Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 3 April 2024


George Strait’s manager of 45 years, Erv Woolsey, 80, died March 20 in Clearwater, Florida, due to complications from surgery. MusicRow reports he “passed peacefully under the care of physicians.” Eugene Ervine “Erv” Woolsey was born in Houston on February 15, 1944, and spent his entire professional life in the music business. After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, he moved to Nashville and became Head of Promotions for ABC Records’ new country division in 1973. He and his then wife Connie owned The Prairie Rose in San Marcos, Texas, the club where he first saw George Strait perform. Erv moved to MCA Records during the ’80s and helped future Country Music Hall of Fame members Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, and The Oak Ridge Boys. In 1981, Erv convinced label head Jim Foglesong to sign Strait to MCA Records, leading to the debut single, “Unwound.” In 1984, he left MCA to devote himself to managing Strait’s career. He served on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association and the Tennessee Museum of History and was a Lifetime Member of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

“Hard to believe we lost two of our music family members on the same day,” George Strait writes on social media. “Our Ace in the Hole treasured band member Gene Elders passed away yesterday afternoon shortly after we lost Erv. All of our prayers go out to both families.” Bluegrass Today reports fiddler Gene Elders died March 20 at 66 years of age. No cause of death was shared. A Chicago native, Gene studied classical violin for 12 years before switching to fiddle and playing bluegrass for 10 years in Roanoke, Virginia. He worked with Lyle Lovett’s Large Band for 11 years, sometimes adding his fiddle to recordings by folksingers Joan Baez and Bill Staines and pop artists like Dan Fogelberg and Lucinda Williams. He joined George Strait’s Ace in the Hole band in 1984 on mandolin and fiddle.

The Oak Ridge Boys mourn the loss of Norah Lee Allen, 76, wife of lead singer Duane Allen, who died March 31 after an extended illness. “This morning, my wife of 54 years and 8 months took her last breath of air on planet Earth,” Duane writes on social media. “Norah Lee went to be with Jesus at 7:28 am, Easter morning. She had not been feeling well for some time. Her family all spent the night with her last night at Vanderbilt Hospital. We took time singing with and to her, telling her stories, and loving her every second that God let us share her here on Earth.” According to the press release, Norah Lee grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and began singing with her sisters in The Stuart Sisters Trio, formed by their father when she was only three. For over 50 years, she performed regularly with the greatest stars in country music history. After being a member of the country gospel Chuck Wagon Gang, she joined the Carol Lee Singers in 1975. As the Grand Ole Opry background vocalists, they mastered dozens of songs each night, superbly performing the new renditions in front of thousands of country music fans. Also on Easter Sunday, Richard Sterban’s wife, Donna, lost her father. The Sterbans have been married since 1988 and have five children.

Two country songs are being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, class of 2024, reports MusicRow: “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” by Charley Pride and “Let’s Have A Party” by Wanda Jackson. The 10 inducted recordings, chosen due to their qualitative or historical significance, will be honored at the Grammy museum’s first ever Grammy Hall of Fame Gala and concert on May 21 at the NOVO Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Bill Anderson writes in his newsletter about two of his former Po’ Folks Band members, the Johnson brothers, having health issues. His longtime keyboard player and vocal arranger, Anthony “Ziggy” Johnson, was scheduled for surgery on April 2. Dirk, who was in the band in the 1980s and the keyboard player on Country’s Family Reunion for 23 years, was the recipient of a benefit show last month. Several accounts are set up in his name to help defray his large medical expenses. Those who would like to help can do so at Dirk Johnson Fund, 214 Rollingwood Court, LaVergne TN 37086.

