ALAN BEAUVAIS - Alan has been making up songs and stories in his head for as long as he can remember. He picked up a guitar for the first time in 1978 and was writing songs not long after. He was in the Air Force at the time and when he was honorably discharged in 1981, he moved to Texas. He never really wanted to make a living with his music because he always felt that if this thing that was so important to him became his job, then it wouldn’t be the same. He never wanted it to be something he had to do to put food on the table. His music is his creative outlet. He can say in absolute sincerity – he doesn't know where he would be today without it. So, he began to hang out with guitar players and songwriters and in 1994. He first joined the Fort Worth Songwriters' Association in 1995, and then became the Vice President. He has played in coffee shops, bars, festivals, on flatbed trailers, on TV, internet shows, parties and weddings on the beach. Never because he had to and he only wrote and played what he wanted and as the poet said “has made all the difference". Alan is presently the Vice President of the FWSA again and concentrates on community outreach opportunities. He wants to share his love of songwriting with other songwriters - beginners and old pro’s alike.
TIM BLAZER - Tim is a native born Texan who has been playing music for over sixty years. At the age of fifteen, Tim heard some musicians playing music in a park in Tyler, Texas. He proceeded to purchase himself a guitar from Sears & Roebuck and returned to the park to have the musicians teach him how to play "this thing." This was the beginning of Tim's love for and career in music. Later Tim began to take an interest in the bass guitar and invested in a bull bass. From there he started to receive job offers and eventually formed his own band, The Tyler Ramblers. After many hours of practice, Tim and his band began to play on the radio station KTBB. Shortly after, The Tyler Ramblers began to play in surrounding towns in the East Texas area. Tim made contact with Kit Smith of Big Springs Jamboree at the conclusion of WWII. Kit backed such stars as Leon Payne and George Jones. Mr. Smith saw that Tim had talent and offered him a job working with these same great artists. While playing at the Hometown Jamboree in Houston, Texas, Tim met and began playing for Billy Gray. Also, Tim has played with Leroy Stafford and the Texas Sounds at Panther Hall Annex Bar and locally on channel 11 television. Several years later Howard Crockett encouraged Tim to start another band. So the Western Blazers were created and Ray Brandenburg was hired to be the lead vocalist and guitarist. With the talent of the musicians and Ray's crowd catching voice the band continued for eighteen years. The band played all over Texas with a prestigious run of ninety-seven weeks at the Finish Line Club in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1976, Tim dissolved the Western Blazers and began to pursue other ventures. Many years later Tim met up with Ray Brandenburg again. Tim has always said "Let me play my music, and I'll be the happiest man alive!" It is his life's ambition to help those who truly need help.
MIKE CONNER - Currently on the Board of Directors for FWSA, Mike has been playing the piano since he was about 5 years old. Playing and composing by ear, he began recording in high school with a reel to reel tape recorder, continuing to present day technology with a few professional studios in between. Mike has recorded songs for numerous occasions, with a few rare live performances in between. Although a majority of his songs are instrumentals designed for TV and movie backgrounds, a few have lyrics. “Don’t ask me to sing ‘em though,” he laughs. “I’m not a singer.” When asked what has helped him the most in his music career, he responds, “Definitely FWSA. There is so much to learn and the networking and information available through this association is invaluable.” He is currently working on a studio CD that will be entitled “Finally.”
JOE CRUZ - Joe was born on September 7, 1946, on a farm near Caldwell, TX, but he wasn’t alone. He had a twin brother named Jessie. All in all, Joe had 11 siblings (3 sets of twins). He wrote his first song while raking hay on a John Deere tractor. Guess you could say he was country. He must have been around 14 yrs old. When he was 15, he joined a band from Bryan, TX, called Johnny and the Diamonds. After a couple of years, he formed his own band “The Romans”. They played country, soul, and popular music of the 60’s in dancehalls all over Central Texas. After a stint in the Air Force, he ended up in Houston and started Joe Cruz and the Cruisers in 1969. He signed with Gilley’s during the Urban Cowboy days and when his contract was up, he moved to Ft Worth in 1984. A few years later, he met with a dozen or so people in the back room of the White Elephant Saloon and they talked about forming the Fort Worth Songwriters’ Association. With his friend Bob Bryan, Joe pushed until they gained 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Bob and Joe wrote quite a few songs too. Joe is retired now, but still love to write and help young writers learn the art. You can find his CD at www.cdbaby.com/joehenrycruz .
MEL STRAIT - “I started playing guitar at age 7. It’s hard to know exactly when I wrote my first song. I suppose that depends on how one interprets the definition of writing”. Juggling multiple career objectives has always just been part of the game as Mel Strait performed musically, worked radio and TV, and eventually settled into academia. Along a career path almost as crooked as an Arkansas country road, there were several near misses with mainstream music success, opportunities to focus on announcing, and a lot of personal satisfaction producing television programming and guiding students to successful careers of their own in TV. Through it all, music has been the thread that stitched the pieces together. The writing has expanded to include music beds for commercials, soundtracks for presentations and programs as well as traditional songs to be performed live or heard in recordings. “With all the changes in the technology of music, keeping up can alter the focus of a serious musician.” Although commercial success has eluded Mel for now, opportunities are always just around the corner. He is convinced his years of networking will eventually offer him lucrative commercial opportunities.
GUS A. WOLMAN, III - Gus was born in 1950, an Army brat, on Guam, in the Marianas Islands. One of three children, Gus traveled the United States and the globe as a military dependent, accompanying his parents to places like Alaska, Hong Kong, the Philipines and Japan, while also living in 11 States before he enrolled in Texas A&M University, in 1968. As a child, Gus flourished as an athlete. His travels allowed him to box competitively as well as to play Rugby, basketball, soccer, badmitton, ping-pong and softball. Gus was constantly exposed to music of all types from Sinatra to Wynette (he has a special fondness for the Texas Aggie “War Hymn”). He learned to play guitar at age 12 and sang and played in a number of bands including Pop, Rock, and Soul while growing up. Life was not always easy. Gus has battled alcoholism, drug addiction, and compulsive gambling. He has lost two wives and many relationships and friendships in the process, along with most everything that meant anything. But he was ”re-born” in June 2004, while living on 23 acres near Gainesville, Texas and attending the New Life Bible Church (Ben Averitt, Pastor). Now a believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ, Gus continues his fight with the help of the Lord and his church family. In 2000, while attending to his very ill father, Gus' dad encouraged him to write songs and to get out and perform them. At this point, Gus found the FWSA and began growing another “family” that loved music as much as he did. Gus has been a strong supporter of FWSA ever since. For more info on Gus, please go to www.wccmp.com/bios/gusW_bio. Html. WINNERS CIRCLE COUNTRY MUSIC PUBLISHING - What would happen if somebody came along and said, “I love people and I love music, and I'm gonna start a company where we shoot straight pool?” As president of WCCMP, Gus' primary responsibility is number one, to the Lord, Jesus Christ, and to every person working or associated with our company. Our label and publishing company stands for professionalism, honesty, integrity, loyalty and the desire to succeed. Our goal, daily, is to conduct business in a Christian like fashion. We play by the rules . . . but we play to be winners! Our people strive to provide a vehicle whereby a talented person with great desire can succeed. We honestly hope to help every person that we touch in some way. To learn more about Winners Circle County Music Publishing, Marketing and Promotions, please go to www.wccmp.com.