Gord Bamford’s long road to success Kayla Tinson June 1, 2012 PICK OF THE WEEK 219 Country singer Gord Bamford spent most of his childhood in Alberta but was actually born in Traralgon, Victoria, Australia. When Gord was just five years old his mom, Marilyn, moved with him to the small town of Lacombe, Alberta, after his parents divorce. Gord grew up on an Alberta farm and his mother was a country singer who encouraged young Gord to pursue his passion for music. Gord caught his first break when, while working as a concrete truck driver, he entered a local radio station’s ‘Search For The Stars’ contest and won first prize, which included a recording session at a professional studio. The result was a single titled, ‘Forever Starts Today.’ That was in 1994, but it would be seven more years of paying his dues before he finally was able to release his first full length country album, God’s Green Earth. Only one song on his debut album was written by Bamford while others were written by Steve Fox, Gil Grand, Duane Steele, and the title track was written by Nashville veteran Byron Hill. This would prove to be a turning point in the singer’s career. Hill (who has had hundreds of his songs recorded by all kinds of artists including George Strait, Toby Keith, Ray Charles, and Anne Murray) liked Bamford’s recording of his song. Since that time he has co-produced every Gord Bamford album and co-written many songs with the singer. On Bamford’s sophmore album, 2004’s Life Is Good, Hill co-wrote 7 of the 11 tracks. It was this album that proved Gord’s talent as a country songwriter (he co-wote all but one track) and he hit the road, taking his songs to country fans coast-to-coat. Six of the songs albums made it into the Top 20 on the charts. But it would be 2007’s Honkytonks and Heartaches that solidified him as a hit songwriter when four of his songs went #1 on the Canadian country charts, including ‘Blame It On That Red Dress.’ [mycred_video id=”E4Tii6FQVYA” width=”620″ height=”340”] Since the success of Honkytonks and Heartaches Gord has released two more albums, 2010’s Day Job and his brand new record, his first for a big-time major label Sony Music, Is It Friday Yet? He has been a fixture on the country charts in the past few years with hits like ‘Put Some Alcohol On It,’ ‘My Daughter’s Father,’ and ‘Hank Williams Lonesome.’ His latest hit is the title track from the new record. [mycred_video id=”MPymnur5HEo” width=”620″ height=”340”] Gord Bamford has won a number of awards since breaking through in 2007 including CCMA Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year and in 2010 he was honored with the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award. Gord is very active raising money for charities including the Canadian 4-H Council. Set up as a fundraising initiative, 4-H members across the country have the opportunity to sell his CDs, with a substantial portion of the profits going back to their 4-H clubs. Gord, a former alumni member of the Lacombe 4-H Beef Club believes in giving back to organizations that had such a big impact on him in his formative years. The Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation and his annual charity golf tournament have raised over $200,000 dollars to support local central Alberta charities. The Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Lacombe Accessible Park Society, Lacombe Athletic Park and the Ronald MacDonald House Red Deer project have all been recipients of Gord’s charitable heart. He also collaborated with the Calgary Stampede Giddy Up Gala to create a heart-warming video for his song Things Go Better With Love,’ and was privileged to star in this video with special needs kids from the Calgary area. Gord and his wife Kendra have three children, Nash, Paisley, and Memphis.