Point Pleasant man finds inspiration leads to songs

June 17, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Turning an inspirational card from his mother into lyrics for the title song, a Point Pleasant man has just released what he hopes will be the first of a series of albums.

Paul A. George, 26, wrote the words and music for the 11 songs on "Believe in Yourself," all based on personal, emotional times.

"He and his girlfriend had recently broken up; he was having a hard time dealing with it. He was down in the dumps," recalled Carolyn George, his mother.

Writing the card several years ago, she tried to raise her son's spirits. Her words, "Above all, Paul, believe in yourself," became part of a chorus in the album's title song.

"Then he told me he had saved the card, and I didn't even remember it. I was really touched by it, to think that he really saved it and used it to write the song," she said.

Mr. George, a 1985 graduate of Glen Burnie High School, said he always wanted to try to break into the highly competitive music business, but didn't read music and didn't know where to begin.

Then last year, he met David Beverley, 30, while both were working at Circuit City in Glen Burnie. Mr. Beverley was setting up Natural High Productions in his Pikesville living room to arrange, record and produce music. They signed an agreement in October -- though Mr. George had written but one song -- with Mr. George paying $3,500 and with Mr. Beverley doing the

mostly computerized arrangements and background music.

Once Mr. George signed the contract, the songs came tumbling out in a creative burst, from a sad ballad about a divorce's effect on a young child to a playful country music tune.

"I didn't know where I was going. It gave me something to go for," he said. "The feelings were there. It wasn't that hard to make the music. I always wanted to but I never thought it was possible."

He is hoping a major label will pick up the tape, and the compact disc due out next month, and distribute the music. Alternately, he would like to have a big-name singer hear it and record a song or two.

Mostly, he said, since friends have told him they empathized with and took solace in the emotional ballads, Mr. George wants to share the melodic thoughts with a broader audience.

He did a live, 15-minute interview with album cuts Saturday night WJRO-AM 1590, a 24-hour ministerial station in Glen Burnie, after station manager Willie Mae Gregg fell in love with the album's title song.

"I love the part of his music where he found one of his own letters and that letter encouraged him so much," said Ms. Gregg "A lot of people in the audience need to hear that encouragement."

She's been playing Mr. George's songs ever since -- mostly "Believe in Yourself" -- even though none of Mr. George's music is religious. She has heard from several listeners who enjoyed the melody and pursue-your-dreams lyrics.

"It's inspirational. It could go across the board, really. Everyone can get a message from it," Ms. Gregg said.

Mr. George has agreed to record 10 "don't-give-up" messages over his music for the station.

A 15-minute segment featuring him as a new artist will air June 25 on WASA-AM 1330, a Havre de Grace country station.

Record & Tape Traders, with eight stores in the Baltimore area, started carrying the tape a week ago. Missy Patton, a salesperson in the Glen Burnie store, said the stores often carry tapes of budding local artists to give them a boost.

Mr. George has asked Circuit City to feature the album on one of its listening stations -- a headphone that allows the user to hear selected music in the store.

The Richmond, Va.-based chain, which nudged along the career of once-unknown Toni Braxton that way, recently announced that it would help young artists by featuring them on the in-store music software. A Circuit City spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company had not yet decided whether to feature Mr. George.

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