July 03--She's a "Cactus Kid" with Plainview roots, and now Mary Fletcher, who got her start on the stage of Lubbock's Cactus Theater, is taking her first steps to country stardom. The 20-year-old with the honeyed voice will be releasing her new studio album "Give My Love to You", on July 13.
"It's just so exciting," said Fletcher, hours after promoting her new album on KKYN's Morning Show on Tuesday.
A 2011 graduate of Lubbock Monterey, Fletcher is the daughter of Nanette McDonald, a 1980 grad of Plainview, and the granddaughter of Glenn and Beverly McDonald, who have lived in Plainview for the past 35 years.
"We are just really so proud of what she's done so far," Glenn McDonald said. "We've been to almost all of her performances when she was at the Cactus Theater."
McDonald says Fletcher comes from a very musical background, explaining that his wife's family boasted very talented singers who grew up singing a capella hymns in Church of Christ services.
Wanting to refine her daughter's singing, Nanette McDonald signed up 6-year-old Fletcher for singing lessons with Terri Caldwell, the wife of Don Caldwell, who re-opened the Cactus Theater in 1993 in an effort to showcase West Texas performers.
Fletcher's young voice caught the attention of the Caldwells, and she was immediately offered a spot in the group, Cactus Kids.
Through the singing group, Fletcher said she was exposed to a wide spectrum of musical genres.
"We sang all types of music," said Fletcher, adding they frequently performed everything from early rock 'n' roll numbers to Broadway pieces.
"But my roots was always in country," said Fletcher, who quickly attached herself to classics like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. "Terri said it really fit my voice."
Fletcher preformed her first solo number around age 9.
"It was something I always wanted to do," Fletcher said. "I was really nervous at first, but once I got on that stage, I knew that's where I wanted to be."
Fletcher preformed at the Cactus Theater throughout high school and recorded a few albums with the Cactus Kids. At 16, Fletcher recorded her first album filled with covers from artists like Stevie Nicks and Karen Carpenter and followed that up with a Christmas album.
After graduation, Fletcher made the big leap and moved to Nashville to attend Trevecca Nazarene University and work with producer Gary Morris and songwriter A.J. Masters. Fletcher had met Masters in previous trips to Nashville.
Fletcher said she worked for hours with Masters, writing her first original album, "Give My Love to You," in the college music room.
"Writing my own music helped me to evolve as an artist. I am able to tell my story," Fletcher said.
Fletcher picked 10 songs to record on her new album, which Masters produced.
"Recording is very tedious sometimes, but it's fun seeing your work come alive," Fletcher said.
Now with the album pressed, Fletcher is ready to hit the road and promote the new album, which she says pulls deeply from her musical influences like Carpenter and Cline.
Fletcher returned to West Texas for the start of the promotion, which will feature a release party at the Lone Star State Bank July 13.
From there, Fletcher will hit the road for her first tour.
To hear a sample of the new album, fans can head to maryfletchermusic.com for song clips and upcoming tour dates.
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