Erith country singer on the up
PUBLISHED: 09:20 18 October 2012
A civil servant from Erith is becoming a star with his brand of country music and has even been dubbed the "British Buddy Holly"..
This was how DJ Josie Passantino, host of Josie’s Hard Country in Illinois, described Wayne Jacobs when he appeared on her radio show via Skype this month.
Wayne, 50, of Riverdale Road, first caught the music bug in the 1980s but put down his guitar when he started a family.
He said: “These last few months have been beyond my wildest dreams. When I first started getting back into music after my kids left home, I never thought it would go this far.
“It’s still just a hobby to me and my family have been incredibly supportive as things have taken off.”
He added: “I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve had. I’ve got a great fanbase.”
Wayne has been married to Diana for 27 years. He has a 26-year-old son, Jamie, along with daughter Gemma, 25.
He won the UK Country Radio Listeners’ Club competition at the start of September, beating rivals from across the UK to get through to the final five acts in Derby.
His song Kentucky Whiskey, modelled on the style of Johnny Cash, was played on the radio as a result.
He also appeared in the regional final of Open Mic UK on Sunday at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon – just two steps away from performing at the O2 in Greenwich for the national final.
He didn’t win but did take the honour for best media coverage, which means he gets free time in a recording studio.
Wayne said: “Smiley Face, which I have been performing in the Open Mic competition, has a bit more of a reggae vibe but country music is my true love. When I was younger I played a lot of jazz but one of my friends suggested I give country a try when I started singing again and I haven’t looked back.”
Chris Grayston, event co-ordinator for Open Mic UK, said: “Anyone who has made it to this stage should be very proud of themselves.
“They will have something unique to offer with the ability to deliver a strong live performance with the potential to become a professional recording artist.”
However, Wayne is not considering taking up music professionally.
Two music publishers – one from New York and one from Chicago – have bought the rights to Smiley Face and three other songs.
They will tout the tunes to appear in commercials and films. Wayne will receive royalties for any of his material that is used. Some of his music is also on iTunes.
Learn more about Wayne for yourself. He is a big social media user with 2,700 fans on music networking site ReverbNation alongside pages on Facebook and Twitter (@waynejacobs777).