By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
The Voice season 12 contestant Jay White is at it again with his musical talent. The Belton native was approached by Belton Tourism Manager Judy Garrett with the idea of writing and recording a song that signifies what Belton is all about.
“Several months ago, we did a show own at The Gin, and Judy, just off the top of her head said, ‘can you write me a song about Belton? We’d like to put it on our website,’ and I said sure,” White said.
White’s love for music started at a young age, with his grandpa being the one to introduce him to the guitar.
“On the trip from California to Texas, we stopped briefly in Phoenix, AZ. to visit my dad’s father and of course, my grandfather, Bill White,” White said. “Grandpa Bill was a guitar player who had most notably played for a young Marty Robbins in his early days and was quite a good musician. While we were in Phoenix my grandpa and some of his buddies had a little jam at his house. I must have been about three or four at the time and I remember vividly walking over to my grandpa’s guitar which was propped up against a chair while they were on break, and striking the strings with my right hand. I can distinctly remember my mom correcting me and telling me not to do that and I still hear my grandpa’s voice reassuringly encouraging me, ‘Oh he can’t hurt it.’ The guitar is an old late 40’s arch top Gibson which I still have in my arsenal today.”
While some residents think of Nolan Creek, Lake Belton and The Gin, White thinks of the small town where his roots got planted early on and as most musicians do, White took inspiration from his history in Belton to convey emotion through the song.
“I went back and thought about my history with Belton,” White said. “I grew up in this town, we moved here before the 1st grade. My dad was in the military and I started school at Tyler Elementary. My first experience on stage was at Tyler in the fifth grade. We got rained out and while waiting for the bus to take us back out to our house in the country, we had a little impromptu talent show. I sang a song that I had learned in Bible school called ‘I’m in the King’s Army.’ The song had all of these movements that went along with it, and after I was done, the crowd just erupted with applause and from that moment on, I was hooked.”
White explained that he through the song, he hopes that residents gain a sense of pride that he has for Belton.
“The song is a reflection of my life has been like growing up in Belton, and having left Belton to oddly enough go chase a dream only to return and find out that I was living my dream all this time.”
The release date for the song is May 15.