Gary Lee Michael
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Gary Lee Michael


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"Local singer's album climbing music charts"

by Lesley Cuthbertson
Staff Writer
WEDDINGTON-"Hometown Boy" giving a local country singer/songwriter taste of stardom.
And Weddington resident Gary Lee Michael likes the flavor.
"Hometown Boy," released in mid-December, continues to climb the Country Music Association (CMA) National 100 Chart.
Last week, Michael received a phone call on the song's latest move to No. 25. Among CMA Independent artists the song is holding the No. 3 position.
"I just sat back-I couldn't believe it." Michael said. "I was just flipping out."
Saying he has little self confidence but a ton of faith, Micahel said the more work he does to "make it" in the music world makes him realize the talent God has given him. "I know I couldn't do it withouthis help; guidance," he said...Without his help I wouldn't be where I'm at today."
For the 31-year-old musician, "at" comprises several country music television shows, such as "Midnight Jamboree" and "Country Boy Eddie Show," the chance to open for country music greats Randy Travis, Lee Greenwood and Porter Wagner, and gracing the cover of two issues of CMA's National Chart Magazine (March 3, March 10)
"The good Lord blessed me when I got in this business," Michael said with a smile.
Each of Michael's national releases have been songs written by him in the studio behind his Weddington home - Music Lab Studios. It is there he has been working on his next release. Michael revealed, the release - expected out this month-will either be "Birmingham" or "There's Never Been a Time I Didn't Love You." The songs are characteristic of Michael's unique style marked by gospel, pop/rock and country. - Charlotte Observer March 7 1991


Hot Times in the Danger Zone!
Charlotte Firefighters Association Fundraising Concert Cricket Arena April 26th with Gary Lee Michael: Hometown Boy

Charlotte Firefighters Association host their annual spring fundraising concert April 26th at Cricket Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event raises money for fire victims, MDA, the Victory Junction Gang Camp for terminally ill and chronically ill children as well as worthwhile firefighter programs like Safety Smoke Houses used to teach children how to react if they're in a house fire, updated equipment such as 4 Thermal Imaging Devices acquired for use in locating missing persons and hot spots as well as for guiding firefighters through smoke filled areas plus programs to benefit firefighters themselves and their families by fighting for stronger laws to prevent injury and death in the line of duty, vision care for firefighters, helping firefighters deal with the stresses faced daily through stress management and employee assistance programs.

The April 26th event will feature Monroe North Carolina’s own hometown boy, country artist Gary Lee Michael blazing through album cuts like “Hot Times” and “Danger Zone”. He’ll also perform a special tribute to firefighters entitled “What Does He See”.

In 1991 Gary Lee Michael charted several singles in both the Cashbox and Billboard country top 20. He also received numerous industry accolades, all achieved in the first year and a half of his professional career, including being nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year and Independent Songwriter of the Year by the MIRL (Major Independent Record Labels Association) in Nashville, as well as the CMA "Eagle Award", winning the EIA (Entertainer Indie Association of Nashville) Male Vocalist of the Year award, being inducted into the Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame and being given an honorary membership to the CMA. Gary was only days away from finalizing his major label debut when he suffered a near fatal car crash that has left him waiting in the shadows for the past 17 years. Favorite son Gary Lee Michael, has emerged with a new CD slated for release the week of the firefighters event on indie label Fires of August out of Los Angeles. Gary wholeheartedly supports firefighters across the country. He salutes their bravery and hopes to bring awareness of their programs and charity work to the public. Gary Lee Michael is available for interviews and promotional performances in support of the April 26th event. Tickets for the show are $22.00 and can be purchased by calling 704-331-9075 or through Ticketmaster. Juice Newton is also slated to appear.
Contact: Greg Philippi

- Press Release

"Music Team Gets Its Act Together"

By Gene Stowe
Staff Writer

WEDDINGTON-When Grand Ole Opry star Walter Bailes preached at a Monroe United Prayer Chapel revival 10 years ago, Gary Sikes stayed home.
So Mildred Sikes brought the musician-evangelist to meet her teenage son, who stayed in another room and strummed love songs he had written until he caught Bailes ear.
"I was in a wild stage, I was wanting to go off with my friends," Sikes recalls.
"He came in there and said, 'Did you write that?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Do you have any more? I believe we could market that.'"
The marketing starts this month. Bailes, Sikes and business manager Rick Stewart of Wingate will put ads in major country magazines promoting Sike's "Wish You Didn't Love Him the Way I Love You."
Next month, they'll air a video on cable television staions.
In March they'll send a recording of the song around the country. Monroe and Charlotte stations will have a chance to play it early.
"The first release is going to be in mid-March or so," Sikes said. "Then he wants to pop the next two singles every two months promoptly."...(excerpt) - The Union Gazette Tuesday December 27, 1988

