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.

Following Footprints...and Making Her Own

Randy Owen
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Happy 62nd birthday to singer, songwriter and author Rosanne Cash!  Born in Memphis, the daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto was raised by her mother in California.  Her parents divorced when she was 11.  Rosanne moved to Nashville after graduating high school and worked in her dad's road show.  She was married to singer, songwriter and producer Rodney Crowell from 1979-1992.  Rosanne's first of eleven #1 hits, "Seven Year Ache," came just one day before her birthday in 1981.  She moved to New York, taught a songwriting workshop at Omega College in Manhattan and married producer John Leventhal in 1995.  A multiple Grammy award-winner, Rosanne fully recovered from brain surgery in 2007.  In addition to being a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, she's also an accomplished author, having released a short-story collection and a memoir.  There's no doubt Rosanne followed in her dad's legendary footsteps, having covered his hit "Tennessee Flat Top Box," but there's also no doubt she's left footprints of her own.

Roseanne Cash
Roseanne Cash

Also Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer Billy Gilman turns 29 (he was only 12 when his song "One Voice" became a Top 20 country hit); and singer/songwriter Mike Reid (former pro football player with the Cincinnati Bengals) turns 70.

More Influential Birthdays:  Priscilla Presley turns 72; Bob Dylan turns 76; and Patsy Cline's husband, Charlie Dick, was born on this date in 1934 (he died in 2015).

Passages:  singer/songwriter Lorene Mann at age 76 after a stroke, in 2013; and Charlie Major's sister, Eloise, in 2009 from cancer (he wrote and recorded the song "Slipping Away" on his album "On the Evening Side" to help deal with his emotions).

Memorable Concert:  in 2015, a fundraising concert was held in Hamilton, Ont. for bass player Daryle Phillips, of Rob Kirkham & Neon Rain.  He had been diagnosed with brain cancer earlier that year.  Over 25 performers entertained at the show.  Daryle passed away later that August.

Another Memorable Concert:  in 2014, Brett Kissel performed during Memorial Cup festivities in London, Ont., with local up-and-comer Genevieve Fisher opening the show.

Brett Kissel
Brett Kissel

The Last Time:  country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers held his last recording session in 1933.  He was so ill, a bed was set up in the studio so he could rest between songs.  Rodgers knew he was dying and made his last recordings so his wife and daughter would be provided for.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:34 )

Country Music in Her DNA

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Shelly WestSinger Shelly West, one of the few country singers to have actually been born in Nashville, turns 59 today!  There's no doubt country music is in her DNA since her mom was the legendary Dottie West.  Shelly married Lefty Frizzell's brother Allen and was a duet partner with Allen's brother, David (no, David and Shelly were never married to each other).  Frizzell & West won the Country Music Association (CMA) Vocal Duo award in 1981 and 1982 while scoring a #1 hit with "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" from the Clint Eastwood movie soundtrack of "Any Which Way You Can."  As a solo artist, Shelly had a #1 hit in the early 1980's with "Jose Cuervo."  She has pretty much retired from the music business to focus on her family since the death of her mom from a 1991 car accident.

More Birthdays:  singer/songwriter Brett Young, currently on the charts with "In Case You Didn't Know," turns 36; singer/songwriter Jewel turns 43; singer Brian McComas turns 45; James Foss, of the group Zaca Creek, turns another year older; singer Judy Rodman, who had been on Mary Tyler Moore's record label in the mid-1980's, turns 66; singer/songwriter Buddy Alan, son of Buck and Bonnie Owens, turns 69; singer Misty Morgan, of the husband-and-wife duo Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan, turns 72 (both were born in Buffalo, N.Y., but didn't meet until the early 1960's in Florida!); and bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman turns 92.

In the Hall:  Ferlin Husky and songwriter/producer Billy Sherrill were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Platinum Looks Good on Ya:  K.T. Oslin became the first female country singer to have an album ("80's Ladies") certified platinum, in 1989.

K. T. Oslin
K. T. Oslin

More Taxes:  in 1990, the I.R.S. auctioned off Willie Nelson's golf course and country club...for a second time...to collect $230,000 toward his delinquent tax bill.

Preserved:  Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" and Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" were added to the U.S. National Registry of cultural significance by the Library of Congress in 2012.

That Made a Mark:  Garth Brooks' 6-CD set, "The Limited Series," debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album chart in 1998.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:14 )

Waylon's Legacy

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Part of the late Waylon Jennings' legacy is his vast catalogue of music.  Another is his son, Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings, who turns 38 today!  Shooter's debut album, "4th of July," was released in 2005 (3 years after his father's death) and that's him playing the role of his dad in the Johnny Cash movie "Walk the Line."  The only time I've seen him perform was with his mom, Jessi Colter, at the 2013 tribute concert to George Jones in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena (pic courtesy Tammy Gould).  I knew how much his dad loved him because the last time I saw Waylon, he had Shooter's name in the destination window of his tour bus.

Waylon Jennings
Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings

Waylon Jennings

More Birthdays:  singer Julia Sheer turns 25 (she began to build her career by creating a YouTube page at age 16).

Also Born on This Date:  singer/songwriter Mickey Newbury in 1940 (he wrote "Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings," a hit for Don Gibson and for Tom Jones, as well as Kenny Rogers & The First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" and "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye").  He died in 2002.

