Kostas was discovered by producer Tony Brown, as he searched for songs for singer Patty Loveless. Loveless recorded and released "Timber, I'm Falling in Love", which soared to number one on the Billboard country charts. She released three more Kostas songs as singles: "The Lonely Side of Love" (1989), "On Down the Line" (1990), and "Blame It On Your Heart" (1993). "Blame It on Your Heart" earned BMI's "Country Song of the Year" for the most performed single of 1994. Dwight Yoakam also recorded several songs by Kostas, including "Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose", and "Send a Message to My Heart" (a duet with Loveless), all from the 1990 album If There Was a Way, and "Ain't That Lonely Yet,” from his album This Time. The latter earned Yoakam the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1994. Other Kostas hits include "Going Out Of My Mind" and "Love On The Loose Heart On The Run" by McBride & The Ride, "Lord Have Mercy On The Working Man" by Travis Tritt, "I Can Love You Better" by the Dixie Chicks, "Life #9" by Martina McBride and "What A Crying Shame" by The Mavericks.
Walt Wilkins is synonymous with singer-songwriter. His songs, recordings, and production are ever present on Texas radio. Before returning home to Texas, Wilkins spent ten years in the Nashville furrows creating art recorded by artist he admired like "Seven Hillsides," by Ricky Skaggs, on a record that won a bluegrass-gospel Grammy, "Big Hopes" by Ty Herndon, the title track for his 3rd Sony album, plus a dozen or more major-label cuts. But Pat Green deserves some credit for making Wilkins’ name known, in Texas and beyond. The Wilkins & Green collaboration “Carry On” is a Texas anthem.
Mike Blakely has released 14 albums, performed all over the U.S. and has made 16 tours to Europe. His songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson, Cody Johnson, Gary P. Nunn, Red Steagall, Flaco Jimenez and Raul Malo, Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros, john Arthur martinez, Randy Brown, Geronimo Trevino III and Johnny Rodriguez, Johnny Bush, and others. As an author, he has published 19 books with major New York City publishers. He won the Spur Award for Best Western Novel awarded by Western Writers of America and was nominated for 2019 Album of the Year by Academy of Western Artists.
Helen Darling scored a crossover #1 hit with her song “Bring On The Rain,” recorded by Jo Dee Messina and Tim McGraw. The song was nominated for a Grammy, an ACM and a CMA award. Reba McEntire, Little Big Town and others have also recorded songs by the former MCA/Decca artist. Darling was honored by NSAI members with a superior creativity award and by BMI with a citation of achievement award for “Bring On The Rain.”
john Arthur martinez is a Marble Falls native. His songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson, Flaco Jimenez (with Raul Malo of the Mavericks), and independent artists. Accolades include: 2006 & 2010 Texas Music Awards Song of the Year, 2004 Billboard Charting Album (Lone Starry Night), and 2003 Nashville Star Runner-up. “Seguro Que Hell Yes,” co-written with Alex Harvey and Blakely was released as a single by Jimenez from his self-titled Grammy-winning album. He’s performed with Keith Urban, Elton John, Miranda Lambert, Dwight Yoakum, Mark Chesnutt, Asleep at the Wheel, Carrie Underwood, John Prine, Joe Ely, Todd Snider, and more.
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