ABOUT CJ NEWSOM

I started singing when I was 3yrs old.  I never had any formal voice training.  My mother helped me from the beginning, teaching me things like breath support and stage presence. 

I was home-schooled much of my early education so I would travel with my parents all over the US.  They would travel in their camper and it always seemed like I would get to sing at where ever I was.  Before long, I was singing in competitions, fairs, and was a regular at the Webster County Opry here in Missouri. When I visited the Grand Ole Opry, I felt just like Patsy Cline did when she entered this cornerstone of Country Music.  She was amazed at all the legends that stood behind the microphone like Hank Williams, Red Foley, and Roy Acuff.  To my amazement, when I visited the Grand Ole Opry Sept 1991, I got to see these great legends like Roy Acuff himself along with Roger Miller, Hank Snow, and Porter Wagoner. 

One of the things I have always loved about Patsy is the passion that she exhibits in her music.  That is one thing that I have tried to incorporate in my singing.  Patsy was special because when she sang, the passion in her music was palatable.  She wasn’t the prettiest or the smartest singer, but she had a passion that could take everyone who heard her to the edge of their seat and put a fire in their heart. 

Patsy knew how to not just sing well, but entertain the audience. She loved to visit with the audience after the show.  She knew who bought her records and she was very thankful to her audience.  In my 12 years of performing here in Branson, I’ve enjoyed singing for audiences so much because the people who come to visit are from everywhere around the country.  I get to talk to them and find out all sorts of information about where they live.  They make me feel like I’ve been there.  Patsy loved to connect with the people.  A lot of times she would sit and visit with the audiences longer after the band had left.

Patsy performed many times just a few miles from Branson in Springfield MO, the location of the Ozark Jubilee.  Patsy loved performing at the Ozark Jubilee; she thought of it as her home away from home.  Her roots were performing country music and yodeling at places like the Grand Ole Opry and the Ozark Jubilee.  Her producers were pushing her towards more of a pop sound, so she really enjoyed these venues were she could sing what was closer to her heart and it also gave her the opportunity to choose her own material for a national audience.

Back in 1999, almost 40 years after the Ozark Jubilee went off the air, many of the performers decided to do a reunion show which they called the Ozark Jubilee Reunion.  Many of the original cast members put it together like: Speedy Haworth, Leroy VanDyke, and some of the Ozark Jubilee cloggers.  I had the privilege being asked to take the role of Patsy Cline in this reunion performance. 

On the 50th anniversary of Patsy’s passing, I have accomplished one of my life long dreams, being able to pay tribute to this great artist.  Come and share the history of her life and music with me in this exciting new show.