I’m sure a lot of you will agree that it’s always great to hear about a newly formed association aimed at promoting and preserving traditional country music, alongside specifically advocating for women in the industry, and that is exactly what music-business veteran Don Meehan had in mind earlier this year when he returned to his native state of Texas.
Growing up in Beaumont , Don regularly competed in talent shows alongside fellow Texan George Jones ( often winning, too!!) and country music has always been his passion. Over the years Don’s career saw him working mostly within the pop music market, including as a singer in New York City and also producing Bob Dylan’s album “ Desire” and sound engineering/mixing Simon and Garfunkel’s “ Sounds of Silence” during a 32 year stint at Columbia Records. But he always kept a close eye on what was happening with his first love, country music , noticing a shift away from the genre’s “ basics”, including the use of traditional instrumentation. Now back in Beaumont he wants to help recapture the sound he fell in love with and also locate venues for it starting with a possible Opry-style one locally, and is striving to find a place for it within the ever evolving country music industry worldwide.
With all this in mind, he has formed the non-profit Global Country Music Association, gathering together like minded people, many of whom are industry insiders like him, to be on its board of directors. The board includes several women, with Don recognising that they have too often been pushed aside by Nashville, something that we are seeking to address here at Belles and Gals too, of course!
Within the board is the association’s Ambassadors committee, co-chaired by Keilah Bee McDonald and Christi Legend, who’s job it is to offer the role of GCMA ambassador to those men and women they consider best help promote the causes that the association stands for. The first to be asked was a name I’m sure is familiar with most of you, established singer/songwriter Brandy Clark who as well as her many talents is passionate about advocating for women in country music…..here she is sharing her thoughts about one of her biggest influences and performing her favourite song of all time……
Other artists who have accepted roles as ambassadors include independent Californian based artist Katie Knipp who’s passion for Americana/Blues shows no sign of waning despite being a working mother to two young boys (her 5th studio album “ Take It With You” was released recently ) and Janelle Arthur. Janelle is a multi-talented singer/songwriter/actress who reached the finals of season 12 of American Idol and who will be performing at the Association’s first event early next year……look out for our interview with her coming soon, meanwhile here’s her latest single “Runnin’ From My Roots”, the title track from the recently released movie in which she stars
Oh and I must add that I was honoured to be asked to be the first Global Ambassador by the Association, in recognition for my work here on this site and for my support in general for female country artists!
With the GCMA in its infancy I know Don and the entire board would appreciate all the support it can get and which it deserves, so please give it a follow on twitter (@GlobalCMA2) and FB (Global Country Music Association) and watch out for its website which is currently under construction.
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)