Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gone But Not Completely Forgotten

Lila McCannLila McCann via

Reading Patsi Bale Cox's new book, The Garth Factor, reminded me of many things about the country music industry in the '90s that I thought I had forgotten, not the least of which was the parade of new artists that 30 labels tried to introduce to a somewhat open-minded public.

In her book Patsi mentions John Bunzow, a Northwest artist who was signed to Jimmy Bowen's Liberty Records in the mid-90s. For a variety of reasons, which are chronicled by Patsi, Bunzow never found the stardom that he and others that make the trek to Nashville hope for.

As many people who work in the music industry do, I tend to emphasize the positive when talking about the artists I've worked with over the years. Faith Hill always gets mentioned, but Greg Holland does not, even though he was a very talented guy. (WSIX Nashville morning man Gerry House co-wrote Greg's first single, "Let Me Drive," with mega hit songwriter Bob DiPiero. One day I ran into Gerry on the street. When he asked me about how I thought the single would do, I predicted a top 10. I was way wrong.)

With that in mind, here are five acts you may or may not remember and that were pretty much never heard from again. I worked with all of them. Draw your own conclusions.

  • Chris Ward
  • Lace
  • Crawford West
  • Regina Regina
  • James Prosser

Here's another list. Folks I worked with that had some level of success and may still be around in some way, shape or form. Or in they are in Canada.

  • Anita Cochran
  • Chris Cummings
  • Paul Brandt
  • Brady Seals
  • Chalee Tennison
  • Michael Peterson
And finally here's the group of artists that had success before I worked with them, but not after. Go figure.
  • Lila McCann
  • Mark Collie
I cast no dispersions on any of these folk's talent. I can't sing a lick and have never written a song in my life. I'm just saying that when it came to country stardom, it didn't happen for them.

I also worked with Victoria Shaw. While she didn't achieve the solo stardom I know she wanted, she's had major success as a songwriter ("The River," which Garth Brooks recorded) and more recently as the co-producer of one of my favorite acts, Lady Antebellum.

So there.
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1 comment:

  1. Good post, Ken. I think that the artists who should have had recognition and didn't are the heartbreakers of working in the music business. How many times has your heart sunk when it all started to go to hell?