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‘I strive to make a difference with the music I create.’
By Elizabeth Tanner
Singer-songwriter and KSSL Radio owner Cathy Jewell.
Former Post resident and radio station owner Cathy Jewell received the 2019 Academy of Western Artists Pure Country Female Vocalist of the Year during the recent 24th Annual Academy of Western Artists Awards Show in Fort Worth.
Cathy also was a top five finalist for Pure Country Song of the Year during the awards show held Aug. 13.
This accomplishment has been a lifelong dream, said Cathy, who has been singing since she was 14.
“I used to use a hairbrush as a microphone and perform in my room when I was a little girl,” Cathy said. “I knew from that time that I wanted to sing. However, I was very bashful, so it wasn’t until I was 14 that I started singing in church.”
However, it wasn’t only Cathy who was interested in the music industry. Cathy’s parents, Jim and Mona Boles, purchased KPOS Radio in the early 70s. After being sold in 1988, KPOS changed its call letters, going through several owners, and grew into KSSL Radio, a station located in Slaton, Texas, that is now owned by Cathy. The radio station received the AWA Radio Station of the Year in 2017.
“My dad and I started KSSL nine years ago,” she said. “The station was originally in Post and it was KPOS. My parents owned it when I was growing up. It was just 1370 AM; however, it then became an AM/FM combo, adding 107.3 FM. Dad sold it when I was 17 and now it’s back in the family.”
With experience ranging from radio hosting to singing and songwriting, this is Cathy’s third year to be in the top five finalists for Pure Country Female Vocalist of the Year and her first Pure County Female Vocalist of the Year.
“It is an honor to be considered for such an award,” she said. “I was very surprised when they called my name. It’s because of God and the help and support from so many that I was able to receive this award. It is icing on the cake because everyone in the category deserved the award just as much as me. It is the greatest reward in what I do is making a positive difference through my music.”
The song that helped Cathy make it in the top five for Pure Country Song of the Year, “Always on a Mountain When I Fall,” was released in October 2019 and can be found on her latest album, “Please Blue Moon.”
“Please Blue Moon” was written and given to Cathy by the late Bill Mack who wrote the Grammy award winning song “Blue” performed by Leann Rimes and “Drinking Champagne” performed by George Strait. “Always on a Mountain When I Fall” was written by Chuck Howard and originally performed by Merle Haggard in 1979.
“I have always loved ‘Always on a Mountain When I Fall,’” she said. “It is about how just when you are on top of the mountain in life, something happens to knock you back down. It always holds true.”
Following her recent success, Cathy plans on finishing up her first gospel album, “Engraved,” which she plans to release by the end of 2020.
“’Engraved’ is one of many songs from the forthcoming album that I have written,” she said. “There will be originals as well as a few gospel standards. I would like to travel and perform these songs in various churches and other venues.”
As Cathy continues to further her career in music, her biggest goal is to make a positive impact on her listeners and fans.
“I strive to make a difference with the music I create,” she said. “I want to be a positive example, and I want everyone to know that they can follow their dreams and achieve anything they can imagine. God gives us our talents, and what we do with those talents is our gift back to Him.”