Local songwriter does well in Nashville

Friday, August 22, 2003

In an area of the country that has seen musical talents like Johnny Cash and Buddy Jewell become nationally known, a songwriter with ties to this area has become successful.

Lance McDaniel of Jonesboro, formerly of Marked Tree, has turned a talent for music into a songwriting career that has one CD in the top 25. Family members and friends say that McDaniel had an uncanny ability as a child to pick up an instrument and immediately play it. Playing those instruments helped to improve McDaniel's ability to both sing and write music and the hard work has paid off.

McDaniel served as a co-writer for Craig Morgan and his CD from Broken Bow Records, "I Love It." The CD is currently at number 22 and has ranked as high as number 15 on the country charts. McDaniel, Morgan and fellow writer Craig Morris wrote a song about veterans in 2001, entitled "God, Family and Country."

McDaniel told the Tri-City Tribune about the song and how it was published, "It took about one year to put the song together. The song was written before Sept. 11. It was a song about a grandfather, Chester Hipps, whose children and grandchildren went off to war and how the grandfather thought about his family's sacrifice. I talked to Craig Morris in Nashville and later talked to Craig Morgan, who was at Atlantic Records." The song was recorded in Dickson, Tenn. and it was there that a volunteer for the American Red Cross heard the song. Within 48 hours, the song and video were done. The video later appeared on Great American Country and Country Music Television and ranked as high as number eight on the GAC Top 15 Countdown. The song was played two weeks ago at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, with stars like Little Jimmy Dickens and Brad Paisley looking on.

Family and friends are very happy for McDaniel's success. Jeannie Nichols of Marked Tree told the Tri-City Tribune that McDaniel's story should be known by the people of this area. Nichols said, "His people are from here and I expect more good things from him."

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