Randy Owen

portraitrandyBorn and raised in Welland, Ont., Randy's award-winning broadcasting career began with two consecutive awards for the top mark in radio class at Niagara College. While a first year college student, he began working evenings and weekends at 1470 CHOW, his hometown country music station. Eventually, Randy worked his way to mid-day announcer and music director.

Randy spent nine years working afternoon drive at CKGL in Kitchener and went on to become music director. In 1988, he became the first (and only) person to win both national Canadian country music awards (RPM Big Country Awards, Canadian Country Music Association) for on-air personality in the same year.

In 1997, Randy hosted the popular cross-Canada country music request show "Cryin'', Lovin'' or Leavin''" via satellite for three years.

Randy came to Tillsonburg and Country 107.3 in October 2007, bringing a wealth of experience and love of country music, from the classics to today's hits.

Other career highlights include emceeing a concert in October 2009 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, serving as the voice announcer for the Ontario country music awards show, and inducting guitar great Wendell Ferguson into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Randy has interviewed a long list of country music personalities, including Johnny Cash, Johnny Reid, Garth Brooks, Gord Bamford, Vince Gill, Terri Clark, Faith Hill, Paul Brandt, Waylon Jennings, Shania Twain, George Jones and many, many more! And you may catch him singing a Cash or Haggard song at a jam or concert in the area.

Join Randy weekdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Hunting For His Birthday Cake

Randy Owen
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Happy 33rd birthday today to singer/songwriter Sam Hunt!  Born in Cedartown, Georgia, the former college football quarterback was briefly signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent.  Sam bought a guitar at a pawn shop and the first song he learned to play was a Kenny Chesney song.  Later, he wrote Chesney's 2012 hit "Cover Over," as well as "Cop Car" for Keith Urban and "We Are Tonight" for Billy Currington.  Hunt scored his first #1 hit as a recording artist in 2014 with "Leave the Night On."  Earlier this year, his "Body Like a Back Road" spent 25 weeks at the top of the Billboard Country Songs chart, setting a new record.  Certified multiplatinum, it crossed over to the pop charts and made it into the top 10 of the Hot 100 all-genre chart.  Although enjoying incredible chart success, the song has received few awards.
 
Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt
 
Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  River Town Saints' drummer Jordan Potvin turns another year older; Marty Raybon, former lead singer with Shenandoah and The Raybon Brothers, turns 58 (he rejoined Shenandoah in 2014); singer/songwriter Bertie Higgins turns 73 (his 1982 Top 10 pop chart peaked at #50 on the country chart); and singer/songwriter Jerry Butler, nicknamed "The Ice Man," turns 78.
 
Also Born on This Date:  James Gray, former keyboardist with Blue Rodeo, in 1960 (he died in 2013 at age 52 of a heart attack); singer and keyboardist Gregg Allman, of The Allman Brothers, in 1947 (he died earlier this year); and folk singer Jean Ritchie, in 1922 (although she never had a hit song, artists like Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Judy Collins cited her as an influence; she died in 2015).
 
Passages:  1950's singer/guitarist Bonnie Lou in 2015 at age 91 (she was a regular on the WLW "Midwestern Hayride" radio show); character actor Slim Pickens in 1983 at age 64 (in addition to appearing in several western movies and TV shows, he also became a regular on the TV show "Hee Haw"); and the legendary Marty Robbins in 1982 of a heart attack at age 57 (he was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame just two months before his death).
 
A First:  on this date in 1991, Roy Acuff was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors, becoming the first country artist to receive the award.
 
Another First:  in 1956, Brenda Lee released her first single, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus"...at the age of 11.
 
Under the Knife:  six years ago today, singer, songwriter and guitarist Wade Hayes underwent surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to battle stage 4 colon cancer.  He was released a few days later and, at last report, was still cancer free.
 
Album Release:  on this date in 1976, The Eagles' "Hotel California" album was released.  It would go on to spend eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Album chart and sell over 16-million copies in the U.S. and 30-million copies worldwide.
 
And 59 years ago today, the Country Music Association opened in Nashville.
 
Last Updated ( Friday, 08 December 2017 08:15 )
 

A Country Singer Who Sang Opera

Randy Owen
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Happy 69th birthday today to singer/songwriter Gary Morris!  Born in Fort Worth, Texas, he had 27 singles on the country charts from 1980-1991, including five #1 hits.  A powerful vocalist, Gary acted and sang on Broadway in productions of "Les Miserables" and "La Boheme," as appeared on TV's "The Colbys."  His first Top 40 country hit was "Sweet Red Wine" in 1980 and he first heard it on the radio when he was in a liquor story buying wine!
 
Gary Morris
Gary Morris
 
Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer Sunny Sweeney turns 41 (her biggest hit was 2010's Top 10 song "From a Table Away"); singer, songwriter and actor Hugh X. Lewis turns 85; and mandolin player Bobby Osborne, of The Osborne Brothers, turns 86 (they were one of the first bluegrass groups to use electric guitars and drums in the early 1960's, horrifying bluegrass purists).
 
