Donna McElroy

Jan 01, 1990

Donna McElroy is listed in the credits for the following albums:

Year Artist Album Role
1980 Wayne Watson Workin' in the Final Hour Background & Duet Vocals
1980 Debby Boone With My Song Background Vocals
1980 Joe English Lights in the World Background Vocals
1981 Gary McSpadden It Was Enough Background Vocals
1982 Gary Dunham The Pearl Backup Vocals
1982 David Meece Front Row Background Vocals
1982 Glenn Garrett Nothing Without You Background Vocals
1982 Kathy Troccoli Stubborn Love Background Vocals
1982 Rick Cua koo-ah Background Vocals
1983 David Meece Count the Cost Background Vocals
1983 Imperials Side by Side Background Vocals
1983 Wendell Burton Closer Background Vocals
1983 Phil Driscoll Covenant Children Background Vocals
1984 Billy Sprague What A Way To Go Background Vocals
1984 Amy Grant Straight Ahead Background Vocals
1984 Kathy Troccoli Heart and Soul Background Vocals
1985 Angie Lewis Heart Dance Background Vocals
1985 Joe English The Best is Yet to Come Background Vocals
1986 Shirley Caesar Christmasing Background Vocals
1986 Amy Grant Collection Background Vocals
1987 Prism Yellow Vocals
1987 Rich Mullins Pictures in the Sky Background Vocals
1987 Paul Smith No Frills Background Vocals
1987 Michael Card The Final Word Background Vocals
1988 Mark Baldwin The Calling Background Vocals
1988 Rick Cua Can't Stand Too Tall Background Vocals
1988 Carman Live! Radically Saved Background Vocals
1988 Amy Grant Lead Me On Background Vocals
1989 Amy Grant A Moment In Time Background Vocals
1990 David Meece Learning to Trust Background Vocals
1990 Buddy Greene Sojourner's Song Background Vocals
1991 Carman Shakin' the House...Live! Background Vocals
1991 Amy Grant Heart in Motion Background Vocals
1991 Carman Addicted to Jesus Backing Vocals
1992 Michael W. Smith Change Your World Background Vocals
1992 Buddy Greene Buddy Greene and Friends Live! Background Vocals
1992 Carman Revival in the Land Background Vocals
1992 Hoi Polloi Hoi Polloi Background Vocals
1993 Steve Taylor Squint Background Vocals
1994 Kathy Troccoli Kathy Troccoli Background Vocals
1994 Gary Chapman The Light Inside Background Vocals
1994 Amy Grant House of Love Background Vocals
1994 Bob Carlisle The Hope Of A Man Guest Vocalist, Background Vocals
1995 John Schlitt Shake Vocals
1995 Geoff Moore Familiar Stranger: The Early Works of Geoff Moore Background Vocals
1997 Amy Grant Behind the Eyes Background Vocals
2011 Al Green The Best of the Gospel Sessions Background Vocals

Donna McElroy

When Donna McElroy left Louisville, KY, in 1973, a young talented voice scholarship recipient (Fisk University-'77), she never dreamed her days in Nashville, TN, would be many and very rewarding. First she and her friend Vicki Hampton took all the natural talent and great ears they'd been gifted with growing up and started doing demos and backup sessions, bringing a new sound to the Music City vocalist pool. In a short while they'd dived on in and twenty-two years later, and after helping to make such hits as "Why Haven't I Heard From You?" (Reba), "Baby, Baby" (Amy Grant), and "Addicted Love" (Bebe & Cece), Donna signed briefly with Nashville's Warner-Reprise label, "discovered" by old friend and client, Jim Ed Norman. After nearly two years of learning the ropes, Donna realized she knew nothing of being an artist, and the road gigs she'd been on had spoiled her for starting as a new artist. She'd forgotten as a backup singer for Amy Grant's early days on the road, how much sacrifice the artist and band have to make. She was demanding and expected the top of the line for product which hadn't proved anything yet. Poor record sales made Donna long for the days when she could just sing and not have to be any particular kind of singer. She realized that the music she'd always been the most comfortable with from her days growing up and listening to her dad's record library, was jazz.

So in 1993-94, when she'd been released from her contractual arrangement with Warner, Donna met Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer, two musicians who hailed from Anderson, IN, and were new to Music City. Having begun writing jazz songs with Billy Adair while signed, Donna had gotten the bug, as it were, and over the next four years wrote with Lori, Billy Crockett, John Aarn, Chris Mueller, and other great songwriters in Nashville.

Richard Evans, Professor of Creative Writing and Production at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, heard some of those songs after inviting Donna to speak and being politely turned down.

"I would have nothing positive to say about the industry." was all Donna could reply when she received Richard's call, still slightly disappointed in her short run as a recording artist. "But I'll send you a cassette of some of my tunes". And the rest, as they say, is history. Richard played the tape for Jan Shapiro, soon-to-be chair of the Voice Department; Jan recorded two of the songs on her CD, then asked Donna to consider coming to help buld the Voice Department at Berklee.

Relocating to Boston to begin teaching was the most productive and rewarding thing that could have happened to Donna. She's now been able to teach; not only how to sing healthily and correctly, always referring to her own voice instructor back at Fisk, Valija Bumbulis, and her first voice instructor, her mother, who still lives in Louisville; but how to build on a dream and plan one's career as well. Not to mention performance skills and knowledge of the whole spectrum of stage experience she's had over the years. Donna and Berklee seem to be the perfect match.

So when the opportunity came to develop a kind of teaching tool to show new artists that they can do much of the work themselves, and benefit from their own production, networking, marketing, and accounting skills, the result was "Fly To Forever". Definitely Jazz, definitely Art, and definitely Donna McElroy!

Donna McElroy. (2009). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from Donna McElroy website: http://www.donnamcelroy.net/index.php?page=cds

Created by admin - 26-July-2010
Last Edited by admin - 07-January-2016
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