Since becoming the Editor here at The Sun Times, I have had some really great days, (and some really AWFUL days) but today may be one of the best! I’m scrolling through my Facebook page tonight while watching tv and see the Arkansas Country Music Awards have announced the nominees for the show in June. So, I start scrolling down the nominees looking for my friends, The Zac Dunlap Band, as well as local Jon Raney (who won Sound Engineer of the Year last year at these same awards), to see if they were nominated in anything. Zac Dunlap Band’s video, “Own It”, was nominated for video of the year (fun fact, I’m in this video with a bunch of other ladies) and Jon was nominated for Producer of the Year and Sound Engineer of the Year. As I kept scrolling, I came to Publication of the Year and I almost fell out of my chair when I saw The Sun Times, Heber Springs was nominated!!!!!

If you don’t know, I have always loved music and try my best to cover musical events whenever I can. I also covered the ACMA’s last year, at the last minute, mind you, since I wasn’t aware of when they were happening! The morning of the show, I received a Facebook message from a lady asking if I was going to attend it since Jon Raney, of Drasco, was nominated and his grandfather, Wayne, was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, posthumously. Since they are local guys, I shifted a few things around and went down to the event. Being Media, I was even able to get a front row seat! It was a great night! Jon won the Sound Engineer of the Year award, and I can assure you it is totally deserved! About a week or more after the awards show, I made arrangements to go out and interview Jon at his facility, Raney Recording Studios, in Drasco. I can honestly say I have never spent three plus hours in an interview, but I did that morning! It was totally fascinating watching what Jon does and better yet, listening to what he does and it is MAGIC!!  I wrote a story for the newspaper and then last fall, I updated it some and interviewed his dad, Zyndall, also for stories in our magazine, also had a short piece on his grandfather, Wayne. They were the inspiration for the “Music Magazine” of The Sun Times on the Lake and River. If you haven’t seen it, we still have a few copies at the office. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my work on music and musicians would get me a nomination!!

I come by my love of music honestly. My daddy loved Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty and all of the old school country music musicians and my mom, well let me just say that I have two boxes full of old Country Music magazines and at least two, maybe three, photo albums of my mom with various musicians and show people from when we lived in Las Vegas!  I KNOW my mom is going nuts in heaven right now!!!

I don’t know who or how we got nominated but a big thank you to whoever made it happen! I am humbled and honored for the nomination! I guess one could say, I’m a late bloomer. I think I have been recognized more for my work in the last two years than in my whole life!  I guess life begins at 55 and just gets better as you get older! I’m 57, if you don’t know, and most days I am like, how did I get so old??  Then I go play with my grandson, Holden, and feel like a kid for a little while as we “wrace, Yeah Yeah”, then feel like someone ran over me with a truck the next morning!  That little guy is worth every ache though!!

Until next time...