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.


Sammy Kershaw's "Little White Lie"

Randy Owen
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Happy 59th birthday today to singer/songwriter Sammy Kershaw!  Born in Abbeville, Lousiana and raised in Kaplan, Louisana, he was fisherman since his youth.  And yes, he is related to Cajun fiddle legend Doug Kershaw - they're third cousins.  Sammy, who's had 31 singles on the country music charts, including the 1993 #1 hit "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," has described himself as a survivor, have been divorced several times and a recovered drug and alcohol abuser who lost his dad when he was only 12.  He lied to get a job as a radio announcer in Kaplan.  Sammy had applied for a job with a new radio station and said he had worked at a station in Oklahoma.  They never checked and got the job as the first announcer on the new station!

More birthdays:  Nova Scotia fiddler Ashley MacIsaac turns 42.

Passages:  singer Goldie Hill, known as "The Golden Hillbilly," of cancer in 2005 at age 72 (a Grand Ole Opry member since 1953, she married singer Carl Smith in 1957); and honky tonk legend Webb Pierce of heart failure in 1991 at age 65.

Awards:  Shania Twain won two awards (Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance for "You're Still the One) at the 1999 Grammys.

Walt GrealisStop the presses:  the Canadian music industry trade magazine, RPM, began publication in Toronto in 1964.  The magazine and its publisher, Walt Grealis, were major supporters of Canadian content regulations, began the Gold Leaf awards to honour Canadian talent (which later became the Juno Awards), and were major supporters of Canadian country music with their Big Country Awards.  The magazine ceased publishing in 2000.

Captive audience:  Johnny Cash recorded his second live prison performance, this one at San Quentin, in 1969.  It followed a concert the previous year at Folsom Prison.  The album, "Johnny Cash at San Quentin," was the Country Music Association (CMA) album of the year and included the million-selling single "A Boy Named Sue."

cody prevostStation visit:  Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Codie Prevost stopped by Country 107 3 three years ago for a live interview (lasting just over an hour) to promote his album "All Kinds of Crazy" and performed several songs live.

It's a date:  18-year-old New Jersey leukemia sufferer Kevin McGuire had started a Facebook campaign to invite singer Taylor Swift to be his date for the June prom.  She couldn't attend, but four years ago today she invited him to the Academy of Country Music awards in Las Vegas.  He accepted and the ACM flew his family out to Vegas for the show!

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 February 2017 11:49 )
 

One-Hit Wonders

Randy Owen
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For an artist, it's a big deal getting a #1 hit.  For some, unfortunately, that's all they got, sometimes earning the nickname "One-Hit Wonder."  When I look at the overall careers of some "one-hit wonders," I wonder why they only had one hit.  Mel McDaniel had 41 hits on the country charts before his death in 2011 and he only had one #1 hit:  "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" on this date in 1985.  Tim McGraw, Wynonna and Ronnie Milsap have all had #1 hits written by former Cincinnati Bengals pro football player Mike Reid, but as a recording artist, Mike has had only one #1 hit:  "Walk on Faith" on this date in 1991.  Singer Lila McCann never had a #1 hit on the Billboard country charts, but she did have one (and only one) on the Canadian RPM magazine country chart on this date in 1998 with "I Wanna Fall in Love."  And, hard to believe, but the late Terry Carisse, one of the most respected and awarded songwriters in Canadian country music history (he had released 31 singles, 24 of them charted), also only had one #1 hit on the RPM chart:  "Sparkle in Her Eyes" on this date in 1980.  What usually happens is an artist has a song or songs that come close to #1, only to be prevented from reaching the top by a monster hit from another artist.  Hard to believe but Bruce Springsteen has never had a #1 hit on the Billboard pop chart!

mel mcdaniel terry carisse

Birthdays:  Shelby Blackstock turns 27 today (he's the son of Reba McEntire and her former husband Narvel Blackstock); Langdon Reid, of the duo Wilson Fairchild and son of Statler Brother Don Reid, turns 42; singer Steve Holy turns 45; singer Dusty Drake turns 53; happy birthday to Hamilton, Ont.-area singer Leslie Grant (she was also part of Harold MacIntyre's backup band, Area Code 705); Port Dover, Ont. singer Kim McKenzie turns 63; Reg Titian, owner and president of Titan Creative Entertainment in Hamilton marks another year around the sun; singer/songwriter Thom Bresh, son of Merle Travis, turns 69; and steel guitarist Rusty Young, of Poco, turns 71.