Awards:  Taylor Swift won 8 of the 11 Billboard Music Awards she was nominated for, including Top Artist, in 2013.

"Rattle Your Jewelry":  in 1986, Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton, Bryan Adams and Loverboy performed at an Expo '86 gala concert in Vancouver.  Guests of honour at the $86-a-seat event were Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Adams donated his $100,000 fee to charity.

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 May 2017 07:13 )

A Few Fun Facts About George Strait

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Happy 65th birthday today to George Strait!  A few fun facts about George...his middle name is Harvey...he has a degree in agriculture...although "Ace in the Hole" is one of his 61 #1 hits, his band (The Ace in the Hole Band) was NOT named after the song!  They had that name in the mid-1970's...he and his high school sweetheart, Norma, eloped and were married in Mexico...before starring the movie "Pure Country," he and his band made a cameo appearance in a film called "The Soldier" ten years earlier...he recorded "Fly Me to the Moon" for a Frank Sinatra duets album but when it wasn't released on Frank's LP, it was released on George's first "Strait Out of the Box" collection...and as a teenager, he sang Beatles' songs in a garage band!  Happy birthday, George, and thanks for the great music through the decades!

George Strait
George Strait

More Birthdays:  Open Road Recordings executive Amber Bell turns 31; singer/songwriter David Nail turns 38; Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys turns 69 (growing up in Philadelphia, he danced on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" TV show); singer/songwriter/pianist Little David Wilkins turns 72; and bluegrass singer Rodney Dillard, of The Dillards, turns 75.

Oak Ridge Boys
Oak Ridge Boys

Also Born on This Date:  singer/songwriter Leon Ashley in 1936 (he died in 2013); and Gordon Burnett, Canadian Country Music Association past president and former owner of radio station 1470 CHOW in Welland, Ont. (my hometown) in 1920 (he died in 2015).

Passages:  songwriter Elbert Lee West, who co-wrote Tracy Lawrence's #1 hits "Sticks and Stones" and "Can't Break It to My Heart," in 2015 at age 47.

Wedding Bells:  singers/songwriters Lisa Brokop and Paul Jefferson in 2008; and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley in 1994 (they divorced two years later).

Awards:  Luke Bryan won Top Country Artist at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards; Taylor Swift won Song of the Year for "Love Story" at the 2010 BMI Awards, making her the youngest songwriter to win that award (at age 20); and Kenny Chesney won his 4th consecutive Entertainer of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2008 (at the same awards show, Jennifer Nettles became the first solo female artist to have solely written the Song of the Year winner, "Stay," which also won Single of the Year).

In the Studio:  Jean Shepard recorded her only #1 hit, "A Dear John Letter," in 1953 at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood (Ferlin Husky did the spoken parts).

On TV:  Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and John Schneider starred in a remake of "Stagecoach" in 1986.

Take Your Seats:  in 1985, U.S. Vice President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, visited the Grand Ole Opry.  Ten years later, they celebrated their 50th anniversary at the Opry.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 May 2017 08:41 )

The Dean of the Opry Announcers

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Grant Turner, known as "The Dean of the Opry Announcers" and the "Voice of the Grand Ole Opry," was born on this date in 1912 in Abilene, Texas.  Fascinated with radio as a kid, he built one as a teenager.  Grant got a job at the local station and later earned a journalism degree and worked at several newspapers including the Dallas Morning News.  He also worked at several Texas radio stations before getting a job at WSM in Nashville.  His debut there, on June 6, 1944, was overshadowed by the D-Day invasion of Normandy during WW II.  He worked at WSM for nearly 50 years and became close friends with such Opry stars as Roy Acuff and Little Jimmy Dickens.  Turner was the unofficial historian of the Opry and once said, "I would like to be remembered more as the host of the Opry and not just the announcer who stands at the side of the stage.  I want to be remembered...as being dedicated to the Grand Ole Opry and to the future of the Opry."  He became the first radio announcer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981.  It was a high moment for me, early in my radio career, when I met him in Nashville during Fan Fair in June 1983.  Grant died in 1991.

Grant Turner
Grant Turner

Birthdays:  bluegrass singer Pam Brooks-Armstrong marks another year around the sun; and singer/songwriter J.D. Martin also turns another year older (among the songs he's written or co-written are Terri Clark's "Now That I Found You" and Reba McEntire's "Love Will Find It's Way to You").

Also Born on This Date:  singer and actress Penny DeHaven in 1948 (she died in 2014); and singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester in 1944 (he also died in 2014).

Passages:  Grammy award-winning songwriter Guy Clark died one year ago today at age 74 after a long illness.

Welcome to the Hall:  Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

Degree:  Stompin' Tom Connors, who had little in the way of formal education, received an honourary doctor of laws degree from St. Thomas University in Frederiction, New Brunswick, saying the honour meant a great deal to him.

Go Ahead, Make My Day:  the Merle Haggard and Clint Eastwood duet "Barroom Buddies," from the soundtrack to the Clint's film "Bronco Billy," made its chart debut in 1980 and would later become a #1 country hit (yes, Clint Eastwood has a #1 country hit)!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:43 )

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