While the event and the TV show happen in Tennessee, I actually interviewed Miss ReNay when she was on her way home from work. You see sitting in Atlanta traffic gives you much time to not only do an interview but we could have whipped us up some good ole peach cobbler if her vehicle had an on board oven.
All joking aside, ReNay is a lovely woman who spends so much of her life giving and doing for others, it is so nice to hear that she got a little back in the form of winning the 2013 GME Broadcast Personality of the Year Award. We had a good forty-five minutes to talk and this is what was said:
Q So what is going on with you? You have so many good things happening?
A I do. God has been good to me, he really has.
Q You have been in music all your life right? Did this start when you were little?
A Yes, I have been in music my whole life. I got my first piano when I was eight and began writing songs when I was just a young child. As a teenager I sort of chilled and lay low and just played and kept it to myself. When I became nineteen I started singing publicly.
Q Was that just in church or was that in other venues?
A No, I had actually sang in different venues my whole life. I predominantly sang gospel music as you know but I’ve also sang some country music. I was a background vocalist for many years and did work in the studio and worked with different bands singing. I even played the piano with some bands too.
Q Did you?
A But my heart was always in Christian music.
Q It was about five years ago that I set out to become a solo artist and started performing by myself. Who knew I was going to be a late bloomer. I have also been in television since my early twenties working in different aspects in front of and behind the camera. I have a passion for Christian television that’s equally as important to me as singing.
A lot of people don’t know that but, I do.
Q Late bloomer, that’s so cute. How did you get started on your show, Music City Gospel Review?
A My show literally fell in my lap about four years ago. It was in 2009 in November and I met my producer at an event. I didn’t know him and it was just fate, it was God the way it happened and he offered the position to me hosting the program.
Q What do you do, I mean how do you work that with living in Atlanta and the show being filmed in Tennessee?
A I travel there every six to eight weeks or so and film the program. We have three or four guests scheduled for a thirty minute program and they showcase their talent and they also give an interview.
Q So you film several shows in one weekend?
A Yes, we film several shows in one day. We put up the set and we film several tapings of the show at one time. It works out great for me with my singing schedule because I commute back and forth between Atlanta and Nashville.
Q I thought you must be doing something like that as I follow you on Facebook and I have seen many Sunday nights when you post you are on your way home from filming in Nashville.
Q It must be tiring?
A I do travel a lot and when I am not in Nashville I am on the road singing on the weekends because as a performing artist that is what I live for. I am a weekend warrior and perform on the weekends and then I have a day job to help make everything happen. I am having a great time and I love performing because I love to connect with the audience but I love my media work too because of my passion with television. It also enables me the opportunity to help others.
Now recently we had a thirty minute special where we featured Panda Ross. You may remember her, she was on the X-Factor in 2012 and her audition video had over 12 million views on it. She is a sweetheart. We partnered with John Watson of New Country Artist Development Agency and then of course Mike Jennings my producer and I to bring her to Nashville and we did a thirty minute special on her. We uploaded it to You Tube after we aired it on Comcast Cable there in Nashville. We’ve got a lot of positive feedback on that program and I actually got to do more interviewing during that special. Panda is a great person with a great story.
Q Did she have pneumonia?
A Yes, she was the one who was in the hospital and checked herself out of the hospital to go do the audition.
A Yes, that was Panda.
Q And then she left on a gurney?
Q Making for terrific drama during the broadcast.
A Yes, it was a wonderful episode and she’s wonderful in real life too but she has an unbelievable background story in the fact that she really was born in prison to her mother. Then she has had a very challenging life and God has brought her through so much. She is very popular and has a talent to sing - a very special lady. I don’t know if it contributed to my award or not but I did win the Broadcast Personality of the Year this year through the GME Awards which is Gospel Music Express Awards with Sheila Reid. She’s the CEO and President of that Christian Organization and I appreciated that opportunity also. My producer Mike Jennings was also honored with an award of excellence for producer for Music City Gospel Review.
Q You attended the award show?
A Yes and when the news broke that I won that award my family, friends and fans showed me so much love on my Facebook page. I am so blessed with the wonderful people in my life.
Q Do you have any music available for sale?
A I have two singles on iTunes. I don’t have a CD in publication at this time and that is something that I am working on.
Q You sure sound like you love what you are doing.
A Oh, I do. I have a good friend who told me that we all have our seasons and I believe this is my season. My producer has been very very good to me and he always keeps his ears to the ground for opportunities for me and I thank him for that. When I came to Nashville four years ago to start hosting this show, I had no idea that it was going to open opportunities for me both in Nashville and in Georgia.
A I appreciate the respect that I receive from my peers in the industry and back home in Atlanta.
Q Absolutely, absolutely. I heard you have a song on the Country Gospel Charts?
A Yes I do. It’s the little Jimmie Dickens song, Butter Beans. He originally released it and little David Wilken’s released it I believe in the early eighties. I am the first female to release it and it is currently on the Country Gospel Charts in the Christian Voice Magazine.
A The song was produced by Brian Fisher who is a Grammy Award winning producer. He actually won the Grammy award for the Kendall’s song, “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away.”
With that we pulled into ReNay’s driveway and our commute and interview from Atlanta to ReNay’s house came to an end. I could have talked to her all night but the dog needed feeding and I had to be on my way. You can check out ReNay’s TV show at: www.MusicCityGospelReview.com and you can find ReNay’s music on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/renay-lee/id527921124