Bio Of Jerry Winslett Jr
Jerry Winslett doesn’t ask for much, just a shot “That’s all I ask,” the
young country artist confides. “It has always been my dream to sing
and be a part of the entertainment world.”
At the age of 4 he had memorized three songs of Kenny Rogers
and could sing them without missing a beat. Jerry’s introduction to
the stage came at an early age when his father, bass player and vocalist for the country group The Eagle Creek Band, let him get on stage and sing.
While his strong vocal style contains elements of talent such as George Strait, Keith Whitley, and his father Jerry Winslett Sr, his main inspiration evolved from the years of classical training. “During my early years, Luciano Pavarotti was my greatest influence,” he says emphatically. “He made me want to sing. After I heard him sing ‘O Holy Night’ on a PBS special, I was so inspired. All I wanted to sing was opera.”
The Del City, Oklahoma native began to take his vocal chords seriously when he was eleven years old. But instead of following his father’s country footsteps, he studied opera and sang in choirs, performing in plays such as ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. He had found his soul in song. He was hooked.
During his senior year of high school, Winslett took lessons with the vocal director of East Central State University in Ada, Oklahoma. Winslett was awarded a scholarship to the school, but decided to attend a closer school to Del City, his hometown.
Remembering how it all started, he said, “It was during these early college years that some friends invited me to go to a country and western club. They talked me into getting up on stage and singing with the band”. After leaving the club he went home and told his mom, “This is what I am supposed to do with my life”. His mom is still his biggest fan.
His decision paved the way for numerous awards in his home state, earning him the title of ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ four times in a row from the Oklahoma Country Music Association. He also took home ‘The Horizon Award’ in 1996 and ‘The Rising Star Award’ in 1997. His success allowed him to travel to Las Vegas for the National Country Music Association of America Awards, where he took home another ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ trophy.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Winslett took his voice to the clubs in 1997, singing the lead in the Oklahoma based group Duster West. For four years, the hard working singer and band maintained a rigorous schedule, performing four to five nights a week. When he wasn’t on the road, he found time to sing at friends’ weddings, the state fair, and also numerous demo recordings for Del City Music Studio. “When I’m performing on stage, music is all I think about,” he says with conviction. “It doesn’t feel like work to me. I love to play, but I take music very seriously.
Winslett made his first visit to Nashville in 1995 to record a demo with the help of David Anthony, a rhythm guitarist for MCA recording artist George Straight. Over the years he traveled to Nashville on a regular basis recording demos for writers and performing. He grew to love the city and the opportunities the country music capital offered. In October 1998, his desire to sing had him leaving his Oklahoma nest and moving to the Music City. “I did everything I could do in Oklahoma. I could have went to Texas and made a good living on the club circuit, but it’s not the same thing”.
With his feet firmly planted, Jerry Winslett had gathered the necessary ammunition for a long, successful career. His weapon of fearlessness was obtained from his father, who taught him the importance of taking risks. “My father has no regrets”, he says, his brown eyes widening. “He told me that if you don’t try, you will hate yourself forever. This is what I am supposed to do. It’s in my blood. I have to try!”