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COMMITTEE BIOGRAPHIES


We thought it might be nice to share with everyone how we became interested in country music and ended up as the NNCMC committee. Some of the boys decided to be smart and submit two versions - an official one and an alternative one! They were too good not to use so below are the official ones and you can click here for the alternatives!

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Whilst growing up country music was played constantly at home but I suppose I didn't think it was that cool then (or certainly wouldn't admit to it). Being a hip child I spent my money buying singles by the likes of The Searchers & Herman's Hermits, in fact I just loved the whole 60's scene.

The Viewfirth brought with it The Coasters, The Dynamo's, and the Showband thing, I loved the music with my favourites being The Drumbeats, so I guess I then 'came out' as a country music fan, and it became my hobby and passion.

I was part of the original NNCMC and was delighted when the new club was formed, by this time I had inducted Ally in to country music and we never missed a show.

We frequently travel the length and breadth of Britain, Ireland, Europe and America to chase our love of live of country music, making many friends en route.

In 2003 I was asked to help the club out by doing memberships, things escalated very quickly, and the rest as they say is history: little did I know what was to come.

However I do feel privileged to be part of the committee running NNCMC promoting the club and developing the Festival, hardest job is trying to keep 'MY BOYS' in order!

Christine (The Boss)

Well you can ask Ally Gray what my answer was in 1996 when he asked me to come to the Northern Nashville Club nights. All I can say is that it was the total opposite of how things are now - a fact of which he reminds me of on a regular basis!

I think it was in 2007 that Jenny, my wife, nagged me into going to the NNCCMF in Halkirk on the Friday and Sunday nights to see The Playboys and Brendan Quinn. I was not really looking forward to it as my taste in Country Music was restricted to Shania Twain, Leanne Rimes, Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban, who when I saw him live I didn't know he was classed as a country as he was supporting Brian Adams. I have to say those two nights in Halkirk were really enjoyable.

The music, I would say, came a close second to the friendly atmosphere we felt in such a large crowd of country music fans from far and near. It was some local fans and club members who suggested we come along to the next club night, something my better half had been trying for over 20 years. Well we did and I think we have only missed one club night since.

However I am still not sure how I was convinced to become a committee member, and still not convinced I will wear a red jacket when the boss tells me to!!!

Darryn, Treasurer

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I was initiated into Country music when I was very young listening to the old style of country music we always had playing on our gramophone at home. When as a cool teenager we went to the dances, which were held in the Stags Head Hotel in Golspie, I was introduced to a very young Manson Grant & The Dynamos, along with the pop bands of the time.

Whilst the family was growing up I was forced to listen to whatever heavy metal or No 1 record at the time was blaring out of every room in the house, from which I escaped fishing as often as I could.

Freedom again, I started going to the NNCMC nights in the Viewfirth and, by chance as I was working with a previous chairperson, became a member of the committee and it took off from there.

Over the years through watching CMT and by holidaying in America with Joanne attending festivals, I decided that the American Country music is the thing for me. I may be and old chile but my taste in country is bang up to date.

Dennis, Secretary

I have always been a music lover, playing the drums in bands myself many moons ago. Although I hate to admit it I remember the 50's music, and was a fan of The Everley Brothers then came the 60's. I loved the whole Liverpool thing my heroes were The Beatles.

Then the Showband scene arrived; travelling to Golspie to dance to Maurice Lynch, the Drumbeats etc and this was probably my cross over into country music and a late convert (although the Everley's were considered country).

My favourite artist is Willie Nelson - I just love his voice, but I listen to all kinds of music depending on my mood or how many Glenmorangie's I have drunk!

The NNCMC members know that when I've had one or two I just can't get enough - music I mean - I won't let the bands off stage at the end of the night.

Retirement has given me the time for travelling further afield to pursue my love of live country music in Ireland and also abroad.

Sandy, Compere & Minute Secretary

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My interest in country music probably started about 50 years ago with Jim Reeves, a big favourite in our house, and I still remember hearing on the news that he had been killed in a plane crash. At school I kept up with country music, and when I started working I was then able to buy my own records which I still have - they say vinyl is coming back!!

Those early work days first introduced me to the Dynamos, as they had an office above our workshop at the harbour in Wick. A lot of changes in the band over the years, but still going strong and as good as ever.

When the first Nashville club started we were regulars - cabaret only spots in those days, but a lot of great bands entertained us at the shows in both Wick and Thurso.

Now the second club has gone on from strength to strength and I can only hope with your support to carry on the good work of Davy and all the other committee members before me.

John, Band Secretary

When I was a kid there was always a wide range of country music playing in the house including Jim Reeves, Hank Williams, Charlie Pride and Dolly Parton, which for a family of pipers, fiddlers and accordionists (the boxy) was quite strange. I also liked Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo, Elvis and Buddy Holly as I came through the years, and very interestingly all are featured in the country music museum in Nashville.

I met Evelyn in the early 80's and she tried to convert me to Bay City Rollers and the likes, but over the years I have converted her to a Country fan by my constant playing of a wide variety in the house. Our three kids are all quite musical but it must have skipped a generation as neither Evelyn or myself can play a note! I was surprised one night to be listening to Davie Shearer on radio Caithness to hear my son requesting an Alan Jackson number, so that's another generation on the Country road.

It was John Dunnett and my sister Gina who first invited us to Northern Nashville CMC in Viewfirth in the early 90's and we have been regulars ever since. When plans for a first Festival started, Sandy Swanson persuaded me that I could help by applying for sponsorships and, as I was getting too old to be chasing a football, Northern Nashville has become my main hobby (not that there's much time for any others!)

I thoroughly enjoy being involved as the members and especially the committee are all great fun to be around and we have become very good friends.

Keep it Country! Keep it Live!

Alan, Committee Member & Festival Co-Ordinator

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