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With the kind of country music roots Ken Mellons has it's not surprising when we hear songs like "Paint Me A Birmingham" sprout from his musical talents. It's been a while since Ken has been active on the charts. That doesn't mean heís been completely absent from the music scene, though. Like most artists, Ken took the time to hone his craft through writing, touring and getting real world experience. There's nothing like the real world experience of family as most of us know. Ken's new son Kade is giving his dad such new experiences and probably more inspiration.

This Kingsport, Tennessee native, raised in Nashville, says his early musical influences include his fatherís love for bluegrass, the Opry and the Porter Waggoner Show. Many times his family would find this child decked out in cowboy gear, fringed vest and all, singing country songs on the family coffee table. Ken also had a love of sports but chose to go the musical route when he graduated high school. Odd jobs carried Ken through the years of auditions and other contacts. His big shot at stardom came when he played for the old Opryland show "Country Music USA". This gave him the chance to meet such country soon to be famousí types like Chely Wright, James Bonamy and Lonestar's Dean Sams. Two years later, Ken auditioned for the Nashville Network show "You Can Be A Star". While his audition wasnít a success in terms of landing him a chance to be on the air, it did give him the chance to sing for the studio audience between commercial breaks. One of the judges who heard Ken's great distinctive baritone voice was celebrity judge Keith Whitley. Ken recalls, "After I finished, Keith Whitley, who happened to be a judge that day said to me "Hoss, youíre one of the finest country singers Iíve heard. Donít you ever give up! One day youíll be a star. He had no idea they turned me down for the show." Ken took this great advice to heart, making Whitley one of his biggest musical influences. After Whiltley's death, Ken met Keith's mother at Fan Fair. He told her of how he met Keith. She said, "Keith came home and told me the same story of how he met you." Soon the rest of the country music world found out about Ken through his work on the Friday night Opry Show. Country music producer Jerry Cupit met Ken here and got Ken a record deal with Epic Records in 1992. His first big hit, "Jukebox Junkie" launched his path to stardom.

Kení's latest hit "Paint Me A Birmingham" is exactly the kind of song country music listeners remember coming from Ken when he first began singing. This bluesy country tune is about the kind of romantic ideal most of us want or just want to get back to. This release is just one of the new songs to come from Kenís upcoming CD "Sweet".

Ken says, "For me, it's performance over perfection, Iím proud of what Iím part of.î If this is and example of what is coming from Ken in the future perfection might not be that far away."

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