TIM BLAZER - Tim is a native born Texan who has been playing music for over sixty years. At the age of fifteen, Tim heard some musicians playing music in a park in Tyler, Texas. He proceeded to purchase himself a guitar from Sears & Roebuck and returned to the park to have the musicians teach him how to play "this thing." This was the beginning of Tim's love for and career in music. Later Tim began to take an interest in the bass guitar and invested in a bull bass. From there he started to receive job offers and eventually formed his own band, The Tyler Ramblers. After many hours of practice, Tim and his band began to play on the radio station KTBB. Shortly after, The Tyler Ramblers began to play in surrounding towns in the East Texas area. Tim made contact with Kit Smith of Big Springs Jamboree at the conclusion of WWII. Kit backed such stars as Leon Payne and George Jones. Mr. Smith saw that Tim had talent and offered him a job working with these same great artists. While playing at the Hometown Jamboree in Houston, Texas, Tim met and began playing for Billy Gray. Also, Tim has played with Leroy Stafford and the Texas Sounds at Panther Hall Annex Bar and locally on channel 11 television. Several years later Howard Crockett encouraged Tim to start another band. So the Western Blazers were created and Ray Brandenburg was hired to be the lead vocalist and guitarist. With the talent of the musicians and Ray's crowd catching voice the band continued for eighteen years. The band played all over Texas with a prestigious run of ninety-seven weeks at the Finish Line Club in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1976, Tim dissolved the Western Blazers and began to pursue other ventures. Many years later Tim met up with Ray Brandenburg again. Ray was still playing and writing songs and working with his manager Rose Jeffus. This encounter caused Tim to want to begin playing as a team with Ray once more. For the last two years under the direction of manager, Rose Jeffus, Tim and Ray have had many opportunities to play together and are continuing to build a fan base. The future for Tim, as one of the finest bass players in the state, will produce many new and exciting avenues for him to follow. Tim has always said "Let me play my music, and I'll be the happiest man alive!" It is his life's ambition to help those who truly need help.
MIKE CONNER - Currently on the Board of Directors for FWSA, Mike has been playing the piano since he was about 5 years old. Playing and composing by ear, he began recording in high school with a reel to reel tape recorder, continuing to present day technology with a few professional studios in between. Mike has recorded songs for numerous occasions, with a few rare live performances in between. Although a majority of his songs are instrumentals designed for TV and movie backgrounds, a few have lyrics. “Don’t ask me to sing ‘em though,” he laughs. “I’m not a singer.” When asked what has helped him the most in his music career, he responds, “Definitely FWSA. There is so much to learn and the networking and information available through this association is invaluable.” He is currently working on a studio CD that will be entitled “Finally.”
JOE CRUZ - Joe was born on September 7, 1946, on a farm near Caldwell, TX, but he wasn’t alone. He had a twin brother named Jessie. All in all, Joe had 11 siblings (3 sets of twins). He wrote his first song while raking hay on a John Deere tractor. Guess you could say he was country. He must have been around 14 yrs old. When he was 15, he joined a band from Bryan, TX, called Johnny and the Diamonds. After a couple of years, he formed his own band “The Romans”. They played country, soul, and popular music of the 60’s in dancehalls all over Central Texas. After a stint in the Air Force, he ended up in Houston and started Joe Cruz and the Cruisers in 1969. He signed with Gilley’s during the Urban Cowboy days and when his contract was up, he moved to Ft Worth in 1984. A few years later, he met with a dozen or so people in the back room of the White Elephant Saloon and they talked about forming the Fort Worth Songwriters’ Association. With his friend Bob Bryan, Joe pushed until they gained 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Bob and Joe wrote quite a few songs too. Joe is retired now, but still love to write and help young writers learn the art. You can find his CD at www.cdbaby.com/joehenrycruz .
RANDY "FLASH" GALBREATH - Randy has been playing music for as long as he can remember. Music has always been his therapy. Playing in bands has always been a part of his soul. He writes from what his heart feels, and life's experiences. His songs are about his my loves, family, and the home he dearly cherishes. His songs are not written for acceptance or to feel special, but to let people know how blessed and special we already are. You can find him on Facebook (flash) or www.reverbnation.com/flashsongs.
THEODORE A. HENNING II - Theodore A Henning II is a self-styled folk artist; musician and singer who lives in Texas. His musical interests span several genre for which he writes his original music and compositions. His complete bio and discography can be viewed at http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/theodoreahenningii. Follow his ruminations at www.theodoreahenningii.wordpress.com.
