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Gleason home to another singing sensation

Gleason home to another singing sensation
Gleason home to another singing sensation | Micah Arnold, West Tennessee Idol

Micah Arnold
The City of Gleason has long been known as the home of Grand Old Opry star Mike Snider, but in the near future it may be able to add another name to that list. Last month, Gleason native Micah Arnold, 26, took to the stage in the West Tennessee Idol competition in Jackson and outshined over 200 contestants to take home the grand prize and the chance to move on to state competition. Initially, Arnold, who has been singing since the age of three, was hesitant to enter the competition, but with the encouragement of his parents, Jim and Donna Arnold, he decided to take the plunge. “Over 200 people were at the audition,” Arnold admitted. “First, you had to sing a capella and if you advanced past that, you’d perform to a live round onstage in front of the judges and then a radio round where people called in and voted.” Despite the fact that the competition was very much like the “American Idol” television show, Arnold admitted that the entire process did nothing to wrack his nerves. “I’m used to the stage,” he said. “I’m in a band called Leaving Sunday and we’ve played in Dresden, Paris, Jackson and McKenzie. I’ve sung in Nashville in most every place. I play guitar in the band, but lately, of course, I’ve been focusing on vocals.” Arnold hopes to take his passion much further than the competition stage. He’s hoping to make a career in the music industry. “I’d really like to go further with it,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to work on a career in the music industry for a while now.” Arnold cites his musical influences as being everything from Keith Urban to Merle Haggard to Hank Williams Jr. to Garth Brooks to, of course, his father who played music when Arnold was growing up, but he relates his own style of singing to no one. It’s uniquely his own. “I try not to sound like anyone. I try to be unique. I’ve been told that I sound like George Strait or I sound like Conway Twitty, but I don’t want to be a second-rate version of them,” he admitted. Arnold wasn’t the only Weakley Countian to sing on the West Tennessee Idol stage, however. Two other singers from Palmersville also made the finals and Arnold saw their presence as a comfort. “Emily Rook was there and Paul Jolley was there and it was very comforting,” he remarked. “I knew them even before the competition and it was great that we all had each other to talk to and cope with. It really made the competition easier. We banded together and it really felt good to see people I knew there rooting all of us on.” When Arnold won the competition and received his trophy, he knew all the years of hard work and practice had paid off and he had just taken one step closer to his dream. “It really felt good. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time and it paid off,” he said. “I still have a long way to go as far as making a career in music, but this was a huge accomplishment. The judges were from the music industry and hearing the positive feedback from them made me feel good about myself.” “Every contestant there deserved to win,” he added. “It was not an easy win because everyone was so talented, but I’m pleased they chose me.” Arnold will now compete in the Tennessee Colgate State Finals in Monteagle on Sept. 6 and with a win, will move on to national competition at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.

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