Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Foyer's "To An Empty Room" featuring MaryJustice Lucas

Our own Homegrown Songwriter, MaryJustice Lucas performing one of her newest originals "Precious Things", featured by The Foyer's YouTube "To An Empty Room" Series. 

now open at two locations!

The Foyer - 7pm-1am
600 Jordan Ln Suite 2

The Fo2Go - 8:30am-5:30pm
on UAHuntsville Campus
in the Business Administrative Building

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MaryJustice and The Pacemakers

Appearing live at the historic BBQ Caboose in Lynchburg, Tennessee, home of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Come and join MaryJustice Lucas, Jerry Mungle and Earl Watts as they perform on the "Old Time Country Radio Show" hosted by Paul Jones. 

A few months ago Jerry and Earl, who are sometimes billed as Two Old Men and Some Songs invited MaryJustice to join them in a show. Jerry decided to hold a contest on facebook to "name the show". Jerry originally called the event "Two Old Men and A Little Lady." There were several contest entries, but fellow songwriter Larry Cole submitted the title "MaryJustice and The Pacemakers." The title won hands down with one contestant voting against his own entry! After seeing the three very diverse performers, they were invited by radio host, Paul Jones to perform on his live radio broadcast at the BBQ Caboose. So, if you are anywhere near the area, I recommend you drop in for the show.  It's a fun show with Paul interviewing his guests between songs. The BBQ Caboose serves up so great, yes you guessed it ... barbecue. If you can't join the show tune in to WLIJ 1580am serving Shelbyville, TN and surrounding areas, to include parts of North Alabama! You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homegrown Songwriters Live at The Tree!!

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 7:00 PM

Alex Duggan puts it right out there!

"I have a hard time writing bios, because everything about me has already been put into a song. I write fondly of my hometown, and tensely of heartache. Some stories are hidden behind metaphors and prose. Others are so blunt that if you listen long enough, you'll know me as well as I know myself."

“Music is what I love. Some people enjoy the melody but don’t pay attention to the lyrics and that’s okay, but my favorite part of a song is its lyrics. As for me I find it impossible to NOT listen to what is being said. I love listening to the story being told in the song, just as much as I enjoy sharing stories in the songs I write. I write from my heart. Inspiration is all around me. I write about what I see and feel about the joys and disappointments of relationships. Songwriting and singing are like therapy.” MaryJustice Lucas

Matt Morrow
 The award winning singer-songwriter has hypnotized audiences across the country, and is currently playing shows to promote his new album Burlap and Gold, a Southern Gothic collection of stories told from the perspectives of the hardscrabble everymen and everywomen of his small Southern town. Alone on stage, his acoustic guitar or banjo are the only foil needed for the dark poetry of his lyrics that sting with heartbreak, addiction, despair, hope, and hard-earned wisdom.

Come and  enjoy this show with these three multi-talented songwriters as they entertain you with their originals, covers, duets and harmonies!

Coffee Tree Books & Brew
7900 Bailey Cove Road, SE
Huntsville, AL 35802

Thursday, September 12, 2013

12th Annual St. Jude Benefit Huge Success!!

Sort of late with the update. Sorry about that but a lot of other things have been happening ... some good and some not so good. BUT, what a show. More songwriters joined the show after the previous blog release. You should have been there. The $5000.00 goal was well exceeded. Kendra Sutton of the songwriters in the last round has lived through the experience of having a child with cancer who was successfully treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She wrote a song called Room 444 where she spent so much time with her daughter, Victoria who is now VICTORIOUS!

On the last round with Huntsville's own Jim Parker, Kendra Sutton, Birmingham, AL, Will Stults, Russellville, AL, and Billy Ryan Droze of the Shoals and currently residing in Nashville, Del stepped up to the microphone and asked if we wanted their round to continue and everyone started screaming "Yes!"... being the entrepreneur that he is, Mr. McGee said then put $100.00 on the table and I'll count it...any denomination.. when it reaches $100.00 they will do another round. I think he did that three times. AWESOME is all I can say. Later, I'll post some video from the songs I could get, but right now enjoy this number with the three. Sorry that Jim got cut off of most of the video but he was in there playing on this number. The Stem & Stein patio was rocking!

