Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

July 2, 2012

Music star lives the ‘real life’ in Georgia

By Frank Sayles Jr.

CNHI News Service

“I’m just a real man in a real life

Trying to survive;

I’m not a superman with a perfect plan,

Just an ordinary guy.”

--“Real Man,” John Berry

TIFTON, Ga. – This “ordinary guy” may look unassuming, tooling this around this south town in his jeans, work shirt and pickup truck.

But there aren’t many ordinary guys in Tifton who perform frequently on the Grand Ole Opry, sing regularly before thousands of people, have appeared on Conan O’Brien’s and Regis Philbin’s TV programs, have sung for the president of the United States, have been nominated for two Grammy awards, have had six Top 10 hit songs including a No. 1 single, as well as numerous other Top 40 hits.

But John Berry, who has long been one of country music’s most soulful singers, really is a regular guy. Recently, he moved to Tifton.

“Tifton really is a great community. It’s still a small town. It’s got that small-town feel about it. And it straddles I-75; you can be anywhere; there is access to anything,” Berry says. “There is a sense of community here; people enjoy living here. I’ve felt good about it since the day we came down here.”

His relocation has prompted him and his wife, Robin, to go through “boxes and boxes of memorabilia,” Berry says.

“It’s like Christmas. I found three handwritten notes from Buck Owens, which I forgot about.”

He is also moving from being a country music singer to a full-fledged Christian artist, releasing his 25th album, his first Christian-oriented record, “Real Man. Real Life. Real God.”

Berry, who hit No. 1 on the music charts in 1994 with “Your Love Amazes Me,” says he is committed to his future as a Christian artist: “I’m not dabbling in gospel.”

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