Last night, Mr. & Mrs. Harold Garoutte sat down and answered some questions that I had. I say that Mrs. Garoutte sat down with us as well, because Mr. Garoutte has Parkinson’s and at times needs assistance with things like this. (Such a wonderful woman she is for helping her loving husband with his very first interview!) I am very grateful to have this honor of interviewing such a wonderful person. Below you will see the questions that I asked Mr. Garoutte and his responses following. Enjoy!
Q: First can you tell us a little bit (or a lot) about yourself?
A: (sigh) My name is Harold Claude Garoutte. My friends call me “Howie” or “Bubba.” I moved to Portland, OR as a teenager. I dropped out of high school to join the Oregon Army National Guard in 1982. My daughter, Alley, was born in 1994 and I married my wife, Tara on New Year’s Eve the same year.
Q: How long have you been writing songs?
A: I’ve only been writing seriously for about a year.
Q: Are you a member of ASCAP, or any other company?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Are you a member of “The Dean of Music Publishing Company” (DOMP)? If so, how long have you been a member?
A: Yes, for about a year.
Q: I notice from your tweets, that you are planning to make a move to Nashville. Can you tell us why you are making this change?
A: Well, it goes back to my childhood. We all grew up listening to The Grand Ole Opry on the radio. We were one of the last families in the neighborhood to get TV. We weren’t allowed to watch The Opry on TV until the radio finally broke! I loved watching The Porter Wagner Show, also and often told my dad that one day I’d move to Nashville. He said “Yeah, yeah.” Like some people do when a kid makes a statement like that. I’m 46 now, so I guess it’s time to make it happen.
Q: What are your plans once you get to Nashville? Maybe co-write some songs with some other writers?
A: Yes, I’d love to co-write with some of my twitpals like Harold Allen and Lee Gibson.
Q: Are there any Organizations out there that hold a special place in your heart?
A: Yes, The National Parkinson’s Foundation
(You can get to the NPF website by clicking the highlighted link above!)
Q: What was it like meeting “Colt Ford” in person?
A: One word – Awesome! Cold Ford made sure my nephew, James and I were taken care of at the concert. He had me wheeled up to the front row and personally checked to make sure the staff was taking good care of us.
Q: Do you strictly write Country Music only?
A: Yes, I might try Blue Grass, but Country is what I write.
Q: If there was one songwriter that you could choose to co-write a song with, who it be and why?
A: Well, I guess there’s so many to choose from, but “Whispering” Bill Anderson tops my list. He has so much to teach! With 50 years in the business, there’s no end to the learning opportunities.
Q: What are your plans for 2013? Other than your move to Nashville?
A: My goal is to have “Parkinson’s”, the song I co-wrote with Trey Willeford, published.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our viewers that we may not have covered in this interview?
A: Yes, the reason for writing “Parkinson’s” is that I have Parkinson’s. Trey also has a family member with the disease. Writing this song has opened up opportunities to raise Parkinson’s awareness. One way I’m doing that is by creating and promoting a benefit concert for the NPF this spring in Portland, OR.
Well, I don’t know about you all, but I’m very touched by Mr. Garoutte’s responses. He’s a trooper I tell ya. I had an in-law that suffered from Parkinson’s and I know how hard it was for her 95% of the time. She wasn’t able to function at all some days. So, Howie, I appreciate you and your wife taking the time out of your busy schedules to sit down and allow us to learn more about you, your family, and your love for song writing. I hope to keep in touch with you and take this journey with you as you move to Nashville. Please be sure to keep us up to date with new information such as benefits for your Organization in the Nashville area, or whatever area you might be hosting one. We wish you well in all you do. Have safe travels to Nashville. I’m sure Nashville will love having you there as much you will love being there.
Writing this article was such an honor. Thank You Again Mr. & Mrs. Garoutte!
-The Country Buzzz