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|"20 Legendary American Songs",
Vol. 1 with bonus CD:
"10 Christmas Classics"
DAVID BALPH TAKES HOME 1st PLACE SILVER STARS AWARD
As a young man, Mansfield, Ohio native and musician David Balph and his brother set out on a monumental trek with plans
to walk from Los Angeles to New York in an effort to find fame, fortune and an appearance on
"We pushed a 1,000-pound pushcart full of instruments to try and get on that show. But, he went off the air by the time we'd made it to Texas. We thought we could do it in eight months, but it actually took us three years to get from L.A. to here," Balph explained. (Learn more about the Balph's extraordinary "Big Walk" or buy the book on Amazon.)
"Here", for Balph, was Nashville, and the stage of the world-famous Ryman Auditorium where he claimed the title of 2011 Silver Star following his soul-stirring solo trumpet performance of Hoagy Carmichael's famed American standard, "Stardust."
Presented by Healthspring, the Silver Stars talent competition was launched as a means of tapping talent overlooked by popular television singing competitions and their age restrictions.
On October 23, 2011, Balph and nine other finalists hailing from Nashville and Memphis took to the Ryman's stage for the Silver Stars competition, displaying a wide array of talents and musical tastes, from rock-a-billy and jazz to Latin music and gospel.
Cheered on by a large crowd of fans and supporters, the 10 finalists brought down the house and left the panel of celebrity judges, which included Bonnie Bramlett, Billy Burnette and Mel Tillis, with an incredibly difficult decision.
In all, roughly 300 entertainers age 60 and over auditioned in Nashville and Memphis for the 2011 competition. Ultimately, Balph took the 2011 title and a $5,000 cash prize.
Adapted from "Mature Lifestyles", November 2011, Vol. 68