Thursday Jun 6 11:30 AM
on Durango Music Spot (Fan Fair X)
Buddy Jewell was born in Lepanto, Arkansas on April 2, 1961. He began playing guitar after buying one from a schoolmate during childhood, and saved the money that he earned bagging groceries to buy guitar lesson books. Jewell also listened to the music that his father, also named Buddy, played for him, and was taught by his uncle Clyde how to play "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". By age fifteen, Jewell had also taught himself how to play Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone." Jewell also majored in television and radio in college, although he left in his junior year to marry, despite the marriage only lasting two-and-a-half years.
Jewell later moved to Camden, Arkansas at age 21 in pursuit of a musical career. There, he discovered a band called White Oak, which was seeking a new lead singer. This band was sponsored by a booking agency whose roster also included Canyon and a band founded by a then-unknown Trace Adkins. After touring with White Oak for four years, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he took a role in a gunfighing show at Six Flags over Texas. He later entered a singing competition that was sponsored by the band Alabama, whose music was also an inspiration to him. He won the competition's top prize, which was an opening slot for the band.
After winning the competition, he competed on Star Search, where he won Male Vocalist on several episodes. He later decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee in 1993, and found work two years later as a demo singer. As a demo singer, he recorded more than 5000 demos. Among the songs that Jewell recorded demos for were "Write This Down" for George Strait, "A Little Past Little Rock" for Lee Ann Womack, "The One" for Gary Allan and "You're Beginning to Get to Me" for Clay Walker. Jewell also self-released albums entitled One in a Row and Far Enough Away in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Having been rejected by several record labels at this point, he supported himself with the money that his second wife made at her nail salon.