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.

That's a Lot of Trophies!

Randy Owen
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Happy birthday today to Praire Oyster steel guitarist Dennis Delorme! Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008, the group was awarded several Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and Juno awards, and scored four #1 hits on the RPM Magazine country singles chart in Canada from 1994-1995.  Dennis won the CCMA Steel Guitar Player of the Year award nine times, six of them consecutively.  Those records will never be broken since the CCMA later adopted a policy of moving musicians out of contention once they've won five times in their respective categories into a Musicians Hall of Fame.  Indeed, Prairie Oyster is the only group in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame whose individual members all won awards for their respective musical disciplines!
Dennis Delorme
Dennis Delorme
Doug Phelps, of The Kentucky Headhunters, turns 58 today!  He and his brother, Ricky Lee, left the band to form the duo Brother Phelps, with Doug returning to the Headhunters in 1996.  A big Beatles fan, I once sent Doug a VHS copy of various Beatle music videos (then called promotional films) and we kept in touch for a few years after that.
Also Born on This Date:  former Country Music Association (CMA) executive director Jo Walker-Meador, in 1924 (she helped build the CMA into a prestigious, influential and respected organization and passed away last August); Canadian fiddle legend Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, in 1914 (he died in 1987); and singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Jimmy Wakely, also in 1914 (his hit "One Has My Name, The Other Has My Heart," has been called the first country cheating song; Jimmy died in 1982).
Country legends George Jones and Tammy Wynette were married on this date in 1969 in Ringgold, Georgia...for real this time!  Six months earlier, they had announced they had secretly married...but actually hadn't!  They later divorced.
And 28 years ago today, Time magazine published the first issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.  Canadian singer/songwriter k.d. lang was featured on that first cover!
Last Updated ( Friday, 16 February 2018 12:24 )

T.G. Sheppard's First Time

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43 years ago today, T.G. Sheppard scored his first #1 country hit with "Devil in the Bottle" (he would go on to have another 13 chart toppers).  It came almost 10 years after he had a pop hit in 1966 with a song called "High School Days" under the name Brian Stacey.  But by 1974, T.G. had pretty much given up being an artist and was in a different part of the music industry as a promotion man in Memphis.  A Nashville publishing rep had brought the song to Sheppard's office after several Music City executives had turned down the song.  But T.G. believed in the song and held on to it.
TG Sheppard
TG Sheppard
Late one night, Sheppard was recording song demos for the publishing company he was working for.  He had time for one more song, but didn't have one, until he remembered "Devil in the Bottle."  He said, "I ran upstairs and started searching for that tape and, strange enough, it was sitting right on my desk."  T.G. spent his own money on the demo and tried to pitch it to nearly every record label in town, getting rejected every time (at least 13 times).  A Motown record label had opened a country music office with headquarters in the same Nashville office as Atlantic Records.  T.G. recalled, "They heard it through the wall.  Atlantic turned it down and, as I was leaving, someone from Melodyland grabbed me and said, 'Wait a minute.  That's a hit."
Sheppard recorded the song, with Janie Fricke singing backup, and it became his first #1 hit.  BTW, when the issue of Billboard magazine arrived in the mail showing the song at #1, Sheppard also received a rejection letter from another record company, saying the material wasn't "commercial enough."
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  singer, musician and reality TV star Schyler Lambert turns 16 (he's the son of Kim Walters, of The Walters Family); bassist Teddy Roy Michaylow, formerly of The Boom Chucka Boys, marks another year around the sun; former Country Music Association of Ontario president Sam Arraj turns 39; musician and road manager for such artists as Doc Walker and Brett Kissel, Kevin Bushey, turns another year older; singer Michael Reynolds, of the group Pinmonkey (I love that name), turns 54; and Andy Ginn, drummer with the group Perfect Stranger, turns 55.
And singer/songwriter Hank Locklin was born on this date in 1918.  With hits as "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On" and "Please Help Me I'm Falling," he performed on the Grand Ole Opry for 47 years.  In the 1960's, he returned to his hometown of McLellan, Florida, bought a ranch that contained the cotton field he worked as a child, and was elected mayor.  Hank died in 2009.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 February 2018 09:39 )

Valentine's Couples (Spoiler Alert: Some Didn't Last)

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"I did that so I wouldn't forget my wedding anniversary."  That's what Urban Cowboy singer Johnny Lee told me, explaining why he married "Dallas" TV star Charlene Tilton on Valentine's day in 1982.  Mickey Gilley, co-owner of the famous Gilley's nightclub in Pasadena, Texas, where Johnny fronted the house band for years was best man.  Johnny and Charlene were married at Tony Orlando's home.  Unfortunately, they divorced three years later.
Johnny Lee
Johnny Lee
They weren't the only country couple to get hitched on Valentine's day.  Junior Bryant, of the group Ricochet, married Trisha Golloway in 1998.  Singer/songwriter Hal Ketchum got married that same day in Austin, Texas.  His wife, Gina, had been a makeup artist on a Nashville Network TV show.  In 1991, singer Pam Tillis married songwriter Bob DiPiero.  They divorced in 1998.  And singer Kathy Mattea married songwriter Jon Vezner in 1988.  And singer Kathy Mattea married songwriter Jon Vezner in 1988.  He co-wrote her 1989 hit "Where've You Been."  And Rory Feek went on his first date with Joey in 2002.  They later formed the duo Joey & Rory.  She died of cancer almost two years ago.
Celebrating Birthdays Today:  Collingwood, Ont. singer/songwriter and Canadian Forces veteran Graham Trude turns 31 today; Cajun singer Michael Doucet, of the group Beausoleil, turns 67; and singer/songwriter Razzy Bailey turns 79 (in 1976, singer/songwriter Dickey Lee recorded Razzy's "9,999,999 Tears," a song Bailey had written 10 years earlier).
Awards:  in 1993, Terry Kelly won five East Coast Music Awards, every category he was nominated in (Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Country Artist, Song for "In My Father's House," and Album for "Divided Highway")!
The First Time:  in 1987, George Strait's "Ocean Front Property" became the first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Album chart; and singer Charley McClain scored her first #1 hit in 1981 with "Who's Cheatin' Who" (Alan Jackson's 1997 cover of the song would peak at #2).
The Big Screen:  "Gospel Road," a film about the life of Jesus, written, produced, narrated and financed by Johnny Cash, premiered in 1973 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Songs for the movie were contributed by Kris Kristofferson, Joe South, John Denver, Larry Gatlin and Cash himself.
Concerts:  in 1988, Alabama played at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ont., with Ricky Van Shelton and Eddy Raven opening the show (I interviewed Ricky and Eddy backstage, while Randy Owen of Alabama held a press conference earlier that day).
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 February 2018 09:32 )

