A friend of mine just turned me on to a great song by Josh Turner titled Long Black Train. Can you please tell me more about this young man?
—Shirley W., Texas
Turner, 26, a native of Hannah, S.C., got the inspiration for the song after listening to the Hank Williams box set while a student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. “As I was walking home, I noticed there was something unusually dark about that night,” Turner says. “All of a sudden, I got this vision of a wide open space, out on the plains. There was a train running out in the middle of nowhere, and people were standing beside the tracks, just watching it go by.” It occurred to him that the train was a metaphor for temptation, and people could decide whether or not to board it. Turner, who was heavily influenced by Johnny Cash, always knew he wanted to be a country singer. As a teen, he sang Diggin’ Up Bones at a church benefit and was so convincing that many people thought he was lip-synching to a Randy Travis record. There was little doubt in his mind that after high school, he would move to Nashville and become a star. Turner, who is married, landed a record deal after MCA executives only heard two songs. When he’s not singing, you can find him hunting in his deer stand.