I guess the question I get asked the most is when did I know that I wanted to be a musician. My story is kind of a long one, so if you are up for it...here it goes. I have always enjoyed singing as far back as I can remember. Even when I was a little girl, I sang all the time...whether I was in my room coloring, taking a shower, or in the backseat of the car on a road trip with my parents...I was always singing. /files/341247/img-0784.png
But where my professional musical journey began was in 2011, the year an EF-5 tornado destroyed my school in Smithville, Mississippi. https://youtu.be/-OZQrKDPUk4 I was in the fifth grade. The tornado wiped out about ninety percent of our business district, fifty percent of the neighborhoods, and killed sixteen members of the small town of Smithville. After the tornado, we went to school in local churches and with our neighbors in Hatley and finally in FEMA trailers. /files/341263/img-0785.png When you're in the fifth grade, seeing this kind of destruction can be very traumatic. I remember sitting in class, looking across the room, watching my friends cry when it would rain. I would cry too. I was absolutely terrified of storms. My parents, seeing how scared I was of the storms, and knowing the confusion in my life from being shipped from location to location in school, decided they needed to do something to take my mind off of all of the chaos. They knew I loved to sing, so they thought maybe music would be the right course for me.
At the beginning of the school year in 2011, when I began the sixth grade, my mom put me in the school band and I chose to play the flute. Since we lost everything in the tornado, our school band had to use donated equipment and we had uniforms that were way too big for most of us. /files/341264/img-0786.png
It didn't take long to figure out that music was soothing and so every time a storm would come up, I would practice. I would make the most God-awful noise to drown out the sound of the thunder. I thought it sounded great.. My parents? Not so much. I was not very good at it but I was very dedicated to learning, so much so that on Christmas morning, 2011, I opened a note on our Christmas tree that read... "Her name is Kit Thorn. She is going to be your guitar instructor. Your first guitar lesson will be on Saturday, January 21st at 9 AM." /files/341265/img-0787.png I thought, "Ok, let's give this a try."
Kit was awesome. She was a really great teacher and I really loved working with her. Unfortunately for me though, Kit would be headed to Arkansas in May and then off to college in the fall and I would need a new instructor. Losing Kit seemed like the biggest disaster to me at the time. Little did I know however, that I would soon meet the man who would teach me to be a professional guitarist, Mr. Johnny Frank Turman. /files/341266/img-0788.png
In 2013 disaster struck again...THREE TIMES!! I had been working with Mr. Turman for about six months when the first bad news came. We learned that my grandmother (my dad's mom) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She passed away on March 6th, 2013. Grandpa knowing how upset I was and knowing how much I absolutely love animals, gave me my grandmother's puppy, a little, furry, Pomeranian that she named "Bear". /files/341267/img-0789.png If you get to heaven before I do, DO NOT tell my grandmother that I shared this picture of her with no makeup and her hair windblown from the beach. She will kill me, but it had to be this picture because that little ball in her jacket is Bear. /files/341271/img-0791.png
In September, bad news came again when my grandfather (my mother's father, who I was very close with) was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. We took a trip to New England to visit him and had to return for his funeral just two weeks later when he passed away on November 26th, 2013. /files/341269/img-0790.png
It had been a terrible year, but to top it off, two weeks after my grandfather had passed away Bear slipped out of our front door and ran down the road to our neighbor's house where their big, mean, ugly, useless, stinky, old dog killed him. THAT WAS IT!!! I was soooo mad. I ran to my bed and cried for hours. When I got up, I did the only thing I could do. I picked up my guitar and started writing a song called "Nothing Is The Same". I began the song thinking about Bear but really it was a whole pile of emotions from throughout the year and the song turned out to be about losing my grandparents. This was the first song I had ever written. Little did I know, that this song would form the direction of my life.
February 26th of 2014 my parents took me to Papa's Place in Tupelo Mississippi for open mic night. /files/341272/img-0792.png I played several cover songs and decided why not try out my new original song and see if the crowd likes it. So I played it and they all cheered. I still don't know if it was because they really liked the song or if it was because I was only thirteen years old and they were being polite. Either way, my mother had video taped my original song and posted it on Facebook and within an hour Bancorp South Arena, the largest concert venue in our area put a like on MY ORIGINAL MUSIC. And that was it...I was hooked. I knew that if I could draw their attention I actually had a shot at a music career and so I have been chasing my dream ever since.
P.S. Smithville Mississippi is still standing strong. In fact, I graduated from Smithville High School in May of 2018. /files/341274/img-0793.png I was still a member of the Smithville Marching Band and we were state champions. /files/341276/img-0794.png GO SEMINOLES!!
* * * * * On another note, in May of 2018 I wrote a song called "Smithville" after I was asked to write a jingle for and about the town. A song that they could use in their business campaign to help bring companies and jobs back to town in an effort to replace what we lost in the 2011 tornado. Smithville is a beautiful, little country town. It is quiet with honest, hard-working people and has a wonderful new school. So if you are looking to establish a new business or expand your existing business, I highly recommend you consider Smithville Mississippi. It truly is a wonderful little town in a great location. To find out more, contact the Mayor's office at 662-651-4411.
To listen to the song "Smithville", click on the play button below.