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Johnston City senior is shaking up the local music scene

  • Zachary and Chelsee Jones of Du Quoin didn't realize that dinner at Michael's in Johnston City would include entertainment. The couple stopped in for dinner last week before attending the basketball regionals to watch the Du Quoin Indians play. JCHS senior Hunter Beasley stopped in to sing a few tunes. "He's amazing!" exclaimed Chelsee. "He's very talented," added Zachary.

    Zachary and Chelsee Jones of Du Quoin didn't realize that dinner at Michael's in Johnston City would include entertainment. The couple stopped in for dinner last week before attending the basketball regionals to watch the Du Quoin Indians play. JCHS senior Hunter Beasley stopped in to sing a few tunes. "He's amazing!" exclaimed Chelsee. "He's very talented," added Zachary.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Hunter Beasley stopped by Michael's Ristorante in Johnston City last week and shared his talent with the diners, including the JCHS bowling team, enjoying their end-of-season banquet. Beasley, a JCHS senior, is finding local fame on the stage where he sings a mix of "old school" tunes including several songs made famous by Elvis Presley.

    Hunter Beasley stopped by Michael's Ristorante in Johnston City last week and shared his talent with the diners, including the JCHS bowling team, enjoying their end-of-season banquet. Beasley, a JCHS senior, is finding local fame on the stage where he sings a mix of "old school" tunes including several songs made famous by Elvis Presley.
    Holly Kee photo

 
BY HOLLY KEE
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 3/7/2018, 3:22 PM

JOHNSTON CITY -- When Hunter Beasley took the stage at the Johnston City High School Homecoming Talent Show two years ago, he stunned his classmates and teachers.

"He's kind of quiet and soft-spoken in the classroom," said his teacher, Linda Adkins.

Adkins said when Beasley, now a senior, first took the stage the kids were surprised.

"His singing voice is so different from his speaking voice," she said. "You just don't expect that deep voice to come out of him."

Beasley said he never really thought about singing as something he would like to do.

"I sang with my mom in church when I was about 5, but I didn't really like it," he said. However, a few years ago, he started listening to the recordings of Elvis Presley.

"I liked it," he said. "Then, I started singing along and I thought, wow, this is fun," he said with a grin.

Beasley still wasn't quite ready to step in front of an audience, though.

"I did my singing when I was home alone," he said with a shy grin.

"About two or three years ago, I was singing along with a karaoke track. My dad came in and asked if I was listening to Elvis," said Beasley. "I told him that was me singing."

Beasley said he gets a lot of support from his parents, Brian and Dee Beasley, as well as his younger brother, Tyler.

"Tyler's the one that helped me with the YouTube videos," he said.

Beasley is collecting quite a following on his YouTube channel that showcases his talent with several musical styles.

Along with singing, Beasley is also a self-taught guitarist.

"He's a very good guitar player," said Cassie Andrews, whose band, Cassie Andrews and Calico Creek played backup for Beasley a few weeks ago at his professional debut at the Southern Illinois Opry.

"Oh, my gosh, he's just a very talented young man," said Andrews. "He's got all kinds of songs he does besides Elvis, some country and gospel," she said. "We were impressed with him as a person. He's a very nice young man."

Andrews said they told him he needs a band, which is something Beasley is considering for the future.

Right now, though, that future is still kind of a blur. Beasley, whose favorite classes are Business Technology and CVE (work study), played his last season of high school football and plans to participate in track in the spring. He also works at The Hub in Marion as a lifeguard.

"I'm planning to go to John A. Logan College for my generals," he said, adding that those plans include taking classes in welding, mechanics, "and some music classes."

Adkins, like Andrews, sees Beasley "going places" with his talent.

"Knowing him in class, I was stunned to see him on the stage," said Adkins. "When he gets up on that stage, he becomes somebody else."

Beasley is quite humble about his talent.

"People say I'm good at it," he said, "but with me, I'm iffy."

Andrews has a different opinion.

"I see him going someplace with that talent," she said. "I can't wait until we have him back in the Opry in June.

 
 
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