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article imageColorado's own Joey Canyon discuses 'The Joey Canyon Show' Special

By Adrian Peel     Jun 4, 2016 in Music
Veteran singer/songwriter Joey Canyon has lived in the Centennial State for over 40 years (he was born in California) and presents his own country music and variety television programme from his adopted hometown of Denver. Digital Journal meets him.
Heavily Influenced by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, Vern Gosdin, Alan Jackson and Frank Sinatra, Canyon's best known musical moment is 1991's "Take My Money," a song the former child prodigy (he began playing guitar at the age of 11) wrote and produced.
His TV show airs on Friday nights on RFD-TV and has recently been extended from half an hour to an hour. Upcoming guests include Moe Bandy, Jennifer McCarter and Wynn Varble. RFD-TV uses clips of the show on their website and social media and Mr. Canyon also utilises social media to engage viewers and increase the brand.
How are you? What have you been doing recently?
"I'm great. I went to a dinner party last night that Kirt Webster threw to show his appreciation for his clients, of which I am one. I'm also in the middle of preparing to shoot some footage for the new season. This will include brand new openings for the show and interviews for the second season as well. It's never-ending."
Who have been your most memorable guests? Who would you like to have on in the future?
"Well to be fair, every one of my guests has been memorable because they are all legends, for the most part. When you're talking about getting the Moe Bandys and the Janie Frickes, the Jeannie Seelys and the T.G. Sheppards, they're just wonderful artists who have become good friends of mine. They're genuine and that’s what my show is. It's unpretentious and we have fun - and we do real country music.
"And the ones I'm looking forward to having on is a wide swath, from the Oak Ridge Boys to Kenny Rogers... We'd love to have Dolly of course, and the Bellamys. These particular artists are everybody's favourite and we're working on getting them.
"I talked to Collin Raye last night and he's real excited. Crystal Gayle is an old friend of mine and we're going to get her on. The list just keeps growing of people that really want to be on the show, and I'm real proud about that."
Joey Canyon and his backing band  The Blistered Keisters  perform on the show.
Joey Canyon and his backing band, The Blistered Keisters, perform on the show.
Webster PR
The show is broadcast from Colorado. What is it in your opinion that makes the Centennial State special?
"Anybody that knows Colorado would say the beauty, to begin with. There are certain places that will literally take your breath away. The weather is outstanding and most people don't realise that we have over 300 days of sun. Of course everybody's first thought is skiing. Well there is skiing - and it's some of the best in the world - but you're also talking about our summer recreation. It's absolutely fantastic; the hunting, fishing, biking...
"Those are all wonderful but for me, when I moved there 41 years ago, the first month I was there I knew I wasn't moving back to my hometown because there's a strong sense of community and brotherhood. I guess you would call Denver a major city now, but to me the philosophy of the people there still keeps it kind of like a small town, believe it or not. That sense of community is very important to me and that's what we reflect in the show."
How did the programme first come about? Who devised the concept and the special features?
"How the show came to be was somewhat remarkable. I was sitting on the couch four years ago and happened to be watching TV, flipping through 300+ channels and not finding anything worth watching. I sat back and said, 'Lord, is there anybody who can produce a show now that's entertaining?'
"His voice said to me loud and clear: 'You're going to do it' and that's how it started. I have a background of course in music and a business background because I've owned my own company. I know the accounting part, I know the legal part - everything. Little did I know that all of that was schooling for me to do this show.
"In my head I envisioned the set and how it was going to look; the very comfortable atmosphere and the almost unscripted show. I wanted it that way. I didn't want a canned show like you see sometimes and I wanted people to turn it on to kinda just be there with us, having a good time."
I understand The Joey Canyon Show is aimed at older viewers. Why do you think the over-45s are often ignored by the TV companies?
"Well first of all, my friend, I don't think it's totally geared to that demographic. I think those that love good entertainment and good music cover the spectrum. If you see the ratings of the show, we have a presence there of younger people aged 18 and above - and I'm really happy to see that.
"But then there are the over 50s, who make up most of our audience. They like the real country from the old days and when they see these guests of mine on the show, it's like seeing an old friend because they remember when you could hear them on the radio.
"I think that's a big draw for them. It certainly is for me because I'm a fan too, even though I'm an artist. I look at my show as really covering the spectrum. I think good old-fashioned entertainment doesn't have a demographic and I think those who like it like it because they're being entertained."
Please tell me more about your musical background and about your current album The Rhythm of Livin'. How would you define your sound?
"That's a good question because throughout my career, people have said I sound like everybody from Randy Travis to George Strait to Vern Gosdin and Alan Jackson. That's great because all of those are favourites of mine...
"My style is what I grew up on. My dad loved country music and my mother loved the crooners like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. I started singing at eight years old but as I got older and started to try to write songs and things like that, what came out was country. I call myself a country crooner because it's the best of both worlds.
"In my early years I sang all the cover songs of the day and tried to at least sound like the artists. That's okay but you don't really find your own style. So I eventually said, 'You know what? I'm just going to sound like me and whatever comes out, comes out.' That's indicative of The Rhythm of Livin' and my other album, Canyon Country. It's just me singing me."
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond?
"I have other ideas for some new shows. They wouldn't necessarily star me because, believe me, with one television show you spread yourself pretty thinly when you're the executive producer and editor. But I'd like to have a number of shows on television that provide good entertainment for the viewers out there. And I have special events that I'd like to do and sponsor... What those are yet we're not sure, but there's lots of fun stuff going on."
The Joey Canyon Show is on every Friday evening at 8 p.m. Mountain Time, 10 p.m. Eastern, and can be viewed on Comcast, Direct TV and Dish on the RFD-TV network. The show can also be seen via live stream on the official RFD-TV website.
For more on Joey Canyon, visit his official website.
More about joey canyon, the joey canyon show, Country music, waylon jennings, moe bandy
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