Daron Norwood

For some reason, earlier tonight I was thinking about one of my first story assignments as a professional reporter.

I was about two weeks out of the University of Delaware, a Yankee relocated to Nashville to write features for The Tennessean, the city’s morning daily newspaper. My starting salary was $26,000. I had a desk, a computer and an apartment off the Cumberland River. Life was sweet.

My editor, Catherine Mayhew, sent me out to an annual event called Fan Fair—a massive gathering of country singers at a fairground. I’d never seen anything like it: Hundreds of singers, positioned at their own little booths, and fans had the chance to approach for an autograph or a handshake or whatever. All the biggies were there—Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Allan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, etc … etc.

I was told to profile the event’s hottest young star; the man who we’d be hearing about for years to come.

I landed at the booth of Daron Norwood.

The year was 1994, and Daron was a 29-year-old hunk (I have no problem saying that. He was a truly dashing guy) whose self-titled debut album was all over the country charts. I approached, asked if he’d mind me shadowing him for a few hours. The guy was cool about it, and—clearly—flattered. I liked him immediately. Very flamboyant, very interactive. If I recall correctly, he had recently broken a leg, and was on crutches, hopping left, hopping right. The women absolutely loved him—kisses on the cheeks, pinches, hugs. It was something to behold, and my story raved of this young dude with a hot song (“Cowboys Don’t Cry” and a world of talent. I was psyched at the idea of, decades later, telling people, “I wrote the first in-depth Daron Norwood profile.”

It’s 2013. I wrote the first in-depth Daron Norwood profile.

And, perhaps, the last.

Like so many phenoms in sports and music and politics, Daron vanished. His music was sorta meh. He supposedly had drinking problems. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever the case, a kid who seemed to possess all the virtues of a star failed to last. I actually called him several months ago about doing a Quaz. We exchanged messages, then it all faded away. Tonight I found the above video. Something about it struck me as painfully sad. He looks old, and his wardrobe is schlubby. The room seems empty. The club seems shitty. He’s playing a keyboard, with digital music apparently piped in. On the bright side, he’s still at it. That’s cool.

But it’s not what I expected.

Not what he expected, either.


6 thoughts on “Daron Norwood”

  1. I just met Daron a few months ago, just found your article. I’m doing some shows with him in Lubbock, incredibly talented still, if you have any questions about the show call me, 806-206-3081.

  2. i help daron from time to time. mostly just be his friend. he is currently hosting a show that is live on the radio in lubbock, tx that promotes local talent. airs on 107.3, 94.1, and KSSLFM.com on sat nights from 7 to 8pm. the talent is excellent thus far, and daron’s musical ability is inceredible as well. it it my wish that this shows continues to achieve great success and promote the successful career paths of local talent.

  3. I’ve known Daron since about 1994. I met him when we were both in Atlanta. Haven’t seen him in nearly as long. We reconnected last year. We had a three hour conversation on the phone. I tried to get him to come to Michigan and do some shows. It kind of fizzled out. I feel really bad for my friend. There is some truly disgraceful “talent” in Nashville. I could go down the list but I won’t. Truth is, there are some folks who don’t have the credentials to tune Mr. Norwood’s guitar. He should be a regular on the Opry. He should be a regular on country radio. But, he isn’t. My friend is in Texas, singing for whatever he gets. I’m glad to still say that Daron’s my friend. I just hope that maybe more people outside of Lubbock rediscover this incredible talent. I still remember, way back when, meeting Daron for the first time in a back room at the “Buckboard” in Marietta, Georgia. It’s been nearly twenty years ago. Come on Daron, you’ve got that one big breakout hit left inside. Lets hear it. And then, I’ll listen to country radio again.

  4. A couple of months ago I lay in bed reading every single article I had read about Daron Norwood and I never saw this. That other night I even went so far as to attempt writing him on facebook and on his website advertise on YouTube. I don’t think this man knows how many ppl he has reached. I have an incredible memory of him and I wore out his CD for 12 years atleast. What an incredible artist, talent and man! I wish so much to hear him back on the radio, re-release his self titled album so I can wear out another of his CDs or travel to Oklahoma! I’d pay good money to see that concert and get the chance to meet him again! Praying for the return of his success, because Lord knows the talent ppl today are missing out on! I know if I lived anywhere near where he has been playing I’d go every chance I got!

  5. Daron is working on some new music. Daron and myself spent most of the day today working in my little studio… And yes, he plays music and sings as good as ever. Truly the most talented person I know.And im proud to call him my freind. He has had his troubles through life and hard times. I hope for him and all country music fans that he can make a comeback. .

  6. I played the drums in a band with Daron Norwood,we were called Texas Wild. This was when Daron was In Muscle Shoals Al. This was in 1990,1991 and we opened for Garth Brooks and I had a great time playing with such a talented cat. Things were going great for this band,with Daron out front. The next time I went to the club,I was told Daron went to rehab and that was the end of Texas Wild and our shot at the big time. One year later in channel surfing and I see Daron on CMT, needless to say I was floored thinking what might have been. He is a very talented performer and wish him the best!

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