Latest News

Gaston County's singer back in Top 10

Gaston County native Jimmy Wayne appeared to be headed for country music stardom in 2003, when his hit album produced two Top 10 songs, and "People" magazine named him among the year's sexiest singers.

But his career took a nose dive two years later, when his record label closed as part of a corporate merger, leaving Wayne and label mates Darryl Worley and Jessica Andrews without a contract.

He could have been just another casualty of the highly competitive country music machine, but last week, Wayne bounced back with his first hit song in five years. Called "Do You Believe Me Now," the single jumped six notches this week into Billboard magazine's Top 10 country chart. It's the title track from an album that will be released Aug. 26 on the independent Valory Music Co. label

"This is really a big day for me,” Wayne said through a publicist. “I've said it before: Most people only get one shot at making it in this business, and I've been given two. I'm very grateful."

To date, Wayne's track record includes the Top 5 hit "Stay Gone," the Top 10 hit, "I Love You this Much," and the Top 20 hits "Paper Angels and "You Are," all of which were co-written by Wayne.

Raised in Gaston County as Jimmy Wayne Barber, the singer has family in and around the Crowders Mountain area. Before leaving the area to try his hand at writing country songs, Wayne work four years as a guard at the Gaston Correctional Facility.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer