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Denis grew up in a small Nebraska town in the 40's and 50's. Denis started his singing career at the age of 7 in the local bar where he would sing such songs as 'Pistol Packin' Mama'. His mother would write down words to songs she heard on the radio and encouraged him to sing, but he never had a single formal voice or music lesson. His natural singing abilities are truly God-given. Denis entered two talent contests while serving in the U. S. Air Force and both times was named top male vocalist at Sheppard AFB, Texas. However, he didn't play an instrument and dreamed of playing the guitar so he could accompany himself. At the age of 51. Denis decided it was now or never if he wanted to learn to play the guitar. Denis was partial to the songs he grew up with and has a unique ability to remember words and melodies to the songs of his youth. His repertoire naturally included old Country Western, Popular and Gospel songs which were ideal for performing in nursing homes where he did his first public deput. His first stage appearance was at the Red Barn Opry in Omaha, Nebraska, where he gained invaluable experience in front of audiences. On occasions, Betty would harmonize with Denis, and son Scott joined in with his guitar. In August of 1998 while donating our time and musical talents for an historical society fundraiser in another small Nebraska town, we were 'discovered' by a local gentleman who approached us about entertaining in the 'Snowbird Parks' in Mesa, Arizona, where he spends his winters. He and his wife literally adopted us, arranged a performance in their community, helped us with publicity, and became unofficial booking agents for the following winter's entertainment season. While performing in Mesa, we chanced upon the opportunity to appear on Barbara Fairchild's Talent Showcase in Branson, Missouri, in May 1999. We soon realized that we needed more than a quitar, singer, and part-time harmony. Betty had taken piano lessons as a child but had not played the piano for over 45 years. However a keyboard seemed a natural for her. This added rhythm, bass, strings, and various other instruments to the act. Our first CD of original songs entitled 'Memories of the Neals' was completed in 2002. This CD incorporates memories Denis has of his childhood, as well as other significant events later in his life, including the September 11th attack on the twin towers. The CD cover and the lyrics to 'Nine Eleven' were on display in an exhibit at the Library of Congress (Sep 7 thru Nov 2, 2002) in commemoration of the 1-year anniversary of the 09-11-01 tragedy. After avoiding the harsh Nebraska winters, we return for the summer months to entertain for the residents of retirement homes and assisted living/care centers, and share our talents with churches and other special groups in Nebraska and Iowa. Scott becomes part of 'The Neals' during the summer months, adding his own guitar style to the music.
UPC Number: 136000189889
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