You may still  participate  by sending your "TAX DEDUCTIBLE" check made payable to:

 St Jude Children's Research Hospital

 and mail  to

 Del McGee 
P.O. Box 6756
 Huntsville, AL 35813. 

Thank you all so much for your support.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

17th Annual Singer/Songwriters For St Jude

Saturday, September 7, 2013 ~ 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Del McGee, a well-know songwriter in our songwriter circles, has sponsored this fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for 17 years. The daughter of his mother's friend died with childhood cancer because she could not get into St. Jude's in time, prompting Del to start his annual benefit Singers/Songwriters For St. Jude. When you get to know Del. it is evident that he has a "heart of gold," is a loving, caring man with a love of life, positive attitude and stands up for what he believes. A very special person!

Note from Del on August 29, 2013.
"I was delivering a package the other day and the lady came to the door in a St Jude t-shirt. I told her I was glad to see she supported St Jude, and she chimed in real quick and said she was a St Jude survivor. She had A L L when she was a little girl. Now she is 29 and engaged to be married. So the money we raise helps local kids and families as well as those around the world. 

The new "Nano" technology research is gonna be the link to the cure for childhood cancer. They are making miraculous break throughs every single day. Its really only a matter of time now." 

Invitation from Del:
Come out to see and hear some of the area's best singer/songwriters and help support our efforts to help the children of St Jude. It's an evening of fun with friends and family and the best beer and wine selection in Madison at the Stem N Stein on County Line Rd. I match all donations, I cover all the costs of the show so every penny you give goes directly to St Jude. AND, this year, the new owners of Stem N Stein are going to match it as well!! WOOHOO!! So if you want to triple your donation, then here's your chance to maximize your help in the fight against childhood cancer.

I certainly hope everyone reading this can make the show, but if you can't and still want to participate you can by sending your "TAX DEDUCTIBLE" check made payable to, St Jude Childrens Research Hospital and mailing it to Del McGee P.O. Box 6756, Huntsville, Al. 35813. Thank you all so much for your support, spiritually and financially.

donating their time, talent to support this cause and to deliver a great show. Believe me, you will enjoy this show of talented entertainers with music genres from Americana to Bop!

4:00: Robin Stewart, Earl Watts, Robert Barnes, Connie Nicholas Carnes

5:30: MaryJustice Lucas, Amit Chadha, Lori Lovelace-Muse, John Crosslin

7:00: James C Polhemus, Kendra Sutton, Cristina Lynn, Del McGee

And every now and then, EVERYONES favorite from last year, the BEAT BOP king, SEAN!!!!!!

10871 County Line Road
Madison, AL 35758
(256) 325-3779
Make tax deductible donation checks to:
 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Mail to: 
Del McGee
 P.O. Box 6756, 
Huntsville, Al. 35813.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


A side note about the music on my shows. I say a lot ... I play the music I LOVE,  which is true. However, I think that a DJ that says they will play your music if they like it ... that is a selfish way of looking at it. Who are we to judge what other folks like? All DJs, especially in the world of independent music, should have an open mind and try to present music for everyone. Should we follow mainstreams judgments and only play over produced, loaded with effects music. I think not! I believe with all of my heart, we should include the grassroots music, even if not perfect. So when you listen to my show, expect imperfections, maybe even living room pickings. I certainly play studio productions and respect the work that goes into them, and LOVE them, but that is not all there is to music. MaryJustice Lucas is one of the best voices I have ever heard. She commented to me that her music was not radio ready, well I beg to differ and will play her in my shows with pleasure!!! 

Another side to this is the musicians that listen and what they like as well. The most produced, horse voice, living room picking jam, blues tune, I put on ReverbNatiom got me to 17, nationally, by other blues artists that made great comments and kept coming back for more, BUT radio won't play it because it is under produced. And, that is fine with me but something is being overlooked here. I think it is the call for more real life types of music. Not what mainstream has fed us for the last few years. And really a new song on mainstream only last about two weeks.
Where will the classic of our era come from? Will there even be any? With this all said, I have the highest regard for what it takes to do radio, now that I am involved from two standpoints, as an artist and DJ. I am learning so much and see the work and love that is put into it. On my Songwriters show I WILL be mixing mainstream and indie. I love a lot of mainstream ... just have a gripe about how the major labels have handled it for a long time. A lot of folks that worked hard for years to get a major label to pick them up are now holding their breath for the contracts to be up. 

