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.


Turtlefest Performer Profile: Western Swing Authority

Randy Owen
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A branch of the country music tree, western swing music began almost one hundred years ago in the west and south U.S., combining elements of big band dance music, with hints of jazz, blues, folk, cowboy and country music.  Bands like Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys and, later, Asleep at the Wheel, typified the sound.  But a southern Ontario group, based in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, has not only become excellent practicioners of the genre, they've perfected it!  Western Swing Authority was formed so a group of very talented musicians could play a style of music they loved (and is seldom heard outside mainstream country music) at their leisure.  Award-winning fiddle player Shane Guse (who also does extra duty as desired on mandolin and banjo - and has been a member of bands backing such stars as Dean Brody, George Canyon and Jason Blaine) and his wife and phenomenal vocalist, Stacy Lee (who is a former member of the female trio Lace), brought together some of the best musicians in the business with that shared love.  Joining them is one of the masters of the steel guitar, Ed "Pee Wee Charles" Ringwald (who'd played with Ian Tyson and spent 17 years with Gordon Lightfoot - he's won Steel Guitarist of the Year so many times, he's been retired from that category at the Canadian Country Music Awards), award-winning drummer Jimmy Boudreau (a former member of one of the house bands at the world-famous Lulu's Roadhouse), another outstanding fiddle player Dan Howlett (there's nothing like the sound of twin fiddles on a classic country song!), standup and electric bassman Matthew Lima, and one of the most amazing and underrated guitarists around, Paul "Chappy" Chapman.  Their first album was recorded in such a relaxed atmosphere, it was basically done in one day, off the floor and over pizza.  Since then, Western Swing Authority has been nominated for and/or won several provincial and national awards.  And their excellence as western swing musicians has been recognized stateside by the Ameripolitan Music Awards and the Academy of Western Artists.  But their expertise extends beyond western swing, having served as backup band for a wide variety artists for the past five years at the Ontario Country Music Awards and various artist showcases at many CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) events.  WSA can play just about anything, but their first true love is western swing.  And their performance tonight at Tillsonburg's Turtlefest will be one remembered for a very long time!

Western Swing Authority
Western Swing Authority

Western Swing Authority
Western Swing Authority

(For more info on Turtlefest, go to www.turtlefest.ca)

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 June 2017 11:55 )
 

Turtlefest Performer Profile: Small Town Girls

Randy Owen
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Don't let the name fool you.  Sure, the Small Town Girls come from the small town of Langton, Ont., about ten minutes from Tillsonburg.  But they've been making a big impact in just a few short years.  Two years ago, Haley Van Maele won a talent competition in her age category at the Langton Fair, singing the Johnny Cash song "Get Rhythm."  Her music teachers, Alison and Darrin Schott, told me about her, so I invited her to Country 107 3 where she handled herself very professionally, for someone so young, during our live interview and her live performance.  By chance, Johnny Cash tribute artist Paul Anthony was also coming in that day, met Haley and has since had her open some of his concerts and join him onstage for the classic Johnny Cash/June Carter duet "Jackson."  Since then, Haley, who has an incredibly powerful voice, has been joined by her 12-year-old twin Hannah and their older sister Cassie (she's 14) to form the trio.  Their acoustic, roots-oriented music has taken them to Barrie, where they opened for country music star Brett Kissel (who dubbed them "the new Dixie Chicks") in January, and to Kitchener, where they've participated in several Saturday afternoon jams at the Stampede Corral.  In addition to pulling out such gems as "Wayfaring Stranger," a 1980 hit for Emmylou Harris, their sets are sometimes peppered with original songs.  This past weekend, the Small Town Girls sang the national anthem at the Country Music Association of Ontario's charity baseball game in London and attended the annual awards show.  Tomorrow night, they perform along with the award-winning Western Swing Authority at Tillsonburg's Turtlefest Block Party and I have no doubt they will impress the audience, the organizers and even the band.  Sure, they're Small Town Girls, but they're awfully big on talent!