ALLEN HURT - Allen Hurt has been entertaining music fans since an early age and has written over 1500 original country and bluegrass songs, some never recorded. Known for wearing the traditional rhinestone suits and singing with a unique high lonesome tenor voice that would become his trademark sound. Over the years, Allen’s music has gained airplay on radio stations throughout the US and Europe. His career would cross paths with music legends such as Ray Price, who Allen toured with and shared the stage for many years along with other greats like Gene Watson, Bobby Bare, Del McCoury and his long time mentor Porter Wagoner. His musical talents have earned him the Gatesville Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame Entertainer Of The Year for 2013 and Male Vocalist Of The Year for 2014 and Male Vocalist of the year for 2015. Continuing to write songs and play the Country music he loves, Allen proudly performs today with his band “The Mountain Showmen” and is a Inductee into the Gatesville Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame for his many years of traditional country music performances and dedication to his craft as an entertainer, Member of the Country Music Association (CMA) and is also an honorary member of the Fort Worth Songwriters Association, For information about Allen, go to www.allenhurt.com or www.youtube.com/allenhurt.
DOUG MACKENZIE - Doug was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX, and got an early taste for show business during a brief but impressive 2 week run on the popular children’s TV show “Romper Room”. He attended high school in Poway, Ca. and became life long friends with John Dearman of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet as well as “Ranger” Rick Duke and Kenny Anderson of the Duke Anderson Band. Doug got a late start in music, focusing more on sports while growing yup until he heard the Allman Brothers Band “Live at Fillmore East” record in 1972. “That changed everything.” He started playing music and writing songs during his time in the Army after leaving high school and hasn’t stopped since, playing in various bands around the north Texas and southern Oklahoma area after his discharge from the service and return to north Texas. He appeared in two different productions of Harry Chapin’s “Cotton Patch Gospel” for the Sherman Theater off the Square in Sherman, TX before moving back to the Fort Worth area several years ago. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology f5rom the University of North Texas and his Masters Degree in counseling and assessment from Southeastern Oklahoma State. He currently resides in Weatherford and teaches science and life skills at the disciplinary campus for the Weatherford ISD. Doug currently plays locally with “BlueFish” as well as playing at the FWSA open mic and other special events, and has recently begun appearing at the Groovy Goods open mic every 4th Friday. He has written a book of poetry, “Death of these Leaves”, and two novels, “Letters from Texas” and Jacob’s Revelation,” all currently available on Amazon Kindle. The Duke Anderson band recorded his song “Fallen Warriors” for ther debut CD, “About Time”, and is recording his song “One More Step” for their follow up CD “Wanderlust”, due out in 2015.
JAMES MARVIN NITSCHKE - James is originally from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, but came to Texas back in 1978. He has always been involved in music and began playing his first instrument, the ukulele at age 10 years old. After that, James was hooked on music and now he plays over 10 different instruments including; ukulele, guitar, accordion, and banjo. His early influences in music was Ricky Nelson and his father, Marvin Nitschke, who was also a professional musician. He began songwriting when he was around 20 years old and continues to this day. James performs at various venues around the area. He specializes in 1930 to 1970 cowboy songs and enjoys sharing his music in live performances. James is presently on the Board of Directors for the Fort Worth Songwriters' Association and plays live at every live venue he can with the organization. James is available for bookings and can be contacted at 817-300-8302.
ROB OWEN - Rob has a multi-faceted music background. He began his songwriting career in the 1980s, and has had many opportunities to perform his original songs, while stationed in foreign countries with the US Army -- including many German festivals. He also performed for the troops in Baghdad, Iraq, as a U.S. Contractor. He now lives in Burleson, TX and is President of the Fort Worth Songwriters' Association. He has performed with Grammy Award Winner, Brad Davis, served as a judge during the "Cowboy Idol" contest in Fort Worth with Justin Frazell, television host of "Lone Star Roads", and was interviewed and appeared twice on the live radio program "Music Scene Live". Several of his songs were featured and played on KFYN 1420AM, "The Warrior" and "The Bill Rainey Show" radio program, NBRN-FM, out of Nashville, TN. His songs "Send You Home" and "I'm Going Back to Texas" were also selected in the top ten of the "Ruby Almond Songwriter Contest". For more info on Rob's music, go to his website at www.6stringentertainment.biz, www.reverbnation.com/robowen or check out his single "Send You Home" on CD on www.cdbaby.com/cd/robowen12.
