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December 08, 2016
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Sullivan County’s Cathy Paty really is a country girl!

Cathy Paty
Photo by Michael Bloom

At that same talent contest (www.monticellocasinoandraceway.com) Paty met Bold Gold Media Marketing and Promotions Director Regina Hensley, who was representing a local radio station (www.thunder102.com) and who asked Cathy if she was interested in entering another competition that the station was sponsoring—the “Texaco Country Showdown.” Acknowledging that she had always been drawn to country music, Paty also admitted to Hensley that she knew “little about the genre, but I’m willing to learn,” and set about doing so. “Country music is all about storytelling, and that’s something I can totally relate to,” she said. “I’m not really a song writer, per se, but there are so many great songs out there, and some of them truly hit home.”

Last spring, Paty competed in the showdown, singing Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing.” Cathy won, moving on to the state finals where she placed in the top 10. “It all happened so quickly, and I was flabbergasted to take home the County Prize” she said. “The folks at Thunder took me under their wing and invited me to perform the National Anthem at the Bold Gold Music Festival in Connecticut (www.mohegansun.com) in front of 5,000 people,” including “Mr. Nashville” (www.billyblock.com) whose reputation in country music is legendary. The “Billy Block Show” is considered “second only to the Grand Ole Opry and Midnight Jamboree as Nashville’s longest running live concert series. It has become the Ellis Island of Nashville welcoming newcomers of all musical genres,” according to his website. (www.billyblock.com)

Paty recalled how Block came up to her and said, “You have an incredible voice. You have to come down to Nashville and lay down some tracks with me in the studio.” Paty readily accepted his invitation. “Not only did he help me record three songs by emerging country artists (“Something About the South,” “You Can’t Change a Man” and “Live for Right Now”), but he had me as a guest on his show and has been a teacher, mentor and friend. The fact that this man, who has shaped the careers of so many talented artists, has taken an interest in me is overwhelming. There are no words to express my gratitude.”