I welcome the revolution in music that is happening now and honored to be part of it. If you have suggestions for me to be better at my jobs,  in both areas, I welcome your suggestions as I feel like learning all aspects of music never ends. Thanks for indulging me as I pass these thoughts on to you.

Memphis to Muscle Shoals and Beyond

You are invited to my show on www.rockersdive.com. It is the First Monday of every month and focuses 
on music from the mid-south. It is from 7-9pm CST, 8-10pm EST. We are editors choice on Windows media player and folks are joining us from all over the GLOBE!! You can also join chat on the home page and the show can be heard on all phones. For those of you using iphones, if you want to join chat try this link http://www.rumbletalk.com/client/chat.php?Gb4F%3A1eE 

Here is a link directly to LISTEN http://bit.ly/15i5pFH You can also now find us on itunes, shoutcast and windows media player. Hope to see you!!!

The Listening Room Songwriters Showcase
Starting the first Saturday of every month I will be doing an original. all genre, songwriters showcase on www.rockersdive.com. At this time we have listeners from 120 countries. The Listening Room Showcase has been in the works but finally coming about. The concept came from owning a Listening Room in Memphis Tn in the 80's with Susan Ratner as co owner. I loved it then and love it now. The original listening rooms started in Chicago many years ago. I used to play them and thought it was a wonderful idea. After my Memphis one, many venues and online sites have taken that name. I am proud that it is so popular and happy to continue the tradition. I will have local artists such as the great Sandy Carroll, Nashville hit writers such as Mark Narmore, and songwriters from across the globe. Mainstream and Independent artist together sharing their talents. Join me at 2-4pm EST, 1-3pm CST, 7pm UK time.

Tune in to Rocker's Dive! It's 24/7 music at http://www.rockersdive.com/. Rocker's Dive is a very unique internet music platform with music you can listen to while working or just browsing the internet. Or, you can log into their chat-room for fun interaction with the DJs and many times the artists being featured.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Looking for something to do tonight?

If you are in Huntsville, Alabama, nearby, or passing through, there is a great line up of Our Homegrown Songwriters playing around town.

Terrific show with Alex Duggan and Matt Morrow at The Foyer. Alex has just released an EP entitled "People Like Us." Matt did instrumentation, harmony and also produced the EP. I know this will be a great show tonight! Show starts at 9:00. Great family-friendly hangout with awesome coffee and cheese cake.Stop in at 600 Jordan Ln NW #2  Huntsville, AL 35816

Emma's at 401 Pratt Ave, NE, Huntsville, AL 256-489-5850.
Huntsville Songwriter's Round  has  an awesome line up of songwriters for your entertainment tonight. Call ahead for your reservation. Food at Emma's is wonderful and the service is excellent. This is a listening room environment with dinner served with elegance. 

The Red Door Art Gallery  213 W,Main StreetHartselle, Alabama 35640

For those of you in the Decatur/Hartselle area drop in the Red Door Art Gallery for Songwriters-Open Mic night at 7p.m. There is something to do in Hartselle. Always a great turn-out and good friends and people, most of all the entertainment is FanTAStico! so much talent! 

Click all the "hot links" and listen to music, check out the menus and get acquainted with these terrific venues who open their doors for Our Homegrown Songwriters!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Hello! I'm Dorothy S. Guinn!

You are invited to my show on www.rockersdive.com. It is on Monday nights and focuses on music from the mid-south. It is from 7-9pm CST, 8-10pm EST. You can also join chat on the home page and the show can be heard on all phones. Links and connections to chat on the show from your phones are on the website!

WOW what a show lined up for  Monday. August 12th! Featuring the AMAZING Steve Bonino, introducing top hit songwriter Mark Narmore, the groundbreaking, ground-shaking Tonya Suzanne Holly, the Canadian rising star Krista Earle, and Texas rocker Rick Parker. PLUS songs from the new CD of Fiddleworms, AND since MaryJustice Lucas was such a hit last Monday we are playing her again. And to top it off a lot of our regulars that we have grown to love at Rockers Dive. Too many to mention. Two hours of music that will grab you and hold on to your music loving soul !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Featuring Steve Bonino on my show Monday, August 12th. Here's a peek about him.

