'Spreading The Love, Townsfolk Style'
The daughter of Reverend and Mrs. James Towns, Rhonda was led to her career by the sounds of music that filled the church and spiritual guidance from her father and mother. “Music has always been a part of my life. My dad's a minister and I starting singing in the church choir at a very young age. Faith and music are just in my blood.”
Rhonda showed immediate signs that it was her destiny to become an entertainer. By the age of four, Rhonda, who is affectionately nicknamed Sissy, sang side-by-side with the adults in the choir at her father’s church. Her curls barely reaching her father’s knee, Rhonda’s voice echoed the entire house of worship.
As a fourth grader, Rhonda entered her very first talent show at her elementary school, winning first place for two consecutive years in the school’s competition. The attention drew scouts from a local weekly country music television show that invited Rhonda to become a regular talent. After serious family discussions and careful consideration, the decision was made to decline the offer as her mother and father decided Rhonda was entirely too young to begin her music career. Her education was paramount and Rhonda concentrated on school.
A talent like Rhonda’s was not to be ignored nor stifled. She entertained her classmates after school to perform (by request) at the front of the bus every afternoon. Rhonda enjoyed participating in public speaking, volleyball, track and field, the student body government, cheerleading, and of course, the school choir. By the time she graduated from high school, Rhonda was known by the church, her classmates and the entire community as the entertainer.
Rhonda attended college and pursued vocal training. An active student, she entered and won the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Miss Black Culture Pageant—the pageant’s primary concentrations were intelligence, talent and beauty. During her two years at the university, Rhonda became a valued member of the university gospel choir.
Chatting recently with Rhonda, and being that she had grown up within the spiritual guidance of the church being the daughter of a Reverend, I first wondered what her household had sounded like back then? "We had a very 'normal' family life. My parents taught us to use common sense and a sense of values while at the same time instilling in us the 'Word of the Creator.' My parents were both spiritual and 'modern day' which allowed us to enjoy normal active lives in school, activities, etc. We had fun."
Your album title 'I Wanna Be Loved By You' says it like it is, but just who does the title perhaps really reach out to in your life? "I want country music fans and the industry to 'love' Rhonda Towns for who she is: a genuine country music singer who truly delivers a country music song. I'm 'want' to be successful and had have a fulfilling career in the country music industry that builds a strong foundation. I want it all! 'I Wanna Be Loved By You!' (All!)"
If there was one track on this album that truly encapsulated Rhonda Towns at her musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "It would be 'I Wanna Be Loved By You'."
Please tell us where your nickname "Sissy" originated?! "My mother nicknamed me "Sissy." I have an older brother and I am her first daughter. It's funny because if she calls me "Rhonda," it just doesn't sound right (or I'm in trouble!)"
You were first discovered by a local weekly country music television show that invited you to become a regular talent. At that time as a fourth grader the decision was made to decline the offer, but can you recall your own personal feelings from back then now? "Above any country music star, my dear Mother has been the biggest influence in my life. My mother has always been there for me, and I mean no matter what. She is truly my earthly foundation that the "Creator" gave to me. She planted the seed of not giving up on me and my dreams."
With your noted musical influences ranging from Patsy Cline and Reba, to Charley Pride and Vince Gill, I wondering who has made the greatest impression on your life thus far ... and in what way? "I was really too young to really understand those kind of decisions, but I do now have an appreciation. I believe in their decision. I can't change my life in anyway. If something is meant to be, it is meant to be (eventually)."
For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Storm Before The Calm' - OK, when was the last time you got angry, what was it over, and how long was it before the 'calm' settled?! "To be honest, I'm really a calm person. Stress and anger only takes away from the situation. It will eventually work out."
'Slow Rain' - When was the last time you were caught in the rain ... and enjoyed the feeling?! "Well, I live in Arizona (smile) so there's a slim chance of being "caught in the rain." I get's very hot here. (We just recently experienced a drought; it didn't rain here for 143 days this year.) But, when I was a child, my Mom would let us go out and play in the rain "to get wet" we would say."
'Those Were The Nights' - On a night away from music, what do you like to do the most, given the chance? "I love to watch HGTV and Food Network Shows. It just helps me to relax."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song (country or otherwise!) would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I would love to perform 'Stuck On You' (which is not at all cheesey, I don't think) in a real country version (by Lionel Ritchie). It would be a great song to do."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "I like little Penguins. The are such industrial little things and down right cute, too."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Rhonda's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Rhonda made her debut as a country music singer on what TV show as a champion female country music artist?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'RHONDA TOWNS SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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