Archive for May 2nd, 2011


Songwriter/producer/artists, Denny Randell and Biddy Schippers launched their social music network and multi-media project GI Jams ® in November 2009, as a way to spotlight and promote the musical talents of our active duty, Veteran and reserve   military artists of all branches, ranks and rates.

The project’s web site, provides the opportunity for military musicians to sign up and have their own profile pages featuring their original songs, performances, bios, pictures and blogs plus, downloads available for 99 cents a song with all profits going to those specific military artists.

GI Jams rocks the Cannery in Las Vegas

The community has grown significantly since its start, as hundreds of military artists and writers have now joined, as well as the many of the artists’ fans and supporters, giving the organization the demand to release GI Jams, Vol. 1: The Original Music Of Our Military Artists, the first in a series of compilation recordings to be issued by GI Jams Records. The CD will be released April 5 and will be available for sale online at the GI Jams Store, by direct artists’ sales, as well as at retail locations. All profits from sales of this nationally distributed compilation album go to the artists.

GI Jams, Vol. 1: The Original Music Of Our Military Artists

features 14 tracks by eight of the site’s most popular artists and bands (five still on active duty and three who are Veterans that served in Iraq, Kosovo and Vietnam). All of these artists performed live in the 2010 GI Jams’ Veterans Day Weekend Show at The Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The artists featured are (in order of their appearance on the album): Corey Bower (Air Force Airman 1st Class ), Adrian Manuel (Army Chief Warrant Officer), Jerard Brewer (Marine LtCol), American Attitude (Air Force Master Sergeants Shawn Watchorn and Marc Meyers and Technical Sergeant Chris Henderson, and Navy Petty Officer First Class Matt Smithers), Destruction Evolution (Veteran Air Force Master Sergeant Steve Sinatra, Veteran Army Specialist Richie Ibanez and band mates Jim Littleton, Chris Peng and Donnie Nall), Vietnam Army Veteran Ric Ulsky, Dark & McDermid, (with Don Dark, Marine Vietnam Veteran who passed away while this album was being finalized, and band mate Rick McDermid) and Joe Speed Band, (Army Sergeants Jeremiah Eaton and Nathan Harvey).

The album also features two bonus “Battlefield Music Videos” filmed in Iraq between active duty missions; one by the Joe Speed Band performing “Cowboy Soldiers (Please Send Me A Beer)” and the other by Blackhawk pilot Adrian Manuel singing “Freedom” while flying in his helicopter (a ‘first ever done’ video).

Schippers says, “We know many people will want to purchase this extraordinary CD as a way to support the military and we’re excited that it’s so rich in musical talent and diverse styles, including great country, rock, pop-rock and even some wonderful inspirational songs – something for everyone, and we can all support them while enjoying their very special music.”

GI Jams Presents Veterans Day Concert in Las Vegas

Randell and Schippers, the project’s founders and co-directors, have been longtime supporters of those who serve us in the military and launched GI Jams as, “a special way to thank and give back through music, which has been such a big part of our own lives, to help and support those musically talented artists who – rather than pursuing their own musical careers – have given themselves to protecting and defending our country.”

GI Jams, Vol 1

is the latest step in their journey to give back, though the pair performed their own most recent Randell & Schippers dance and video hit “Alice In Wonderland” on the 2009 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in a medley with some of Denny’s classic hit songs, including “Working My Way Back To You” and “Let’s Hang On” – featured in Jersey Boys, the Tony awarded hit Broadway show, Smash Mouth’s “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby,” “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Native New Yorker,” Denny’s home town anthem.

GI Jams has to date been highlighted in both the mainstream and military media, from Reuters, CNBC,, and Celebrity Twitter—to top military publications including Military Times, Stars and Stripes and Military Spouse plus, upcoming coverage from Salute Magazine, Big Blend Radio and KJAG FM.

