Once a year Carthage, Texas becomes a mini-Nashville when it hosts the Texas Country Hall of Fame. On Saturday, August 17 some big names in country music will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and of course perform their hits.
To keep the momentum up all day, they host a Texaco Country Showdown Talent Search. The winner moves on to state competition and eventually there is a competition in Nashville for $100,000.
We followed a competitor from the Waxahachie area.
Mark Gorman has been playing professionally for 40 years, but his day job is teaching the choir in Palmer, Texas just outside of Waxahachie. He and about fifteen others from several states all want to climb that ladder that is the Texaco Country Showdown.
"The competition was tough today, and there were a lot of different representations of country music today," Mark said.
Mark got his turn singing a song he wrote: "The ghost inside our home".
"I feel like I did fairly well. It's always hard to tell in one of these competitions. You're not sure what the judge is looking for, because in the music business a lot of times it's all about style. So it's not just about the music unfortunately sometimes for us older guys," Mark said.
"The ability to write some words sometimes that connect with someone and pull on their emotions a little bit. That's a powerful thing for a songwriter to connect, and I always feel like I've accomplished something and I can see that people are connected to what I'm doing, what I'm saying," Mark revealed.
A long forty minutes passed before the judges reappeared. While passing the time, Mark told us about an overbite surgery he went through while a voice major in college. After healing up his doctors told him his mouth was too small for his tongue. "They cut over a third of my tongue off and I had to re-learn how to talk," Mark explained.
Mark did more than that.
"The first runner-up, and the winner of the $250 cash prize is..Mark Gorman!" The MC declared.
"I did okay. I got second place: Bridesmaid. I'm just pleased to have been recognized. That was really cool. I'm just very thankful to have won second place. I had an opportunity to compete and I had a little success," Mark said, smiling.
Enough success to pay for the trip.
The winners were Britt and Blair, a female duo from Louisiana.
The Induction ceremony to the Texas Country Hall of Fame and concert is Saturday night at the Carthage Civic Center. There are still a few tickets left that can be purchased at the door for $60 each.
Gene Watson, Barbara Fairchild and Ed Bruce known for "Momma don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys" will all be on stage.