By Gary Voorhies ©
2006 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.
in Arkadelphia, Ark., Luke Stricklin grew up playing on the
river and hunting with his family. His father, who passed away
when he was 11, instilled a love of Country Music in his son.
Stricklin's early musical influences include Merle Haggard,
Waylon Jennings, Keith Whitley and Hank Williams, Jr.
he studied piano and drums, Stricklin developed a passion for
joined the Arkansas National Guard while he was still in high
school. On his second day of small arms training, his drill
sergeant announced that the September 11th attacks were
March 2004, he went to Iraq where he and a fellow guardsman
passed their free time by writing songs on a laptop computer. He
recorded "American By God's Grace" in Baghdad using a
cheap microphone and e-mailed the song back to his family in the
states. They sent the song out to local Country stations and
the time he was discharged, CNN, Fox News, Newsweek and
the "Today" show had reported on the young singer from
hometown Country station, which had first played his military
anthem, set up a show for Stricklin when he returned and before
long he had a manager.
week later he was in a Nashville studio recording a CD for
Pacfic-Time Records, which was produced by Luke Wooten and
released last September. Stricklin penned three songs on the
album, including the title track, "American By God's
Grace," which fellow soldier J.R. Schultz co-wrote.
HIS OWN WORDS:
is your musical hero? "Keith Whitley."
CD is on your stereo right now? "Keith Whitley
Remembered and Shelly Fairchild."
book is on your nightstand right now? "The Last True
Story I Will Ever Tell, by John F. Crawford."
do you sing in the shower? "Anything Country."
is your pet peeve? "A dirty house."
actor would portray you in a biopic about your life? "Josh
moment in your life would you relive if you could? "All of
song do you wish you had written? "'I'm Moving On,' written
by Phillip White and D. Vincent Williams."
word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
mode of transportation do you prefer - planes, trains or
is your dream duet partner? "Alison Krauss."
you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be? "What
Not To Do."
they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people
say about you? "I would like for people to look back and
say he was a good man, friend, husband, and father."
the Web: www.lukestricklin.com