Garner continues making his mark in country music

Multimedia Editor – @cp_mdreadfulwat
10/12/2018 02:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Wayne Garner
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen and singer/songwriter/guitarist Wayne Garner is continuing to make a name for himself and his band in country music. The Wayne Garner Band signed with record label Smith Music Group and Smith Entertainment in early 2013 and released two albums. But recently it recently signed with major management group Vision Entertainment.

Garner said having a backing music label helped him gain recognition and “get his music heard.”

“The benefits of actually being on a label…it puts you ahead of the pack,” he said. “Whereas new artists, up-and-coming artists, it’s just something they’re not going to get. There are great artists who come out and try to do this and they may not be touring like we are, but they still have a product that sounds good. You know great material, but it never really gets heard other than from the family because they didn’t know the right music reps for iTunes, Apple, Spotify, people who can put music first in front of a lot of people.”

He said with his previous album in 2016, Smith Music Group helped the band be featured on the cover of iTunes as a hot new release and “what’s trending” for nearly two months.

“We were on hot new releases with Brothers Osbourne, and with tons of big country acts like Keith Urban,” he said. “We ended up doing two videos with the guys from TNT and the top ten countdown on both of those. It was all self-done and running on a super low budget.”

He said that went by pretty fast for the band because they didn’t have management or a booking agent to help continue the pace and expense of that type of success.

“When you get into this and start taking steps up, bands all have sponsors and they help pay for stuff,” he said. “They help pay for radio and different things, and so it makes them successful. It’s not so much about making money, playing music. That’s almost impossible because of the fees and stuff. That’s pretty much what we saw with that kind of success. That was the first time you start to see management and stuff like that would have been more beneficial because it would get us in to ‘Rolling Stone’ and stuff like that all these different publications. We didn’t have anybody pulling for us. It was just like ‘wow that really happened.’ It’s definitely beneficial to have a label because they’re gonna be able to reach people that you’re not going to be able to.”

Enter Vision Entertainment. The Wayne Garner Band recently signed with the Nashville-based company to manage it and promote its music nationally.

“The people we signed with in Nashville, they’re big management and PR,” he said. “They get people like Turnpike Troubadours. Vision is big. They’re the big PR people who put you on the radio nationally and stuff like that.”

Garner said his third album is set to release in early in 2019 and his first single was set to drop nationally in August with Vision Entertainment helping promote it.

“That will run about a six month campaign as far as radio-wise (be)cause that’s going to drop nationally,” he said. “They are the guys that do all the PR and do a lot of the major stuff for a lot of the bigger artists in our genre and in country music. Clay Newman, the president of it (Vision Entertainment), he was the president of radio promotions of artist’s records back in the 2000s. He himself has charted over I think 100 top 10 singles for artists in country music. So we are stoked to be with them. You never know what will be a big factor and help us get a household name.”

Visit for tour dates or follow the band on Facebook at
About the Author
Mark Dreadfulwater has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2006. He began as a graphic designer, a position that exposed him to all factions of the organization. Upon completing his j ... • 918-453-5087
Mark Dreadfulwater has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2006. He began as a graphic designer, a position that exposed him to all factions of the organization. Upon completing his j ...


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