"Weddington Singer Chats With Travis"

by Gene Stowe
Staff Writer

WEDDINGTON-Gary Lee Michael had his picture taken with fellow Union County native and country singer Randy Travis on a visit to Nashville last weekend.
"He was asking stuff about home." said Michael, a singer-songwriter who was attending a country radio seminar. "Nothing's changed that rascal. He's just stayed the same person."
Michael, who started recording at his own studio in Weddington, is trying to follow Travis' skyrocketing career in country music.
Since Michael's first national single, "Daddy's Little Girl," reached No. 89 on the national Top 100 in 1989, he has signed with Capitol Records, appeared on "The Bo Travis Music Special" with his promoter Walter Bailes, and released a video of the song.
Michael released "Wish You Didn't Love Him" last March. The song reached No. 65 on the national charts and No. 8 among independent artists, and he appeared on TV's "Country Boy Eddie Show" and radio's "Midnight Jamboree."
"Hometown Boy," which Michael released last December, has reached No.3 among independent artists. He was inducted into the Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame in January.
"I still can't believe it," Michael said. "I was always so shy that I tried to use songs to tell people how I felt.
"It's got to be the next best feeling to being in love." - Charlotte Observer Thursday March 14, 1991


Upcoming release entitled Gary Lee Michael on indie label Fires of August in stores May 2008. Previous efforts on Spirit Horizon Records released in 1990 & 1991 are now out of print. They included the "Hometown Boy" ablum and subsequent singles charted in both Billboard and Cashbox magazines.



In the first year and a half of his professional career, Gary Lee Michael, was nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year and Independent Songwriter of the Year by the MIRL (Major Independent Record Labels Association of Nashville) as well as the CMA “Eagle Award”. Gary also won the EIA (Entertainer Indie Association of Nashville), was inducted into the Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame and given an honorary membership to the CMA. In 1991, Gary was also appointed States Representative of the Southeast Region for the CMA.

Gary’s first single was “Daddy’s Little Girl”, a song that touched the hearts of people all over the world. This was evidenced when “Daddy’s Little Girl” became the most requested song for three weeks in Ireland. First lady Barbara Bush even sent a card thanking Gary for writing such a touching song. Radio personalities responded with great praise as well and to this day people still ask Gary about the song. The video was shown on CMT, “Shot Gun Red”, and “The Morning Show” in Birmingham Alabama. “Daddy’s Little Girl” was followed by “Wish You Didn’t Love Him The Way I Love You” and a third single entitled “Hometown Boy” that soared into the top 20 reaching #19 on the Billboard charts and #8 on the Cash Box charts.

Gary’s most exciting moment in country music came when he looked at the charts and saw his song “Home Town Boy” at #19 with a bullet and Garth Brooks “Two of a Kind” at #20 with Vince Gil’s “Pocket Full of Gold” at #18. Little did Gary know that several weeks later his promising career would come to a screeching halt…

Gary began playing and singin’ in the church at age four, tutored by his parents Roy and Mildred Sikes of Matthews North Carolina. Roy and Mildred played eleven musical instruments between themselves. Later Gary would master the guitar, bass guitar, piano and lap steel with proficiency. Musical talent had been bred into him.

At sixteen, Gary started playing bass guitar for a gospel group, which is when he began to write songs. Gary had a penchant for ballads and songs that he felt were meaningful. In his own words Gary recalls “I love up-tempo songs but my heart is in the ballads…” Gary was a shy boy and a little afraid to ask girls out. With the help of his guitar he overcame his shyness… “There was this shopping center near where I grew up. Everybody would ride through cruising, and just look at each other, but hardly anyone would ever pull over and talk. One night I was about out of gas, so I pulled over and got out and sat on the hood of my car with my guitar. Next thing I knew, there were girls everywhere. It was so funny, all the were still riding by looking and here I was, surrounded by all the girls.”

One evening while Gary was playing a song he had written, a man walked up to him inquiring as to whether he had other songs. After playing a few, Walter Bailes introduced himself. The Bailes Brothers vocal group were a Nashville staple, and second only to Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry until they left to promote the Louisiana Hay Ride. Walter Bailes was also a hit songwriter having written many of the Kitty Wells hits. Walter took an interest and told Gary he might be able to do something with his music. With Walters help Gary got on “The Country Boy Eddie Show”, a syndicated television show. Tammy Wynette had gotten her start on his show. Walter also help Gary get on Ernest Tubb’s “The Midnight Jamboree” a radio show out of Nashville airing on WSM FM radio. Gary also secured a guest spot on “The Grand Ole Opry Warm-up Show”.

Gary performed and held company with some of the biggest names in country including Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Porter Wagoner and Ronnie Milsap.

Six days away from finalizing his deal with Warner Bros, Gary suffered a near fatal car crash. He remembers to this day, the sounds of the crash and fighting to free himself from the car before an explosion…He’d lost it all under the wheels of a tractor trailer.

Gary’s new self- titled release on indie label Fires of August will be spring 2008. Lyrical themes and melodies for a sophomore effort are already flowing fast and furious as he prepares to promote Gary Lee Michael. His never-ending faith in God and his passion for music have brought Gary’s musical journey full circle. And Gary’s now expressing his thoughts in song with an even deeper meaning and enjoyin’ every minute.