George Dearborne Back In The Spotlight Again
I’ve been in Country Music Radio for a long time. I’ve been in a fortunate position to see a couple of people’s careers get started, and been witness to them going from playing in local clubs, to the national Country scene. I’ve also seen how hard the music industry can be on people, and mention that every now and then on my show in one way or another. I love music, but wouldn’t want to be in the industry of making music.
Today, people can record albums on their own, upload them to various online platforms and kind of do it themselves, but in the 1990s, if you didn’t get that all important recording contract, you could be super popular locally, even regionally, but forget nationally. It was before “The Voice”, or any of the other shows that showcase really talented people. I was a Music Director for a Country station in the early 1990s, and at the time, record companies would fly us to “Showcases” to see their newest Country finds. I had a great time, heard some super Country Music, but very few acts made it through to success. Some might have had one or two hits, but then faded away. It’s always struck me as a tough business to get into, and tough on people once they got in the business.
There are a lot of people that are talented enough to be on the national stage, and some are in our area. I have one story about a singer that, in my mind, will always be a superstar, but he didn’t get that “record deal” in the early '90s. His name is George Dearborne.
He played a lot when there were live bands every weekend. He played at Bourbon Street, Cutters, up in Bandara, in Louisiana, lots of places. He got the attention of a few record companies, and I was part of one of his showcases for the A&R (talent scout) guys that came to Cutters to see George. It was very exciting; I hadn’t seen the business from that viewpoint. I just knew he was going to be a big star.
Such a humble fella, with a killer stage presence, and to me, if anybody who sang “This Blues Man” heard George Dearborne sing it, they’d never sing it again. He had some really great originals, “the look”, and I just knew he was going to be a superstar. After all, I had gone to radio showcases and seen the prevailing talent. They made a mistake, though: he wasn’t signed.
George played for a little while longer, and then went off to work and I didn’t see him for several years. By the time he moved back, the club scene had changed; local bands don’t get to play every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night like they did in the ‘90s, even in Country. It’s a lot harder to get a band together when you can’t play regularly, so we haven’t gotten to hear George play often at all.
He is playing tomorrow night with Twangster’s Union in Beaumont at The Sawdust Saloon. Whoever comes to see the show will hear some great Country Music, and there will also be some long time George Dearborne Fans there, like me, who will get to see their superstar. You guessed it: I can’t wait!