SHARI RAYE - First and foremost ShariRaye is honored & humbled to play God’s music. She longs for all his people to be saved and healed. She is a member of ICGMA, BMI, GMA, ICM, STGMA, CGMA, and GMAA. ShariRaye has competed in rodeos and barrel races for over 40 years. She trained barrel racing futurity colts for over 15 years, and rode outside horses and trained barrel horses for over 30 years. She nearly died at 18 months old of a severe infection from the mumps, which caused infections to other organs. She was in P ICU for many days. She was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer and skin cancer in December of 2000. ShariRaye had a biopsy and doctors said it was malignant. Everyone prayed and all her prayer warriors prayed, and she was miraculously healed! After surgery & tests, all results came back negative. The devil has been trying to get rid of her since she was born. Since 2000 and being healed, getting her life right, ShariRaye is totally committed to writing songs and singing and playing for the Lord. She has been an avid songwriter and around music all her life. Through the many years, she has submitted songs in Nashville to Freddie Weese, Arthur Thomas, Dick Shuey, DJ Fontana, and others. They wrote back, saying “stay tuned to your feelings, keep working at it, and we feel you will definitely make it”. And she has done just that! Her mother was Hawaiian from Oahu, and taught her at a young age to play the Ukelele, dance the hula, write songs, and sing. All of her mom’s family played and sang, her uncle Buck played steel guitar with recording artist Don Ho. Many of her dad’s family played piano, organ and sang. ShariRaye then started learning to play the 6 string guitar by ear, learning chords, and teaching herself to pick the guitar strings by constant repetition. She then advanced to 12 string guitar in high school. She started writing songs and singing at a young age. ShariRaye plays ukelele, acoustic electric , 6 string and 12 string. She also plays percussion. When ShariRaye writes, she does it all. Words, medley and guitar. She is a TRUE singer, songwriter, and musician. She has played 12 string guitar, and 6 string acoustic, and sang at Christian Cowboy Fellowship Church , Lone Star Cowboy Church, Fellowship Of Christian Cowboy meetings, Rodeos, Trinity Church, Lubbock, Texas, Various churches, ABC Rodeo, and Cowboys For Christ meetings, Praise Fests, GMAA convention, Washington Street Baptist Church, and Gospel Jams. Wherever he leads, she will follow……Shari prays, that the songs the Lord has given her, will touch you, save you, heal you and minister to your hearts. For more information, visit her at https://shariraye.org, https://www.facebook.com/rayeshari, or http://www.reverbnation.com/shariraye.
MEL STRAIT - “I started playing guitar at age 7. It’s hard to know exactly when I wrote my first song. I suppose that depends on how one interprets the definition of writing”. Juggling multiple career objectives has always just been part of the game as Mel Strait performed musically, worked radio and TV, and eventually settled into academia. Along a career path almost as crooked as an Arkansas country road, there were several near misses with mainstream music success, opportunities to focus on announcing, and a lot of personal satisfaction producing television programming and guiding students to successful careers of their own in TV. Through it all, music has been the thread that stitched the pieces together. The writing has expanded to include music beds for commercials, soundtracks for presentations and programs as well as traditional songs to be performed live or heard in recordings. “With all the changes in the technology of music, keeping up can alter the focus of a serious musician.” Although commercial success has eluded Mel for now, opportunities are always just around the corner. He is convinced his years of networking will eventually offer him lucrative commercial opportunities.
GUS A. WOLMAN, III - Gus was born in 1950, an Army brat, on Guam, in the Marianas Islands. One of three children, Gus traveled the United States and the globe as a military dependent, accompanying his parents to places like Alaska, Hong Kong, the Philipines and Japan, while also living in 11 States before he enrolled in Texas A&M University, in 1968. As a child, Gus flourished as an athlete. His travels allowed him to box competitively as well as to play Rugby, basketball, soccer, badmitton, ping-pong and softball. Gus was constantly exposed to music of all types from Sinatra to Wynette (he has a special fondness for the Texas Aggie “War Hymn”). He learned to play guitar at age 12 and sang and played in a number of bands including Pop, Rock, and Soul while growing up. Life was not always easy. Gus has battled alcoholism, drug addiction, and compulsive gambling. He has lost two wives and many relationships and friendships in the process, along with most everything that meant anything. But he was ”re-born” in June 2004, while living on 23 acres near Gainesville, Texas and attending the New Life Bible Church (Ben Averitt, Pastor). Now a believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ, Gus continues his fight with the help of the Lord and his church family. In 2000, while attending to his very ill father, Gus' dad encouraged him to write songs and to get out and perform them. At this point, Gus found the FWSA and began growing another “family” that loved music as much as he did. Gus has been a strong supporter of FWSA ever since. For more info on Gus, please go to www. wccmp. com/bios/ gusW_bio. Html.WINNERS CIRCLE COUNTRY MUSIC PUBLISHING - What would happen if somebody came along and said, “I love people and I love music, and I'm gonna start a company where we shoot straight pool?” As president of WCCMP, Gus' primary responsibility is number one, to the Lord, Jesus Christ, and to every person working or associated with our company. Our label and publishing company stands for professionalism, honesty, integrity, loyalty and the desire to succeed. Our goal, daily, is to conduct business in a Christian like fashion. We play by the rules . . . but we play to be winners! Our people strive to provide a vehicle whereby a talented person with great desire can succeed. We honestly hope to help every person that we touch in some way. To learn more about Winners Circle County Music Publishing, Marketing and Promotions, please go to www.wccmp.com.