Grammy-nominated singer / songwriter, Carla Jo Carr, is a small town girl with one of the most spectacular voices in any genre of music and leaves crowds wondering where such power comes from.
Carla Jo comes from a musical family in a small rural town in southeastern Tennessee. Carla Jo's love for entertaining grew from the very moment she first began performing. Her energetic personality has allowed her opportunities to extend her talents to audiences all across the United States.
Some of these opportunities included performing with great legends of the country and gospel music industry. Some of the artists include: Little Jimmy Dickens, Dale Reeves, Lee Greenwood, Ronnie McDowell, Con Hunley, Jack Green, Chet Atkins, Confederate Railroad, Gold City, Jeff Steel, Perry Sisters, Heirline, and Michael Combs.
In the late 70s, as a mere teenager, Carla Jo began singing in the Country Express Band. Members included her father, Roy Leamon, and her older brother, David Leamon, who is known to those closest to him as ‘Bubba.’
By the early 80s, Carla Jo had taken her passion for entertaining to competitive levels and became the Talent Winner of the 1981 Tennessee Teen Pageant. She entered the pageant again the following year and Carla Jo not only reigned as Talent Winner, but this time she went home with the crown, and in the following year she took the national title.
Winning the Tennessee and National Teen Pageant afforded Carla Jo the opportunity to make many life long friends while traveling the country. During these travels, Carla Jo performed at the International Special Olympics in Baton Rouge, LA. The Special Olympics is an organization that remains dear to her and she still performs that National Anthem at her hometown Special Olympics annually.
While traveling with the pageant, she also entertained at the National Leadership Conference in Chicago and amused golfers in the Acruff and Rose and Jack Green Mad Scramble Golf Tournaments in Nashville.
Carla Jo was also a guest on the Ralph Emery Show in Nashville and competed in and won the televised talent contest, You Can Be A Star. Later, Carla Jo performed at the world renowned Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, TX.
In 1984, Carla Jo recorded her first album A Country Girl’s Dream. She of course, penned the title track, inspired by the little girl from small town Tennessee who hadn’t lost the dream that began the moment the first spotlight twinkled in her eyes.
Another momentous even for Carla Jo in that same year was her marriage to Darryl Carr. The two had their first child, Joseph, the following year. During this time, Carla began to focus more on her family and entertained with local gospel and country music groups. In 1988 she and Darryl had their second child, James.
While raising her family, Carla Jo found great respite and joy in performing gospel music. Because of her dynamic talent, it wasn’t long before opportunity was knocking on Carla Jo’s door yet again.
In 1997 she recorded her first gospel album, God is Still the One. The title track from this album landed at #5 on the Country Gospel Music Group US Gospel News Charts. In 1998 she signed with Turner Music Group. During this time she released her second gospel album, Victory is Mine, of which two singles made it into the top 100 of the Singing News charts. In 1998, Carla Jo also performed at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY.
In 1999, Carla Jo recorded and released a collection of some of her most loved inspirational songs, Gospel Favorites. She followed her third album later that same year with a Christmas album, titled From Our House to Yours.
In 2000, Carla Jo signed with Morning Star Records and Century II Promotions in Nashville. She recorded her first project under this new label; Come Take My Hand. From this album, Carla Jo released a single, “Because of Your Mercy,” that went on to be nominated for a Grammy. This single also hit #34 in the Gospel News charts and #42 in the Singing News charts that same year.
In the few years following, Carla Jo was once again traveling the country and performing from the east coast to the west coast. She performed at a number of conventions, rallies, and television networks, including Dove Network and TBN.
In 2003, Carla Jo took a break from singing and touring until her son’s were finished with high school. In 2008 she was itching to perform again and started a group with her brother and father again, The Silver Wings Band. In 2011 she signed with 78 RPM Records under producer and manager, Bernie Faulkner.
Balancing hard work and dreams while maintaining strong family and moral values can be a challenge, in fact most tend to forget about their dreams in the midst of the hustle and bustle life can create. Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we just have the courage to pursue them.” Carla Jo is living proof of this. From a tot singing with her father at a kitchen table to a beautiful woman, on the inside and out, singing for the masses, that dream is still alive and twinkling in her eyes. Carla Jo Carr undoubtedly has great things in store for the world.