Stettler native Ken Gabriel wrote a song that appears on the Nashville Songwriter’s Holiday Album released in 2013. Titled “Amy,” the song was sung by Country music star Michael Lusk, who has performed with the likes of Martina McBride, Marty Stuart and Loretta Lynn.
Gabriel notes that the inspiration for his homage to Amy began in a grocery store after he saw an inspiring sight.
“It all started back when I was in Red Deer in ‘96, way downtown at the IGA,” he says. “It started out as a grocery store song with a girl named Amy.”
For the Nashville release he changed the lyrics to revolve around seeing a girl named Amy at the Stettler arena to help promote an interest in the area.
“They thought the song might blend in to the Christmas album, and help out the community in Stettler,” Gabriel says.
Amy is one of seven songs on the showcase sung by Lust, which gave the song more chance of airplay.
“The radio station [in Stettler] got a good response from the song,” Gabriel noted.
Amy is Gabriel’s second foray into professionally-recorded songwriting. His first song, “Cresent Falls,” was sung by Lynn Wolf and appeared on a Nashville Songwriter’s Showcase album in 2012. He describes the process of song submission as a method of talent, preparation and luck.
“I send my CD’s to Nashville and when my songs are accepted they go and record it in three weeks,” he says. “One out of every 30 songs [received] is given a chance.” Gabriel says he is working on finishing up four more tunes and plans to do another showcase if time allows.
Though Gabriel’s never been to Nashville, he keeps up an active musical life by participating in events around town.
“I like singing karaoke, I used to sing in Red Deer,” he notes. “I really like singing the Beatles, Paul McCartney and things like that.”
Those with interest in receiving an album can send their phone number to Box 873, Stettler, AB T0C 1C0.