Guest Author - Kathy Lyngholm
Josh Gracin might have come in fourth in the American Idol competition, but this 23 year old Marine has one of the fastest rising debut CDs, "Josh Gracin”, in country music history.
Although Josh is still on active duty at Camp Pendleton, he is putting Nashville on notice that he's coming to town in September when he is honorably discharged.
Born in Westland, MI, his first musical influences were classic rock and pop until his favorite radio station changed their direction and went to playing country. Josh counts Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie, Randy Travis and George Strait among the artists that got him hooked on country. "Standing Outside the Fire" was his first public performance when he was 12 years old and it was a success, his classmates, who were more into dance music, loved it. Not only did he sing with his school choir, but he was a member of the marching band, playing the saxophone.
Facing those difficult years right after High School, breaking up with his girlfriend and not handling responsibility very well, Josh decided to join the Marines. It had been something he talked about doing, but never did. After boot camp, he got back together with his girlfriend, now his wife, Ann Marie, they married and now have a daughter Briana.
Josh saw the first American Idol and figured it might be a good way to get him back into singing. He got permission from his commanding officers and a star was on the way to being born. The war in Iraq started and could have put an quick halt to Josh's dreams of being on American Idol 2, but his unit has not been called up. Josh says being a Marine has taught him how to be prepared "mentally, physically and emotionally" for the things that life is throwing at him now and for the rest of his life.
Ann Marie and Briana are in Nashville getting settled, waiting on Josh to join them in September. It's going to be interesting to see where this young Marine leads country music in the future, but if the debut CD is any indication, you'll be seeing a lot more of him. Personally, I can't wait!