Cory Jackson releases second EPA, "Let's Get it Right"
Singer, writer and entertainer Cory Jackson of Jonesboro has just released his second EPA titled Let's Get It Right. The title song was co-written by Cory and Michael Gardner. The CD features five songs, Let's Get It Right, She's Got My Heart, Take My Breath Away, Forgiving Him, Coast to Coast, and a bonus song featuring Cory and his 10 year old sister Shawna. The album is produced by Kevin King and Randy Loyd for Lazy Dawg Productions of Jonesboro.
Cory and Michael will be appearing at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Brickhouse Grill for a back to school bash.
Cory has become a local favorite with his country music and nice smile. In addition to the Brickhouse Grill, he has appeared at the Epic Center, Skinny J's, Farmers Market in Paragould, The Round Up and other places.
A 2013 graduate of Westside High School, Cory will be a senior at Arkansas State University working toward an interdisciplinary studies degree. He is studying psychology, health and music. He works on the ASU campus in childhood services where he cares for pre-school children. The kids are some of his biggest fans as he has learned children's songs on the guitar and they all enjoy music time with Cory.
Growing up, Cory was very shy and could only dream of being on stage. His family spent several vacation days in Branson and Cory loved the shows that later inspired him.
"I did not even like to talk in front of a crowd, much less sing," he said.
During his sophomore year in high school he was on the student council and that broke his shell. He had just started playing the guitar and his friends knew he could sing. They encouraged him to sing at a state conference and all of his shyness seemed to disappear.
"People seemed to like it and it just felt natural," Cory said.
Cory's grandfather, Hershel Whitehurst, bought him a guitar and starting teaching him to play in 2010.
"He was an encouragement to me," Cory said. "He passed away shortly after I started playing and I knew I had to continue for him. One of my songs on my first album, In My Heart, was written in memory of both my grandfathers. My other grandfather is Larry Colber."
Cory has been performing for three years but has really put his heart into it over the last two years.
He participated in the American Idol auditions in Jonesboro in 2015. He, along with eight others, were selected to try out in Little Rock, each singing two or three songs.
"I did not make the finals but it was a great experience," Cory said. I met Keith Urban and other judges but Keith Urban really opened my eyes."
He entered a video in a Snag a Job contest last year. The winner opened for Brett Eldredge. Cory made it to the top five but did not win.
He did not give up and in April he submitted a song to a contest through Radio Station WSM. He was one of 22 or 24 who made the first round and had the opportunity to perform with great country musicians including Jimmy Capps in Lebanon, Tenn.
Among the songs Cory chose to perform was Merle Haggard's Mamma Tried. He made the top 12 and returned in June to play two songs. He was the last contestant of the day which made him a little more nervous. He performed his original song Take My Breath Away and Ronnie Milsap's Day Dreams About Night Things.
Cory won first place giving him a chance to open for the Oak Ridge Boys at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon on Aug. 23. It is the third largest county fair and draws large crowds. Cory is looking forward to opening for the Oak Ridge Boys.
Band members who will be on stage with Cory include Kevin King, drummer, Matt Thomas, bass, Alex Carson, lead guitar, Bryce Anderson, keyboard, and Lance Blythe, acoustic guitar.
Cory said he has a lot of encouragement and appreciates the Lazy Dawg Music Group for all they do in promoting his music.
Randy Lloyd and Kevin King toured with Twister Alley Band, played back up for Shawnia Twain and Toby Keith before opening their studio in Joneboro.
"They have been great mentors to me," he said.
Cory took theory lessons from Craig Morris and voice lessons from Donna Rhodes Morris, formerly of Paragould. Their daughter, Savanna, will be singing harmony when Cory performs at the Brick House.
His dream is to someday perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Nashville is definitely on his to do list.
"I have been super blessed and I look forward to moving forward with my music," he said. "So many people encourage me. Mike Chojnacki with Mike's Music News drove to Tennessee to take pictures during the contest. I was surprised to see him there. I have made many friends through my music."
His role models include George Strait and Tim McGraw.
"They are real, they are humble," Cory said. "I want to be like that."