The tunes of South Mountain musician Cory M. Coons are known for delighting ears all over the world, but it was just last month at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville that Cory was given a significant honour, and one that would make even the most famous of musicians glow.
At the annual Josie Awards ceremony, presented at the Grand Ole Opry, Cory’s song “Long Hard Rain” was awarded Song of the Year in the Rock category.
Cory lives on a farm that once belonged to his grandparents on Pleasant Valley Road, just south of South Mountain. He has been local to South Mountain most of his life, and is now a third generation resident who is proud to still call the community home. He also teaches guitar lessons at Kevin Eamon’s music school called “Rock My House” on South Gower Drive in North Grenville, in addition to other private teaching.
“My greatest accomplishment would have to be my family life with my wife and daughter,” Cory told the Times. “I always say, ‘Music and family are centre stage!’ They go hand in hand in my life.”
Musical accomplishments come in as a close second for Cory, with the most recent award for “Long Hard Rain” being “up there”, Cory said.
“Since it was held at the Grand Ole Opry House, I received the honour and accepted it in “the circle” right on the Opry Stage! What a thrill!” added Cory. He had previously won Producer’s Choice Honors in Los Angeles at the former Los Angeles Music Awards.
Cory first became involved with music as a bass player when he was just 13. He performed in high school bands at Christmas assemblies and talent shows, and began creating his own songs and writing lyrics early on. “I have travelled and toured in Ontario, and across the southeastern US in the late 1990s in different bands,” said Cory. “Then I released my first CD in 1999 under the band name “Tycoons”, and my first solo album in 2004. I have continued to pursue music and release albums and EPs since then, and have had the opportunity to work with many different professional studio musicians and record producers in various locations in both the US and Canada over the years.”
As with all artists, Cory’s success is not about luck, it’s about hard work and determination, combined with a healthy amount of musical instinct, of course. “I have been very fortunate, but I have also worked very hard in the independent music industry for over 30 plus years,” Cory added. He recently released a compilation album of most of his singles and some other album tracks from the past 10 years on a new album called “Across The Great Divide” (Singles and Album Cuts 2012-2022).
Have there been challenges along the way? Of course! Money is always a challenge in the arts, and having the proper budget to do recording projects, etc. can always be a sticking point. Cory promotes the value of working with the right people who are in it for the right reasons, and the local area has delivered wonderfully in that department.
When asked how it feels to win such a prestigious award, Cory didn’t hesitate to share his excitement. “It feels wonderful to win a Josie Music Award!” said Cory. “It is a fantastic event with amazing independent artists from all over the world who come to attend! I have been nominated a few times in other categories over the years, but this year was extra special to win and to accept the award at the famous Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville with my family in attendance!” Cory was also thrilled to be in “Studio A” of the Opry for the pre-party gala, where the show “Hee-Haw” used to be filmed. Cory watched the show as a child, and being there gave him memories to last a lifetime.
Last month was not Cory’s first time in Nashville, and it almost certainly won’t be his last. He hopes to continue writing and recording new material in the near future for release. He also still performs live locally in the area and out of town. “I am always looking to expand my horizons in new venues or festivals and events as well, and I want to thank all my friends and fans for their amazing ongoing support over the many years of my career,” Cory added. “It means the world to me, and I am truly blessed and grateful for everything!”
To learn more about Cory, visit http://www.corymcoons.com/.