STEVE BONINO: A New York City native, Steve attended the High School Of Music and Art in New York, sister school to the high school made famous by the movie Fame, as a voice major.

As a professional actor, he starred in the NBC TV series: "The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.", a Saturday morning kid's show where he was able to display his acting and singing skills. C.A.P.E.R. was produced by Don Kirshner, who also produced the music for the Monkees TV show, which C.A.P.E.R. was emulating. Steve contributed his vocal talents to the show’s album, released on Columbia records. He was also seen on the big screen in "Three Days of the Condor", starring Robert Redford, and the summer camp spoof film "G.O.R.P." starring Dennis Quaid. Steve also appeared in the made for television movies "Friendly Fire" starring Carol Burnett, "Tarantulas, The Deadly Cargo" and the remake of "It’s A Wonderful Life" starring Marlo Thomas.

As a professional musician, Steve sang on records by Screaming Jay Hawkins & Francis X. On television, he has performed as a bassist / vocalist with the popular German band "Avtograph", and as a guitarist / vocalist on KCET with the original band "Tomorrow’s Game" that Steve co-founded. Steve has composed the music score and original songs for independent films and has been an active musician since the early 90’s on the local club scene in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Join Dorothy every Monday night, same time, same station!
www.RockersDive.com is on the air 24/7 and the DJ's take requests through chat!

Note from Webmaster: We logged in to Dorothy's show last Monday night and had a great time. It is so awesome to get to chat with the singers as they listen to the music along with the audience. We got acquainted with so many people. I can highly recommend this... listen from you computer, iphone, ipad and join the chat. You can also connect via iTunes. You could feel the excitement from the posts of the listeners.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Update Huntsville Homegrown Songwriters

Huntsville, Alabama, is loaded with talent. I know you all would agree with me if you could get around to some of these events.

Ken Cooper playing  The Commodore Grille Nashville - 8:30pm TONIGHT
2613 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Saints Don't Grieve "End of Summer Show"
 with special guests Ghost to Coast and MaryJustice Lucas
Thursday, August 8th at 6:00. Tickets: $5.00 
Location: Set your GPS to 212 Westmoreland Huntsville, AL

MaryJustice Lucas and Matt Morrow at The Foyer
Friday, August 9th at 9:00
 600 Jordan Ln NW #2, Huntsville, AL 35816
Matt and MaryJustice

MaryJustice Lucas at the NE Side of Court House Square
Downtown Huntsville Arts & Entertainment District 
Saturday, 6:30
MaryJustice Lucas

So many more ... wish I could mention them all now

Sean Kendrick - Tonight 5:00 pm at Hot Rod Tattoo
Sean Kendrick - Saturday 5:30 pm Downtown, Huntsville
Sean Kendrick - Saturday 8:30 Below The Radar Brewing Company
220 Holmes Ave. NEHuntsville, Alabama 35801

Robert Barnes - Thursday at 5:00 pm - Sante Fe Steak House, Albertville, AL

Wayne Gambrell at The Coffee Tree August 9th from 7-9
7900 Bailey Cove Rd SE, Huntsville, AL 35802

Don't forget Huntsville Songwriter's Round at Emma's, 401 Pratt Ave. NE. Huntsville, AL
They are booking for August 16th

Monday, July 29, 2013

Singers/Songwriters for St. Jude

Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 6:00 - 10:00 PM

Come out to see and hear some of the areas best singer/songwriters and help support our efforts to help the children of St Jude. Its an evening of fun with friends and family and the best beer and wine selection in Madison at the Stem N Stein on County Line Rd.

