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Published:June 2nd, 2011 23:05 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Country Music Superstar Jody Beggs, McKinley & Beggs

Judyth Piazza chats with Country Music Superstar Jody Beggs, McKinley & Beggs

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

In 2008, Mel Tillis - a true country icon - heard the demos that came from the amazing minds of McKinley & Beggs and called them in for a meeting. There, in a moment that must`ve felt like a dream, Mel Tillis looked at these two men and delivered the unforgettable words, "You guys have got it!"

McKinley & Beggs, two amazingly talented men, were born in separate counties in Florida. Although they would never "run into each other" as they were growing up, the fates had long ago decided that they would meet face to face at just the right time in their lives. That golden moment came in Live Oak, Florida at a place called The Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park - a one-of-a-kind music park and campground that plays host to a variety of performers throughout the year, including offering live music during the week in their Music Hall.

It was at this fabulous venue where Ronny McKinley and Jody Beggs were performing, that their paths finally crossed. Although they didn`t know it at the time, a lightning bolt had struck their world that would lead them to a destiny they hadn`t even thought of yet. Not only were both men moving to Nashville, Tennessee in the next few days to follow their chosen career paths, but they also promised each other that as the `newbies` in the country music capital of the world, they would look each other up and keep in touch.

This oath is an improbable, if not, impossible, feat when performers are focusing on their own careers. But the hands of fate worked magic and the two men kept their word, as their individual trains began to meet on the same track. While in Tennessee, the trains belonging to what would one day become the country duo McKinley & Beggs, moved a little bit closer, as both men ended up being part of a writing team who lived and worked with Hank Cochran. For those of you who`ve been asleep for many, many years, Hank Cochran was also a living legend. He was the mastermind songwriter behind hits like Patsy Cline`s, "I Fall to Pieces," which is still a favorite among all country performers and fans. Starting in the 1960`s, Hank Cochran became a prolific songwriter working with not just Cline, but also extreme talents like Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, and many more. Not to mention through the years of 1962-1980, Hank also became a beloved recording artist scoring seven times on Billboard magazine`s country music charts.

Ronny McKinley and Jody Beggs were also multi-talented and extremely fantastic songwriters, which ended up landing them both jobs with the great Mr. Cochran. When the two men would speak, they maintained that when they ever decided to travel home to Florida they would start up their own band and call it McKinley & Beggs. From those conversations, steered by the hands of a higher power, these two men had the conviction and foresight to know something was taking hold of them. And, sure enough, McKinley & Beggs came into being. As their career began to flourish, Florida Magazine rated McKinley & Beggs as one of the top three entertaining bands that originated from Florida. The popular groups, Matchbox 20 and Creed, rounded out the list.

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