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.
Remembering a Great Talent and Dear Friend
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 May 2013 20:30 )
8 years ago today, singer/songwriter Terry Carisse died of cancer at an Ottawa hospital at the age of 62. He won Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards for Male Vocalist a record-setting six times (1980-1982, 1984-1986), Single (1981 - "Windship"), Song (with Bruce Rawlins, twice, in 1981 and 1985) and Album (twice, in 1981 and 1985). His band, Tracks, won for Backup Band in 1985. The Mercey Brothers recorded an entire album of songs written by Terry and Bruce. Terry was the first country artist I ever interviewed (for a college project) and I was flattered he remembered that interview many years later. After his death, Bow Park in Nepean, Ont, was renamed in his memory. A gentleman and a gentle man, he was always quick to encourage others in whatever they were pursuing, whether or not it was a career in music.
Remembering the Tall Texan
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 May 2013 19:25 )
Seven years ago today, singer, songwriter and guitarist Billy Walker was killed in a car crash at the age of 77. The crash happened along an Alabama interstate highway while he returning to Nashville from an Alabama concert. Nicknamed "The Tall Texan," Billy was a regular on the "Big D Jamboree" radio show in Dallas as "The Masked Singer" in 1949. He also appeared in the movies "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar," and "Red River Round Up." A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960, I met him during Fan Fair in Nashville in 1983. Billy had 65 singles on the country music charts from 1954-1988, including the 1962 #1 hit "Charlie's Shoes."
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 May 2013 19:27 )
The Tri-County Jam, an open mic show, is ready to wrap up another season on June 1. Held at Avondale United Church every other Saturday night in Tillsonburg, Ont., over 100 people usually attend with over 2-dozen singers and musicians getting up on stage to perform. Hosts Don & Sharon Brinn have raised over $25,000 for charities in the Tillsonburg area, especially school lunch programs for kids. Basically an amateur night, every once in awhile a star comes out to check out the fun. Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame member Marie Bottrell and Rob Kirkham, from Rob Kirkham & Neon Rain have stopped in for some fun. And it happened again last Saturday night. Woodstock, Ont.-based singer/songwriter Jack London saw a Facebook message I had posted on Saturday morning about the jam and decided to check it out. Jack did a great set of songs and even got me up on stage to duet with him on a Hank Williams medley. He also is known for his John Denver tribute show and it was nice to have a fan in the audience ask for a Denver tune. Jack obliged with "Back Home Again," and I helped out a bit. A semi-regular at the jam is St. Thomas, Ont., singer/songwriter Michael Warren. With Michael and I being George Strait fans and last Saturday being George's birthday, I asked Michael to help me duet on "Fool Hearted Memory." Then Michael went into a great set of Strait tunes. And we wrapped up the night with me doing the recitation part of the George Jones classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today" which Michael sang so well. It'll be a bit sad when the jam wraps up for the season in two weeks. And note: Don & Sharon will continue the jams in the fall, but when they do, there will be a major change. Instead of holding them every other Saturday night, they'll only be held once a month, on the first Saturday of each month. Although it's too bad for country music fans, most fans don't know how much work Don & Sharon put into these shows each time. Congrats to them for a great time...every time!
The Dean of the Grand Ole Opry
Last Updated ( Friday, 17 May 2013 19:13 )
He was known as "The Dean of the Grand Ole Opry" and "The Voice of the Grand Ole Opry." Jesse Granderson Turner was born on this date in 1912 in Abilene, Texas. Better known as Grant Turner, he was fascinated with radio ever since his father bought one of the new devices in the early 1920's. Earning a degree in journalism, he worked at various radio stations and newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, before joining WSM radio in Nashville in June 1944. Grant remained with the Opry until his death in 1991. He was said to have an excellent memory, was the unofficial historian of the Opry and, for the longest time, was the only radio announcer ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Grant had the sad duty of announcing Patsy Cline's death on WSM the morning after the plane crash that took her life. While at Fan Fair in Nashville in 1983, I recognized Grant and was very fortunate to meet this gentleman and get a photo with him...a huge thrill for me.
And So It Began 32 Years Ago Today
On this date in 1981, a new song from a new artist debuted on the country music charts. The artist: George Strait! The song: "Unwound!" From his major record label debut album, "Strait Country," it would go on to peak at #6 on the charts. The album would produce two more hits, but it wouldn't be until a year had gone by before George would score his first #1 hit with "Fool Hearted Memory." "Unwound" was written by Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus, and George once said, "I think they wanted to give it to Johnny Paycheck." I, for one, am glad George got it!