THE UNDISCLOSED STORY OF A MAJOR LABEL RECORDING ARTIST
Kept under a shroud of secrecy until its release, BACKSTAGE Nashville gives an inside view of the music industry from the point of view of a small-town boy entering major label record negotiations and working with major recording artists. The book is capturing the attention of the entertainment news industry for its never before revealed details regarding racial climate challenges within the industry and how one of Warner’s songs impacted the career of superstar Taylor Swift. It also takes on the mechanics of the music industry and celebrates the new world of independent artists.
Wayne and his sons
Artists ranging from the Statler Brothers’ Jimmy Fortune, Linda Davis, Taylor Swift, and pop icon, Bonnie Tyler (“Total Eclipse Of The Heart”), to Olympic Gold Medalist, Greg Louganis have sang on his records. After time away from the spotlight, Wayne Warner re-emerges with a loud book, a new album in progress, and an even stronger voice, confident and seasoned with more of life.
Known for his chart-topping country dance hit “Turbo Twang,” defining Warner as an artist has been a challenge to all who attempt it. From his image to his music, he is unique in every sense. Intensely private, Warner has always liked to fly under the celebrity radar, even during the heights of his career. His look, a unique blend of Hollywood and his home state of Vermont, is described as “messy elegance,” and, when it comes to his music (or anything else for that matter), he dodges being labeled, saying with a grin “I will be in a box soon enough.” He has however always used whatever celebrity status he is offered for a larger good, which he says "gives reason for his work".
From a musical family in Northern VT., Warner made several trips to Nashville to align himself with famed producer, Harold Shedd (Alabama, Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, Toby Keith), and joined the Atlantic Records roster until their closing. Now on B-venturous Records, the singer is an advocate for independent artists and has little fear of taking on the statuesque of the music industry. When time allows he involves himself with his associated “Melodical Hearts Foundation,” an organization he founded to use the power of music to make a difference. “For me”, says Warner, “it’s not about how high you get on a chart, it’s about what you can do with however high you get.”
“Wayne Warner doesn’t fit the mold,” says Music City News: “Which mold, you ask? Doesn’t matter: Pick any mold you like; Warner doesn’t conform to its expectations. He is, for example, a rebel by appearance, from the tattoo on his arm to his careless coiffure. Yet in his conversation, he is the soul of gentility, deferentially polite, not to mention urbane and imaginative; he speaks the way many musicians wish they could write, in a flow of witty twists and metaphors that suggest a rare verbal virtuosity.”
From his amazingly crafted writing skills (that not only contain great messages but do so with hooks you can’t shake), to a vocal delivery that you hits you emotionally, the former Atlantic artist is rooted in country but brings an undefined blend of Americana, old time rock, pop and even Christian elements into his work. His one-time producer, the legendary Harold Shedd, stated that, “with Wayne Warner, you don’t just hear the songs, you feel them.” His ballads especially are delivered with breathless authority yet with some vulnerability. Fox News’ Joey Salvia once said that Warner “Sang with the emotion of a thousand men crying.” Warner’s albums are a journey that only seems to last seconds, but leaves you refreshed with its own sound, fun beats, ballads, feelings and thoughts containing his signature sound, but definitely designed to a bit more in your face. They are “Artists Albums” that color and paint many moods of audio art. Case in point is his single, “Something Going On,” with Bonnie Tyler which features a somewhat theatrical back-and-forth dialogue that hit you at your emotional core. "Given the range of the emotions Warner has felt over the past few years, I have to say this might be the best I have ever heard him sing", said Billboard’s Chuck Dauphin. "The lyrics are emotionally packed and Warner wrings the most out of them".
Warner’s charity works have been successful in raising awareness to many causes about which he is passionate, including drug and alcohol addiction, foster care, adoption and social equality. His song/video “God Bless The Children” featuring Taylor Swift, The Jordanaires, and an all-star Nashville choir became the most successful PSA for The Dave Thomas Foundation.