Born and raised in Welland, Ont., Randy Owen''s award-winning broadcasting career began with two consecutive awards for having 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 up to mid-day announcer and music director.
Randy spent nine years working the afternoon drive at CKGL and went on to become music director. In 1988, he became the first 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.
Starting in 1997, Randy went national for three years, hosting the popular cross Canada country music request show "Cryin'', Lovin'' or Leavin''" via satellite.
Randy came to Tillsonburg and Country 107.3 in October 2007, bringing with him a wealth of experience and his love of country music, from the old to the new, from the classics to today's hits.
A career highlight came in October 2009 when he was the emcee for the Walters Family performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (see photo).
Randy has interviewed a long list of country music personalities as well.This list includes Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Waylon Jennings, Shania Twain and many, many more!
Join Randy mornings from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Little Miss Dynamite
Happy 69th birthday today to Brenda Lee, known as "Little Miss Dynamite!" A remarkable performer, at just 4' 11"), she managed to change with the times and as she grew older to go from a teen queen in the 1950's and 1960's to a respected international crossover star. Her influence has been wide: Barbara Mandrell used to practice in front of a mirror, singing to Brenda Lee records. By the time she was only 3, she could sing a song after hearing it only twice and won her first trophy for singing when she was only 5! She enjoyed chart success on both the pop and country charts: scoring 29 Top 40 pop hits and 35 singles on the country music charts. Brenda was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in 1997 (ten years after I first met her in 1987, backstage at Lulu's Roadhouse in Kitchener, Ont.). She signed with Decca Records on July 30, 1956 and began to record with legendary producer Owen Bradley. Her first recording was the Christmas classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," which, oddly, didn't make the country music charts until 1997 when it peaked at #62, forty years after it was originally released! Happy birthday and Merry Christmas, Brenda!
An Anniversary and a Big Announcement Yesterday
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 December 2013 17:02 )
Happy 8th anniversary today to singers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. They were married on this date in 2005 in a private ceremony at their home in Oklahoma. Yesterday, while on "Good Morning America," Garth finally confirmed the worst kept secret: he's touring next year! As he explained to Robin Roberts, he had promised he would return to the concert stage after his kids had grown up. Garth explained it wasn't for them, it was for him. He wanted to watch them grow. Now that they have and now that he's come to the end of his one-man show in Las Vegas, he said he's ready to get his band back together and hit the road. I first met him in January 1991 when he headlined a show at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, just before his career really took off. I interviewed him backstage and was impressed by his honesty and hospitality. Before I left, he had a member of his road crew give me over half-a-dozen t-shirts to take back to staff members at the radio station--the ONLY artist who has ever done that to me. I've since watched him perform in Auburn Hills, Michigan and in Toronto (a few times), and just last month, with Trisha, at the George Jones Tribute Concert in Nashville (where my friend Tammy Gould got some great shots of them on stage). I admire his dedication to his priorities: family first, fans second. That's the way it should be. And his concerts are designed and performed with the fans in mind. Happy anniversary, Garth and Trisha!
Last Updated ( Monday, 09 December 2013 18:36 )
Happy 57th birthday today to singer/songwriter Sylvia! Born in Kokomo, Indiana, she worked as a secretary for producer Tom Collins in Nashville, recorded some demo tapes, auditioned for Dave & Sugar and finally got a major record label deal in the late 1970's. Sylvia had 20 singles on the country music charts from 1979-1987, including the #1 hit "Nobody," ("Drifter" was her first #1 in 1981) which was a Top 20 pop hit. That song was so huge in 1982 that it earned her the BMI Song of Year award for receiving more radio airplay than any other single that year! She also won Female Vocalist of the Year in 1982 from the Academy of Country Music. I met her briefly in 1983 at Fan Fair in Nashville and got to interview her backstage at Hamilton Place in Hamilton, Ont., when she was on tour with T.G. Sheppard. These days, she's a life coach in the Nashville area, helping individuals working in the music industry and also coaches people who work at non-profit agencies (according to Wikipedia). Happy birthday, Sylvia!
Also celebrating birthdays today: singer/songwriter Billy Edd Wheeler (81); Jerry Hughes, keyboard player with the group Yankee Grey (48), and singer David Kersh (43).
Last Updated ( Friday, 06 December 2013 13:14 )
This is like the game Six Degrees of Separation. Two singers, songwriters and guitarists both celebrate their 58th birthday today: Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd and Tish Hinojosa (I met Bill when he and Radney Foster played at Lulu's Roadhouse in Kitchener, Ont., around 1990--I have a photo with them and Lulu's MC the late Kenny Hollis). Both Bill and Tish had some success as demo singers in Nashville. Two pop stars who had some success later in their careers in country music both passed away on this date, but in different years: Roy Orbison (in 1988 of a heart attack) and Dobie Gray (in 2011 from cancer). Both Roy and Dobie are resting at the same Nashville cemetery as George Jones. And five years ago today, George was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing individuals who have had an impact on American culture through the performing arts.
It Fit "Like a Glove"
Last Updated ( Friday, 06 December 2013 13:12 )
24 years ago today, Rodney Crowell appeared for an hour-long autograph session at the K-Mart store in Waterloo Town Square in Waterloo, Ont. Sharon Boppre, an employee there, had won an in-house contest where the winner could pick an artist on Columbia Records and have them come to their store for an autograph session. She picked Rodney. After the autograph session, I was part of a small group to have dinner with Rodney and during our dinner conversation, the talk turned to how much we were both Beatles fans. He told me a story about how Rosanne Cash, his wife at the time, had been in London, England, and was at a Beatles memorabilia auction, but she was constantly being outbid by someone else in the audience. But when that person left the room for a few minutes, the next item that came up for bid was the suit John Lennon wore in the opening scene of the movie "A Hard Days' Night." And Rosanne got it! So, I had to ask if he had tried it on: "Did it fit?" Rodney replied, "Like a glove." When I told him I had a VHS video collection of rare Beatles music promos (kind of a forerunner to music videos), Rodney asked for a copy and gave me his home address. Within a few days, I made a copy and mailed it to him. I've heard that he did indeed watch it with such friends as Vince Gill and John Jorgenson! And I did get a couple of Rodney's albums autographed that night, including his "Diamonds & Dirt" album, which I still consider to be one of my favorite top 10 country albums of all-time.