Kim McLean's "Greensboro-Grass" Gets Greener

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Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter hit's the music mainstream by doing things her way.

Greensboro, NC native, Kim McLean said a silent teen-age prayer as she held her guitar one afternoon, "God, please make me a songwriter." In her heart she asked for the noble calling to create music that would mend broken hearts, strengthen faith, and create a legacy of song from the cradle of the Blue Ridge where she was born. Influenced by her songwriting grandmother, Sara McLean, (who's claim to fame was 'almost getting a song on the Lawrence Welk show and programming a local gospel radio station), Kim started writing and singing. Her music was laced with a mountain-rockabilly bluegrass-groove-gospel-heart, and contained the poetry of truth born from a colorful rich American family heritage. She married, had children, and her music contained more self lived themes.

Her step-mother, C.J. McLean sent a 'friend of a friend of a friend' in Nashville, Kim's songs, thinking they were 'as good as any she'd ever heard on the radio'. According to Woody Bomar, the 'friend of a friend' who received the songs, and just happened to be head of one of the hottest publishing companies in Nashville, they WERE as good as the ones on the radio. So, he offered Kim a contract if she'd move to Nashville.

Again, Kim prayed that "if God wanted a move, her house would sell quickly". A 'for sale' sign was up on Monday, and replaced with a 'sold' sign on Friday, and it was Kim McLean's sign that things were on the right path. With baby girls running around the house, Kim continued writing, getting songs recorded by country and gospel acts. Change in career status often takes a toll on marriage, and her childhood romance marriage ended in divorce. Devastated personally, Kim moved out of heartbreak the only way she knew how...she wrote songs.

She single handedly single 'mom-edly' wrote songs, taught elementary music in public school, made beanie weenies, carpooled, and sang every chance she could until she landed a major recording contract. On cloud nine, she recorded, did photo shoots, and was 'imaged', ready to hit the road, when the label executive leveled with her that she could not take her children along on the tour. Kim McLean's heart sank. She was the only parent her children had now, since their father's departure. Without a second thought, she said "no, thank you and goodbye", leaving the record executive shaking his head. On her way home, McLean reminded herself of her prayer. "God, make me a songwriter." She retreated into the songwriting caverns of Music Row in Nashville, writing with some of the most prestigious names in the business. She kept writing through two more marriages, the birth of her son, and two divorces. Kim kept writing songs of truth. Whatever she lived, she wrote. And the artists who sang her songs felt as if they'd lived the words she wrote, too, they were so real. A Dove Award for writing the Country Gospel Song of the Year, with "Count Your Blessing" for the Martins, was just one of the many career highlights for Kim from 1987 until 2000. Her songs have appeared in “J*A*G”, “West Wing”, and “Hope and Faith” on TV.

Producing jobs followed for Kim McLean with Sony, Capital, Warner Brothers, and Curb. People in the music industry began to ask why she never considered recording her songs herself? With a smile, she would always explain she'd chosen motherhood over music. Then, as the music industry changed, and independent acts began to have a voice, she finally began recording her own projects. Starting small, she recorded projects that she performed in churches. She's done five recording projects, the latest of which is called "Happy Face".

While recording the album, one song had Kim dreaming about singing with one of her favorite influences. So, she sent a copy of the song, "Angels and Eagles" to Dolly Parton's office. Seven days later, the office called and said, "Dolly loves the song, and wants to sing on the record." Dreams do come true, and the single, "Angels and Eagles" debuted the highest of any new artist in this history of the Power Source charts. It quickly moved into the top 10. As a result, it's been sent to mainstream country radio stations in hopes it will find it's audience the same way everything else has happened for Kim McLean...miracles, dreams, and prayers. "Angels and Eagles" is a song about letting one's children go, the loneliness of an empty nest, and the reassurance that home is always waiting as they fly away.

"Angels and Eagles" and songs from "Happy Face" are getting airplay all over the world, with media requests coming in every day. Her concerts still take her first to churches, and she's booked into 2007 with appearances as far away as Ghana, West Africa.

Kim McLean's future is as open as the blue North Carolina skies. She's loved her children well, carried her songwriting gift with integrity, and is sharing her songs in truth...no regrets, no perfection, no need to apologize as she flies into the world with a mountain melody in her heart.

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Devon O'day
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