Also born on this date:  songwriter Bob Willis, known as "Mr. Country Gospel," in 1934 (he died in 2009).

Passages:  singer Penny DeHaven died of cancer at age 65 in 2014; 

Awards:  today, Billy Dean, Jim Stafford and former Eagles guitarist Don Felder will be inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame; Jimmy Dean, Ferlin Husky, Billy Sherrill and Don Williams were announced as the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010; winners at the 2000 Grammy awards included George Jones, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks and Ricky Skaggs; winners at the 1983 Grammys included Willie Nelson, Juice Newton, Alabama and Roy Clark; winners at the 1978 Grammys included Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, The Kendalls, Asleep at the Wheel, The Oak Ridge Boys, B.J. Thomas and Dolly Parton (who won her first Grammy); and Porter Wagoner joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957.

And the first public presentation of Canada's Juno Awards were held in 1970 in Toronto.  The very first Juno award handed out went to country singer Diane Liegh.  Other country winners included Stompin' Tom Connors, Myrna Lorrie and The Mercey Brothers.  The awards originated in 1964 as the "RPM Gold Leaf Awards," established by Walt Grealis, editor and publisher of RPM magazine.  Readers of RPM voted for the trophies until 1975, when members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences participated.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 February 2017 10:41 )
 

More #1 Records

Randy Owen
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Some more chart records....  The record for the most consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard country singles charts belongs to Alabama with 21.  That remarkable run began in August 1980 with their first #1 hit, "Tennessee River," and ended in April 1987 with "'You've Got' the Touch."  Sonny James (who died one year ago today) and Earl Thomas Conley are next, tied at 16 #1 hits in-a-row.   BUT...the Alabama record only stands if you don't count any duets that didn't reach #1, like "Deep River Woman" with Lionel Richie in 1986 (which peaked at #10), or Christmas singles that also didn't reach #1, like "Christmas in Dixie" in 1982 (which peaked at #35).  If those are factored in, then Sonny James holds the record at 16.  One way to tell if an artist is "hot" is by the number of #1 hits he or she has had in a single calendar year.  The record is five, a tie between Eddy Arnold in 1948 and Charlie Rich in 1974.  BUT...Eddy had a previous song that hit #1 in 1947 and continued into 1948, so if you count that one, he holds the record with six #1 hits in a single calendar year.

Alabama
Alabama

Birthdays:  drummer Hal Shrenk, who's banged the skins behind Codie Prevost, marks another year around the sun; Georgia singer Greg Holland turns 50; and Dave Hanner, of the Corbin/Hanner Band, turns 68.

Also born on this date:  Canadian singer/songwriter Cy Anders, whose only #1 hit was "My Good Life" on the RPM country chart in 1965, in 1934 (he died last year at the age of 82); and honky tonk piano player Del Wood, in 1920 (she died in 1989).

Passages:  "The Southern Gentleman," Sonny James, one year ago today at age 87; and Quebec fiddler Ti-Blanc Richard, who often used such items as baseball bats and hockey sticks for bows, in 1981 at age 60.

Wedding Bells:  happy 20th wedding anniversary today to singer/songwriter Paul Brandt and his wife, Liz!  They met at his church when he heard her singing.  He's said it was love at first sound!

Paul Brandt
Paul Brandt

The First Time:  61 years ago today (yeah, it's been that long ago), Elvis Presley debuted on the Billboard pop chart with "Heartbreak Hotel," also his first #1 pop hit, BTW.  (He already had four singles before that on the country chart, including the #1 country hit "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" in 1955.)

