MCHS grad on CD for rising musicians
Before Chanda Beatty was born, her mother, Connie Beatty, used to place a toy radio on her round belly and the wind-up toy would play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Now, having just celebrated her 22nd birthday on Wednesday, Chanda is again reaching for the stars as she's traveling from radio station to radio station and newspapers to promote her dream of a singing career. She has a demo disc to play for the stations and newspapers.
"I know it hasn't happened yet, but it's always good to dream big because you never know when it's going to happen," she said when seated at the Tribune with her mother on Tuesday afternoon.
Chanda graduated from Marshall County High School in May of 2008. She's living with her parents, Terry and Connie Beatty on Galloway Street, and she's been engaged for six months to marry Dustin Jones, a woodworker in Nashville. They may wed "in a year or two," she said. "All we know is we love each other and want to be together."
As for Chanda's singing career in Nashville: It might be said that she got an early start.
"My family always took me to church when I was little and I use to sing some in Church," she said.
But then, "One time out of the blue, I started singing in Burger King in Nashville," she continued. "I sung "A Whole New World" from Aladdin's movie."
Chanda sings a song written by Hillary Lindsey. It's one of nearly a dozen songs on the CD produced to spotlight that many aspiring musicians. Chanda sings "Rewrite History" on the demo disc.
It's a song about a couple having a hard time, she said. He wants to leave her and she's trying to keep everything together, so she wants to rewrite history so the relationship won't crumble.
The song shows her voice as soft and vulnerable, as well as strong and yearning.
Chanda does not have a band, but is willing to sing with one.
The band playing with her on the demo disc came from the studio that recorded her so she'd have something to show and play for stations and newspapers in the hope that the publicity will generate interest in her as a new talent.
Chanda does not know how to play a musical instrument, but is willing to learn and always wanted to know how.
"When I was young," she said, "I'd play on the piano with my mom, but I'm not an expert at it."
Connie Beatty hasn't played in years and she's since given the piano to her niece. Connie did so, at least in part, because she has arthritis.
Asked about her singing, Chanda says, "One time, I was with my Nana and was singing in a store that she was shopping at. Nana says I would sing anywhere. While PaPa would be driving, I would just be singing in the car."
Tom and Dottie Bass are her mother's parents. Her father's parents are the late Salene and Ernest Beatty.
"I would always sing going down the road, with Mom and Dad, on the way to Vanderbilt to the doctor offices or anywhere that we went," Chanda said." I would have my headset and CD player on."
The trips to Vanderbilt University Medical Center are a result of a malady from birth. It was found when Chanda was two years old. She's had several medical operations and now the malady is under control.
Chanda and her mother view her affection for singing as a way she could ease her pain and she hopes that when she's successful, her singing might do the same for others.
The idea to start promoting her singing voice took a significant step last year when she realized her cousin, Ray Henson, might be able to help. He's in the music business at the Higgins Music Group.
Connie called Ray. He wanted to hear Chanda, suggesting that she call again at the beginning of the year. Jan. 1 came and went and Chanda "bugged" her mother who called Ray. An appointment was made and the result was Chanda singing "Rewrite History" on the HMG disc, Vol. 50, Country.
Chanda's brother, Terry Beatty II, has paid the $1,250 for the recording costs and $1,500 for promotional work. Her recording was at Oak Tree Productions' studio in Hendersonville on March 18.
"I hope to reach a lot of people with this first release of "Rewrite History," and I hope people will enjoy it. I hope later in life to be able to sing in front of thousands of people. And I can't wait to meet other country music artists and meet new people. This is something that I have always wanted to do."
It's her dream, but it's not like she hasn't been heard.
When she was in Lewisburg Middle School she was in the chorus during grades 6-8. She also sang in the Christmas musical and was in "Grease," the musical performed at the football field in Lewisburg.