10871 County Line Rd. Suite B 
MadisonAL 35758

I match all donations. I cover all the costs of the show so every penny you give goes directly to St Jude. AND, this year, the new owners of Stem N Stein are going to match it as well!! WOOHOO!! So if you want to triple your donation, then here's your chance to maximize your help in the fight against childhood cancer.
Del McGee - Singer/Songwriter/Sponsor

I certainly hope everyone reading this can make the show, but if you can't and still want to participate you can by sending your "TAX DEDUCTIBLE" check made payable to St Jude and mailing it to Del McGee P.O. Box 6756, Huntsville, Al. 35813. Thank you all so much for your support, spiritually and financially.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Own Homegrown Songwriters Featured in No'Ala Magazine - Huntsville Edition

Our Sweet Home Alabama is loaded with talented songwriters ...
It's on the news stands in locations across North Alabama. Get your copy or subscribe and get the compilation CD of the up and coming artists of North Alabama featured in the July/August 2013 Entertainment Edition of (click this link to view bothNo'Ala. There's a Huntsville Edition and a Shoals Edition! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen and Thrift Store Has Immediate Need!

Sharon Walker is the Founder and General Overseer of the Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen and Thrift Store located at 2412 Memorial Parkway, NW, Huntsville, AL 35810. The Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen and Thrift Store is a non-profit, 501c3, non-denominational ministry to the homeless and needy in Huntsville, Alabama. They serve two meals daily, Monday through Friday and on Saturday one big meal is served. They also offer a monthly clothing assistance to those in need and in the colder months supply blankets, coats, hats scarves and gloves to help them stay warm.

Sharon was first called in the homeless ministry in 2001 and the soup kitchen ministry first opened it's doors in November of 2003. Sharon is an evangelist and preacher and has a heart's desire to see people turn their lives around for the glory of God. It is the vision of her ministry to see people walk in victory instead of defeat. She teaches weekly Bible studies every Wednesday at 11:00 AM. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a hot meal while hearing the word of the Lord.


Saturday Night Alive is the once a month church service with a live band, guest speaker and free food. All are welcome. The Rose of Sharon Bus will pick up people without transportation at the Salvation Army and Johnson Towers and give the a ride back when the service is over. Pictures are on the website. I encourage you to check out the website!

I visited the soup kitchen and thrift store the other day in late afternoon. I stepped into a cool, clean, well organized store.  In the middle section are tables where people had come in from the heat and were playing card games. Everyone was very friendly. The soup kitchen depends on donations and volunteers. Right now they are in desperate need of financial support. Sharon said she had plenty of food and volunteers come in to help cook and serve, but on that day she had a bank balance of $20.00. If they do not get some assistance soon she will have to close the soup kitchen and lay off three people.

Please go to visit the webpage at http://roseofsharonsoupkitchen.org/, get acquainted with Sharon, look at photos ... click on http://roseofsharonsoupkitchen.org/donate_now where you can make a donation through PayPal. Every dollar will help. I am asking everyone who sees this blog to support in any way you can. It will be a blessing to you as well as to the soup kitchen. 

I hope to find a venue and rally together all the Homegrown Songwriters in the area to do a benefit concert to raise some working money for the soup kitchen. We have so much talent in our area and these songwriters have a heart for helping by donating their time and talent for worthy causes.Your prayers and help are much needed and appreciated.

If you live in the area stop in and bless the soup kitchen with a donation, buy something from the thrift store. Some awesome items, clean and in excellent condition! They also have a box truck and can pick up large donations of refrigerators, sofas, etc. Come one, folks and lend a helping hand in any way you can.

2012 Ministry Totals
155 Food Boxes were distrubuted
4,250 clothes were given to the homeless and needy
546 winter coats were given to the homeless and needy
510 blankets were given to the homeless and needy
15354 Hot Meals were served/given away to the hungry
41 Souls were saved for Jesus Christ
$22,348.00 was taken from the thrift store inventory and given to the homeless and needy.


The Rose of Sharon Soup Kitchen and Thrift Store
2412 Memorial Pkwy NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
Phone:(256) 536-2970

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Meet Gary Whitehawk, Homegrown in Texas

