By Gary Voorhies
- CMA Close
Up News Service
Photographer: Courtesy of
Lyric Street Records
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.
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
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.
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.
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").
signed to Lyric Street Records in 2001 and Jeff Balding produced
their debut album featuring the single, "I'm Glad It Was
THEIR OWN WORDS:
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).
book is on your nightstand right now?
JOSHUA: "John Eldredge's Wild At Heart."
SHI-ANNE: "God Calling."
do you sing in the shower?
JOSHUA: "Hollaback Girl."
SHI-ANNE: "Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone"
actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
JOSHUA: "Morgan Freeman."
SHI-ANNE: "I only wish Audrey Hepburn were still
song do you wish you had written?
JOSHUA: "Mark D. Sander's 'Considerin.'"
SHI-ANNE: "Johnny Lang's 'Breaking Me.'"
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
mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or
JOSHUA: "My eardrum ruptures when I fly, trains don't stop
at Cracker Barrel, so I'd say my Dodge 4x4."
is your dream duet partner?
JOSHUA: "My late grandfather, C.D. Freeman."
SHI-ANNE: "Michael McDonald."
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."
the Web: www.lyricstreet.com
CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.