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article imageInterview with country singer Sherry Lynn Special

By Adrian Peel     Oct 24, 2013 in Entertainment
Fresh from her duet with Crystal Gayle, and having sung the National Anthem at a large sporting event, the up-and-coming singer-songwriter is certainly living the dream - and then some. Digital Journal meets her.
Something of a 'late starter' in the music business, Sherry Lynn has since more than made up for lost time, singing "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of over 40,000 baseball fans - and Tim McGraw - in Philadelphia, sharing a stage with the likes of Miranda Lambert and Chris Young and most recently, duetting with country icon Crystal Gayle on a heartfelt tune entitled "Beautiful Life."
Dividing her time between New Jersey (her home state) and Nashville, the outgoing mother of five, who began her professional singing career opening for Sammy Kershaw in 2006 - after 'getting in' with renowned record producer Ted Hewitt - released her impressive debut album, A Beautiful Life, in June this year on the Steal Heart Music label.
"Well I've actually been recording a few Christmas songs," says the vivacious and very attractive lady of her recent activities, "which is kind of fun. I've been working with Crystal Gayle's son, Christos Gatzimos... We've been working in Crystal's studio, Audio 51 in Nashville, and getting ready to release a Christmas single, getting ready to shoot a video... It's gonna be called "Christmas on My Mind."
"One of the writers on the song, Sandy Ramos, she wrote "Let 'Er Rip" for the Dixie Chicks and a couple of Lee Greenwood songs and I'm pretty excited about it... She also co-wrote one of the songs on my new CD, "What a Day to Shake a Heartache."
Looking back on how the warm collaboration with the long-haired country legend that is Crystal Gayle came to fruition, Sherry states: "Well I opened for Crystal in 2008 at the historic Broadway Theatre right here in New Jersey, in a little town called Pitman.
"It was amazing when they called me and asked me to open for her. I was like, 'Oh my God, yeah!' because I've adored Crystal my entire life. I mean her sister Loretta Lynn is the whole reason I started singing country music to begin with, so to open for Crystal was a huge honour.
"After the show, Crystal sat around and talked to us for a while and I ran into her a couple of years later in Nashville. We decided that we were gonna do something together and it took us about a year to find the perfect song. I really didn't want anything that had to do with a guy or anything like that.
"I wanted something positive and when we came across 'Beautiful Life,' Sherrill Blackman, a song-plugger in Nashville, had given us that song and Danny Wells, one of the songwriters, had written 'Check Yes Or No' for George Strait and some hits for Rascal Flatts... I was like, 'Yeah okay, this is cool!'
"When I was listening to 'Beautiful Life' it just had such a positive, uplifting message and with all the bad that's going on in the world nowadays, it's like you kind of want to have something that's positive out there...
"So, we sent it over to Bill (Gatzimos - Crystal's husband) and Crystal and they liked it and next thing you know, we were going into Crystal's studio and my producer, Ted Hewitt - he also produces Rodney Atkins - and Crystal's son Christos, he engineered the session and co-produced the song with Ted, so that was awesome... and me and Crystal were in the studio together and she was kind of mentoring me."
Following the success of the sessions and the solid relationship that subsequently sprang up between these two very accomplished vocalists, Crystal then invited Sherry to sing the song with her on stage at The Grand Ole Opry, no less.
"Yes, that was June 29th this summer," remembers Sherry. "I had had a CD release party in Nashville and Crystal was there and that weekend she was going to be on the Opry and she brought me out to sing the duet with her, which was just the most amazing night of my life because that was my dream, ever since I was a little girl, to sing on the Grand Ole Opry. Crystal is on a roll making my dreams come true!"
"I'd always wanted to sing at a sporting event," reveals the talented Ms. Lynn, recalling her other proudest achievement to date, "so being able to do the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park in front of 45,000 people, that was a highlight!"
"I was a nervous wreck," she continues. "At the time, Milt Thompson was the hitting coach and he came knocking on my door at 11 o' clock the night before. I had just got back from a radio tour and he's like, 'We need a National Anthem singer, can you do it?' I'm like, 'Okay, I can do this, no problem...'
"So I'm in the basement in my little studio practising until three in the morning, making sure everything's right, and I get over to the ballpark the next day and we go out and we do a sound check and Christine, the girl who's in charge of all the entertainment there, she goes, 'That was great... did anybody tell you that Tim McGraw is throwing the opening pitch of the game?'
"Now all I could think of was: 'Oh my God, I have to sing in front of Tim McGraw!' So that was a little bit more nerve-racking than I ever could have imagined, but it went well and then afterwards Tim and I posed for a photo."
As highlighted in the first paragraph, Sherry, an independent artist who seems to finds herself rubbing shoulders with some of country music's biggest names on a fairly regular basis, has opened for artists such as Miranda Lambert and Chris Young, as well as for other superstars like LeAnn Rimes.
"Yeah, and The Oak Ridge Boys and BJ Thomas and Gene Watson - I've opened for so many legends... But as much as I love opening for the newer acts, like Randy Houser, opening for the legends, for me, that is the most incredible experience because you know what? They're still out touring, they've got staying power. They're the ones that I want to learn from."
"I'd love to tour the country," concludes the contented star, filling me in on her other ambitions now that she has crossed performing at the Grand Ole Opry and singing at a major sporting event off her list. "I would love to go on a tour all over the place - and to other countries - and play my music for as many people as I can get to listen to it!"
The album A Beautiful Life is out now.
For more information, visit Sherry Lynn's official website.
More about sherry lynn, crystal gayle, Country music, the grand ole opry, USA
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