Monday, April 2, 2012

Featured Homegrown Songwriters!!!

Our own songwriters from right here at home in Huntsville, Alabama, have  certainly been busy lately! Makes my head spin like an old 78 rpm record ... anyone remember those besides me! This is just a catch-up report hitting some highlights on just a few ... writing, co-writing, public appearances, recording, releasing albums, teaching, mentoring. We are blessed to have so much talent right here at home. Just think about it, our friends, our neighbors and what's more they are always there to support each other!
 Ken Cooper

Ken was accepted into Barbara Cloyd's Play for Publishers Workshop at the Bluebird in February. Ken has been appearing at the Bluebird quite frequently lately which is a coveted gig among the country songwriters. Congratulations, Ken.  He had the opportunity to write with a new artist band, and is now writing for Parish County as well as Borrowed Blue. Ken, also got an Indie cut called "Highway to Helen" on Andrew Velez's (another of  "our own") new album. You cannot keep a Rocket Scientist on the ground for very long, especially one that writes and sings like this one!
Earl Watts

Earl is in the Artist Spotlight of the Week on American Veterans Radio all this week! Earl has been in the "spotlight" for several weeks now. He was invited to sing for Mayor Battle's Proclamation Ceremony announcing March 29th, as Vietnam Veteran's Day. Then, he sang at the FIRST celebration of the new Vietnam Veteran's Day. There was a dedication ceremony of the statue honoring our veterans. Earl sand "To My Brother Private William Jones" at these ceremonies. Congratulations, Earl!
Gracie Newsum

One of our "young-set" songwriters, Gracie Newsum, a multi-award winning songwriter, has won top awards in the MOVA songwriting competitions. In December 2011, Gracie who is a member of the TCGMA (Tennessee County & Gospel Music Association) was nominated and awarded the TCGMA 2011 New Gospel Songwriter of the Year Music Award for her song, "Amazing Grace, Once Again" as well as New Gospel Vocalist of the Year. She brought home four trophies from that event! First places all! These wins qualified Gracie to compete in the nationals! On March 18th, at the North America Country Music Associations, Int'l Music Awards Show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Grace brought home the trophies!!! ... The 2012 NACMAI Songwriter of the Year for "Amazing Grace Once Again" and the 2012 NACMAI Most Promising New Gospel Vocalist! We are proud of you, Gracie!

Jim Parker

Jim sang at  Tin Pan South, Friday March 30th, with Danny Flowers, Ricky Ray and Mike Willis! What a line up! Don't forget his upcoming Jim Parker Songwriters Series on Friday, April 13th with performers Walt Aldridge, Suzi Ragsdale, James Casto and special guest, Ken Gaines, of Houston, TX. 

Jim Parker Songwriter Series is  celebrating the 7th year at the VBC Playhouse in May! Congratulations, Jim!

MaryJusice Lucas 

MaryJustice Lucas is another of our "young-set" songwriters. She is a multi-award winning songwriter and singer having won top awards at MOVA, iPOP!, TCGMA and NACMAI. In December, 2011, at the TCGMA Music Awards in Dalton, Georgia, MaryJustice was nominated and awarded the 2011 New Country Video of the Year, 2011 New Country Songwriter of the Year, 2011 New Country CD of the Year and 2011 New Country Most Promising Entertainer of the Year. These wins qualified her to compete at the national level with the North America Country Music Associations, Int'l Music Awards in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She was awarded 2012 Rising Star New Country CD of the Year (all acoustic recordings of her original songs), 2012 New Country Songwriter of the Year, and the .... 2012 New Country Entertainer of the Year!!! So proud of you, MaryJustice!

Alvia Dale Sandburg

Alvia Dale Sandburg, or Alvie as his friends call him, is a relatively newcomer to the Huntsville songwriting community. Born and raised in Wyoming, Alvia came to Huntsville in 2010 via California and quickly became known and loved by all. Alvie is writing and co-writing with local songwriters and has just laid down ten tracks for a CD.  The vocals are all by Alvie and the project will be  co-produced by Jay Vernali and Alvia Dale Sandberg. One of the great things about his collection is the diversity in musical style, feel, tempo and lyrical subject matter. Alvie is considering naming the album "Farm Boy". We will just have to wait and see.  Expect to see and hear a lot of great things from this young man! 

We are so blessed to have all this talent ... oh, there are more, many more. When you're in Huntsville, Alabama on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night drop in at the Coffee Tree Books & Brew and you're liable to hear one of them in person. Hey, shake hands, ask for an autograph ... They are Homegrown Songwriters from Our Sweet Home Alabama!

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