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05 / LORI MCKENNA PODCAST INTERVIEW

There’s always growth, there’s always somewhere to go to in music, a place you have not reached. Every time I’ve stuck my neck out musically, I’ve been rewarded. - Lori McKenna

In this episode, we sit down with two-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter Lori McKenna for a conversation about humble beginnings, persistence, and the importance of developing and maintaining relationships with local radio in order to fuel your country music success story.   The mother of five from Stoughton, Massachusetts, whose career began in the mid-90’s in small clubs outside of Boston, Lori has used her incredible storytelling ability to write songs about real-life experiences.  In this interview, she shares the songwriting stories behind her biggest hits including Girl Crush with Little Big Town, Humble and Kind for Tim McGraw,  I’ll Always Remember You This Way for the soundtrack to A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and It All Comes Out In the Wash with Miranda Lambert.   Music City Mentor Jacy Dawn Valeras gets great advice from Lori about being confident and able to sing your own songs when you pitch them to an artist or a publisher.  If you are an aspiring singer/songwriter, consider this episode required listening!  #countrymusic #songwriting #humbleandkind #lorimckenna

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04 / CRYSTAL GAYLE PODCAST INTERVIEW

I’m proud that I’m still here in this business.  It’s what I’ve loved to do. Success is in your mind.  It’s only in your mind. -Crystal Gayle 

This episode brings us to Music Row in Nashville and the offices of Gayle Enterprises for an interview with Crystal Gayle. Jacy has known the Grammy-winner since she was only 14 and you’ll hear that story in her Music City Mentor segment.  As for me, I’ve played Crystal’s songs on the radio for decades and couldn’t wait to meet the woman whose long hair touches the floor. The little sister of Loretta Lynn, Crystal was advised to  “go her own way” and create her own unique musical style.  Signed to Decca Records at only 19, she was “very, very, very shy” and it took her a while to feel comfortable on stage.  Her signature song: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue was recorded live in the studio on the first take and would receive airplay on Country, Top 40 and AC radio stations everywhere, skyrocketing Crystal’s career and earning her a Grammy. With 28 top 10 songs, 12 number 1 hits and a slew of awards, this is a singer whose music has stood the test of time. This episode includes Crystal’s very wise advice for up and coming singers:  “be true to yourself and to remember to have fun because you are doing what you love.” #countrymusic #crystalgayle #countrycrossover #dontitmakemybrowneyesblue #countrymusicicon #countrymusicroyalty

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03 / JEANNIE SEELY PODCAST INTERVIEW

Until you’re ready to get out of the race, you’ve just gotta keep on runnin’. - Jeannie Seely

 

 

There’s something very special about sitting on the back porch, overlooking the Cumberland River, listening to the cicadas and talking about country music!   In this interview, we are at the home of Jeannie Seely, Grammy winner and 53- year member of the Grand Ole Opry.  Make no mistake about it, this 80 year old trailblazer is going strong with a new album and a career that continues to unfold.  Raised on a farm in Townsville, Pennsylvania, Jeannie remembers turning a chicken coop into a stage where she and her brother would perform.  By the time she was 16, Jeannie knew that if she was going to succeed in country music, she had to move to Nashville.  With 50 dollars to her name, she put the key in the ignition of her Ford Falcon and never looked back. Known throughout her career as an individualist, Jeannie opened doors that had been closed to women, including the very first hosting job on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.  Whether she was writing or singing #1 songs, Jeannie was and still is a powerhouse with a heart of gold. Her incredible longevity is a reflection of her work ethic.  #grandoleopry #countrymusicsuccessstories #countrymusic

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02 / KELLY LANG PODCAST INTERVIEW

Barry Gibb called me and says “Hey, Kell, I'm gonna be singing Islands in the Stream at Kenny Rogers Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Are you available to sing that song with me?  And you know what I said?  Hold on a second and let me check my schedule! - Kelly Lang

The stars really lined up for this interview with Kelly Lang.  A prolific songwriter, vocalist, producer and visual artist, Kelly grew up surrounded by country music.  Her father was Velton Lang, Conway Twitty’s trusted road manager for 25 years.  As we sat around Kelly’s kitchen table in Hendersonville, Tennessee, she shared the many stories of her career in country music.  At only 15, she charted on Billboard with a hit called Lady, Lady and that song was quickly followed by a stellar performance in the finals on Star Search.  The mother of two, Kelly is a breast cancer survivor who was mentored by her friend and fellow survivor, Olivia Newton-John. In this interview, Kelly shares her songwriting process saying “it’s a God thing” along with her belief that cover songs shouldn’t be altered too much.   Now blissfully married to country music icon TG Sheppard, Kelly shares career highlights including what it was like to sing Islands In the Stream with Sir Barry Gibb. Time and experience have not aged this beautiful country music star, but they have made her stronger.  Over the next 30 minutes, you’ll come to know a woman who values family and friends above all else:  “The music industry is fleeting.  Success for me is lifting other people up and elevating them.”  For a tutorial on what success really means, hit that download button.  

#countrymusic #kellylang #womeninmusic #nashville #musiccitymentor #countrymusicsuccessstories

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01 / NAOMI JUDD PODCAST INTERVIEW

I’ve been through an alphabet of tragedies and trials and I’m still here.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it at all.  But I just kept going like the little engine that could.  I said to myself: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. - Naomi Judd

What does it take to become a country music success story?  For Naomi Judd, it took the strength of a mother’s love and the determination of a champion to build a better life for her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd.  Recorded in September 2020 on Naomi’s 500 acre farm in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, this interview takes you through Naomi’s life, including the birth of Wynonna on her high school graduation night, a job as a receptionist for The Fifth Dimension in Los Angeles, and a mountaintop home in Kentucky where there was no heat, no phone and no TV.  While she studied to be a nurse, the family lived on welfare and Naomi traded her prized buck knife to buy Wynonna her first guitar.  It was on the porch of their rustic home that Naomi and Wynonna learned their first song together:  The Sweetest Gift:  A Mother’s Love.  After receiving her nursing degree, Naomi moved the family to Nashville where she was an ICU nurse.  Brent Mayer, the father of one of her patients accepted a homemade cassette tape of Naomi and Wynonna singing together. He was blown away by what he heard an arranged for a LIVE audition at RCA records. The Judds were signed to a record deal that would catapult them into country music history as the most commercially successful duo of the 1980’s with 25 singles, 14 number 1 songs, 8 CMA’s, 5 Grammy Awards, and 20 million + records sold.  From Naomi’s songwriting technique to her determination to beat Hepatitis C, this interview is an essay in perseverance.  Music City Mentor Jacy Dawn Valeras tops off this first episode with helpful tips on songwriting.   For a deep dive into the soul of a country music icon, just hit that download button.

#countrymusic #naomijudd #womeninmusic #thejudds #nashville #musiccitymentor #countrymusicsuccessstories

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COUNTRY MUSIC SUCCESS STORIES TRAILER

What does it take to become a country music success story? In this Nashville-based podcast, radio legend & master interviewer Candy O’Terry goes straight to the pros to hear their stories. From singers to producers, songwriters to record label executives, radio programmers and DJ’s to PR and marketing pros, every episode is a deep dive in to what it takes to succeed in the country music industry. If you want to make it in Nashville, you need a roadmap. Music City Mentor, Jacy Dawn Valeras provides valuable advice about everything from writer's rounds to online marketing and building a network that will go the distance.

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