Also Born on This Date:  journalist and promoter Chuck Shultz in 1967 (he died earlier this month); singer Dawn Sears, of The Time Jumpers, in 1961 (she died of cancer in 2014); Newfoundland singer/songwriter Ron Hynes (writer of the song "Sonny's Dream" and winner of several East Coast Music Awards and Juno) in 1950 (he died in 2015); pop singer/songwriter Harry Chapin (Ricky Skaggs covered his hit "Cats in the Craddle" in 1996) in 1942 (he died in 1981); and French-Canadian fiddler Ti-Jean Carignan in 1916 (he died in 1988).
 
Passages:  two years ago today, songwriter Don Pfrimmer at age 78 of leukemia (among the songs he wrote or co-wrote were Diamond Rio's "Meet in the Middle," Lonestar's "Mr. Mom," Tim McGraw's "All I Want is a Life," Eddy Raven's "You Should Have Been Gone By Now" and Sylvia's "Drifter"); and singer, songwriter, guitarist and western bandleader Bill Boyd, in 1977 at age 67 (Boyd and his band, The Country Ramblers, recorded for RCA Victor from 1934-1950).
 
Married Again:  singer/songwriter George Fox and Monica Presta, of Dundas, Ont., participated in a formal wedding ceremony in Ancaster, Ont., although they had been married the previous September in Cochran, Alberta.  The second ceremony was for the benefit of George's mother, who passed away the next month.  After the wedding, the couple honeymooned in Maui, Hawaii.  George co-wrote "I Give You My Word" with Nashville songwriter Kim Tribble and sang it to his bride.
 
Canadian Billboard Winners:  19 years ago today, Canadians Celine Dion and Shania Twain were the big winners at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.  Celine accepted six awards in a video hookup from Montreal where she was performing.  Shania picked up three awards, including Female Artist of the Year.
 
Grammy Hall Inductee:  seven years ago today, the Recording Academy announced Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" would be among the songs inducted into the 2011 Grammy Hall of Fame, which honours recordings of lasting quality or historic significance.
 
In Concert:  The Oak Ridge Boys performed a Christmas concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ont. on this date in 1989.
 
Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 December 2017 08:28 )
 

Remembering Roy

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29 years ago today, the legendary Roy Orbison died of a heart attack at the age of 52.  His early 1960's pop hits included "Only the Lonely" and "Oh, Pretty Woman."  By the late 1960's, his waning career was overshadowed by two personal tragedies:  the death of his wife, Claudette, in a motorcycle accident and the deaths of two of his three sons in fire that destroyed his Nashville-area home.  Before his pop success, Roy sang rockabilly and country music, even forming a high school band called The Wink Westerners.  It wasn't until 1980 that he had his first single on the country charts, a duet called "That Loving You Feeling Again" with Emmylou Harris.  Peaking at #6, it would be Orbison's highest charting country hit of the half-a-dozen singles of his that made the chart.  At the time of his death, he was enjoyed renewed popularity due to the successful collaboration with George Harrison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan as The Traveling Wilburys.  In an incredible coincidence, his widow, Barbara, died 23 years to the day after his death.
 
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Bill Lloyd, of the late '80's duo Foster & Lloyd (with Radney Foster) turns 62 (he's also a huge fan of the music of The Beatles, BTW); singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa also turns 62 today; singer/songwriter Helen Cornelius, who had a successful duet career with the late Jim Ed Brown in addition to her own solo career), turns 76; and 1960's pop singer Steve Alaimo, who recorded some country singles in the late 1980's, turns 78.
 
Foster and Lloyd
Foster & Lloyd
 
Also Born on This Date:  Thomas "Hugh" Farr, an original member of The Sons of the Pioneers, in 1903 (he died in 1980).
 
Passages:  singer/songwriter Dobie Gray, whose biggest hit, the 1973 pop classic "Drift Away," overshadowed his songwriting (he co-wrote the 1986 John Conlee hit "Got My Heart Set on You" among many others), in 2011 of cancer at age 71; Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, in 1949 at age 61 (he was probably the first country blues artist to become known to the white audience).
 
Honored:  nine years ago today, George Jones received a Kennedy Center Honor.  The award, part of a living memorial to U.S. President John F. Kennedy, recognizes individuals who've had an impact on American culture through the performing arts.
 
And Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, precursor to the record player, on this date in 1876.  Different sources say he made his first recording on the new invention that day or the next day.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:39 )
 

The Father of Canadian Country Music

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21 years ago today, the man known as "the father of Canadian country music," Wilf Carter, died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, two weeks before his 92nd birthday and two months after being diagnosed with a stomach tumour.  He had a parallel career in the U.S. under the name Montana Slim, performed for over six decades and was on the road well into his 80's.  Carter made his first records, "Swiss Moonlight Lullaby," which showcased his yodelling, and "The Capture of Albert Johnson," for RCA Victor in 1932.  The 78rpm record was the first hit record by a Canadian country performer.  In 1985, Carter was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, acknowledging his status as the nation's first country star and his influence on, and assistance to, other performers.
 
