Recently on October 6th in Nashville, Vienna, Mo. native and country music singer/songwriter Leona Williams was honored at the R.O.P.E. Awards Banquet as entertainer of the year.
R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) honors those who have made a lifetime of contributions to country music while continuing the format of classic country in today’s changing music scene. Other entertainers nominated for this year’s award included country greats Jan Howard, Stonewall Jackson, Jim Ed Brown, Jett Williams and Tommy Cash. The voters for this association include musicians, other entertainers, and a variety of Leona’s peers in the music industry.
Singing, writing and performing classic country music is what Leona is known for. Nobody sings it like Leona, who has never strayed from her roots in classic country music. Keeping the traditional format alive is what Leona strives for.
Leona’s long running career has spanned many decades. With her first Radio Show in Jefferson City, Mo. at the age of 15, to her first recordings on Hickory Records, Leona was laying the groundwork for stardom. Traveling overseas for a brave tour of Vietnam to entertain our soldiers early in her career, Leona has since taken her style of country music and shared it with the world. Each year she can be found touring places like Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, and other European countries.
In 2007, R.O.P.E. awarded Leona with the Songwriter Of The Year award. Her hits are many, and artists such as Connie Smith, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn, Gene Watson, Randy Travis and others have recorded her songs.
Most recently, Leona has been busy with the release of her new venture into classic bluegrass/country. Her new CD entitled Grassroots was just released on her own recording label, Loveshine Records. Many of the greats from the world of country and bluegrass contributed their talents to this record, including Rodney and Beverly Dillard, Pam Tillis, The Whites, Mack Wiseman, Vince Gill, Barbara Fairchild, Melody Hart and Rhonda Vincent. Leona composed 10 of the 12 tracks on this latest project.
In upcoming news for Leona, she is currently working on a new tribute CD to Country Music Hall of Fame artist George Jones that will be released soon. Also, famed European music distributor Bear Family Records is set to release a box set of Leona’s music, and they are very excited to be working with her again on this new box set release.
To contact Leona, or to simply keep up with her busy career and schedule, visit her website at leonawilliams.com.
By: Tracy Helton
The 2011 R.O.P.E Awards– Photos By Jerry Overcast