As a small child, a blonde-haired girl stood on a stool to move the record needle on her family’s stereo cabinet so she and her younger sister could sing along with Dolly Parton and Porter Waggoner.
All grown up now, that little girl returns to her hometown as one of Nashville’s top singer-songwriters.
On Friday, Paris’ own Leslie Satcher, along with longtime friend and fellow songwriter Phillip White, bring the “A Poet and Troubadour” show to The Elks Lodge, 2110 36th St. NE.
“I told my mother when I was about 5 years old, ‘I’m not going to be anything but a country western singer,’” Satcher said last week during an exclusive telephone interview from her home in Nashville. “I think little kids know in their heart what they are supposed to be.”
Quite a storyteller, expect Satcher to weave stories about her childhood and her road to Nashville into her performance as it’s customary for her to entertain audiences with “tall tales” and stories about the songs she sings.
“I grew up in a family of storytellers,” Satcher said. “My grandfather, Randolph Satcher, was a tale teller from way back and could keep a crowd entertained at the domino table or at church; so, it’s something that comes natural to me, I guess.”
Satcher honed her natural singing ability in the church choir at Immanuel Baptist Church, where her entire family sang, and later at Paris High School, where she starred in musical productions, and then at Paris Junior College, where she performed with the show choir. Then, she took off to Nashville in pursuit of her life-long dream.
“They say in Nashville if you don’t get a publishing deal by five years, you’re not a writer, and if you don’t get a record deal within 10 years, you’re not a singer — I got mine right on the money,” Satcher said, explaining she spent her first five years working first in a linen shop selling curtains and mini blinds, then worked for the Baptist Sunday School board where she manned the telephone taking orders for materials and later for a Christian record label, also answering the phone.
“So, I answered a lot of phones, but both jobs taught me a lot about the music business and a lot about what goes on at a record label so when I did get my deal I knew a little about marketing and promotions and things like that,” Satcher said.
As many stars before her, Satcher received her start at the Blue Bird Cafe, Nashville’s iconic songwriter venue, where Max T. Barnes, a writer for Randy Travis, approached her to write a song with him. Soon after, Naomi Judd’s guitar player, John Potter, and her husband, Larry Strickland, asked Satcher to join a new publishing company as a writer.
“I didn’t even know you could make a living as a songwriter, but they said you could,” Satcher said. “They said I’d get a paycheck and could quit my day job, and I said, ‘sign me up.’”
Satcher first signed with Warner Bros. as a singer and since has recorded four albums and is working on a fifth. In addition to some of her favorite songs, which have made her one of Nashville’s top songwriters, Satcher on Friday will be performing songs from her latest album, “2 Days in Muscle Shoals” on Notting Hill Music Masters digital label.
Perhaps, the singer will tell the story about how she and fellow songwriter, Monte Holmes, wrote George Strait’s comeback hit “Troubadour” in about 40 minutes.
“We traded lines as we wrote and when we got to the chorus it was like an angel whispered that word to me because I heard it,” Satcher said, explaining she knew Strait always loved Ernest Tubb, the Texas Troubadour. “It didn’t take long to write that song because it was a gift from God. The best ones come just like that.”
She joins friend and fellow Nashville hitmaker Phillip White on stage at the Elks Lodge beginning at 7 p.m. with dinner and drinks beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for the show are available at www.universe.com/elks .