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.

Going to the Chapel

Randy Owen
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Happy 50th wedding anniversary today to Canadian country music legend Carroll Baker and her husband John Beaulieu!  They exchanged their vows on this date in 1968 at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Oakville, Ont.  In addition to being a supportive husband, John is active in many aspects of Carroll's career.  Happy golden anniversary, my friends!  And another Canadian country music superstar celebrates a wedding anniversary today.  My longtime friend, Michelle Wright and Marco Convertino exchanged their vows on this date in 2002.  Michelle will be releasing some new music later this year and will receive the Country Music Assocation of Ontario Impact Award this June.  Happy anniversary, Michelle and Marco!
Carroll Baker
Carroll Baker
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, of The Zac Brown Band, turns 40; singer, songwriter and cancer survivor Wade Hayes turns 49 (his debut single, "Old Enough to Know Better," peaked at #1 on the country charts in 1995); actress Jessica Lange, who played Patsy Cline in the 1985 film "Sweet Dreams," turns 69 (she lip-synced to Patsy's original recordings for the movie); bluegrass musician Doyle Lawson, of the group Quicksilver, turns 74; country and pop singer Johnny Tillotson turns 79; and "Canada's Polka King" and Grammy award winner Walter Ostanek turns 83 (Walter and I go back over 3 decades when he hosted an old-time country radio show on 1470 CHOW in my hometown of Welland, Ont.).
Also Born on This Date:  bluegrass musician Hylo Brown in 1922 (he died in 1922); and Red Anglin, of The Anglin Brothers, in 1910 (he died in 1975).
Studio Visit:  one year ago today, the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Discovery Award winner Eric Ethridge stopped by Country 107 3 for a live interview.  The interview lasted almost an hour with Eric performing several songs, including his hit single "Liquor's Calling the Shots."
And 59 years ago today, Gold Band Records released a single called "Puppy Love."  It was the first single by a 13-year-old singer named Dolly Parton!  It would be another eight years before she would have her first chart single, "Dumb Blonde."
Last Updated ( Friday, 20 April 2018 08:12 )

A Boy With A Guitar

Randy Owen
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Happy 38th birthday today to singer/songwriter Jason Blaine!  Born in Pembroke, Ont., he's also a huge hockey fan (when I first met Jason ten years ago at the fair in Paris, Ont., I introduced him to hockey's famous dad, Walter Gretzky) and is a history buff, with a special interest in the Titanic.  Since the release of his first single, "That's What I Do," in 2003, he's won several awards including the 2012 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Single of the Year for "They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore" (inspired by his grandfather - the music video was filmed in Jason's hometown and his grandfather appears in the video).  He won three awards at the first Country Music Association of Ontario awards in 2013, including Male Artist of the Year, and is the only nominee in that category this year to have been nominated every year since the first awards show.  A man of family and faith, Jason generously invited me on stage last summer at the Boot Hill Jamboree to sing "Folsom Prison Blues" with him and his band.  That was a special moment for me.  His current single, "Boy With a Guitar," is still climbing the Canadian country music charts.  Happy birthday, my friend!
Jason Blaine
Jason Blaine
Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  Saskatchewan singer Tenille Arts marks another year around the sun; and singer Bekka Bramlett, of Bekka & Billy, turns 50.
Also Born on This Date:  singer/songwriter Bobby Russell (who was actually born in Nashville) in 1940 (married to singer/actress Vicki Lawrence from 1972-74, he died in 1992).
Passages:  singer Kevin Sharp in 2014 at age 43 of complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues (he had overcome a rare form of bone cancer in 1991, 5 years before his #1 hit "Nobody Knows"); drummer and actor Levon Helm in 2012 at age 71 of throat cancer (a member of The Band, he also played Loretta Lynn's father in the 1980 movie "Coal Miner's Daughter"); Roy Edward Burris, who co-wrote Merle Haggard's classic song "Okie From Muskogee," in 2011 at age 79 of heart-related problems (a drummer in Hag's band, their tour bus passed a sign for Muskogee, which inspired Merle to wake up Burris and write the song, which they finished in just 10 minutes); and old-time country artist Earl Bolick in 1998 at age 78 of a heart attack (with his brother, Bill, they formed The Blue Sky Boys duo, popular on radio in the 1930's and '40's, and, in the early 1950's, refused requests to add an electric guitar to their act).
A Big Anniversary:  3 years ago today, the 50th Academy of Country Music awards were held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Tex., setting a Guiness record for the largest live audience at an awards show.  Luke Bryan won Entertainer of the Year and Cole Swindell was named New Artist.
Historic:  on this date in 1980, women made history by holding the Top Five spots on the Billboard country chart!  (They were:  1-Crystal Gayle, 2-Dottie West, 3-Debbie Boone, 4-Tammy Wynette with George Jones, and 5-Emmylou Harris)
And on this date in 1924, the first WLS Barn Dance show was broadcast on radio.  WLS was based in Chicago and the originator of the show, George D. Hay, would go to Nashville a year later and start a similar show...The Grand Ole Opry!
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 April 2018 09:18 )

