Country singer Josh Turner wants to make his audience feel good
Concert will wrap Big Stars’ summer season
The past 15 years have been a journey for Grammy nominee Josh Turner.
His career includes the No. 1 singles “Your Man,” “Would You Go with Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and “All Over Me.”
In addition, his song “Time Is Love” from his 2012 album “Punching Bag,” was named the No. 1 country song of 2012 by Billboard magazine.
Continuing Turner’s hit parade, “Deep South,” released this past spring, debuted at No. 1
on Billboard’s Country chart. The leadoff single, “Hometown Girl,” peaked at No. 2 on the Country Airplay chart.
“This whole thing has been a journey for me,” Turner told The Park Record during a phone call from Walla Walla, Washington. “I feel like it’s made me a better person. At the same time, I have missed out on different things, but this has been my dream since I was young.”
Turner will share his dream with Park City when he performs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater.
The performance, which is presented by the Park City Institute, will wrap up this season’s
St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert series.
“I’ll play the hits, because people expect that from me,” Turner said about the upcoming show. “I’ll also perform a handful of songs off of the new record.”
Turner’s road to country-music stardom began during his childhood in South Carolina.
“We have a lot of things that influence our direction in life,” he said. “Early on I was exposed to music in church and my grandparents house, where my grandma had a huge vinyl-record collection.
Turner spent his time listening to the records that included Southern gospel, bluegrass and traditional country that featured an array of Grand Ole Opry stars.
“Beyond that, when I got older than 10, I started listening to country radio pretty heavily,” he said. “That’s where I was introduced to Randy Travis. The first album I owned was Randy’s first album, ‘Storms of Life.’“
From that point on, Turner wanted to be Randy Travis.
“I wanted to sing just like him and dress just like him,” he said. “That’s what sparked the dream of me going to Nashville and getting a record contract.”
At 13, Turner sang his first performance in front of an audience.
“The song, of course, was a Randy Travis song, ‘Diggin’ Up Bones,’“ he said.
Four years later, Turner began playing guitar and writing his own songs.
“That’s when I began to discover my own voice and my own style,” he said. “I dug into the rest of my influences that included John Anderson, Vern Gosdin, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Those guys taught me how to be Josh Turner.”
That proved beneficial when the budding songwriter moved to Nashville in 1998.
“I knew who I was and what I was after,” he said. “I didn’t have a Plan B, but I worked every single day at my writing and performing. I was determined and focused.”
These days, Turner has to make time to write new songs.
“It’s hard now, because as an artist, I make most of my living touring, and I spend most our year doing that,” he said.
In 2010, Turner built a log cabin that he calls his “writers cottage.”
“There’s no phone, no wi-fi, no radio — wait, there is a radio, but there’s no TV,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a place where I can go, think and pray, be inspired and write.”
Turner also knows his voice is his moneymaker, and without it, his songs wouldn’t mean a thing to his fans.
“I take as good care of my voice as I possibly can, because that’s my livelihood and how I take care of my family,” he said. “If I lose my voice, there will be at least 20 or 30 people out of work, and there will be some children with the last name of Turner who will go hungry.”
Over the years, Turner has used his status as a chart-topping country singer to do philanthropic work.
He was Chairman of the Beard for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital’s No-shave November campaign in 2015, and he was also the co-captain of the first Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America, where he participated in the torch relay when it passed through Nashville that same year.
“I’ve always said that I’ve been given a platform that I could either use or abuse, and I plan to use it to help people in need and try to influence people in a positive way,” he said. “I want to lift people up.”
This is important to Turner, because he feels the entertainment business gets a bad rap because some of its products aren’t as good as they could be.
“You know how it feels when you go see a movie or buy a record and it isn’t very good,” he said. “I don’t want that to happen with anything I do.
“I want people to walk out of a Josh Turner concert feeling better than they did when the arrived. I don’t want to bring people down, so it’s important that I feel the best physically, spiritually and mentally when I’m playing or writing songs.”
Park City Institute will present two-time Grammy Award nominee and country singer Josh Turner at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, at the Snow Park Amphitheater at Deer Valley. Tickets range from $44 to $79 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.bigstarsbrightnightsconcerts.org.
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