Don Ohman of Burbank will be flyin' high this weekend as he competes Sunday in the Texaco Country Showdown Washington finals in Aberdeen.
"I'm pretty excited just to have made it to the state level," the 65-year-old singer/songwriter said.
Ohman won the chance to compete in the national contest at the Benton Franklin Fair in August.
The annual Country Showdown, now in its 30th year, is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America, then give those performers a chance to launch their professional music careers.
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It's how Garth Brooks got his big break, by winning the competition a long time ago, Ohman said.
Ohman actually beat out his son, Donnie, for the local win at the fair contest. The younger Ohman took the loss from his dad pretty well, Ohman said.
Ohman sang, Hi Love! which is one of the hundreds of songs he's written during the last 50 years. He will sing the same song in Aberdeen.
"It's pretty exciting to advance to the state contest," he said.
The national competition starts in the spring each year at more than 450 locations, sponsored by various country music radio stations throughout the US.
The winners advance to their respective state competitions, then those winners go on to the regional competition. The Northwest regionals will be in Coos Bay, Ore., later this year.
The regional winners then advance to the final competition, which is at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The overall winner grabs the national title and $100,000, which also could lead to a recording contract.
As for Ohman, if he wins the state title he will be thrilled and if he doesn't he still plans on having a good time performing for an audience.
He's been writing and performing his own musical poetry since he was a youngster. He even overcame a debilitating stoke in 1999 that knocked out the sight in his left eye, partial hearing in his left ear and his ability to play the guitar.
Ohman took it all in stride and spent the next few years retraining himself to play music again.
The now-retired Northern Pacific ticket agent and roofer, spends most of his time singing for the elderly at nursing homes, as well as competing in competitions from time to time, he said.