Ricky Van Shelton After winning the Academy of Country Music’s 1987 top new artist award, the singer/songwriter collected 10 No. 1s on Country Songs through 1991, including the Dolly Parton duet “Rockin’ Years.” The Grit, Virginia-raised Shelton retired from touring in 2006 and these days, according to his website, enjoys time “flying his airplane, working on his 150-acre farm, gardening, repairing his collection of classic cars and antiquing.”
Tu 5/11: Amanda Seyfried, Guy Fieri, Luke Bryan on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC. Luke Bryan Born: June 17, 1976 in Leesburg, GA CTRY. Singer and songwriter Luke Bryan comes by his country influences naturally — he grew up in Leesburg, GA, a small town 100 miles from the Alabama border where his father grew peanuts and sold fertilizer for a living. Bryan helped his family work the farm when he was young, but in his early teens he developed a passion for country music, picking up his influences from his parents’ record collection, listening to the likes of George Strait, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Alan Jackson, and Merle Haggard. When he was 14, his folks bought Bryan his first guitar, and a year later his playing and singing was strong enough that he started sitting in with local bands at a club featuring live country music. At 16, Bryan starting writing songs with the help of a pair of local tunesmiths who had enjoyed some success in Nashville, and Bryan planned to head to Music City to try his luck after graduating from high school until his brother died in an auto accident. Wanting to offer emotional support to his family, Bryan opted to attend Georgia Southern University instead, though he didn’t give up music; Bryan continued writing songs, formed a band and was playing gigs on campus or at nearby watering holes most weekends while pursuing his studies. Bryan recorded a self-released album he sold at shows during this period, but he was reluctant to take the plunge and devote himself to music full-time until he returned home to work in the family business after receiving his degree. Bryan’s dad, confident of his son’s talent, made him an offer — he could either move to Nashville or be fired. In the early fall of 2001, Bryan pulled up stakes and relocated to Nashville, where his heartfelt songs of country life earned him a contract with one of the city’s many publishing houses. In his free time, Bryan continued to perform at local clubs, and after an A&R man from Capitol Records saw him perform a set of his original material, he was given a record deal. Capitol released Bryan’s first widely distributed album, I’ll Stay Me, in the summer of 2007, following it with Doin’ My Thing in 2009.
Reaction to the new single, “Love’s Like A Rodeo,” has Nashville asking for more from a new band called Soul Circus Cowboys. The band is led by singer/songwriter, Billy McKnight, who first burst onto the country music scene with his knock-out debut album titled “All-American.” Quickly known as a talented songwriter and singer, Billy aspired for more. Billy utilized the expertise of producers Frank J. Myers and Johnny Garcia along with engineer Kevin Beamish, known for his work with REO Speedwagon, to produce an album featuring the smash hit, “Talk About Love.” Joining Billy in Soul Circus Cowboys is veteran guitarist, Terry Cole, who had this to say:“After the first round of demos for ‘Love’s Like A Rodeo’ went out to radio stations, the response was very positive.”To hear the song, click the link below: http://mediaproductions.tv/LovesLikeARodeo.mp3 “In fact,” continued Cole, “we have been asked by Mike Borchetta from our label, Lofton Creek Records, to cut more songs in Nashville. He’s really pumped about it. Of course, his family has music in their blood. Mike’s son, Scott, works with Taylor Swift.”“And that means that Soul Circus Cowboys will be working again with the legendary Henry Paul who produced ‘Love’s Like A Rodeo’ for us,” added Cole. It is definitely good news for Soul Circus Cowboys. Anyone who knows the music business is familiar with Henry Paul, a front man who made appearances at big venues like the Citrus Bowl when his band was on the bill with Van Halen and the Rolling Stones. To learn more about Soul Circus Cowboys, go to: http://soulcircuscowboys.com/
About Billy McKnight Billy McKnight made an upward spiral on the charts with tracks such as “All-American” and “You Wanna Make Somethin of It.” With a wide vocal range, and impressive stage presence, Billy has become one of the best “crowd pleasers” country music has seen in some time.
Growing up with a mom who sang and played guitar, Billy was introduced to a variety of music – from “fifties” rock and roll to whatever was current at the time including ballads, and country.
That family experience fueled Billy’s desire to pursue his own music career.
His early heroes included Conway Twitty, the Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynn, The Eagles, E.T. Conley, the Righteous Brothers and Garth Brooks; one of his favorite singers was Roy Orbison.
Billy’s musical quest landed him a spot on Ed McMahons’ “Star Search.” Although he didn’t win, he realized then that this was the dream he needed to pursue.
He met the challenge and relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and recorded his first album, “All-American.” After working with some of the best producers in country music, Billy re-mixed and re-mastered several of his songs, and even added a few new songs, including the hit song, “Talk About Love.”
For more information about Billy McKnight, go to: http://www.billymcknight.net/