Walt grew up mainly in the East
St Louis, Illinois area. His professional influences ranged from Frankie Yankovic ,
B.B. King, Ernest Tubb, Debussy, Roy August, James " Fuzzy " Walker and Earl Phelps. Walt even got to play with the great St. Louis Bluesman, " Moon Mullins ". He also got a impromptu guitar lesson from Roy August.
Walt was heavily influenced by Folk groups and artist such as “ We Five “,
The Seekers” and Gale Garnet. In an era that was almost dominated by the British Invasion music these groups were proving
that lasting and important music was still being made in America.
Like most music families
Walt's roots go way back. He is second cousins to Bill Johnson and Sandy Daughtery ( " The Kentucky Two " ) who worked with
and recorded with Grand Ole' Opry greats " Alonzo and Oscar". Also a distant relation on his Grandfathers side to the Phelps
Brothers who founded " The Kentucky Headhunters ".
Walt worked with bands twice his age starting at eleven.
When only 15 he fronted a band ( The Mist ) from Sorento, Illinois that opened the show at the Illinois State Fair for Paul
Revere & the Raiders and Bob Hope.
In the time since those years Walt has traveled both directions
of the globe. Walt is a decorated Viet Nam Veteran and served as Sr. R.T.O. with the 4th Infantry Division Artillery S-2.
Prior to his tour in Viet Nam Walt served in Germany with the 3rd Armour Division as an R.T.O. Being a single man at the time
Walt was able to use his free time to take in the musical influences of that country as well. After Viet Nam Walt was assigned
first to Ft, Gordon where he trained troops and then to Ft. Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps. Walt also served with
H.H.Q. & C Company 121st Infantry Bn. Florida National Guard after active duty as a light weapons specialist. He is also
a Life Member of " Disabled American Veterans.
Following his Military Service Walt relocated to Florida.
At that time the Panhandle was one of the hottest music areas in the nation.
Walt soon realized that in the future a musician was going to have to be educated to make it. Walt has earned degrees from
Gulf Coast Community College, University of West Florida, Florida A&M and RHEMA Bible School. Up until recently Walt was
the Director of Music at a local church, and studied Studio engineering under Peter Miller, who was the lead engineer for
the Beatles , Rolling Stones and numerous others.
Walt expanded his expertise to Concert Promotions. Working
extensively with " Country Music Showdown, Inc. " from 1984 to 1992 developing venues, planning and promotion of major concert
events through out Alabama, Georgia and Florida. This also included " Battle of the Bands " showcases. The last of these was
a event with George Jones and Conway Twitty which was a major success.
In a recent interview Walt is quoted as saying
" The I.R.S. stopped counting at just over 22,000 people that
day, and best of all we were able to collect a semi load of toys and food for the Salvation Army Christmas Drive ".
little noted, some 250 tickets were given to State of Florida Employees and their families in appreciation of their service.
Music came about when Walt kept being approached by people starting out in the business who needed honest direction with their
career goals. People would come to Walt asking for help with song writing and publishing. Walt qualified with B.M.I. Nashville
as a Publisher.
Walt then became Shocked at the rising high cost of studio recording, and he knew it could be done right
and at a price people could afford, so he built a studio, and launched a management & consulting company along with a
Walt still serves as a consultant to other labels and publishers and has even managed artist who charted on
the Music Row Charts as well as recognized I-Music Charts of today. It is not uncommon for labels, artist and publishers to
send their music to Walt for his written reviews and input.
In March 2002, Governor Paul E. Patton of the State of Kentucky
bestowed the covenant commission of " Kentucky Colonel " on Walt. An honor he is humbled by.
Walt Looks at todays Music Scene
" Today more then ever you need to know what you are doing and you need people working
with you who have taken the time to train and educate themselves for the challenges of this industry. The days of handshake
deals and poor mans copyrights have ended. You also need someone in the studio who is versed and keeps up with not just current
trends, but also, will help you stay a step or two ahead. Also, people who will not look at you as a dollar sign, but as a
person and a friend. "
When not working,
which is seldom, Walt enjoys his horses. He has also been involved with horse rescue. Pictured on this page is his Arabian
named " Chance ". Walt's favorite though is a retired Kentucky thoroughbred race horse that Walt just calls " Hoot " Some of the horses Walt has had have been donated to good causes. You
may also find Walt tooling the highways on his customized Honda Goldwing.