How awesome that this fine country gentleman got his start right here in South central Georgia. I am so proud that he got his reboot here in my town of Alapaha.
Country troubadour Danny Dawson saddles back up for the celebration at 2:15 p.m. this Saturday November 9. In his most expansive interview to date (you can find the entire story and photos and videos by clicking on the Medium link), Danny sheds light on the singular event that nearly thwarted his career permanently.
Question: Just how close did you get to being signed by a major label?
Danny Dawson: Very close. RCA was looking to sign me in 1995, but it fell through because my manager blew it. He had no idea of how to talk to a label even though his father was a legend in the business. I won’t get into all the details because he has passed away, and I remain good friends with his family. Just prior to RCA’s interest I did sign with a small independent label owned by Berrien Sutton, an attorney out of Homerville, Georgia. He financed and produced my self-titled first album but didn’t know how to market it. The album [containing 12 Dawson compositions plus two covers written by “Good Hearted Woman” producer Ronny Light] sat on the shelf for well over a decade with no radio play until I started selling the CD’s myself around 2010.
Question: After losing the RCA deal, did you keep doing shows or did it frustrate you so much that you stopped music entirely?
Danny Dawson: I tried performing, but I just didn’t have the heart anymore. I sold all of my guitars and hid in the shadows for a long time. One day out of the blue a fella named Wayne Delk came to my house and asked, “Are you Danny Dawson?” I said, “Yes, why do you wanna know?” He then held up a CD of my first album with my picture on it and replied, “Because I let some people in Alapaha listen to it. They fell in love with your voice and want to know if you would do an acoustic set.” I was like, “Man, I haven’t sang in years. I don’t know if I have the nerve anymore.” Wayne, who was basically my guardian angel, couldn’t be deterred. He said, “Danny, you’re awesome and will do fine.” I eventually accepted and returned to country music at the Alapaha Station Celebration [Saturday, November 14, 2015]. I haven’t slowed down since.
Photography by Wenda Gaile Bailey / Bailey's Berrien Photos