Gulf Coast Records
Current album: Big
When you talk about art imitating life, there is no better example than striking newcomer Glenn Cummings.
Big is the title of his new album and it is certainly the most appropriate adjective to describe him -- not just his talent -- but also his stature. His bio states that the handsome, 6' 5" artist has his feet firmly planted in the ground. After finding out that he wears size 16 double E, custom made cowboy boots; being firmly planted anywhere is a definite given. But despite his daunting size, he is an utterly charming, gentle and unpretentious man with a quick laugh and self-effacing sense of humor.
Cummings began performing, with his brother and mother, at the age of seven as a country music trio. He also sang professionally throughout his school years on a variety of television shows. Just out of his teens, he launched a solo career and he began touring and recording down in Florida. He has since opened for some of the biggest names in country music but these days, he is his own headliner and he hopes that his music will inspire others to follow their dreams.
He says he went through about three hundred songs to find the eleven that will be on his new album and he has a unique listening method. Although he is an accomplished songwriter himself, he says, "There are an abundance of songwriters pitching their songs and you are always looking for that one special song that connects with you or that you can identify with in a different way." As a devout four wheeler, he spends most of his weekends riding and has found that, for him, donning a head set while he rides is his best way to listen to new material. When he first heard the demo of "Big," he says he knew when he "stopped riding to rewind the tape for the fiftieth time", that this was a song he wanted to record. "It is a song about relationships and their relevancy to the word 'big.' As in big chance, big commitment", Cummings says, and he believes "the song has what it takes to be a big hit."
He had always had a love of all music but that changed when he heard Garth Brooks for the first time. He said that Brooks is what really influenced him to concentrate on country music and now he is confident that it is where he belongs. He studied the music and studied Garth and when he felt he was ready, he put his $45 budget in his pocket and headed to Nashville hoping to be signed by a label. But every time he performed, he heard the same thing, "You're really good. You sound great. In fact, you sound like Garth Brooks but Garth Brooks is already here. What else do you do?" The other question most labels asked was, "what dues have you paid?" Cummings says, "I didn't even know what they meant back then but seven years later, now I'm here and I've paid my dues, in fact, I'm still paying them." "But it's definitely worth it" he continues, "the fans have been wonderful to me. In fact, I had to leave a long line of folks at my booth to come up here to do interviews." He reflects for a moment and smiles. "They said they will wait until I come back so they can get a photo or an autograph and the coolest thing is that I know they will. It's so exciting for me. The fans are the best and they are so loyal. It's humbling."
When asked what his wife and children think about his career he told us that they are extremely supportive. His daughters are ages four and six and they have a little stage set up at home and they do karaoke to all of his songs. "They are so cute," he says "I really wish I could have brought them with me but they are a little too young yet. Maybe next year" He says that both of his daughters enjoy singing but he thinks the oldest might end up being a songwriter as well. While getting ready to go on a trip, she approached him and said, "Daddy, before you leave can you help me? I have words in my head." He says that she is too young to know how to write so he got a pen and paper and sat down with her and wrote as she dictated the words. That evening when he called from the hotel to let his wife know he had safely arrived, and to tell his children goodnight, his daughter asked, "Daddy do you have my words with you?" "Yes," he replied, "Mommy put them in my suitcase." Then his daughter asked, "Can you put my words to tunes for me, Daddy? I don't know how to do that yet." He says he got so choked up that he could barely speak and I'm certain that is true. The genuine affection he feels for his wife and children is clearly evident when he speaks of them.
His other passion is also clearly evident; entertaining. He says, "I was born to entertain." After sitting down and talking with him for a half an hour and listening to his new song, I believe him. He has the talent, charisma, personality, and looks downright awesome in a cowboy hat. Trust me, it isn't just his 6' 5" frame that is going to keep him heads above a lot of his peers.
The title song from the album Big was released to radio on June 15 and the album will be on store shelves early in the fall. Glenn Cummings is an extraordinary artist who has lived a fascinating life. To learn more about his unique up-bringing, his former acting roles, his childhood commercials (remember that Stretch Armstrong doll?), be sure to visit
www.gccountry.com. Tell him CSO sent you.
Feature article by Cheryl Harvey Hill