Local Musician Gets National Attention

12-20-05 - A local singer and songwriter will soon be heard all across the world, thanks to a hit song that was born due in small part to a KXII newscast.

He has been recording for the last three years, but has never had a hit like this. Madill's own Gary Pratt is getting a lot more air time these days, especially overseas.

It all began last year when a friend was watching a First News story about "The Best of American Horseback" shooting an episode on Lake Fannin. He gave Gary a call and told him he should audition for the show that details the cowboy way of life.

Gary did, and not only earned a spot on the show, but made a big enough impression he was asked to sing at a one-hour Christmas special for the U.S. Army in Fort Riley, Kansas, but before that show he wrote the song you hear now, "Singin’ Silent Night," a tribute to the soldiers who celebrate the holidays while protecting the country.

The song was the hit of the November 29 show and is getting lots of play, especially around Kansas and Oklahoma City, and Gary is getting flooded with calls from people who want the single. Having spent time in the military himself, Gary knows all about Christmas without family.

Gary says, “I come from a military background, and you have got to know a little bit about what you’re writing about. I have a nephew in Iraq, and no matter where you are you can still celebrate Christmas.”

Singin' Silent Night has struck such a chord with soldiers that it will also be heard on the Armed Forces Network that goes to every U.S. military base in 117 different countries.

You can check out Gary Pratt's performance in Kansas on RFD-TV on December 23 and Christmas Day. If you want a copy of Singin’ Silent Night, check out his Web site at www.thefamilyranch.com. He will also visit with Lisanne tomorrow morning on First News AM.