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Introducing Ragsdale
By Gary Voorhies - CMA Close Up News Service
Courtesy of Lyric Street Records

Growing up in the picturesque Mississippi towns of Natchez and Vicksburg in a home without a television, siblings Joshua and Shi-Anne Ragsdale learned to entertain one another with music.

Now, as the duo Ragsdale, they're ready to entertain the rest of the world. Joshua and Shi-Anne began playing music as children in their father's church and each eventually found individual favorites; Country artists Lyle Lovett and Don Williams for Joshua, pop and gospel singers Anita Baker and CeCe Winans for Shi-Anne.

A life in showbiz wasn't the first plan for either of them. When the family eventually moved to Atlanta in 1995, Shi-Anne set her sights on becoming a nurse. Joshua decided to pursue golf, having earned a scholarship from Georgia Tech.

Dissatisfied, Shi-Anne moved to Nashville to try her hand at music. She made some progress, but had to return home in 1997 to have a suspicious uterine tumor removed. The day she came home from the hospital, Joshua fell from the back of a truck and broke his neck, jaw and wrist, ending his golf ambitions. The pair found themselves immobile on adjacent sofas while their parents nursed them both back to health.

When Shi-Anne finally returned to Nashville, it was with Joshua in tow. The two began to write together and eventually landed a publishing deal, snaring cuts by Hal Ketchum ("As Long As You Love Me") and Trick Pony ("Rain").

Ragsdale signed to Lyric Street Records in 2001 and Jeff Balding produced their debut album featuring the single, "I'm Glad It Was You."

Who is your musical hero?
JOSHUA: "Fred Eaglesmith."
SHI-ANNE: "Fred Eaglesmith."
Which song would you secretly like to cover?
JOSHUA: "I Got My Mind Set On You," (written by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy).
SHI-ANNE: "I Love You Just The Way You Are," (written by Billy Joel).

What book is on your nightstand right now?
JOSHUA: "John Eldredge's Wild At Heart."
SHI-ANNE: "God Calling."

What do you sing in the shower?
JOSHUA: "Hollaback Girl."
SHI-ANNE: "Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone"

What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
JOSHUA: "Morgan Freeman."
SHI-ANNE: "I only wish Audrey Hepburn were still around."

What song do you wish you had written?
JOSHUA: "Mark D. Sander's 'Considerin.'"
SHI-ANNE: "Johnny Lang's 'Breaking Me.'"

What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
JOSHUA: "Bring it!"
SHI-ANNE: "Yes, I have a boyfriend (even though I don't)."

Which mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or automobiles?
JOSHUA: "My eardrum ruptures when I fly, trains don't stop at Cracker Barrel, so I'd say my Dodge 4x4."
SHI-ANNE: "Trains."

Who is your dream duet partner?
JOSHUA: "My late grandfather, C.D. Freeman."
SHI-ANNE: "Michael McDonald."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
JOSHUA: "He was a Godly man, a gentleman and the second best Governor Mississippi ever had."
SHI-ANNE: "She was faith personified."

On the Web: www.lyricstreet.com

2005 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.



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