Eddie London Interview

Here's a guy who has really paid his dues in country music. Eddie London has sung harmony and played bass for people like Kitty Wells and Red Sovine. He's sung lead vocals on demos of songs that went on to become hits for George Strait, Reba McEntire and The Oak Ridge Boys. He moved to Nashville in 1978, hoping to catch a break. That break has arrived with Eddie London's debut album on RCA/BMG Records, titled "Do It Right."

We might also add that Eddie used to live in Rome, New York.

Q. Eddie, since you lived so close to Syracuse at one time, did you ever have the chance to visit here?
A. Sure did. I worked the Syra­cuse War Memorial one time when I was in the sixth grade. My older brother Jerry, we used to sing and get booked on local shows and kind of had a decent little record out that we came to Nashville and did. We'd get put on some major shows, just from being local little stars, cute kids, whatever. Faron Young agreed we could be on the show one night, and we worked the Syracuse War Me­morial. We did about two or three songs with him, used his band. Since then, you know, I know Faron real well, and we've talked about it a couple of times.

Q. What year would that have been?
A. I'm gonna call it "68. Between that and 70.

Q. How long did you live in Rome, N.Y.?
A. It was about three and a half years.

Q. Was there ever a time when you thought that a solo career was just not going to happen for you, and that you might as well be as happy as you can, being a sideman for somebody else?
A. You know, I've come too close to feeling that, and it's funny that you would even know to ask that ques­tion. It's so funny to have that feeling of what can I do today to progress? Who can I call? What contact can I make? It's almost like the fear of drowning, to know that you want something so bad, and know that you're ready, whether you are or not, tired of the road, as far as pushing somebody else's band and ego along. You want your own thing so bad, not to the point where you're cocky, but you just want it. It’s now or never. They say that's the fire you need. The old eye of the tiger. I sold my bass and amp and got off the road. That way, I couldn't take jobs. I just stayed in touch with writers, singing demos and delivered yellow pages with the Bronco I bought and drove a dump truck, bused tables. It's the strangest thing busing tables, not that it's a bad thing, because it takes all kinds in this world. But to have in your mind what you want to do, it'll kind of bring you back down to earth.

Q. There must be a lot of people in Nashville trying to do what you've done.
A. Yeah. It's really nice to live here and see and meet people that have the same feeling that I do. I'm the first person to help anybody that I feel is deserving, and who's not out just for the dollar, and what kind of car they can drive this time next year. It goes a little deeper than that. There's a family here. It's kind of like being an in-law. It's hard to be ac­cepted. But once you are, and peo­ple see you, you've paid your dues, you've been around, and you're se­rious — the competition is stiff, until that happens to you. It's a different town for me, 'cause it turns around so quick. But yes, chances are the people that pumped my gas today are a singer or songwriter.

Q. Let's talk about the C.M.A. (Country Music Awards) Show. How does winning an award there help your career?
A. Well, I believe there's two eyes to that, the eye of the public and the eyes of your peers. Hopefully, in the eyes of your peers, they can say well, I think he deserved it, and I'm glad he got it. Business wise it ups your paycheck a lot. It's another feather in your hat, which I hope to have a lot of those. I mean, I want them. In the eyes of the public, it's like, wow, my person won, kind of like the Senator you vote for wins. It's just knowing that you helped. Country music is a family thing.

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