The new Sara Evans album, Unbroke, which will be available June 7, celebrates her reconciliation with husband Jay Barker. It chronicles the arc from the beginning of his abusive behavior to the couple healing their relationship and restarting their lives together, reports CMT News. Her current single, “Pride,” details the early days of their breakup. They had been married for 13 years when they separated due to his abusing her, which she had previously managed to shield from the children. In 2022, he was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for using his truck to attempt to ram the car she was riding in. Her daughter called the police upon seeing him hurriedly backing his truck up the road toward the car. Two years later, Evans, 53, and Barker, 51, have reconciled. “I always thought of him as a great man, a great father to my children and a great husband who made some very horrible mistakes and decisions,” she says. “I would never ever tell a woman if you’re being abused, you need to stay and try to work it out. Your first move is to get out of your situation, get safe and then start therapy.” Evans calls their reconciliation “miraculous” but explains it’s also a choice they’re making to stay together and try to heal their marriage.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic will take place in the Philadelphia area for the first time, reports MusicRow. The annual concert event will be held at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. Headlined by Willie Nelson, it includes Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Maren Morris, as well as numerous other performers. “It’s an honor to host such an extraordinary lineup of talent in the birthplace of our country,” Willie says. “We can’t wait to celebrate Independence Day with you.”

CMT’s inaugural “June Carter Cash Humanitarian Award” will be presented to Trisha Yearwood during the 2024 CMT Music Awards, airing from Austin, Texas on Sunday on CBS. CMT News explains that the award recognizes an artist, duo/group, or industry veteran who demonstrates an exceptional dedication to the community and fellow artists as June Carter Cash did. Trisha’s philanthropic work includes her decades-long dedication to Habitat for Humanity. She founded Dottie’s Yard to help animal rescues and supports Stanford Women’s Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Humane Society, Grammy Foundation MusiCares, Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Susan B. Komen Foundation, and more.

CMT News revealed Sugarland and Little Big Town will perform on the CMT Music Awards on April 7 in Austin, Texas. Sugarland is marking the 20th anniversary of “Baby Girl.” It’s the first time Sugarland has publicly performed since reuniting in 2018 for its Bigger album and Still The Same Tour. Little Big Town is celebrating 25 years as one of country music’s most popular vocal groups.

Miranda Lambert, 40, was presented with a ceremonial key to the Las Vegas strip during her final Velvet Rodeo Las Vegas residency show, and Miranda Lambert Day was declared in Las Vegas. PEOPLE reports that she was also given a $140,000 check to benefit her MuttNation charity. One dollar from every ticket sold during her Velvet Rodeo run at Planet Hollywood (September 2022 – April 2024) was donated to her nonprofit for promoting pet adoption, advancing spay and neuter access to pet owners, and sharing resources to help people be responsible pet parents.

Donald Trump and Lee Greenwood have partnered to release a God Bless the U.S.A. Bible. The book’s official website, according to Taste of Country, assures buyers that their purchase dollars will not go to Trump’s presidential campaign. Each Bible, a King James translation, includes copies of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a copy of the handwritten chorus of “God Bless the U.S.A” from 1984. “I think you all should get a copy of God Bless the U.S.A. Bible now and help spread our Christian values with others,” Trump says. “Let’s make America pray again.” Lee Greenwood advertises it on his website, and he says this particular Bible has been on sale for years.

Missouri college student Riley Strain went missing after being asked to leave Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Food and Drink on Broadway in Nashville while vacationing with fraternity brothers. Following a two-week search, his body was found in the Cumberland River on March 22, eight miles downstream from where he was last seen. Wide Open Country reports he had been asked to leave the bar due to his apparent intoxication, not because of a fight or any type of altercation. He had been served one alcoholic drink and two waters. The security team escorted him from the venue through the Broadway exit at the front of the building. He was seen on surveillance footage walking around the downtown area, sometimes stumbling. He apparently fell in the river.

Nudie’s Honky Tonk on Nashville’s Lower Broadway is partnering with Tanya Tucker to unveil Tanya Tucker’s Tequila Cantina on May 2. A press release from 117 Entertainment announces, “The second floor of Nudie’s will transform into a lively cantina-style bar, reflecting the spirit and charisma of Tanya Tucker herself. Patrons can expect an immersive experience that captures Tanya’s unique personality and love for fun.” Tanya’s own tequila brand, Cosa Salvaje, will be featured in the cocktails. Nudie’s owner, Bill Miller, says, “Shannon and I are thrilled to partner with our dear friend country music legend and icon Tanya Tucker on this incredible pop up.” Tanya, a longtime customer of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, says, “I’m over the moon about Tanya Tucker’s Tequila Cantina. It’s been a dream for several years to join the big boys on Broadway and Bill and Shannon Miller are making it all possible.” Nudie’s Honky Tonk at 409 Broadway resides in a 100-year-old historic, three-story building that houses millions of dollars’ worth of rare country music memorabilia and stage costumes created by Nudie Cohn. Nudie’s customized Cadillac El Dorado “Nudie Mobile,” hangs on the wall and is insured for $400,000. The honky tonk showcases the longest bar in Music City, measuring over 100 feet and embedded with 9,465 silver dollars.

