Billy Halterman
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Billy Halterman

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"Young Recording Artist Keeps His Head on Straight"

The Ledger
When Billy Halterman was in high school, he worked at Winn-Dixie to save money for a karaoke machine. In those days, he spent most of his spare time playing a George Straight track over and over, trying to perfect his own sound.

It was the first investment he made in a music career that not only survived a premature stint in Nashville but a five-year tour of duty with the National Guard.

Now living in Daytona Beach, the 23-year-old Halterman divides his time between his home on the coast, recording sessions in Nashville and visits to see his parents in Davenport.

Halterman will return to Polk County to perform in Operation Troop Salute on May 1 at the Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven.

When Tunie Moss of radio station WPCV-97 Country approached Halterman about singing in the tribute to service men and women, he was quick to accept.

"Obviously, it is very important to me," said Halterman, who served in the National Guard at Tampa International Airport following the attacks Sept. 11, 2001, when security was tightened across the nation.

"For five years I was a soldier. I remember what it was like when people did stuff like that for me," he said. "It lets soldiers know they are appreciated.

"Saying it is one thing, but doing something like this is different," he said.

Halterman's life has been somewhat different from the kids he knew as a student at Haines City High School.

As a student, he served in the volunteer Fire Department and had his eye on a career in law enforcement or music.

Sensing that trouble was ahead if he kept hanging out with the same crowd, Halterman left high school to join the National Guard.

"There were so many opportunities for me to get into trouble," he said.

Not only did the National Guard keep him out of mischief, but he received encouragement to continue his music.

"The National Guard was very supportive of me," he said.

Officer Jennifer Harris of the Haines City Police Department remembers Halterman's teenage days.

"He was your typical mischievous kid," said Harris, whose friendship with the musician began when he had mistakenly been reported to the police after someone mistook a pellet gun for a firearm while he was stopped at a traffic light.

She gave him a lecture about making choices and she's been watching him make positive decisions ever since.

"I've watched him blossom into a fine young man," Harris said. "He is one of those great allAmerican, apple pie kids."

Halterman credits support from his parents, Tom and Paula Halterman, with his success in avoiding the pitfalls of the music business.

And love of music strengthened the bond of father and son.

"That's how we began to relate to each other," Halterman said.

Tom Halterman purchased equipment for his son and helped him book appearances at weddings and parties.

Billy Halterman, who was 17 at the time, went to Nashville with his father and experienced the world of music firsthand. Billy recorded a four-song demo CD and the pair began learning the ins and outs of the industry.

"That one CD has been tossed around all over the country," Halterman said. "I`ve met a lot of people who have handed it off."

Though the first visit to Nashville didn't result in a recording contract, it did provide important information for their next attempt and enabled them to establish contacts with folks who could further Billy Halterman's career.

"Nashville is like one big snake waiting to stick its fangs in you," Halterman said. "My father's tenacity and drive is what saved me. He acted in the role of my manager."

Soft-spoken with a calm demeanor, Halterman speaks with a wisdom far beyond his age.

"He is a very self-confident and secure young man," Harris said.

Today, Halterman is working on his career, performing when the opportunity arises and recording a full-length CD in Nashville.

And he sees a bright future for himself, but keeps tight control over his optimism.

"I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I've learned over the years to make sure my hope level stays down here," he said, reaching to the floor with one hand.

But his experiences have built upon each other.

"The same people who told me I wasn't ready at 17 are those we are working with now," Halterman said.

While he hopes to have a stable career in the music industry, his motive is a bit different from many folks he met in Nashville.

"It's not about talent anymore," he said of those in the industry. "It's about who can make millions of dollars."

Halterman hasn't stopped weighing his choices -- a practice he learned from Harris.

"For me, it is about doing what I want to do," he said. "I want people to look at me and say, `Wow, how does he keep his head on his shoulders?' "

What if he doesn't become the next George Straight?

He'll be happy for the opportunity to meet his role model.

"One day I want to be on stage with h - Lakeland Ledger

"Billy Halterman"

Country music is all about heart and Billy sings with his heart. No machines, no engineering – just pure talent.

Sara Michaels
97 Country Morning Show WPCV – Your Hometown Country Station!
- Sara Michaels - WPCV Country Radio


Two Little Hands
As If I Didn't Know
Something I Dreamed
Best of a Bad Day
Falling Star
Maggie and Me
He's Coming Home
Going Nowhere Slow
I'll Know When I Get There
Two Hours Crying
He Said She Said
I'll Stand By You
Velvets and Violins
New Songs:


Feeling a bit camera shy


Billy Halterman's style reflects the heart of country music, evocative of an era long before his time. Billy, growing up no stranger to country music in rural Polk County, FL developed a passion for the sounds of such artists as George Strait, Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, and many more from the era of classic country giving Billy’s music an influence firmly rooted in that classic country sound.
While taking his inspiration from traditional country, Billy seamlessly blends classic country with Southern Rock and Blues into one exciting show. Featuring one of the South's most exciting lead guitarists, Benjamin Johnson, this band rocks the crowd. One phrase constantly heard by the fans at Billy’s show is ‘That’s the way country music is supposed to sound!’