Hailing from Lubbock, Texas, Gary Whitehawk is a singer/songwriter/musician. Gary writes lyrics that come mostly from his life experiences. Sometime’s sad, sometime’s happy, and a lot of memories. When composing instrumentals, the melody comes from deep within, depending on his mood and feelings at the time ... straight from the heart and soul.
Gary was raised in West Texas, and was fortunate to be around a lot of great musicians. Like all musicians, Gary listened to many different genres of music, and of course tried to emulate a lot of them. From old Rock 'N' Roll, Country, and Blues, he played it all. Through the years, he played in several bands, and over time developed his own style of playing guitar. In later years, he married a wonderful woman, and started raising a family. Times were hard, and music could not produce enough income to properly raise a family, so Gary had to get away from his music for many years. The love of music always lingered in his heart. 
Now that Gary's family is grown and married, and blessing him with grand children, he is back doing what he always loved ... playing his music once again. Gary says he  has no desire to tour, or be in any bands. He just  wants to create his own music and share it with those who enjoy it. Gary is currently working on an Album, and plans to release it soon on his own label.
Visit Gary's website at http://www.whitehawkmusic.com/ and browse around. I think you will enjoy our visit. Check Gary Whitehawk Music on facebook and give him a big thumbs up LIKE!

Homegrown Songwriters

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meet Alvia Dale Sandberg

Alvia Dale Sandberg

Alvia or Alvie as we affectionately call him, joined the Huntsville, Alabama songwriter scene about three years ago. He is a familiar face at our local venues as well in places all around Nashville. He always has a smile and is supportive of his fellow songwriters. We are happy to have Alvie as  a Homegrown Songwriter! Look for him on YouTube  and ReverbNation.

Alvia Dale Sandberg is a songwriter and song performer who got his start on the farm in the small town of Burns, WY.  His first guitar was his father’s and was found in a closet on the farm house he grew up in. Alvia began playing music in junior high school and guitar in high school, in Burns, WY.  Alvia started out learning to play in various church bands in Burns, WY and later in Ridgecrest, CA.   He learned that hard work and small town values are some of the best American past times that we have.

He started out playing guitar in church bands and in Fellowship of Christian Athletes groups in college.  He also traded labor and farm commodities for guitar lessons while studying electrical engineering.  Most lessons were spent learning how to mimic Roger Clyne and Joe Satriani songs as well as scales and other music theory.  He will tell you, if you ask, that he has been playing far too long to be this bad at it.

Later on, while earning a career as a civilian electronics engineer with the Department of Defense, he continued playing rhythm and lead guitar in church bands and in local open mic nights in California.

After moving to Alabama, he started to delve into the art of songwriting and has been writing and playing out as often as possible in and around northern Alabama and Nashville, TN. In the last couple of years, Alvia has been studying the craft of songwriting by attending workshops, writing, co-writing, and taking every opportunity to view professional songwriters at events such as the Jim Parker Songwriter Series.  He is a member of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) - Northern Alabama Chapter.  He has written dozens of songs and has developed a deep respect for the art, skill and luck involved with the craft.  You can find him performing all over northern Alabama and in Nashville songwriter rounds at places such as the Commodore Grille. 

In his first collection of original music, “Farm Boy”, you’ll hear pieces of multiple musical genres.  From his parent’s 40th wedding anniversary to the many lessons we all live in life, “Farm Boy” is a collection of small town American character.  He along with his three co-writers, Kenneth Cooper (She Prays For Me), Butch Hendrix (What Love Looks Like) and Charles Burgess (Old Family Album) all hope this collection will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

Alvia has an appreciation for all genres of music.  However, at the top of his list of artistic influence are Roger Clyne of The Refreshments, and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  Also, growing up in a small farm town near Cheyenne, WY, he was inspired by the artists who frequented Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.  George Strait, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Chris LeDoux, just to name a few.  At some point, Alvia started to gain a love and respect for the singer/songwriter styles of Derek Webb, Bebo Norman, Todd Thibaud and Steven Ashbury.  As a songwriter, he is inspired by Jim Parker, Marc Beeson, Lisa Carver, Gary Burr and countless others.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meet George Wells!!

George Wells, 82 years young, "and heading toward 83 as fast as I can,"  is still going strong. George has battled and won many serious health issues and has not missed a beat.  Just goes to show, there is a lot to be said for, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22 KJV

Drop into the Coffee Tree Books and Brew, in Huntsville, Alabama, any Wednesday night and you'll see George Wells sitting in his favorite spot for the Songwriters Open Mic. George is always there with a welcoming smile and willing to help and advise aspiring songwriters. George is also frequently present at Saturday night Open Mic and most Friday night Showcases. In addition to supporting songwriters he is always on the lookout for worthy causes that he brings to the attention of the Coffee Tree and helps organize benefits. George Wells is a friend to many and a friend to have in your corner. Read what he has to say about himself. We love you, George!

