Country Music’s Hidden Gem

Last summer, I had the privilege of meeting Sharon and Billy Rae Stewart online. After hearing Redd Stewart’s incredible story–he composed The Tennessee Waltz, a beautiful song my mother used to sing around the house–I became more deeply involved in bringing this story to the world.

Here’s the cover of this new release, and I’m very proud to have played a role in its publication.

Now I’ll let Billy Rae, Redd Stewart’s son, describe what it’s been like to honor his father in this way. At the end, he shares the gifts he’d like to offer to three of you who leave a comment. I hope you visit the website he and Sharon created as a tribute to Redd, as well.

Hello everyone, this is Billy Rae. Let me start by saying becoming an Author was not on my bucket list. Music has always been my direction since I was 9 years old until my father passed away in 2003. My father’s story is an amazing one, full of life’s lessons that everyone can benefit from reading.

My father achieved his dreams against impossible odds, and had to overcome many struggles to become successful. His dedication to his craft and determination to succeed made his dreams come true. He succeeded in an industry where most people lose their souls and abandon their values just to become famous, but he did it without doing either. Starting his music career at the age of 13 in the middle of the Depression was enough to make anyone give up, but his life became a true rags-to-riches story.

This is the reason I just had to write this book. When you read it, you will realize that Redd Stewart never quit and also that he didn’t get the recognition he so rightly deserved. Writing this book was a way I could shine the light on a man who is what I call, Country Music’s Hidden Gem and my dad.

The process of writing the book was much easier than I’m sure most writers go through. I know the subject personally and have heard the stories over and over again. In 2003 when my father passed away, one of the first projects we wanted to work on was a documentary. We gathered together family photos and stories and organized all of the pictures, fliers, posters, awards, etc. my father had saved all through the years. We studied performance videos and interviews and numerous other resources.

We also did video interviews with family members to get stories and insights. On our tribute website for my father ( we had two guestbooks, one for basic stories and comments from fans and one for a petition to have him inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The response was overwhelming. They came in from all over the world from fans and musicians he had played with through the years. 

All of this information made writing the book pretty straightforward. We decided to cover his life from the beginning to the end, and broke up all the resources into 10 year periods starting in the 30’s when he was born. We then went through each decade and decided the most important events to share with readers.

My wife Sharon made up index cards of those events. With her at the keyboard and me in my chair armed with those cards and resources to make sure I had my dates right, I would narrate the story from my head and she would type as we went along. After each part we would go back and tweak it. And that, my friends, is how we wrote the book!

Writing this book has been a dream come true, and I hope when you read it you will get to know the man I had the privilege of calling my dad. He was truly amazing.

We wanted to do a give away for all who read this blog, so we will choose three names from those who leave a comment, and they will get an E-book of Country Music’s Hidden Gem, along with one of my favorite CD’s that I personally remastered from the original entitled,’I Remember,’ which includes a beautiful 12-page booklet filled with lyrics and pictures that I know you will enjoy.

Thank you all for being here and God bless you all,

Billy Rae Stewart

You may follow Billy Rae and Sharon’s FB page My Unexpected Journey (White Socks Rock)

COUNTRY MUSIC’S HIDDEN GEM can be purchased here:


11 thoughts on “Country Music’s Hidden Gem

  1. Yesterday, I ordered 3 books. Of course one for me, one for a dear friend who loves to dance, and one to our favorite band. I have always felt there was a story behind the Tennessee Waltz. We will love learning the Stewart story since our favorite past time is to dance. The tune is pleasing to the ear and easy to move and dance. I believe this book will become part of the timeless Tennessee Waltz.

    • Sorry for delayed response but have not been well. Thank you so much for reading the book and purchasing books for others. It means a lot to me. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.. Writing this book has been a dream of mine for years. Please consider writing a review on the site where you purchased the book.

  2. Not only did I enjoy a bit more insight into Mr. Stewart’s life, but loved reading how this book came about. I suspect your dad would be very pleased to know the impact his life had on the lives of those around him. Sometimes we don’t do things (e.g. write a book, help others, pursue a career) for the fame it might bring, but because we are so passionate about doing it that the idea of not answering that call in our lives would rob us of peace. Thank you so much for sharing; and you found a great resource to help bring your “book baby” to life in Ms. Gail.

  3. With a hearing loss from standing in front of Vox Super Beatle Amps during the sixties, you might imagine the problem of deciphering lyrics. I also played drums. So I do have a love for music, even though I’m a half-tone deaf. That being said, I love to waltz, and you know which song I pick. Thanks for the book info, and your dad’s career.

    • Thank you Paul. I can relate to the hearing loss I did the same thing for years. There is nothing better to waltz to than Tennessee Waltz that is for sure. Thank you for the opportunity to share the info.
      Billy Rae Stewart

      • Posted to the wrong name above. Sorry

        Thank you Warren. I can relate to the hearing loss I did the same thing for years. There is nothing better to waltz to than Tennessee Waltz that is for sure. Thank you for the opportunity to share the info.
        Billy Rae Stewart

  4. How wonderful that you could capture those stories for others to enjoy. That is something for the kids and grandkids to cherish.
    My mother wrote her memoirs as a missionary kid born in China. She was 99 when she finished them, passed away at 101 in 2018.
    I believe we all need to preserve our family heritage.
    Thanks so much.

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