Erin Enderlin Article

This article ran in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on 5/31/12.

Conway singer/songwriter pursues dream in Nashville

Contributing Writer

CONWAY — Erin Enderlin sometimes feels like she should pinch herself to see if her life is real. The Conway native is in Nashville, Tenn., pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She’s already worked with some of the best in the industry and has had several of her original songs recorded by some well-known artists.
“I’ve sat in the front row of the Grand Ole Opry listening to Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, sing,” Enderlin said with a smile. “I’ve had a song recorded by Alan
Jackson. My music’s been played on WSM (a country music radio station in Nashville).
“I’ve been very fortunate. Sometimes, I just have to sit down and ask myself, ‘Is this all real?’”
Enderlin, 30, is the daughter of Garry and Carol Enderlin of Little Rock, formerly of Conway. She attended the Conway Public Schools through the 10th grade, then transferred to the Arkansas School for Math and Sciences in Hot Springs. After high school graduation in 2000, she moved to the Nashville area to attend college at Middle
Tennessee State University at Murfreesboro and pursue her dream. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State in 2004 with a degree in recording industry.
“I grew up in Conway,” she said during a recent rehearsal for an appearance with her longtime friend Jeff Clanton of Conway at Conway’s First United Methodist Church. “My family’s roots are here. My grandparents, the late Paul and Mildred Enderlin, ran the Enderlin Cotton Gin and Feed Store in Conway, along with Paul’s brother, Harvey.

“My mot her’s parents, Wanda Clinton and the late H.D. Clinton, who lived in Little Rock for many years, are the ones who introduced me to country music. Wanda now lives in Hot Springs.
“I spent time with them, and we would listen to country music. It was always a big deal for me. I always asked to listen to Patsy Cline, even if it would be for the 20th time.”
Enderlin, who calls herself a “traditionalist in the spirit of Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris,” has written many songs over the years. She gets ideas from a variety of sources, making mental notes as she goes.

“I go play shows around the area, play for publishers and producers, hoping someone will pick up one of my songs,” she said. “Alan Jackson’s producer heard one he liked and took it to Jackson to perform.”
Jackson recorded “Monday Morning Church” in 2004 on his album What I Do.
“I actually got to meet Alan,” Enderlin said. “A while after he cut my song, early one morning, a girl called me and said Alan would like for me to come to his show.
“Half-asleep, I couldn’t recall anyone named Alan who would invite me to his show, plus I had 15 people coming to town to see me,” she said with a grin. “After I woke up, I thought to myself, ‘This couldn’t be Alan Jackson.’ I called her back and apologized, and she said she would gladly send me the 15 tickets for me and my friends. I felt
like such an idiot.”
“I wrote ‘Monday Morning Church’ when I was 19, and Alan cut it for his album when I was 22,” she said. “I co-wrote it with Brent Baxter of Jonesboro, who now lives
in Little Rock.”
“Monday Morning Church” won a Nashville Songwriters Association International Award as one of the 10 Songs I Wish I’d Written in 2005. Enderlin won the same award again in 2009 with Lee Ann Womack’s hit recording of Enderlin’s original song “Last Call.”
Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Adam Brand and Luke Bryan have also recorded Enderlin’s songs. The most recent is Bryan’s recording of “You Don’t Know Jack” on his album Tailgates and Tanlines.

In 2011, Enderlin traveled with the Country Throwdown Tour with Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson, and plans to do so again this year. She has opened shows for Trent Tomlinson, Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Gracin and Marty Stuart. She has also been a part of a television show featuring country music duo Joey and Rory. The show will air on RFD-TV.
When Johnson performed at this year’s Toad Suck Daze festival in Conway, he invited Enderlin to perform onstage. She sang “Baby Sister,” which is featured on her EP Erin Enderlin, produced by
Johnson and Jim “Moose” Brown.
Clanton, 34, who calls himself a “sideman” or an accompanist, will join Enderlin in Nashville for two weeks in June to perform at various venues, including Joey and Rory’s fourth annual Bib and Buckle Fest on Saturday in Pottsville, Tenn. Clanton plays slide guitar and mandolin.
Clanton is the son of Dan and Kay Clanton of Conway.
“Jeff ’s mother taught me science in junior high school,” Enderlin said. “ Then she introduced me to her husband, Dan, who helped me in the early days play shows around central Arkansas, including Advent Café here in Conway.”
Enderlin said she likes to come back to Arkansas “every now and then” to perform and see her friends and family, which include her parents and her siblings Ross and
Amy, who both live in Little Rock.
“I’m trying to get a recording deal,” Enderlin said. “That’s my biggest dream.”
For more information on Enderlin, visit

Erin Enderlin grew up in Conway and now lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she is pursuing her dream of becoming a country music singer. Among her latest songs to be picked up by a Nashville star is “You Don’t Know Jack,” which Luke Bryan recently recorded on his album Tailgates and Tanlines.

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