Sherrie Austin Interview
She was a child star in her native Australia who grew up surrounded by
the music of Skeeter Davis and Dolly Parton.
By the time she was 14, she was opening for Johnny Cash’s 1985 Australian
At 17, she landed the role of Pippa McKenna on “The Facts Of Life” t.v.
These days she’s a regular performer at fairs and festivals from
coast to coast.
Q – In one of your earliest bios. You said, “I moved to Nashville
to write. I didn’t even think about getting a record deal”.
How hard was it to get inside the doors of publishing cos? Did you think
about the competition you’d face?
A – I didn’t think about it when I moved here. I just had a
feeling it was the right thing to do. I figured out I would just have to
write a lot and knock on a lot of doors and eventually one would open. I
signed with Wrensong Publishing 3 months after I moved here. I was pretty
lucky to get one (a publishing deal) that quick but of course it was during
the (Country) boom. Nashville was making a lot of money at the time so it
actually wasn’t as tough then as it probably is now.
Q – You actually lived in Los Angeles before
A – Yes. I moved with my whole family.
Q – Yet, you felt that in order to get a deal
as a Country artist you had to move to Nashville.
A – Yeah. I just felt that Nashville was the place for me and I just
wanted a new adventure. Go to a new town, start over and be a writer. They
had the best writers in the world here I think so that was part of the reason
for coming here.
Q – You met Will Rambeaux at an ASCAP Number One party and shortly
thereafter started writing with him. How’d you get the invitation
to a party like that and what exactly is a Number One party?
A – It was Faith Hill’s Number One for ‘Wild One’ at
ASCAP. A Number One Party for having a Number One record. A friend I was
staying with was going and asked me to come along. So, that’s how
I ended up going.
Q – Your mother was a singer as well?
A – No. She’s got a loud voice, but, she’s never been
a singer, not professionally. I’m the first one to do it as a job
in the family. But, my mother loves Country music, so I was very much influenced
by her and the records she played around the house.
Q – How’d you get Vince Gill to play
on your debut CD?
A – He sang actually on a song. I met him backstage at a concert
in L.A. and I said if I ever get a record deal in Nashville will you come
and sing with me? He said, ‘I’d love to’. We ended up
having the same manager so it was east to track him down.
Q – “The thing about Country Music is the lyrics. It tells
a story. It’s about human emotions and feelings”. Why do you
A – Well, I think Country music is just the genre for everyday people.
It’s about life, not that rock and pop isn’t. It just expresses
it in a different way. Country music isn’t as much about the groove.
It’s about what you’re actually saying. It’s kind of like
poetry with music because that’s where it was born from. It was born
from the everyday man who gets up and goes to work everyday. I think that’s
what makes it very unique and original. It’s very unique from any other
format in that sense.
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