Born in Brevard County, Fla.- Jay moved to Rutherford County, TN when he was 4 years old. Coming from a family of music, his parents Frank and Marsha Witherspoon sang gospel music; he was influenced by both and was such a natural that he started singing in choir at the age of 8. Jay grew up singing in the church choir because he had a few pastors in the family. Later, he sang in honors choir and all state choirs all the way through high school.
Jay’s father sang and toured with such greats as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. His uncle played and toured with Cab Calloway. Singing was a passion in his family and something he looked forward to during family gatherings. As a kid, Jay remembers some well-known writers/artist friends of his dad that would come by to hangout, sing, and play at their house. Arthur Alexander (artist/writer) had his songs recorded from the Beatles to Elvis, Joe Henderson ,“Snap Your Fingers”, Charlie Silvers wrote “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” all great writers and singers, Jay would just soak it all in.
MURFREESBORO PULSE by: Christi Bradford
The man can sing anything. From country to alternative to everything in between, and he can sing it all very, very well. After learning about the album he’s currently working on, I sat down with him and his producer Jerry Michael of Michael Entertainment to have a little chat.
Jerry has been working with Jay developing his voice. Jay said when I met Jerry [my producer], I told him: when you find a song, I’m your piece of clay; mold me into whatever you want.”
Jay has some background in jazz. But always there is soul. It permeates every note. It runs through the core of his being. You can hear it in his voice; see it in the way he works a crowd: country-soul.
Jerry has more to say on the subject of Jay’s singing. “I’ve worked with some great singers and that is what Jay has developed into - he's a great singer.” It’s easy to agree with him.
When I learned he was releasing an album—very soon, in fact—I insisted on sitting down with him for the express purpose of sharing him with as many people as possible. For those of you who know Jay (Smooth): you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t: you can find him at any number of nightly clubs in and around Murfreesboro until the release of his album and his inevitable skyrocket to fame and fortune.
Jay’s granny used to have him sing Barry Manilow songs for her company when he would visit. He really realized he could sing in third grade. Jay discovered his passion for country music in his teens. His dad was in the Walking Horse business. The radio in the barn was constantly playing mainly country music and that’s when Jay heard Ronnie Milsap and Randy Travis who became two of his favorites.
After high school, Jay began singing at different functions like horse shows, weddings, contest and clubs. Jay sang in the group “Color Blind” for a while until they broke up and has been singing ever since.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Jerry Michael & Cool Pepper, everyone has made me feel right at home. Jerry has a rich history in music with lots of gold and multi platinum awards. He’s worked with some great iconic singers. He just knows how to get the best out of you. Now here we are ready for my first release ‘Bits & Pieces’. I’m pinching myself!”
Cool Pepper is excited to be adding Jay Witherspoon to our roster. Jay is a great emerging artist of 2017 with his first release “Bits and Pieces”, title cut from his new album. We look for great things with Jay.
There will be more updates coming.