Josh Turner Biography

Review The Artist (43)

Josh Turner-photo
New MCA artist Josh Turner will never forget his Grand Ole Opry debut. And neither will the Opry audience on the night of December 21, 2001, who gave the then-unknown performer two standing ovations.

"I sang a song I wrote, called 'Long Black Train,'" remembers Josh, "I was on cloud nine, standing there singing a song of mine, standing where Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Roy Acuff had stood. All of a sudden, people started standing up and cheering. I wasn't even through with the song yet! I had two more verses and a chorus to go. By the end of the song, everybody was on their feet. I was in awe, just in shock.”

"Bill Anderson was hosting that segment," continues Josh. "He came out just laughing, because he couldn't believe what was going on. He said, 'Do y'all want to hear some more? Josh, make that train a little bit longer.' So I counted the song off again. I got really choked up, because I realized what had just happened - I'd gotten an encore on the Grand Ole Opry. I was numb. I started crying a little bit, and I think I skipped a couple of verses. But I made it through, and got another standing ovation. There was a buzz in the building. I just couldn't believe that it had happened."

Dreams came true that night for the Hannah, South Carolina, native who always hoped that one day he'd be on a stage. And with a deep, rich voice that's commanding beyond his 25 years, it was only a matter of time.

"Growing up, I was always adept to male singers with baritone or bass voices," recalls Josh. "As a young boy, I would go around mimicking the bass parts that our church men's quartet would sing."

When Randy Travis came on the scene, Josh knew he'd found a kindred spirit. As a teen, he even sang Randy's 1986 No. 1, "Diggin' Up Bones," at a church benefit. "Everybody thought they were just playing Randy's version of it and I was lip-synching," says Josh. "They were just going crazy over it."

By the time Josh got to Nashville, a lot of people were crazy over his voice – and his music. After hearing Josh sing only two songs, MCA signed him in November of 2001. Along with Mark Wright (Gary Allan and Lee Ann Womack), noted producer Frank Rogers (Brad Paisley and Darryl Worley) co-produced Josh's debut album, Long Black Train, set for a fall 2003 release.

And now the rest of the world can hear what the buzz was about that night at the Opry. The title track "Long Black Train" is Josh's new single – a traditional sounding country gospel – yes, gospel – song that would make Hank Williams proud. In fact, Luke the Drifter was the song's inspiration. Josh wrote the tune while still a student at Nashville's Belmont University, after listening to the entire Hank Sr. box set in the school's library.

"As I was walking home I noticed there was something unusually dark about that night “ says Josh. "All of a sudden, I got this vision of a wide open space, out on the plains. There was a train running out in the middle of nowhere, and people were standing beside the tracks, just watching it go by.

"I was thinking, 'What does this mean?' It dawned on me that the train was a physical metaphor for temptation. These people were standing there, deciding whether or not to get on it. That stuck with me. I was going through a tough time in my life at that time, and temptation was a subject that I knew a lot about. When I got home, I sat down on my bed with my guitar, and it just started pouring out of me."

Josh, a strong Christian, knew he had something special – but never thought "Long Black Train" would become his first signature song. "This song is odd," he admits. "It's old-timey” - it sounds like 1940’s gospel music. But I started playing it for people and they went crazy over it. It blew my mind. That song has opened so many doors for me. I'm glad it's the first track on the album, because it expresses my country upbringing and my Christian heritage."

Josh's country heritage is also well represented on his debut CD. He sings the clever, funny, rollicking "What It Ain't" with the voice of a man who's lost at love and is looking back on it with broken-hearted wisdom. In the achingly melancholy ballad "I Had One One Time," he takes on the voice of a homeless man with a message to appreciate what you have. And Josh's self-penned "Backwoods Boy" is a three-minute autobiography.

"That song is real," says Josh, who sings the praises of hunting, camping and dirt roads. "I could take you to my deer stand right now and show you my .243 and all those things I talk about in the song. Those are the kinds of songs I like to write, because people know I'm singing about something real. I'm not just making it up. And I like singing about things like that, because it makes me smile when I'm on stage."

Throughout Josh's album, there is a thread of morality and hope. When he was in the studio, the introspective songwriter looked to another one of his idols, Johnny Cash, as a template for making an album.

People need hope, no matter how far down they are," says Josh. "I know with Johnny Cash, there's always a hopeful spirit, even if it's just in his voice. You look at his life and everything he's been through. He was raised the right way, but he got sidetracked by a lot of things. But he never failed to come back to God and to what he knows is right. It's kept him alive and kept his music going strong. It's just hope. Yeah, I've lost people, my heart's been broken and I've been through tough times. But that shouldn't keep me down."

Josh has high hopes of his own for his debut CD. "I hope a lot of people go get it," he says with a laugh. “It's just who I am," he adds earnestly. "It's the best songs I could come up with for my first record, whether I wrote ‘em or not. They're just honest.”

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Wonderful, uplifting | Reviewer: Shanda Hiller | 7/18/12

Josh has one of the best baritone voices that I've ever heard. Music from the soul, moving, and kept us engaged till the end!! The Melody Tent in Hyannis, MA has been bringing in great talent this year, and in our opinion (my husband and I)he's the best!

God bless!!

