Buck Trent, Roy Acuff, Grandpa Jones and many more... ..He has also appeared on "HeeHaw," The Grand Ole Opry & Nashville Now as the "Georgia Quacker.".
Nashville TN |
Known as “The Entertainer’s Entertainer,” Karen Wheeler delivers a song with a voice so strong and true, comedy with such innocence, and a natural stage presence - you know she has been in the music business all her life. Karen’s parents, successful performers in their own right, paved the way. Her mother, “Little Jean,” was a masterful vocalist and all-around entertainer who, at age 16, had her own radio show on KWOC Radio in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Karen’s famous father, Onie Wheeler, respected worldwide not only for his hit records in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but for his songwriting, harmonica playing and being a member of the Roy Acuff Show for 22 years until his untimely death on May 26, 1984 from a massive heart attack while singing on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
At the age of 11, Karen began her professional career, singing harmony on her parents’ records. By age 12, she signed her first recording contract with K-Ark Records in St. Louis and made her first television appearance on the “St. Louis Hop.” Signing with Columbia Records at 15, she made her move to Nashville. During this monumental time, she also made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and continued to do so until the late 80s. It has been reported that Karen has more encores on the Grand Ole Opry stage than any other female artist in the business today!
Gilbert is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Tennessee Songwriters Association International (TSAI). Gilbert has had several songs signed to single-song publishing contracts as well as had her songs recorded by several independent artists, including her recent cut with 4-time Grammy nominated California Country Artist, Vicki Vann. She released her debut full-length album “Pickin’ Life’s Pocket” in October 2008 and followed up with her sophomore release “Bloom” in February 2011. Gilbert uses her real-life experiences from the Mid-West to fuel her songwriting. This is evident in her writing such songs as “Corn in the Silo”, “It’s Where We Are”, and “Bloom”.
Nashville TN |
I was born Agnes June Stearns daughter of William and Myra Stearns in Alpha, Kentucky. My family moved to Indiana when I was about two years old. I grew up on a small farm. My dad worked in the automotive industry as well as raising cattle ,hogs, and chickens on the farm. I came from a very musical family. My mom and dad played and sang, my brother, Garry is a singer/guitarist and my sister Petie sings with me occasionally. I graduated from high school at a small town nearby. I started singing and playing the guitar at about the age of seven. My sister and I entered a contest at a local country music show at the park. We won first prize. After that I sang and played with my brother and sister at the fairs, benefit shows, and local radio and tv stations in the area. Country singer, Charlie Gore asked me to appear on his show on WTTV out of Indianapolis. My sister and I auditioned for The Midwestern Hayride on WLW TV Cincinnatti, Ohio where we both appeared on the show and I also played some road shows with their group. I sent Roy Acuff a letter and a picture and to my surprise he called me and asked me to go on a USO Tour with his band. Roy hired me over the telephone. I was on my way. My mom and dad drove me to Nashville and I have been in the music industry ever since.
Joe Rucker will tell you in a heartbeat that Country Music is his passion, and has been since his early teens. .. .. Born October 11, 1976 in Baytown, Texas to Jerry and Linda Rucker, Joe's musical heritage is rich. Jerry was already an acomplished songwriter, and moved the family back to central Florida shortly after Joe's birth. .. .. By age 3, Joe was singing in church and at family get togethers with his parents, brother Jason, and sister Michelle. The Rucker Family would also sing at churches and BBQ's in the surrounding area. .. .. Joe's dad Jerry was a technician for the Space Shuttle program. He had some success in 1980 when he wrote a song called "Blastoff Columbia" which was played to wake up astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen on their first morning in space during Space Shuttle Columbia's first mission. Joe sites this as his first interest in the music business. .. .. A major turning point occured in Joe's life at age 12. Joe's dad was invited over to a friends house for dinner. The whole family went. There was another "guest" there as well. It was none other than the legendary Hank Locklin. The meeting with Hank made Joe dive into the roots of Country Music and discover it's rich past. .. .. When Joe became a teen, he started learning the guitar and mandolin. His dad took him to his first country music concert in nearby Wiersdale, FL to see Eddy Raven. He knew right then that he wanted to be in Country Music! .. .. So, he began to enter talent contests, winning several. He also appeared on the Wiersdale Opry semi-regularly. But he knew that Nashville was the place to be if he was to be a reputable artist. .. .. So in 1998, he made the move. Almost immeadiatley, Joe began to be noticed. Jack Greene invited him to appear on the world famous Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree in November, 1998. He appeared twice more with Jack on that show, and has appeared on it several times with artists like his friend Hank Locklin, Charlie Louvin, Joe Edwards, Bill Anderson, Jett Williams, and Junior Brown to name a few. .. .. Some of the artists Joe has been blessed to share the stage / work with are: Bill Anderson, Ernie Ashworth, Bonnie Bramlett, Junior Brown, Elizabeth Cook, Jack Greene, Hank Locklin, Charlie Louvin, Eddy Raven, Daryle Singletary, Marty Raybon, Kevin Sharp, John Berry, Larry Stewart (of Restless Heart), Lila McCann, Judy Rodman, Karen Wheeler, Jeannie C, Riley, Doug Stone,David Ball, Michael Peterson, Guy Gilchrist, and many others. .. .. Joe's first album, "Nashville Scenes" debut in 2001. His second effort, "Untangle My Mind" (released in 2007), includes several tunes written by Joe as well as some covers by some of Nashvilles finest. Included on the album are several special guests and heroes like Eddy Raven, beach music legend Clifford Curry, and Opry legend Hank Locklin. It was proclaimed by columnist Stacy Harris as the best country album of 2007. Joe is currently in the studio recording his third project, which will be sure not to disapoint his fans. It will include duets with giant legends of country music, such a Jim Glaser an June Stearns. .. .. Joe continues to write and perform songs from the heart. He performs at writer's nights around Nashville with such legendary writers as Jerry Foster, Jimmy Payne, Glenn Douglas Tubb, Guy Gilchrist, Buzz Cason, Johnny Counterfit, Jim McBride, Dickey Lee, and many others. Recently, Joe appeard a couple of times on the world famous Wheeling Jamboree! The legendary country radio show has been on the air since 1933 and has had a member roster that has included Grandpa Jones, The Louvins, Little Jimmy Dickens, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Doc and Chicky Williams, and many other country legends! May 2012 found Joe back on the WSM airwaves and the stage of the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, when his friend Glenn Douglas Tubb introduced him on his tenth appearance. His fan base continues to grow, and will undoubtedly continue to do so! ..