McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 15, 2013

McAlester singer/songwriter invited back to Nashville for return performance

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — She’s “back by popular demand” —  and it’s more than a slogan.

McAlester’s Joanie Brooks received a personal invitation to return this year for another appearance on RFD TV’s “Shotgun Red Variety Show.”

Brooks said the show’s producer Steve Hall contacted her  and asked if she would like to return for another guest appearance on the television show — which she said meant she’d finished  among the top dozen artists for the year.

Brooks said the show’s representatives have told her that her performance will be telecast at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.

She said she felt honored to be asked to return because the television audience votes on which artists are  invited for a retrun performance on the program. The show is also telecast in Canada, which made the return invitation feel all the better to Brooks.

“That made me feel real good,” she said.  “I was chosen by America and Canada.”

Unlike her 2012 appearance, when she performed on the General Jackson Riverboat, this year’s telecast is from the Texas Troubadour Theatre, also in Nashville, Brooks said.

Brooks traveled to Nashville in February for a taping of the program set to air May 16.

As Brooks took to the stage to perform her song, she felt startled when saw who was waiting to perform after her.

“As I was singing, Lee Greenwood came in,” Brooks said, referring to the man best known for writing and singing “God Bless the USA.”

Although Greenwood took the stage immediately after she finished her number, Brooks said she doesn’t know if Greenwood’s performance will be aired on the same telecast as hers.

She’s definitely enthusiastic about her own performance, however, which will include the debut of her new self-penned single.

“The show is going to air my new release, ‘Down, (To the River),”’ Brooks said.

Following the telecast, Brooks plans on taking the song into a wider release.

“We’re going to put it out,” she said.

Brooks said she wrote the song in McAlester and it’s already popular among many who have heard it.

She used technology to make the stage band on the Shotgun Red Variety Show familiar with her song before she got to Nashville, sending an electronic version over the Internet for the band to hear.

By the time she arrived in Nashville, the band had already learned the song and played her an arrangement of it, giving her an opportunity to sign off on it or request something different.

Brooks said she told the band members she trusted their judgment.

The first time anyone from the general public heard the song came when she stepped on-stage at the Troubadour Theatre to perform it.

Brooks said she felt honored to play on the stage of the Texas Troubadour Theatre. It’s the host of the “Midnite Jamboree” on WSM Radio. “Midnite Jamboree” is billed as the second longest-running radio show in the U.S., following the Grand Ole Opry.

In McAlester, Brooks is continuing with her other art form, painting murals on rooms inside houses.

She also putting together another band, called Blue Ribbon Country.

Brooks said anyone needing more information can send an email to

Contact James Beaty at

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