yadhtriB yppaH

Randy Owen
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Singer Jenna Rae, of the brother/sister duo The Reklaws, based in Cambridge, Ont., celebrates her birthday today.  Their current single, "Long Live the Night," a followup to their hit "Hometown Kids," is climbing the Canadian country music charts (nice birthday present, IMO)!  Jenna and her brother, Stuart, grew up on an "adventure farm" where they would dress up as hillbillies and play for tourists at pig races.  Farm work taught them early that hard work pays off.  Coming from the large Walker family (they have three more sisters), they got their name by spelling it backwards.  !eaR anneJ, yadhtrib yppaH
The Reklaws
The Reklaws
Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer Mandi Lee, of the southern Ontario band Kerosene Creek, marks another year around the sun; bluegrass musician Terry Eldredge, with The Grascals, turns 55; bassist Jim Scholten, with Sawyer Brown, turns 66; and keyboardist Walt Richmond, with The Tractors, turns 71.
Also Born on This Date:  singer Curtis Potter, longtime frontman with Hank Thompson's band, The Brazos Valley Boys, in 1940 (he died in 2016); and musician Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown in 1924 (he died in 2005).
Passages:  western swing singer Milt Brown in 1936 at age 32.  He was badly injured in an automobile accident and then caught pneumonia.  Milt died at the peak of his popularity and some say he and his band, The Brownies, could have eventually topped Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.
Ain't It Grand:  on this date in 1998, Diamond Rio was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
In the Studio:  82 years ago today, Gene Autry, the most successful of the singing movie cowboys, recorded the classic song "Back in the Saddle Again."
The 2010 ACM's:  at the Academy of Country Music awards, Lady Antebellum won five of the seven categories they were nominated in.  Among their haul, their huge hit "Need You Know" won Single and Song of the Year.  Carrie Underwood made history by becoming the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year twice.  She had also won it the previous year.  And the New Artist award went to some guy named Luke Bryan.
Five years ago today, Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame member Marie Bottrell performed as part of a "Kenny & Dolly" tribute show with Las Vegas entertainer Marty Edwards at the Backstage Capitol Theatre in Delhi, Ont.  She invited me up on stage, dressed me in cowboy gear and then proceeded to sing "Why'd You Come in Here Looking Like That."  But during the song, I had a "wardrobe malfunction."  My chaps fell down to my ankles.  So, I had some fun with it.  I looked down at them, then looked into the audience, then looked down at them again before pulling them back up.  Once I did, I turned them around 360-degrees around my waist.  Marie was laughing so hard, she missed some of the lines of the song!
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 April 2018 09:31 )

