Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia featuring 30 youth with actor/entertainer Randall Franks is June’s #1 Americana/Grassicana CD on the APD Top 50 Global Albums Charts.
Mr. Franks is an International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame Legend who appeared on NBC and CBS as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s In the Heat of the Night, and in other TV series and films including the upcoming drama The Crickets Dance.
The charity youth project joins artists including Tim O’Brien, The Hot Flashes, Junior Cheyne and The Time Jumpers in the top five on the charts.
The project also hit number 9 on the Top 50 Global Albums for June covering all genres alongside artists including Dr. John, Odetta, Larry Sparks, Deer Creek Boys and Breaking Glass.
“We are so grateful for all the radio presenters around the world who are encouraging the talents of all the youth who participated,” Mr. Franks said. “It was an amazing opportunity bringing together all these talents, who for many, experienced recording, wrote a song, or simply found themselves playing with others for the first time.”
Share America released the project to 11,000 radio stations around the world in a partnership with AirPlay Direct.
The overall chart success was supported by the youth’s individual recordings, many of which charted themselves on the June Top 50 APD Americana/Grassicana Global Singles Chart as of July 4.
Singer/musician Isaac Moore of Adairsville, Ga. topped the talents in the number 10 slot with his recording of the classic hymn Farther Along including musicians Mr. Franks on fiddle and Phillip Cross on guitar. Mr. Moore not only sang lead but performed all four parts in the quartet, Mr. Franks said.
“The fact that this great gospel song gets to be heard by people as a potential help to them goes far beyond any honor that could be placed on me for singing it,” Mr. Moore said. “I sing gospel because of the words.”
Chickamauga pianist Colton Brown was next on the charts with his performance of When We All Get to Heaven & Blessed Assurance at number 15.
“I was blessed to be part of this incredible opportunity for Share America,” Mr. Brown said.
Youth choral group SingAkadamie led by Sheri Thrower landed at number 17 with The Star-Spangled Banner, while bluegrass artists Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band including Eli Beard, Cody Harvey, Colin Mabry, Wil Markham, Tyler Martelli, at number 18 with their gospel spiritual I Want to Be Ready.
Landing in the 20s were country song It's A Hard Road to Make Love Easy by Ryan Stinson (24); piano/harmonica instrumental Piano Man (25) by Colton Brown; original gospel song I Believe He Spoke to Me (26) by Nicholas Hickman with SingAkadamie including Jacob Trotter, Grant Lewellen, Nicholas Hickman, Lilly Anne York, Haleigh Grey, Kayla Starks, Chelsea Brewster, Logan Lynne; and Mr. Franks with a patriotic Americana recitation What About All These American Flags? (27).
Mr. Franks with Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band led of the 30s with his bluegrass song Filling the River with Tears.
“The youth that helped me put my cuts together for this project really shined,” Mr. Franks said. “I am honored that radio presenters are sharing what we created.”
It was followed by Someone Greater Than I by Ryan Stinson with Jeff Hullender (31), banjo-stylist Landon Fitzpatrick with the instrumental Old Spinning Wheel (33), Singer Wally O'Donald and SingAkadamie with Tommy Scott’s rockabilly Been Gone A Long Time by (37).
Singer/musician Phillip Cross led the 40s with the original bluegrass song Midnight Train (42), while guitarist Caleb Lewis hit 44 with Chet Atkins’ Baby's Coming Home and Emerald Butler took her original song How Could I Go? to 47.
Throughout the month, Time for the Blues by King Springs Road including Tyler Griffith, Owen Schinkel, Kylie Anderson, Josh Meade, and Max Silverstein; Traveler's Lantern by Wally O'Donald; and Wash Day by Landon Wall; all charted in various positions.
Among the other youth performers included on the project are: Warren Carnes; Trevor Holder; Chris Brown; Matthew Nave; Drew Sherrill; Kiersten Suttles; and Tyler West. Ringgold youth Bradley Powell mastered the project while Ryan Stinson was associate producer.
The other musicians contributing their talents to the effort on various recordings are special guests Gospel Music Hall of Fame member Jeff Hullender, SingAkadamie director Sheri Thrower, Tim Witt, John Roberts; Bary Wilde; Chris Gordon; Tim Neal; and Mitch Snow.
The North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Foundation provided grant funds assisting with mailing costs for physical CD radio distribution to Americana, Bluegrass and Gospel radio stations, and underwriting a portion of the studio costs to support first time recordings for youth from its service areas. Portions of the project were also supported by the Kiwanis Club of Ringgold and the Wes and Shirley Smith Charitable Endowment.
The Share America Foundation, Inc., a 501-C-3 of Georgia, fosters the arts and preserves the history of Appalachia while presenting the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship annually to youth who continue traditional music styles of Appalachia. The organization hosts special events and creates projects that perpetuate the Appalachian experience. Americana Youth of Southern Appalachia CD is available for a $15 donation in Ringgold at It’s Sew Time, Southern Tradition/Stuff 4 Less and Uniktings or on the web at www.ShareAmericaFoundation.org . It may be downloaded through Apple iTunes, Google Music, Amazon, and CD Baby by searching for the title.