Wilf Carter
 
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer/songwriter Gary Allan turns 50 (he started playing in bars at the age of 13 and, as his parents wished, turns down a record deal at age 15); singer Ty England turns 54 (before his solo career, he had been in Garth Brooks' band - they had been university roommates); Canadian pop singer Andy Kim turns 65 (his 1974 hit "Rock Me Gently" was a Top 10 Canadian country hit in 1989 by Michelle Wright); and singer Jim Messina, of the pop duo Loggins & Messina and the group Poco, turns 70.
 
Also Born on This Date:  singer, songwriter and guitarist J.J. Cale, whose songs have been recorded by country and rock stars, in 1938 (he died in 2013).
 
Passages:  dance band arranger and singer Art Hallman, best known for his 13 years with Mart Kenney & His Western Gentlemen, in 1994 at age 84 (he later formed his own band in Toronto and they were featured for many years on CBC radio); Molly O'Day, considered by some to have been the greatest female country singer ever, in 1987 of cancer at age 64; and producer and record company executive Harold "Pappy" Daily, in 1987 at age 85 (he formed Starday Records in Houston and discovered George Jones).
 
Cultural Impact:  seven years ago today, Merle Haggard was one of the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors.  The award recognizes individuals who have made an impact on American culture through the performing arts, part of a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy.
 
No Do-Overs:  four years ago today, Carrie Underwood played Maria von Trapp in an NBC live performance based on the musical "The Sound of Music."  It was the first full-scale musical staged for live TV in over half-a-century.
 
And 28 years ago today, singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell did an hour-long autograph session at a K-Mart store in Waterloo, Ont.  Over dinner after the session, we talked about John Lennon (his wife at the time, Rosanne Cash, had bought the suit Lennon wore in the opening scene of "A Hard Day's Night" at an auction and Rodney said "it fit like a glove") and JFK (Rodney said his road manager, who was also at the dinner, had been a Secret Service agent who helped investigate the assassination in 1963).
 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 December 2017 08:37 )
 

Welcome to the 4-0 Club, Dallas!

Randy Owen
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Welcome to the 4-0 club, Dallas Smith!  The singer/songwriter, born in Langley, British Columbia, has gone from rock singer in the group Default, to one of the most successful Canadian country artists today.  His current single, "Sleepin' Around," is on the verge of becoming his 17th consecutive Top 10 hit on the Canadian country music charts (indeed, early numbers for this week's chart may arrive today - on his 40th birthday)!  Dallas has won several British Columbia and Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards and his current album, "Side Effects," won Album of the Year at the CCMA and Juno awards.  An energetic stage performer, who's just come off his most recent cross-Canada tour, Dallas is also a successful businessman having launched his own record label with a roster that includes Manitoba's duo, Petric, and B.C. singer/songwriter Shawn Austin.  Happy birthday, Dallas!
 
Dallas Smith
Dallas Smith
 
Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer Lila McCann, who sang in her dad's band when she was a little girl, turns 36; drummer Brian Prout, of Diamond Rio, turns 62; guitarist Gary Rossington, of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rossington-Collins Band, turns 66; actor Jeff Bridges, who's also recorded country music including several songs for the soundtrack to the film "Crazy Heart," turns 68; singer, guitarist and bassist Chris Hillman, a founding member of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Desert Rose Band, turns 73; and game show host Wink Martindale, who had a 1959 country hit with his version of "Deck of Cards," turns 84.
 
Passages:  songwriter, producer and record producer Bob Montgomery, who wrote hit songs for such artists from Buddy Holly to Eddy Arnold, in 2014 at age 77 from Parkinson's disease; and singer, songwriter, guitarist and fiddle player Rabon Delmore, of The Delmore Brothers, in 1952 at age 43 of lung cancer.
 
Impromptu Recording:  61 years ago today, four artists got together at the Sun Records recording studios in Memphis for an impromptu session.  The four stars were Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.  The recordings were released 25 years later under the title "The Million Dollar Quartet."  That same day, Perkins recorded his hit "Matchbox" with Jerry Lee on piano.
 
Quitting (The First Time):  after eight years, 10-million records sold and several Country Music Association and Grammy awards, The Judds performed their final concert in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  The mother/daughter duo had called it quits after mom, Naomi, announced her retirement due to hepatitus.  Wynonna continued as a solo act.  They've since done several reunion shows and special tours.
 
Roll Tape:  on this date in 1944, two recording sessions were held at almost opposite sides of the United States.  In Nashville, in what was one of the first recording sessions there, Eddy Arnold made his first recordings shortly after signing with RCA Victor.  Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Spade Cooley recorded "Shame on You."  Produced by Art Satherley, Tex Williams actually did the vocals.  It would peaked at the top of the country charts the next year, giving Cooley his only #1 hit.
 
Last Updated ( Monday, 04 December 2017 09:06 )
 

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