A White House Invitation

Randy Owen
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48 years ago today, Johnny Cash performed at the White House for U.S. President Richard Nixon.  Nixon had requested the songs "Welfare Cadillac," "Boy Named Sue" and "Okie From Muskogee."  Johnny refused to perform "Okie" because it wasn't his song and "Welfare Cadillac" because he didn't have time to learn it.  Cash did an hour-long show with The Tennessee Three, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family.  After the show, Johnny wrote in his first autobiography, "Man in Black," the Nixons spent an hour with him and June showing them the family quarters of the White House.  (Saul Holiff invitation and admission courtesy Jonathan Holiff)
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  B.C. singer/songwriter Ben Klick turns a year older; Ryan D. Langlois, former lead singer with the Boom Chucka Boys, also marks another year around the sun; Toronto-based singer/songwriter Donna Ferra adds another candle to her birthday cake; singer/songwriter Gord Bamford turns 42 (one of Canadian country music's most awarded performers, his non-profit foundation has raised over $3-million for various children's charities); Jim Chapman, of the group 4Runner, turns another year older; Craig Anderson, of the group Heartland, turns 45; and drummer Charlie Agro, with the southern Ont. group Southbound, turns 54.
Also Born on This Date:  Canadian pop star Bobby Curtola, in 1943.  A teen idol in the early 1960's, Bobby had released a few songs in the late 1980's, hoping for country airplay.  Curtola died two years ago.
Passages:  western swing singer, bandleader, songwriter, banjo player and comedian Hank Penny in 1992 of heart failure at the age of 73; and rock 'n' roll singer Eddie Cochran of a car crash in England in 1960 at the age of 21 (Alan Jackson would later cover the Cochran hit "Summertime Blues").
Six years ago today, I did a live phone interview with living legend Charley Pride.  Among the things we discussed was the possibility of wrestler and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson producing a film based on Charley's life story.  Apparently, the film project has yet to get beyond the discussion stage.
And 93 years ago today, country pioneers Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers (still one of my favourite band names) held their first recording session!
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 07:57 )

Awards, Awards and More Awards

Randy Owen
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This past weekend just might have set a record for the most award shows!
Inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame took place on Saturday with some fascinating stories.  Frontman Mark Knopfler didn't attend the induction of the band Dire Straits. When no one would do the induction, bassist John Issley asked if he could do it.  And during the induction of Bon Jovi, Jon Bon Jovi's acceptance speech went on for 20 minutes.  At one point, he said, "Time is the most precious commodity we have."
The Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards were held last night in Las Vegas with Reba McEntire as host.  At one point, she even wore the same red dress she had on at the show 25 years ago!  Jason Aldean won his third consecutive Entertainer of the Year trophy, while Miranda Lambert won her 31st award, setting the record for the most ACM awards to one artist!  Chris Stapleton won two of the eight awards he was nominated for, but wasn't there to collect them.  His wife, Morgane, gave birth to twins...on his 40th birthday!  Congrats to all the winners.
And the Jack Richardson London Music Awards were held last night in London, Ont.  Bad weather prevented me from going to the event, but that didn't dampen the importance of the posthumous induction into their Hall of Fame of the late Saul Holiff.  Saul, originally from London, had managed several artists at various times, including George Jones, The Statler Brothers, Tommy Hunter and others.  But his most famous client was Johnny Cash, from the early 1960's to the mid-1970's.  It was Saul who had suggesting getting June Carter to be a part of the Cash show.  So, the expression, "If there hadn't been a Johnny and Saul, there probably wouldn't have been a Johnny and June," rings true.  Preceding last night's awards show, was a special fund-raising event for the London Music Hall of Fame on Saturday night - a screening of the documentary, "My Father and the Man in Black."  Produced by Saul's son, Jonathan, it's a "no-holds-barred," naked look at Johnny and Saul's relationship, as well as Saul's rocky relationship with his own family.  I was honoured and privileged when Jonathan asked me to introduce the film.  I met Gary Holiff (yes, a family member), who was one of four actors portraying Saul at various stages of his life in the documentary.  It's one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.  Jonathan had made the trip from British Columbia for the special events of the weekend and, along with author Julie Chadwick, who wrote the book "The Man Who Carried Cash" (which is an excellent companion piece to the documentary), joined me on the air on Country 107 3 in Tillsonburg on Friday for a live, one-hour interview.  As the three of us explored the relationship between one of country music's largest icons and his manager, the interview featured several rare recordings, including part of a phone conversation between Johnny and Saul, provided by Jonathan from his father's amazing collection (as well as a clip or two from my 1988 interview with Cash).
Saul Holiff
Saul Holiff
My sincerest thanks to Jonathan, Julie, and the staff and management of the Jack Richardson London Music Hall of Fame for a memorable weekend!
Last Updated ( Monday, 16 April 2018 10:43 )

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