Small Town Girls
Small Town Girls

Small Town Girls
Small Town Girls

(For more info on Turtlefest, go to www.turtlefest.ca)

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:48 )
 

Turtlefest Performer Profile: Eric Ethridge

Randy Owen
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Making his Turtlefest debut this Friday night is Sarnia, Ontario's Eric Ethridge and Turtlefest couldn't have gotten him at a better time!  His debut single, "Liquor's Calling the Shots," is already a national Top 40 country hit!  He performed the song (and many more) during his first visit to Country 107 3 in Tillsonburg almost two months ago.  Before his current rise to fame, Eric had spent some time songwriting with Bothwell's Jay Allan.  Each of the recent years has seen his career take enormous leaps and bounds.  In 2015, a series of orchestra pop/country covers dramatically boosted his social media presence and garnered a mention from Rolling Stone magazine.  That same year, Eric was the runner-up at the Boots & Hearts emerging artist showcase.  Last year saw him open the very first Trackside Music Festival in London and his first national award came when he was named the Canadian Country Music Association's Discovery Award winner.  It's important to keep momentum going in this business and Ethridge is doing just that with concert appearances last week at a Country Music Association of Ontario event and this Friday at Tillsonburg's annual Turtlefest Block Party.  The chiropractor, who sometimes jokes he's got your back, is no longer an emerging artist.  Eric Ethridge has emerged!

Eric Ethridge
Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge
Eric Ethridge

(For more info on Turtlefest, go to www.turtlefest.ca.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 08:20 )
 

Turtlefest Performer Profile: Marshall Dane

Randy Owen
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Returning to the Turtlefest Block Party stage this Friday night for a record third time is one of the most energetic performers to hit any stage:  Marshall Dane!  Born in St. Catharines, Ont., he has a fairly traditional background in country music.  His preacher father taught him to play Murray McLauchlan's "Farmer's Song" on guitar.  He learned classic Kenny Rogers songs from his mom's record collection.  But Marshall doesn't let his traditional roots define him.  His passions define him.  Dane is passionate about life, love, the outdoors, music and his motorcycle.  Anyone familiar with the lifestyles of the late 1960's and meeting Marshall for the first time might think he's a time-traveller, having been dropped off from the hippie, love and peace movement of that era.  But they'd be wrong.  He's an updated, tech-savvy hipster whose seeming free-wheeling lifestyle many people probably secretly desire to be like.  His struggles are the same as any other independent recording artist:  trying to get the best sound in the studio and on stage for his music, and trying to get it "out there" to the people while country radio, generally, has very short, tight, restrictive playlists (only the big hits and artists get attention in most cases).  But his originality is what brings him to the table.  And that originality is most evident during his live performances and is enhanced by his high-energy show.  Those elements together are what has earned him the distinction of being one of only two artists to have been nominated Male Artist of the Year for five consecutive years at the Ontario Country Music Awards.  And it's what brings Marshall Dane back to Tillsonburg and Turtlefest for a third time!

Marshall Dane
Marshall Dane

Marshall Dane
Marshall Dane

(For more info on Turtlefest go to www.turtlefest.ca)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 June 2017 11:03 )
 

A Big Night For Meghan Patrick

Randy Owen
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The 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) Awards are now history and it was a historic night for Meghan Patrick!  For Meghan, each of the four awards she won was a different validation of a different aspect of her career.  Winning Rising Star meant she was accepted as a new artist by the country music family.  Female Artist of the Year honours meant she is a contender with many established stars.  The Album of the Year trophy for "Grace and Grit" meant that whole project was being accepted by the industry.  And her win for Music Video of the Year for "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" justified all the hard work that went in to making the video.  What happened last night to Meghan probably won't sink in for a few days.  She had flown in from Nashville, arriving yesterday morning for the awards show and flying out to return to Music City the day after.  Congrats, Meg!  You wear those four awards well!

Meghan Patrick
Meghan Patrick

Other winners from last night include:

The fans spoke as The James Barker Band won Fans' Choice; The River Town Saints for Single of the Year (for "Cherry Bomb"); Deric Ruttan shares Songwriter of the Year with Nashville writer Craig Wiseman for the Blake Shelton song "Came Here to Forget," Tim Hicks won Male Arist; Cold Creek County repeated as Group or Duo of the Year; The Abrams (John and James) picked up the Roots Artist award; Jason Barry repeated as Producer of the Year; and in a new category, Steve Coady, of Warner Music Canada, won the first ever Industry Person of the Year.

River Town Saints
River Town Saints

Congratulations to all the winners!

(The complete list of winners can be found on the CMAOntario website at:  https://cmaontario.ca/2017-nominees/)

Last Updated ( Monday, 12 June 2017 11:38 )
 

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