Gold-Record Awarded Singer/Songwriter, Active Duty Navy Sailor, Entertainer, Husband and Dad - just a few adjectives you could use to describe Kenny Ray Horton. From his hometown of Rocky Comfort, MO to the famed avenues of Music Row in Nashville, to a world-wide representative of the US Navy, he has been singing all the way. Growing up in a community of bluegrass, country and gospel music near the world renown gospel songwriter, Albert E. Brumley ("I'll Fly Away" "Turn Your Radio On"), music has always been a part of his life.
Moving to Nashville, TN in the early 90's, Kenny Ray had many songwriting deals in town. He finally landed one with Oh Boy Records, who's flagship artist is the legendary John Prine. 12 days after inking the deal, Kenny Ray had a song picked up by Kenny Rogers. The first song chosen for Rogers' 1997 release 'The Gift'. Kenny Ray had co-written the song with John Barlow Jarvis called "A Soldier's King". The Kenny Rogers album has since sold more than 500,000 copies giving the writers an R.I.A.A certified gold record and is close to breaking 1,000,000 copies sold to put them up to a platinum record achievement!
Making many friends in Nashville through co-writing and simply meeting other artists there to 'make it', Kenny Ray befriended hit songwriter Karyn Rochelle ("Red High Heels" "Georgia Rain"), now-country superstar, Blake Shelton, and "A" list touring and session bassist, Rob Byus, among many others. Watching his friends go on to become successful in the country music industry is one of the many things in his musical life Kenny Ray is very proud of. Getting the opportunity to write with his heroes of the songwriting community, Kenny Ray learned a lifetime of lessons about the industry and songwriting, but his love of country eventually came calling.
Against the advice of many of his friends, Kenny Ray enlisted in the US Navy in December of 2000 as an Electronic Technician. Eventually finding his way to be one of the top lead singers for the US Navy, he fronted the Navy's country and rock bands in Chicago, IL, Pearl Harbor, HI and Memphis, TN. When the spot came available in the US Navy's Premier Country and Bluegrass band "Country Current" in Washington, DC, he jumped at the chance to do the style of music he loved most for top military brass and world leaders in the nations capitol!
Still active duty today, Kenny Ray plans to keep his day job singing as a representative for the US Navy and doing PR for the many men and women who are serving today. Being able to retire in 2020 makes it hard not to stay, but when asked his plans for the future, Kenny Ray says he plans to retire with the Navy but keeps his options open. "I will always follow the music. It's always worked the best for me", he says grinning.
Kenny Ray continues to write, record and perform his music in the DC area. His family brings him the most joy, especially when they get the chance to enjoy his music with him!