“It’s amazing that many of these songs were written in tents and barracks after difficult missions and many of these artists have told us that GI Jams has been an irreplaceable outlet for them while under those conditions – as is the feeling of appreciation they receive from all of us who support them.” Denny continues, “We can only imagine the kinds of stressful conditions our artists create under. And we are very excited to announce GI Jams’ release of this first compilation album to be able to present their great talent and have the privilege of sharing their musical passions with the world.”

Visit the GI Jams website.

There are three contests and a final so if you can sing country music and you know it, now’s the time to enter!
There are three contests and a final so if you can sing country music and you know it, now’s the time to enter!

You could win and go on to the nationals at the Ryman Auditorium and win $100,000 in cash!

SPIRIT OF THE SUWANNEE MUSIC PARK, LIVE OAK, FLA – The 30th Annual Texaco Country Showdown’s North Florida competition will be held May 7, 14 and 21 at the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Fla. Winners from the first three competitions will compete June 11 at the SOSMP in the finale North Florida competition. The local winner will compete statewide in the fall for a chance to win $1,000. Each state winner goes on to one of five regional contests across the nation with one winner from each region going to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in January of 2012 to vie for the title of Best New Act in Country Music and $100,000 in prize money!

The Texaco Country Showdown (formerly known as the Colgate Country Showdown) is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America and give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers.

The North Florida contest is sponsored by radio station WQHL 98.1 along with The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. WQHL’s famous radio personality Kevin Thomas will once again be the emcee for each of the four events.

Kickin' Kevin Thomas WQHL 98.1.JPG

Kickin' Kevin Thomas WQHL 98.1.JPG

You, too, could be a winner but first you have to get signed up! Call the SOSMP at 386-364-1683 to get your entry form and other information. Don’t delay…act now! You could go on to be named the next Best New Act in Country Music and take home $100,000 in prize money!

The SOSMP hosted the statewide competition in 2008 and the winner, Orlando’s Johnny Bulford, went on to win the national and $100,000 in cash! Johnny received his title and check for $100,000 from country superstar LeAnn Rimes who will make the presentation in 2012 also. Johnny’s now a Nashville resident, performing and writing music!

The Showdown begins each spring with more than 450 talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the US. The audience cheers on the winners as they compete for the grand prize of $100,000 and the national title. A uniform judging system is used at all levels of competition to ensure fairness.

For more information on the Texaco Country Showdown visit

All participants are consistently judged on five core criteria: Marketability in Country Music, Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance, Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent. Optional bonus points can be awarded to acts with original music in the Songwriting category.

The competition boasts a “who’s who” in the country music industry with past local, state and regional winners including Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert.

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The Chevron family of brands includes the Chevron, Texaco and Caltex brands. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. For more info go to

Doors to the Music Hall will open each night at 5 p.m. with the Texaco Country Showdown beginning at beginning at 7 p.m. As always, the SOS Café and Restaurant will have available at regular prices delicious food and beverages, including prime rib available Saturday night along with the regular menu.

The SOSMP has RV sites, primitive camping and beautiful, luxurious cabins available for your pleasure during your stay on the banks of the famous Suwannee River in North Florida. You may even want to explore the possibility of having your own comfortable cabin on the banks of the Suwannee River! Ask us about cabin ownership!

For more information about this event, call us at 386-364-1683, email us at or go to You may also contact the SOSMP to inquire about any of the many exciting events coming up this year at the SOSMP such as the 311 Pow Wow, Suwannee River (gospel) Jubilee, Blackwater Music Festival, Purple Hatters Ball, Memorial Day Getaway, Bear Creek Music and Art Festival, Tropical Night Rocks the Suwannee, July 4th Weekend Getaway and more!The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located at 3076 95th Drive 4.5 miles north of Live Oak, Fl off US 129 at the famous Suwannee River. The park is 4.5 miles south of Interstate 75 and 4.5 miles north of Interstate 10 off US 129. Keep an eye out for the SOSMP sign and white painted board fence!