Not many just-turned 16-year olds are invited on stage by a legendary group like the Oak Ridge Boys to sing acapella. The captivated audience in Galveston’s prestigious Opry sat enraptured… then came thunderous applause and a standing ovation for Mary Sarah’s rendition of the 1961 Connie Frances hit, “Where the Boys Are,” a song that most artists of her tender age would not even attempt, much less, know.
At 12, Mary Sarah toured the U.S. for 6 months as a featured lead vocalist and dancer in Kidz Bop, a Razor & Tie Records and Vee Corporation production, produced by Michael Anderson in Los Angeles. This was an 18-song rock concert from Kidz Bop albums, which to date have racked up 7 Gold albums, with “kid-friendly” cover versions of hits. The experience from performing in front of 4-6,000 kids per show defined her stage presence and earned her national and global popularity.
After the Kidz Bop tour, Mary Sarah returned to Texas and began performing in local and regional Opry Theatres, Town Squares and Charity fundraisers.
Like many top country artists, Mary Sarah’s first performances were in church at age 8. One advantage of living in Texas is the presence of hundreds of country radio stations and numerous regional Opry Theaters and Mary Sarah has performed in almost all of them multiple times, paying tribute to her heroes – the legends of country music.
Mary Sarah is hosting a four part series for the 2011 season of “OPRY on the Square – Country Now and Then” in Sugarland Town Square. http://OpryontheSquare.com
A huge part of Mary Sarah’s story is her faith, love for her family, and charitable work; the foremost being The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a cause very dear to her heart. Mary Sarah’s brother, Chris, battles this disease. Last fall she performed the National Anthem at the opening of The Walk To Cure Diabetes in Houston. “I want to be a voice for those who need one,” she told the Houston Post, which called her “an incredibly talented country singer/songwriter.”
Mary Sarah has a love for traditional and contemporary country music and has recently written with Nashville hit songwriters, Tony Marty and Karen Staley.
The ISC, Inc. (International Songwriting Competition) Founder/Director, Candice Avery, has placed Mary Sarah in the Top-Ten, Teen Category, for her self-penned song “A New Crush,” which was chosen from 15,000 entrants, making this an extraordinary achievement. Mary Sarah previously won Runner-Up in the Country Category for her original, “One Time Around.” Mary Sarah has also been awarded by Musicati Inventor/Co-developer, Troy Stacy, a $50,000 promotion package servicing 20,000 digital juke boxes throughout North America, beginning April 1, 2011 for her first CD titled, CRAZY GOOD, recorded at age 14.
Tucson-based radio veteran, Jessica Northey, Finger Candy Media, (who in recent years has become a real leader in the exploding world of Social Media,) represents Mary Sarah on:
“It’s a journey that I am so blessed to take with my family and my fans. The feedback and encouragement on the internet is just as important to me as performing for a live audience,” says Mary Sarah.
So stay tuned. This 15-year-old showbiz “veteran” has already come a long way and she’s only just begun.
By PHIL SWEETLAND
Music+Radio contributor for The New York Times