The bipartisan Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act was signed into law on March 21 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee at Lower Broadway honky-tonk Robert’s Western World in Nashville. MusicRow reports, “The ELVIS Act establishes protections for every person’s unique voice and likeness against unauthorized artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes and voice clones.” It will go into effect July 1 and will update Tennessee’s existing right of publicity to address these fundamental human protections. The ELVIS Act experienced unanimous General Assembly passage (a vote of 93-0 in the House and 30-0 in the Senate).

Whiskey Riff reports on Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, where Kenny Chesney shared his before-concert routine. “I’m terrified of being complacent, you know, and failure,” he said. “We always get into a stadium market on a Friday, and on a Friday after sound check, I’ll go to the very top and sit just by myself.” He thinks about his gratitude toward his crew, how lucky he is to have fans who will soon fill the stadium’s seats, and all the years it took to get to this spot. “It’s a way for me to emotionally and mentally measure how far it is down here ’cause I know what it looks like from the stage to up there, but if I’m going to get close to connecting with these people, I got to have their perspective. So if you wanna find me on a Friday night, I’m probably sitting up here alone, thinking about what I’ve got to do the next night and taking a moment to remember how grateful I am to be there.” He talked about being a student at East Tennessee State University and playing for $15 a night plus tips at Chucky’s Trading Post, a Mexican restaurant in Johnson City, Tennessee: “I swear, man, in ways I still feel like I’m doing the same thing, I just got a lot more stuff around me. You know, the interaction is still the same, it’s just with a lot more people.”

Vice President & Executive Producer Dan Rogers has been promoted to Senior Vice President & Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry, reports MusicRow. He will continue to oversee all programming aspects of the Opry’s performances and will add new executive producer roles on upcoming broadcasts, many related to the Opry’s 100th celebration in 2025. A native of Xenia, Illinois, he earned degrees in communication and educational psychology. He began working at the Opry as an intern in 1998.

Carlene Carter, 68, daughter of Carl Smith and June Carter Cash, is proud to share a last name and musical genre with Beyoncé, 42, reports PEOPLE. She recently released a statement of support for Beyoncé’s country album, Cowboy Carter, whose title refers to the genre and her married name, having wed Shawn ‘JAY-Z’ Carter in 2008. “As a Carter Girl myself and coming from a long line of Carter Girls, I’m moved to ask why anyone would treat a Carter this way?” Carlene’s statement says. “She is an incredibly talented and creative woman who obviously wanted to do this because she likes country music. In my book, she’s one of us Carter women and we have always pushed the boundaries by trying whatever music we felt in our hearts and taking spirit-driven risks.”

This year’s CMA Music Fest in June will wrap up, as it usually does, with Sunday Mornin’ Country, sponsored by the Nashville-based nonprofit Music City Christian Fellowship and hosted by Brenda Lee. It takes place June 9 at 4:00 PM on the Grand Ole Opry stage. A full lineup of the best Country and Gospel artists “will be singing songs of inspiration in a wholesome, family-friendly atmosphere,” announces Bev Moser of B! Noticed PR. Charlie McCoy says, “I have been playing the Sunday Morning Country show since the Hee Haw days when Joe Babcock recruited me. I must say that I love the show and look forward to it every year.” Other performers for this special celebration include Barbara Fairchild, Cowboy Joe & The Babcocks, Cutter & Cash and The Kentucky Grass, Dianne Sherrill, John Berry, John McEuen, Larry Gatlin, The Isaacs,William Lee Golden and The Goldens, and numerous others.

