“Karl Lutjens, president of Southland Engineering where I work, challenged us to all get involved in the community, and I just woke up one Saturday morning thinking about this type of organization,” Owens said. “I looked for one to join in the area and did not find one, so I decided to start one. I kept meeting songwriters in the area, and thought there was a need of such an organization, to support one another and network.”
CSE meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Jefferson’s, 28 W. Main St. in Cartersville. For more information about the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange, visit www.cartersvillesongwriters.org.
Name: Randy Owens
City of residence: Cartersville
Occupation(s): Cad tech/drafter, Southland Engineering Inc.; singer/songwriter, Alias, Smith & Owens; founder, Cartersville Songwriters Exchange
Family: Wife, Patricia, married 40 years in November; daughters, Amanda and Erica. We have one grandson, Hayden, who is 4.
Education: Studied AutoCad at Chattahoochee Technical College.
Describe your job and what led you to this line of work?
A: I design and draw civil engineering plans. I spent many years in the telecommunications business, but changed careers about 10 years ago. I always liked to draw, and this field [is] far more creative than telecommunications.
How has the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange evolved and what are your goals for this organization?
A: We started with three people in my living room just meeting and singing our songs to one another, and it has evolved into an organization with a media presence and getting recognition in the community. We participate in fundraisers and benefits whenever possible. We currently have approximately 16 active members. We meet the first Wednesday of every month at Jefferson’s in downtown Cartersville.
What is your musical background and what are your current projects?
A: I come from a musical family and have performed all types of music, from a young age. My father was a bluegrass musician and performed on the radio. I am currently working with Cindy Smith in a Western Music duo called, Alias, Smith & Owens. We just released our first CD together on Lemon Press Records, titled “Rangers & Rebels,” available on Amazon.com.
We are having a very busy year, performing some locally and traveling to Western festivals. We recently performed at the Hopalong Cassidy festival in Cambridge, Ohio, where I got a chance to sing with Johnny Crawford, better [known] as Mark McCain on “The Rifleman” TV series. We will soon be performing at the Winston-Salem Western Film Fair and the Roy Rogers Festival in Portsmouth, Ohio. As far as locally, we will be performing at The Legion Theatre in downtown Cartersville on July 6. ... For more information about Alias, Smith & Owens, go to http://aliassmithandowens.com/. We are also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aliassmithandowens, and ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/aliassmithowens.
What is your favorite song that you have written and why?
A: That’s a hard question. They are all so different and serve different purposes. I suppose my favorite song is “Summer Day,” because I’ve had so much positive response from it. I’m also very fond of “Ranger Brotherhood,” which is the title track from our new CD.
What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
A: I recently performed live with Cindy (as Alias, Smith & Owens) at Ernest Tubb’s Troubadour Theater in Nashville, which was broadcast live on WSM, the same station that broadcast the Grand Ole Opry. We were backed by a fabulous band, and there was a large, receptive audience in the theater. That was a high that does not compare to anything else.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
A: Never Give Up!
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I was once in community theater with Julia and Eric Roberts’ mother. She would bring them to rehearsals. [Julia] was very young, and would just sit and play, and Eric would help out with sets and such.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
A: “You have not failed until you stop trying.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: What spare time? I don’t have any, what with working at Southland Engineering, heading up the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange and working with the Alias, Smith & Owens project. If I have any spare time, I like to sleep.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: Hmmm ... not sure, Bartow has some beautiful places. I really like the Etowah Indian Mounds at night and any place on the river. [I] also like Cooper’s Furnace.