Daryle Singletary, 1971-2018

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It's never easy to cope with the passing of a country music star, but it's much harder when it comes to someone so young.  Yesterday morning's news that Daryle Singletary had died at the young age of 46 was hard to wrap your head around.  Bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent was in a recording studio with Dolly Parton, doing a Facebook live broadcast when she saw messages about Daryle's death.  She was unbelieving, having just done an album project with him.
Darlyle Singletary
Born in Cairo, Georgia, his dad was a postal worker and his mom was a hairdresser.  Singletary was singing gospel music at a young age with his brother and cousins.  By high school, he was taking vocal lessons and moved to Nashville in 1990 to pursue his music career.  Daryle sang on demo recordings and one of them, "An Old Pair of Shoes," caught the ear of Randy Travis.  Randy recorded the song and recommended his management team help Daryle get a recording contract.  Travis, who became a mentor to Daryle, said co-producing his debut album was a highlight of his career.  His chart career only consisted of 14 singles, but three of them, "Amen Kind of Love," "I Let Her Lie," and "Too Much Fun," were Top 5 country hits in the mid-1990's.
Darlyle Singletary
I only saw Daryle perform once.  It was at the George Jones tribute concert in November 2013 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  Singletary sang "I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair" while Little Jimmy Dickens sat at the side of the stage in a rocking chair, the only person who sat in it during the entire show, which featured over 100 artists.  And Daryle held his own among some of country music's stars when Eddy Raven, T.G. Sheppard, Collin Raye, Pam Tillis, Janie Fricke, Mark Collie, T. Graham Brown and Tracy Lawrence joined him for a medley of "Cold Hard Truth," "Right Left Hand" and "She's My Rock."  (concert pics courtesy Tammy Gould)
Although an official cause of death was not immediately announced, there had been reports Daryle died at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee of a blood clot.  Reactions to the news came from a wide variety of country artists.  Terri Clark said he was "sweet and kind to everybody who he met" and "this hits way too close to home."  Luke Combs tweeted, "This one hurts."  Charlie Daniels said Daryle "sang country like country should be sung."  John Rich remembered how he "always sat by the sound board so I could hear the full tone of that incredible country voice."
Last Saturday night, Daryle gave his final performance during a concert at Cowboy's Nightclub in Lafayette, Louisiana.  He closed his show with his familiar cover of the late Johnny Paycheck's "Old Violin."  The final words now seem so ironic:  "And just like that it hit me, how me and that old violin were just alike.  We'd give our all to country music, and soon, we'd give our life."  Thirty-six hours later, Daryle Singletary's life journey ended.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 February 2018 09:43 )

Country Music's Rodeo Clown

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Happy 74th birthday today to singer Moe Bandy!  Born Marion Bandy in Meridian, Mississippi and raised in San Antonio, Texas, he played in his father's band, The Mission City Playboys.  Moe also worked as a rodeo rider, a time in his life he later sang about with the 1975 Top 10 country hit "Bandy the Rodeo Clown" (the legendary Lefty Frizzell was a co-writer on the song).  He was one of several country stars who later started their own theater in Branson, Missouri.  An Academy of Country Music (ACM) award winnner for Most Promising Male Vocalist, he's also a Country Music Association (CMA) award winner for Duo of the Year, with Joe Stampley.  Just two weeks ago, Moe released his autobiography, "Lucky Me," also the name of his most recent album.  Former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush wrote the foreword.  Bandy says the main reason he wrote his story is his great-grandchildren.  He says he wanted to give them a "true record" of the life he's lived.
Moe Bandy
Moe Bandy
Also Born on This Date:  singer Jay Lee Webb, Loretta Lynn's brother, in 1937 (he died in 1996 at the age of 59 from cancer); news announcer and actor Lorne Greene, who played Ben Cartwright for 14 years on TV's "Bonanza," in 1915 (he died in 1987 at the age of 72 of heart failure).  In 1965, he had a million-selling single with "Ringo," a recitation story of an old west gunfighter.
Passages:  singer/songwriter Sammi Smith died on this date in 2005 at the age of 61 from emphysema.  Her biggest hit was the 1971 #1 country song "Help Me Make It Through the Night," written by Kris Kristofferson.  It was also a Top 10 pop hit.
And one year ago today, Charley Pride received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
Last Updated ( Monday, 12 February 2018 09:30 )

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