Jukebox Songs is the newly released EP from Drake Milligan, 25, whose goal for the project was to find or write songs that felt classic, “songs you would find on a dusty old jukebox in the corner of a Texas bar,” he tells Whiskey Riff. He grew up in Texas and released his debut album, Dallas/Fort Worth, in 2022. He moved to Nashville because he “really just wanted to become a songwriter, and the songwriters were here in Nashville. . .. I wanted to become a part of that and learn from those, what we call ‘lunch pail songwriters,’ guys that wake up and write every day for a living. I wanted to learn how they craft songs and how they keep ideas flowing and all that, so what I wanted to do was learn from them, and Nashville was the place to do it.” He explains, “My thing is always trying to incorporate those older sounds and trying to somehow make those feel new. When you listen to it you go, I know this is a new song, this sounds like a new song, but it feels old. It has that nostalgic feeling to it. So that’s where Jukebox Songs comes from.” To promote the project, he set up his full band in a home living room to sing his new songs and called it “Living Room Sessions.” At one point, he says, “Here’s an old song from one of my favorite singers of all time. Mr. Marty Robbins.” He then sings “Devil Woman,” Marty’s seventh number-one single and the title track of his 1962 album: . (Marty wrote “Devil Woman” right after “Big Iron.” He thought that was such a great song he’d try to write another one the same day. He didn’t have any inspiration other than he wanted a falsetto. He was messing around on the piano, hit on a falsetto he liked, and developed “Devil Woman” around it.)


Dallas Wayne of SiriusXM writes from Bristol, Tennessee, “I really enjoyed your review of Marty and The Superlatives. It was spot on. I think it is the greatest road show in Country Music. Marty is the conduit between the past, present and future of this music that we love so much. These gentlemen are on a mission! As always, I look forward to your newsletter every time it shows up in my mailbox.”

Jeannie Seely writes from Nashville, “I am so proud of my new role as a Producer for young Bluegrass group Cutter and Cash and The Kentucky Grass. Who would have ever thought I would be producing bluegrass!!! They are so talented and such upstanding young people it is a joy to help make their dreams come true. They are going to be my guests on the Opry April 6th so I hope you will be listening! Thanks again, and as always, a great newsletter. I enjoyed the wonderful coverage on Marty Stuart’s show which is fabulous and appreciate your sharing my 1974 re-creation for the 50th Anniversary of the Opry House.”

Diane: Thank you, Jeannie, for sending me the program of the 50th anniversary celebration. What a pleasant surprise that was! And so thoughtful of you. Yes, I do save everything.

Alan Lister says, “Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives is the answer to George Jones’ question, ‘Who’s going to fill their shoes’!”

Jackie Allen Thomas writes from Sun City, Arizona, “Loved your post about Marty Stuart, have seen him in person, what a nice guy and the music was outstanding. Really love your fabulous newsletter, please don’t ever stop!!!!”

Terry Bence in Sioux Falls says, “Thanks so much for your never-ending quest to tell the stories of our beloved great country artists. I very much appreciate your work.”

Mary Mitchell writes, “Another great letter. I must say this. Carl Smith is and was the greatest. I fell in love with him at about ten years old. Now sixty-six, I still feel the same. I actually got tears when I was called to tell me he passed. I wonder who purchased his ranch that he loved so very much. I will never forget Carl. I loved your recap on Marty. I feel the same as you. I have seen him twice in Kansas City. He has such a cute smile and a marriage made in heaven.”

Dominique ‘Imperial’ Anglares checks in from France to say, “Thank you very much for that welcome long newsletter and for the care given to my J.M. Van Eaton’s short tribute. Keep the good work going on. Warmest regards from your French friend.”

Roger Ryan in Cork, Ireland, says, “Thanks for the fab newsletter. I am looking forward to seeing Marty Stuart in Dublin in November.” 

Peter Harrington writes from Cork, Ireland, “I got your newsletter from Roger Ryan. Loved it, please include me on mailing list.”

Jo & Johnny Western post this note on Facebook: “Update on the Westerns! Johnny is still recovering from his strokes & doing well. Jo finally got her knee replaced after many delays! Recovery is going well. We have not been out socially in months; TV has been our best friend. We look forward to feeling well enough to go to lunch.”

