QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. - Country music singer Tamara Tidwell, originally from Sikeston, Mo., will open for some of country music's biggest names like Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn and Lee Greenwood on April 25 at the Country Thunder Music Festival in Queen Creek.
Tidwell, 37, moved to Arizona nearly four years ago. "I've been singing since I was 3 years old," she said. "I would sing with my Uncle Jack (and his traveling country music show) in Sikeston. I loved to listen to Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker. They're very influential to my music."
Country Thunder Music Festival occurs once a year and approximately 50,000 people are expected to attend the event, Tidwell said. Tidwell said she is proud to be a part of Country Thunder calling it one of the biggest outdoor concerts. Everybody does the camping thing and it runs for four days, she added.
In December, Tidwell signed a record label with Comstock Records. Her first record is scheduled to hit 800 radio stations throughout the world in 2002, business manager Ward Gardner said. Her first single, "I Did Not Leave My Heart in San Francisco," is currently on the international charts
Gardner said Tidwell's music is being heard over the airwaves in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, England and many other countries. In the United States, her music is currently being played in West Virginia, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Gardner describes Tidwell's music as a unique country sound rarely heard from today's performers.
Tidwell said her music is unique because of her genuine country background. "I'm traditional," she said. "I'm not a pop singer trying to be something else. I have real country roots- I was just bred that way."
By the time Tidwell graduated high school, she performed regularly at local weddings, church socials, the VFW and American Legion Halls around Sikeston. Today, Tidwell, along with her band, Fifth Wheel, plays regularly at Phoenix-area clubs, concerts and special events.
Tidwell's success over the last couple of years can be attributed to one of her songs that was featured in Neil Simon's film, "Lost in Yonkers," by director/actress Nancy Criss.
Tidwell also performed and co-wrote "The Barroom Cowboy Hunt" in the movie "True Legends of the West," which premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2001. She recorded seven other songs for the film's soundtrack including the film's theme song, "Legends of the West." The film is currently being shown in European theaters.
Although Tidwell's album can't be found in stores or heard on every radio station, her music can be found at her official Web site (www.tamaratidwell.com), she said.
For now, however, Tidwell's passion for singing and entertaining keep her content. "I am an entertainer and a singer," she said. "That's what I love to do. It's God's gift to me, and I'm going to continue to do it."