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Regie Hamm
Regie Hamm, American Idol winning songwriter, will perform at the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg this weekend. Photos by Phil Houseal

 Regie Hamm is guest artist at the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg June 24, 25, 26. Show times are Friday - 8 PM, Saturday - 4:30 & 8 PM, Sunday - 1:30 PM. For reservations, call the Rockbox Theater box office at 1.866.349.6688, or visit www.rockboxtheater.com.

Regie Hamm’s web site is www.regiehamm.com.


webmaster: phil@fullhouseproductions.net

Touched by Angels and Idols

by Phil Houseal
June 22, 2011


When recent Rockbox Theater guest artist Rick Elias told Creative Director Russ Hearn they might enjoy having Regie Hamm play, Hearn said the same thing I said: “Who?”

Regie Hamm - as everyone will soon know - is a “top drawer talent” who has produced a string of #1 songs in Contemporary Christian music and was the winning songwriter from the hit television show American Idol.

“Yeah,” laughed Regie Hamm when I called him up, “tell your readers to turn off American Idol and come out to see someone who actually wrote the song for it.”

It’s true. Hamm wrote Time of My Life, which won the contest for the 2008 season, became the first release for American Idol winner David Cook, and was used by NBC television as its theme song for the 2008 China Olympics. But there is more to the story.

Actually there is an entire book - Angels & Idols - also written by Hamm.

“If you read his book, you will see what a ride this guy has been on,” said Hearn. “I’ve loved his music, but when I read the book that turned my head around about him. He has been at the top and at the bottom - it is an amazing story.”

Angels & Idols details the journey of Hamm and his wife, Yolanda, adopting a little girl in China. Unbeknownst to them, the girl they brought home had a severe disability - a mysterious genetic disorder known as Angelman Syndrome. What followed was confusion and heartbreak, round-the-clock care, and heavy medical bills. It was in the spring of 2008, at the absolute bottom, that Regie’s wife urged him to enter the American Idol songwriting contest.

He poured all his passion into that song, which went on to win and become one of the longest-running chart toppers of all time.

Hearn calls it a “full circle moment.”

“Unknown to Regie, his song got picked up by the Olympics in China,” Hearn said. “He got a call, and there is his song played as part of ceremonies. That’s just his personal story. Those are kind of songs I enjoy listening to because you hear truth in lyrics of things he was living out.”

Although Hamm used to live in Texas, this will be his first visit to Fredericksburg and the Hill Country. So why does an international success come play in Fredericksburg?

“A friend of mine - Rick Elias - had played the Rockbox and said, man, you ought to go play there,” Hamm explained. “You’ll have fun and it will be a great experience.” So he contacted Russ Hearn and slotted in from there. “You’d be surprised at the kind of things I do. I’m just a kid from Nashville, happy to be playing. Any day I can be on stage with good musicians, it’s a good day.”

Hamm helps out those not familiar with his music.

“I get compared to a lot of people. Since I play piano, I am compared to Billy Joel and Elton John, just because I am sitting behind a piano. But I’m too country for pop, and too pop for country. I’m a storyteller first and foremost.”

Hamm enjoyed lofty success in the 1990s writing and producing contemporary Christian hits. But he was considered a musical “Jekyll and Hyde.”

“I worked days on Christian music, then at night I would play my other songs.” The difference? “I was a still a Christian writing them, but I was telling stories in song you probably wouldn’t sing from the pulpit.”

Bottom line, Hamm was raised by and as a musician, and has been around music his whole life.

“I’m really looking forward to it, man. I love Texas, and I love the people down there. I’m gonna try to rock the Rockbox!”