Alexander Shannon in Birmingham, United Kingdom, says, “Thank you for your March Newsletter, I found it very interesting. There were more pieces of information in it which I either didn’t know, or which clarified things I was uncertain about. One example has to do with Roger Miller, as referred to in the paragraph about The Boar’s Nest: Sue Brewer and the Birth of Outlaw Country Music, starring Mandy Moore. I’d heard somewhere that Roger Miller’s music was considered country, but I’m still not certain. Is his music, particularly the track “King of the Road,” Country Music? I’ve always thought that track was either Rock and Roll, or POP. I’ll certainly be taking a listen to the Boar’s Nest Podcast if I can find it.”

Diane: Roger Miller started his career in the Army with the Circle ‘A’ Wranglers, the Special Services band originated by Faron Young. He was in the bands of Ray Price and Faron Young, and he wrote many classic county songs. His first number one hit, “Dang Me,” spent six weeks at the top of Billboard’s country music chart. “Dang Me” won four Grammys in 1964 (Best Country & Western Song, Best Country and Western Recording, Best Country and Western Performance, and Best Country and Western Album), and Roger won Best New Country and Western Artist. Then came “King of the Road,” which spent five weeks at the top of Billboard’s country chart. It was a crossover record that reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, plus No. 1 on the Easy Listening survey and No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. It won five Grammys in 1966 (Best Contemporary R&R Single, Best Contemporary R&R Vocal Performance, Best Country & Western Single, Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, and Best Country & Western Song). Roger also won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Album, The Return Of Roger Miller.

Mike McCloud says, “Stacy Harris was talking about the Ernest Tubb record shop. I understand they are going to put a honky tonk in there. Ok. What happened to the Indian that stood by the door? When ET Records closed, what happened to that Indian and the RCA Victor dog that sat in the window? I hope these items which are music history treasures are stored someplace safe and that big statue of ET. I hope that when the new place opens, these items will be put in.”

Diane: Can anyone answer his questions?

Beth J. Petty, Director of the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, writes, “As always, I look forward to your newsletter. I would like to let everyone know about the upcoming Hank Williams 101st birthday. We will celebrate Hank on Saturday, Sept 14, 2024, in Montgomery. The first group on the bill is The Malpass Brothers. Tickets go on sale May 1, and we will keep you updated as the birthday plans move forward. Look forward to seeing our friends and newcomers: Hank@hanksmuseum.com and www.TheHankWilliamsMuseum.net.”

Bob Jennings says, “Marty Stuart is a Musician’s Musician. All the Members of his Band are. He’s keeping Traditional Country Music Alive. My Wife and I went to see Connie Smith and her Band at Renfro Valley, Kentucky, a few years ago–She put on a Fabulous Show and her Band did also. Connie has the smoothest vibrato in her voice. Hopefully, we will be able to see a Marty Stuart Show soon. You, Diane, are keeping Traditional Country Music Alive also. I’ve a photo of Webb Pierce and another musician (Don’t remember who, though) with me in the middle. It was when I was a teenager–I think about ’52 or ’53. When I got out of the Army in 1960, I played my Gibson L 50 and my friend his Fender Stratocastor. I did the vocals and rhythm, my Friend the lead and harmony. The Hank Williams and Webb Pierce songs were the most popular. If it wasn’t for the Friday and Saturday Music Jobs, I’d have starved–I only made $60 clear a week on my regular job.”

Bobby Fischer wonders if anyone remembers Bobby Sykes: “Great talent, him and Don Winters sang backup behind Marty Robbins. He had a great sad song, ‘Sun Up Sun Down.’ I worked the road with him. A big thrill for me, he recorded a song I wrote in the Sixties on Happy Tiger Records. Good ole country: ‘Keep, on doin’ it wrong till you’re doin’ it right.’”


My three memoirs (autographed) can now be ordered as a bundle from Gumroad, at a discount price of $28.80: . All five of my books can be downloaded as e-books from Amazon. Navy Greenshirt and my Faron Young and Marty Robbins biographies are also downloadable as audiobooks.