In his own words!

I grew up without any musical skills what so ever.  I dropped out of drum lessons after less than a half dozens lessons.  I was so musically challenged I could not play on the linoleum. I thought a key was something that opened a door.

Then, as a traveling auditor for GMAC, I was spending a lot of time at the airport.  I was making about 85 flights a year.  As you know, that provides a lot of extra time at the airport.  That's when I decided to try my hand at songwriting.  What better way to use up the spare time?  I purchased song books containing lyrics to use as a guide.  Also used a poetry book to help.  And just kept writing, seeking help of other writers and researching to get started.  Some of those who helped me were Joe Royster (He wrote a lot of Gary Bonds songs.) and Buddy Starcher who had a TV show in Charleston, West Virginia. We wrote a few songs together.  In Arlington, Virginia,  I met up with a person who had written a lot of rock songs ... I don't recall his name, but he invited me to the studio.

Too much travel led me to Huntsville, Alabama where I met up with Billy Stone.  He did everything in gospel music.  He was a promoter, songwriter, sang in a quartet and was a DJ at WBHP, WSLV and WRAB.  We wrote more than 50 songs together.  Billy was off on Monday so we usually spent the day in Nashville, knocking on publishers doors.  We had some success with April Blackwood Music, Window Music and others.  All told, we got about 25 songs published.  That gave us an opportunity to be in the studio with many people who are now in the hall of fame.  This includes:  DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore, Billy Ray Reynolds, Charlie McCoy, Pig Robbins and Pete Drake.  And, probably about 25 others of the same class.

A lot of people ask how many songs have I written in my 51 years of song writing.  All I can do is guess:  3,000 lyrics.  Remember how many changes I have been through in the recording industry.  Eight tracks, reel-to-reel, cassette, 45 rpm, 33 rpm and CDs. I would need a separate room for all the equipment needed to play all the formats of all my songs!

Never had a big song.  "Greenie, The Christmas Tree," by Roberta Lee, got a lot of airplay. So did "That Jesus Loves Me Feeling" recorded by the Kingsmen.  Perhaps my biggest thrill happened in Portsmouth, VA in 1970, when all my family came together in a theater to see the movie "From Nashville With Music."  Billy and I had a song near the end of the movie.  John Bradford sang,  "Turn The Record Over."  The Jordanaires did the back up vocals.  Some other projects include:  Charlie Walker, The Regents, Neil Bonnett, Orval Profitt and Roberta Lee.  I am also very thankful to have worked on other projects as well.  Most of all, my real thrill was meeting the people that sang or played on my sessions.

Bright Future for George

My most exciting opportunity came when Patsy Trigg, (Gold and Platinum Record for "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer") agreed to co-write with me in early 2012.

We came up with a novelty Christmas song entitled,  "It's A MerryChristmas When Pigs Fly."

We have a song, an eBook, a YouTube Video and an audio book by that title.  We think 2013 will be a good year for the song as we have two license agreements out.  One with Dan Dee International for 17 toys and one with Leanin' Tree Card Company to make a Christmas Card using the front cover of our eBook.  Patsy has a lot of experience, works hard, and anyone who can sell more than 15 million copies of a Christmas song, has a lot of ability.  It is a pleasure to work with Patsy.

 George's Advice For Aspiring Songwriters
Despite missing the big hit, I have stayed with music for a long, long time.  Disappoints came, things went wrong but I keep waiting for the "big one".  To the young writers my advice is to stay in the  craft.  A failure is a good teacher.  A rejection is the motivator.  If you love songwriting stay with and keep trying.  If you lose interest, try golf.  Songwriting is like a good woman, treat her like you should and she'll stay.  One final suggestion.  Keep records of names, dates, where you played and all things related.  When you reach my age you will have an awful lot of info that would have leaked out of the mind long ago.  It is not always how long the journey is, but how much you enjoyed the journey.   Here is a small  prayer that I use,  "The pencil is mine.  The paper is too.  But words I need dear Jesus must come from you."
Thanks so much for the opportunity to take you for a walk down my memory lane.  Above all, don't mind asking me for advice.  God keeps old folks around to help others. 

George Wells
June 13, 2013