Spooky:  in 1959, Loretta Lynn learned her father had died...after she woke up from a dream where she saw him lying in a coffin!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 February 2017 12:21 )
 

What I Learned From Mary Chapin Carpenter

Randy Owen
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Happy 59th birthday today to singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter!  A fifth cousin of the late pop singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, her father was an executive at Life magazine.  She lived in Japan as a child, travelled through Europe after high school, graduated with an American Civilization degree from Brown University, and has a ton of awards to her credit, including two Country Music Association (CMA) awards, two Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards and five Grammys!  She's had 27 singles on the country music charts, including the #1 hit "Shut Up and Kiss Me" in 1994.  At a televised awards show in 1990, she received a standing ovation for her tongue-and-cheek (and shortened) song "Opening Act."  Being a fan of songwriters and of her songwriting in particular, interviewing her in the late 1990's was one of my favourite conversations.  I asked her if there was a particular line in any of her songs that resonated the most with her.  I certainly had one.  It was the line, "I can't stand up if I'm always kneeling," from her song "You Win Again."  To me, that simple line said so much about the difficulty of trying to assert yourself when you have be subserviant in so many ways.  To my surprise, she had difficulty with the question, she explained, because I had taken a line out of something that was part of a bigger whole.  She couldn't relate to one line without seeing the big picture.  Noted for future reference...but I still think it's a killer line!

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter

Also celebrating birthdays today:  Zach Swon, of The Swon Brothers, turns 32 (they competed on "The Voice" in 2013); singer/songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, of Carlolina Chocolate Drops (and singer with Eric Church on his hit "Kill a Word"), turns 40; singer/songwriter Eric Heatherly turns 47 (he covered The Statler Brothers' classic "Flowers on the Wall" in 2000); and Billy Earhart, of The Bama Band and The Amazing Rhythm Aces, turns 63.

Also born on this date:  singer, sonwriter and bluegrass banjo player Don Reno, in 1927 (he died in 1984).

Filling in:  in 1995, Kenny Rogers impersonator Mark Hinds was performing at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and was replaced on two songs by the real Kenny Rogers...without the audience being told at the time!  The real Kenny also teamed up with Dolly Parton impersonator Sandy Anderson on the song "Islands in the Stream."

Inspiration:  the first single released after Hank Williams' death, "Kaw-Liga," debuted the Billboard country chart in 1953.  According to Wesley Rose, "Hank stayed at a fishing lodge in south Alabama called Lake Kowaliga.  The name struck him as a good Indian name and also a good title for a song."  (BTW, "a wooden Indian" stands above the crowds in the balcony at Purple Hill Country Music Hall in Thamesford, Ont.)

Purplehill Country Music Hall
Purplehill Country Music Hall

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:25 )
 

Shain's Gang

Randy Owen
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Happy 66th birthday today to singer/songwriter Eric Shain!  Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, the country music road warrior spent years, decades actually, on the road working with many of the legends in Canadian country music, eventually settling in Ontario (Ingersoll, these days).  With his group, Eric Shain and the Shain Gang, he worked the bars back in the day when touring Canadian artists played six nights a week and often with a Saturday matinee before moving on to the next gig.  One of the first inductees into the Hall of Fame of Purple Hill Country Music Hall, it was Eric who approached owner George Taylor with the suggestion of turning his auction barn into a country music showplace.  Last year, Eric suffered a stroke from which he continues to recover.  Happy birthday, my friend and thanks so much for all you do!

eric shain

Also celebrating birthdays today:  Kitchener, Ont.-area singer/songwriter Katy Warren (Jamie and Beth's daughter) turns 27; Coy Bowles, guitarist with The Zac Brown Band, turns 38; Randy Archer, of the duo Archer Park, turns 58; singer/songwriter Leland Martin turns 60 (his 2002 debut was the novelty song "If I Had Long Legs (Like Alan Jackson);" singer/songwriter Kathie Baillie, of Baillie & The Boys, turns 66; and Canadian icon Buffy Sainte-Marie turns 76.

Passages:  guitarist Terry Clements, who played on some of Gordon Lightfoot's most memorable recordings, in 2011, at age 63 after a stroke; and former Lighthouse lead singer Bob McBride, in 1998, at age 51 of heart failure.

Awards:  Kitty Wells received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991 from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (the Grammy people).

On stage:  in 2012, The Band Perry christened the new stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, replacing the one built in 1951.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 February 2017 11:09 )
 

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