NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ROCKIE LYNNE
By Gary Voorhies
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music
As a seventh grader, Rockie Lynne mowed lawns in his hometown of Statesville, N.C., and saved money to buy his first guitar from JC Penney.
He bought his first record player at a yard sale, along with Jimi Hendrix and KISS albums. Lynne stayed up late figuring out how to play the songs on those albums.
Later, he joined his high school jazz ensemble, took up songwriting and played in numerous club bands.
"They wanted us to play cover songs, but we played my songs," Lynne said. "We would get fired and a few weeks later and I would book us at the same place under a different name and some other band's photo."
After high school and a stint in the Army, Lynne moved west and enrolled in the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. He studied, learned and eventually moved on to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he worked as guitar player and bandleader for a local entertainer. Before long, he was in Nashville playing for acts including Noel Haggard, The McCarter Sisters and B.B. Watson.
The desire to perform his own songs led him out on the road playing clubs. He settled in Coon Rapids, a river town near Minneapolis.
A Warner Bros. Records executive was dining at an area tavern and heard Lynne playing. The executive asked for some music to play for other executives including a Universal Records Vice President who signed him. He worked with Universal South Records' Senior Partners Tony Brown and Tim DuBois. Brown and Blake Chancey co-produced the self-titled debut album, set for release May 2. Lynne co-wrote the debut single, "Lipstick," along with 11 other cuts on the album.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Who is your musical hero?
"Tony Brown. He's the reason I moved to Nashville. When I first heard Steve Earle's early records, Nanci Griffith's early records and Wynonna's first solo record, I was floored. And then when I met him, he was everything I would have expected him to be."
What is your pet peeve?
"Being late. I hate being late."
What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The birth of my daughters."
Which mode of transportation do you prefer — planes, trains or automobiles? "Motorcycle."
Do you have a lucky charm?
“I have a little silver bell on my motorcycle that a friend gave me. It’s supposed to keep me safe while I am riding. It will stay there forever.”
Who is your dream duet partner?
When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
“I hope they say, ‘He could really play.’”
What do you sing in the shower?
“I don’t usually sing in the shower. I was in the Army so my showers are only 90 seconds long. I’d only get a verse and chorus out before it is over.”
What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
“Viggo Mortensen or Liam Neeson.”
What song do you wish you had written?
“Fire and Rain.”
Which song would you secretly like to cover?
“‘Only Women Bleed’ by Alice Cooper.”
What CDs are on your IPOD?
“Del Castillo, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Buddy Miller.”
What book is on your nightstand?
“I am reading the Jimi Hendrix bio (Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix), written by Charles Cross.”
On the Web: www.rockielynne.com