I was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, about 20 miles to the west of Bristol Tennessee/Virginia, the “Birthplace of Country Music”. The Carter Family made their first recordings in Bristol.
I wrote my first song when I was 14. I wasn’t playing the guitar at the time but I could write the lyrics and sing the melody. The song was called “Saturday Night”. The singer proposes marriage to his sweetheart, who promises she will let him know her decision on “Saturday Night”. I don’t know if they got together, the song doesn’t say.
I bought my first guitar, a Sears Silvertone from a friend, for five dollars and an old Cream album, Wheels of Fire. I recorded my first record with my partner Danny Redwine when I was 17. A year later I made my first trip to Nashville as a songwriter where I discovered that publishers wouldn’t allow writers to play songs live in the publisher’s office. The following year Danny and I returned to the Music City with a tape of new songs in hand. We were able to publish some songs but we had to get our parents to co-sign the contracts because we were so young. Danny and I played and wrote songs together for many years as an acoustic duo and in rock bands, occasionally getting songs published. BMI informed us that one of these songs was recently recorded in Belgium. When our last band split I stopped playing shows but I continued to write songs. I later decided I no longer had ambitions to be a professional singer and musician and that I would concentrate on writing songs.
In 2009, I wrote and sang 10 new songs for a record I released that year called North Carolina – named for the State in which it was recorded. The featured musicians were living and playing music in the area. Work brought me back to Nashville where I discovered the Writer’s Night/Open Mic venues. I began playing for whoever would have me. It’s been a rewarding experience. I’ve met many great songwriters and have made many new friends in Nashville. I enjoy peddling my songs, whether on stage or pitching them for someone else to sing.