I recently ran across an internet obituary for steel guitarist Sonny Burnette, who was a member of Faron Young’s Country Deputies for a few months in 1967. A Bristol native with the full name of Basil Everette Burnette, Jr., he played on many Webb Pierce hits and in Webb’s band. He later worked with Faron, Ferlin Husky, Don Gibson, Kitty Wells, and Loretta Lynn. He joined the Grand Ole Opry staff band in 1970, as well as the Ralph Emery Morning Show TV band. In 2000, he came to my second Deputy reunion at Nashville’s Hall of Fame Inn. I called him July 10, 2002, to talk about his days with Faron. He died in Smithville, Tennessee, on February 12, 2013, at age 83.


Will Jennings of Kilgore, Texas, born in 1944, was teaching at the University of Wisconsin in 1971 when he decided to move to Nashville to be a songwriter. His first #1 song was “Feelin’s,” recorded by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn in 1975. He then moved to Los Angeles where he wrote or co-wrote such major pop hits as “Looks Like We Made It” (Barry Manilow), “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (Dionne Warwick), “Tears In Heaven” (Eric Clapton), and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” (Whitney Houston). He earned two Academy Awards for Best Song, “Up Where We Belong” from An Officer and a Gentleman and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic. He remained on the country charts with hits such as “Many A Long And Lonesome Highway” (Rodney Crowell), “If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me” (Jimmy Buffett), and “Please Remember Me” (Tim McGraw). Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, The Bellamy Brothers, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, and Clint Black also recorded his songs. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York in 2006. Will Jennings is 79 years old.

Layng Martine Jr. was born in New York City in 1942 and grew up in Connecticut. Back in New York City as a songwriter, he had songs recorded by Bo Diddley, Glenn Yarbrough, and The New Christy Minstrels. After connecting with Ray Stevens, his first hit song in Nashville occurred in 1974 when Billy “Crash” Craddock recorded “Rub It In.” Reba McEntire recorded his “I Don’t Want to Be a One Night Stand” and “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.” Elvis Presley’s recording of “Way Down” was at No.1 the day he died. Martine’s songs have been recorded by Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, The Pointer Sisters, Cristy Lane, Barry Manilow, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Crystal Gayle, Kathy Mattea, John Anderson, Don Williams, Tanya Tucker, and many others. His songs have been No. 1 hits in England and France. His memoir, Permission to Fly, an inside look at the songwriting side of the music industry, was published in 2019. He is 82 years old.

Randy Owen, lead singer and main songwriter for the country group Alabama, was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1949. He and cousins Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook formed the group in 1969. With the addition of drummer Mark Herndon, the band was signed to RCA Records on the strength of the Owen/Gentry song “My Home’s In Alabama.” Randy wrote much of the group’s repertoire, including “Tennessee River,” “Mountain Music,” “Feels So Right,” “Face To Face,” and “Fallin’ Again.” Alabama was named the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1983 and reigned as Entertainers of the Year in 1982, 1983 and 1984. The group retired in 2003, following a farewell tour, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The three cousins reunited in 2013 to tour again—and continue touring, even after the death of Jeff Cook. Randy Owen is 74 years old. Here is The Official Website of The Alabama Band.

Jeffrey Steele, born Jeffrey A. LeVasseur in Burbank, California, in 1961, was raised in North Hollywood in his musical family. He made his stage debut at age 8 as guest vocalist in his brother’s band at a church dance. As a teenager, the multi-instrumentalist played in rock clubs on the Sunset Strip and country bars in the San Fernando Valley. After six years as lead singer and bass player for the country band Boy Howdy, he became a solo artist and Music Row songwriter in Nashville. His biggest hits include “Unbelievable” by Diamond Rio, “The Cowboy In Me” by Tim McGraw, “My Town” and “Something To Be Proud Of” by Montgomery Gentry, “These Days” and “Me And My Gang” by Rascal Flatts, “My Wish” also by Rascal Flatts, “Brand New Girlfriend” by Steve Holy, and “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band & Jimmy Buffett. His co-written “What Hurts The Most,” recorded by Rascal Flatts, was BMI’s 2007 Country Song of the Year. Responsible for 95 singles and sales of 50 million units by other artists, he has also released several solo albums. He founded the Jeffrey Steele Songwriting Boot Camp to mentor aspiring writers. Now 62 years old, he has a website at https://www.jeffreysteele.com/

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