Reality TV goes country with the show Nashville Star with the first of nine episodes that aired at 8 p.m. Saturday on the USA Network. Twelve finalists will be competing for the "Nashville Star" title as viewers can watch their every move as they have moved in a house in Nashville together using the format that has become familiar on other series. Cameras will record the friendships, heartbreaks, quarrels and the creativity that develop over the next nine weeks.
Local TV viewers can take pride in the fact that one of the 12 country artist finalists is Buddy Jewell is not only an Arkansas native, but a Mississippi County native. Jewell is originally from Osceola.
Jewell has family ties in the area as his sister, Pam Shirley, lives in Caraway, and his brother, Danny Jewell, lives in the Milligan Ridge area. He is the son of Bud Jewell of Cabot and Eva Holiman of West Memphis.
The 12 finalists were chosen from a nationwide search that began with 8,000 contestants. Only one of the 12 finalists will walk away with a recording contract from Sony Music Nashville and have their first album produced by country music legend Clint Black.
Jewell, the 41 year old father, moved his family to Antioch, Tenn., and makes a living as a demo singer in Nashville, Tenn. He was born in Lepanto and had lived in West Helena and Forrest City before moving to Osceola in the fourth grade. He studied radio-TV at Arkansas State University. After winning the "male vocalist" category twice on Ed McMahon's Star Search in 1993, he and his wife, Tene, decided to move to Nashville.
Jewell's demo of "Write This Down" persuaded George Strait to record the song. Jewell also writes a lot of his own songs and won the Arkansas songwriters Association's country song of the year in 1983; in 1997 a tune he wrote with friends, "Once and For All," went to No. 1 on the Christian country charges; and country singer Michael Mason is making his big move with a video of Jewell's song, "Mail Myself to Mexico." Alabama is among the groups that Jewell has opened for in his music career.
Jewell has a new CD named "One In A Row," featuring some of his original songs. Titles on the CD are "Abilene On Her Mind," "Mail Myself to Mexico," "One In a Row," "Lacey's Song," and "Wichita Falls Woman." To read more about Jewell and his career, information is available on his website buddyjewell.com
Jewell hopes to survive through episode 5, when the contestants can show off their songwriting skills.
Jewell has been featured in the December 10, 2002 and March 18, 2003, editions of the Country Weekly magazines.
Jewell knows two of his fellow contestants, Amy Chappell and Anne Lousie Blythe, from regional competition; and he has been out to dinner with the whole group. Jewell said it should be an interesting nine weeks.
Some contestants will be voted out by judges and some by viewers' votes and all will be hoping to be the "last man or woman" standing.
The other 11 finalists are from California, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, New Mexico, and Kentucky.