Jamie O'Hara

Singer-songwriter Jamie O’Hara was born August 18,1950,in Toledo, Ohio. O’Hara, an athlete of unusual ability, was a star basketball, baseball, and football player at Ottawa Hills High School in Toledo. He went on to play football at Indiana University, with hopes of a career in the NFL, but after an injury ended those plans, he took up the guitar, and discovered his true calling.

In 1975, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in music. Almost immediately, he was signed to a publishing contract, but spent five years working as everything from construction worker to chauffeur while writing in his off-time, before he began making his living as a professional songwriter. Over the years, he has received numerous awards, and several Grammy and CMA nominations. The 1986 Grammy for Best Country Song went to his "Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)".

In 1985, Jamie began co-writing with friend and fellow songwriter, Kieran Kane--a collaboration that led to their recording and performing together as "The O’Kanes". The O’Kanes were instrumental in bringing about the Alternative
Country/Americana movement, which brought into prominence not only the O’Kanes, but a number of other innovative acts such as Dwight Yoakum, Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, Foster & Lloyd, Lyle Lovett and Mary Chapin Carpenter. The O’Kanes released three critically-acclaimed albums filled with a number of hit songs, all written, produced and performed by the duo, before splitting up.

After the split, Jamie returned to solo songwriting, and his first solo album, "Rise Above It", on RCA, written entirely by O’Hara, was a commercial success. One of the songs included on that album was the poignant "50,000 Names", described by Emmylou Harris as "about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but . . . totally apolitical and non-judgmental, a recital of all the things people leave at the wall". The song has become something of an anthem for Vietnam vets and their families. He followed up "Rise Above It" in 2001 with the self-penned "Beautiful Obsession", (which he co-produced with Brent Maher), a moody, vibey, solo album featuring poetic lyrics and melodies that range from seductive to deeply spiritual.

The list of artists who have recorded and had hits with his songs is impressive: among them, Tim McGraw, Tammy Wynette, Josh Turner, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Sara Evans, George Jones, Randy Travis, Don Williams, Tricia Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Pam Tillis, Shelby Lynn, Wynonna, Gary Allan, Emmylou Harris, and The Trio (Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt).

In his latest release, "DREAM HYMNS", O’Hara explores the rich mystical and religious imagery of his dreams: a crucified Christ in the ocean, a crown of thorns washed up on a beach, a holy man with a face of fire. The songs are dark and deeply poetic, filled with the yearning of the spirit.

Dream Hymns - Jamie O'Hara
 

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