Keep It Up | Reviewer: Lena | 6/16/12

I first heard one of your songs when I lived in Colorado in 2004, years later, after moving to Missouri I read an article about you and your wife in a Christian magazine. I have been a fan ever since. I am impressed at how anyone can be in the spot light AND continue to follow the Lord, but I encourage you to keep it up and stay strong. I think that is what a lot of people like about you. I always turn up the volume when your wholesome, or romantic songs come on the radio and penetrate the drinking and womanizing songs that usually monopolize the sound waves. I finally got to see you in concert last night in Springfield MO. Thank you for sharing your talent. And keep up the good work!

Your great! | Reviewer: Army Girlfriend Forever!!! | 10/4/11

You are my boyfriends favorite country singer!! When we started talking is when I really started to listen to your music.. And now I'm in love with it!!! He sings your songs to me all the time and all I can do is smile:) My boyfriend leaves for Basic training in 20 days!!! :( and I will listen to these songs and remember all the good times :)

Converted country music fan because of Josh Turner music | Reviewer: Arlene | 5/15/11

I just watched the Scotty McCreery video and discovered Josh Turner. Now I'd have to say that there are only a limited number of Country Music Artists that I listen too, country being towards the bottom of my favorite kinds of music. Josh Turner will have me listening again! What a spectacular artist.

Family man | Reviewer: BS Garrett | 4/16/11

Dear Josh,
Clearly you and Jennifer are dedicated parents. I work with kids where so many of them come from dysfunctional/broken homes. They have very few good role models. May God continue to bless you both as parents and role models in your family life and professional life.

Thank you Josh Turner :) | Reviewer: Stephanie Carnes | 7/21/10

Josh, I have always loved your music. You are a wonderful artist. Just recently I took my 6 yr. old to Valdosta (7/17/10) to see your concert. That was her first concert. She loves all your songs. She goes to a Christian school too. Thank you for making her first concert a blast. Can you please send me a price for an atograped picture addressed to her name? We will pay for it. She loves your songs. We appriciate your singing. You did a good job at the concert. Everyone loves you Josh Turner. Keep your Faith in God. NEVER a great Husband and father. You will go far!!! God Bless you and your family!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

Please let us know about the picture. That will tickle her pink being 6 and a autograped pic. of her favorite singer.

Thank you for all your hard work. We appriciate you!!!!!!!!

praise | Reviewer: jackie | 2/4/10

josh i truly love your music i listen to all i can but i recently found a song on limewire that i think expresses your raising and your love of true country music that song is s.c.low country just keep making your style of music

Gospel & Christmas CD | Reviewer: Teresa Quillen | 8/19/09

Hi Josh, Have you ever thart of doing a gospel & christmas cd? I thank you are great singer. I had the chance to see you when you came to the twon where I live. I hope to see you agine real soon. Hope everthing goes good for you. I cant wate till your forth cd is relest. Lots of love from your Tennessee Fan.

Your Great!!!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: Debbie Gore | 5/16/09

Hi Josh, You are a terrific singer!!!!Thats a FACT!!!!!!!!I like country now,I used to like rock n roll,but I switched to country,since I had my car wreck,now Im a crippled Bitch in a wheelchair!Ive seen Kid Rock 9 times,he went country too!!!!!!!!!! You are GREAT!!!! Debbie

Sexiest Man Alive! | Reviewer: Taylor Huffman | 5/13/09

Dear Josh-

I absolutely love your music! Your deep voice is such a turn on. I make my boyfriend jealous when I say I'd leave him for you. Ha, but seriously. If you and your wife ever split up, let me know. Just Joking. Keep up the great work. :)

Biggest Fan | Reviewer: kerrie | 3/13/09

Josh you are truly a sensation I live in Jamaica West Indies and rarely do people here listen these kinds of music,due to our different culture and all but truly your voice gives me thrills every time I listen to you.If I took a "LONG BLACK TRAIN","WOULD YOU GO WITH ME"JUST TO BE MY MAN Love you Josh ....

I love your voice Josh Turner. | Reviewer: Clara | 3/4/09

Dear Mr Josh Turner, you have the most wonderful voice i've ever heard in country music, unfortunately i have never been to your concerts, because i'm far far away on a small island call Mauritius, thanks to Ebay i have the opportunities to buy your CDs . i love all your songs especially "Would you go with me" i love you so much you are everywhere on my walls even on my mobile phone, hope to see you one day... Clara.

I love you | Reviewer: TAYLOR CORDRY | 11/22/08



your Dad's friend | Reviewer: barney gambrell | 11/17/08

Hey Josh, I worked with your Dad for many years at Farm Bureau and remember you being on some of those trips. I recently retired but have been proudly keeping up with your career and am so very proud of what you have accomplished. I have two grandchildren, Boyd and Mason Paige that are huge fans of yours and they very much want an autographed picture of you for Christmas. If this would be possible, I would appreciate it very much. I don't mind paying any charges or paying for autographed CD's, etc. They just want Josh Turner's autograph and PAPA said he could get it for them! Thank you so much and keep up the good work. Tell your family hello for me.

Me and God | Reviewer: KM Stubblefield | 9/4/08

What an amazing voice. Good to know of a young man who values his roots and a relationship with God and who knows where his gifts and talents come from. Your song, Me and God, has been a blessing to me. It has been a tough year, I lost my father, a godly man, great dad, and a leader in the church, to cancer. Hearing this particular song lifts my spirits. Thank you and God Bless.


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