Lorraine Chavana first entered the music scene in 2015 but she was no stranger to music. For more than four decades, Lorraine sang only at home with her father. However, just before his passing in 2013, at her father's urging, she tried singing publicly with a cousin's band at a live music venue in Austin, Texas. Although timid at first, Lorraine quickly grew to love the experience, looking forward to every opportunity to perform.
The following year, Lorraine gained the attention of several show promoters, and began singing at Country Opry Shows
in South and Central Texas. With each performance, Lorraine's rich, sultry voice was met by the compliments of many.
From the beginning, Lorraine was fortunate to meet numerous people of the music community who have supported her, providing instruction and insight to expedite her start in the music business. Utilizing that support and instruction, Lorraine successfully added songwriting to her musical endeavors, and soon after, she recorded an album.
In late 2014, Lorraine headed into the studio to record some of her own original songs, and covers of her favorite Classic and Traditional Country songs, releasing an album, FREE TO LOVE (produced by Justin Trevino) in October, 2015. The album, which received rave reviews, was playing on the radio within a week of its release, and within a few months, on radio programs and stations around the world!
Excited with what she accomplished in a relatively short period of time, Lorraine said "I never dreamed, in less than three years, I would go from singing at home to singing publicly at shows, to writing music, recording an album, and hearing my songs on the radio, around the world!" It has been an exciting journey, which I hope will be long and lasting!"
How Lorraine's story began...
Lorraine’s love of music began at home where she was greatly influenced by her parents' appreciation of music, and her father's love of singing! Lorraine inherited that love, and recalls watching her father, known locally for his beautiful voice, sing and entertain family and friends on many occasions. She remembers a home filled with music, where she grew up (in Port Lavaca, Texas), singing along with the recordings of many musical favorites.
The first country artist Lorraine remembers hearing (when she was three years old) is Johnny Rodriguez, whose hits “Dance With Me (Just One More Time)” and “That’s The Way Love Goes” are among her favorites. She grew up in the 70's and 80's singing along to the music of Rodriguez and other country artists: Marty Robbins, The Statler Brothers, Don Williams, Charlie Rich, The Browns, Lynn Anderson, Donna Fargo, John Denver, The Oak Ridge Boys, Merle Haggard, John Conlee, Charley Pride, Mickey Gilley, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, Anne Murray, Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle, Alabama, and George Strait, as well as non-country artists: Elvis Presley, The Carpenters, Jim Croce, and Engelbert Humperdinck, but credits Anne Murray and Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters, as her biggest musical influences.
At a young age, Lorraine dreamed of being an entertainer. Performing was something she had always enjoyed, first as a child...singing (into a hairbrush, a candlestick, or anything that could be used as a "microphone"); then while playing the piano; and later, acting in school plays. However, as a child in elementary school music classes, Lorraine became timid about her low voice when she realized it wasn't like the other girls' voices, so she began lip-syncing. Later, as a teen, she considered joining the school choir, but especially apprehensive after being ridiculed by a classmate, Lorraine shied away from singing, focusing instead on acting, first in school plays and then professionally, after college.
Lorraine pursued and enjoyed acting roles in Texas-based films and commercials for over a decade until her attention returned to singing, after a chance visit to a theme park recording studio with her father. It was there that Lorraine's undeniable love for singing was reignited and grew like never before! A few years later, remembering her childhood dreams of a music career, Lorraine met with a Nashville music producer who agreed to assist in her endeavors; however, shortly after, her father suffered a massive heart attack, and later received a heart transplant. As Lorraine's focus was on her family during this time, she let her professional music pursuit pass but continued singing at home with her father, her passion for singing, growing all the while.
In 2012, as her father’s health began to decline again, he encouraged Lorraine to accept an invitation (as he, himself, had done before) to sit-in with cousin, Chip Sneed, and his band, Chip Sneed and Friends, at Ross’ Old Austin Café (a beloved Austin, Texas favorite for great food and live music from 1994-2019). Because Lorraine's only exposure to singing had been at home with her father, he wanted her to experience the excitement of singing with (and entertaining) others, hoping she would enjoy it and would continue singing (even after his passing). Lorraine tried it...and she loved it!
Shortly before his passing, in 2013, Lorraine's father encouraged her not only to continue in her lifelong love of music and singing, but to follow her heart, and to pursue her childhood dreams... and she did! Lorraine continued to perform at Ross' occasionally, at various other venues, and she also began singing at Country Opry shows in Central and South Texas, always pleasing the crowds!
Next, desiring to write music but unsure how to begin, after receiving songwriting advice from Chip, Lorraine was off and running, writing situational lyrics with whom people can identify about past love, hopeless love, and forbidden love. Utilizing her background in piano (with a dozen years of lessons which began when she was a child), Lorraine also wrote the corresponding melodies, and her first original musical compositions were "born".
As a child, Lorraine had secretly dreamed of recording an album, and members of her family had recently suggested she have her voice recorded. Then as the number of Opry show spectators inquired about whether Lorraine had an album for sale, she decided to ask Chip whom he would recommend, should she ever desire to record. Without hesitation, Chip referred her to talented producer and renowned Country Music Artist, Justin Trevino, who would produce Lorraine's first album, FREE TO LOVE . The album (titled after a song she wrote), features Lorraine's cover of many of her favorite Classic and Traditional Country hits by artists such as George Jones, Merle Haggard, Mickey Gilley, Crystal Gayle, and also includes guest appearances by Classic Country greats, Tony Booth and Johnny Rodriguez.
"I am very excited to have recorded with both Tony and Johnny!" Lorraine said. "Tony sings "Loving You" with me, which was written by Buck Owens, and released by Tony in 1973, while Johnny joined me on "Dance With Me (Just One More Time)" which he wrote and released in 1974. Not only was Johnny Rodriguez a favorite of mine, and my dad's, but he is the first country artist I have memory of, and his songs are the first I learned, so it just seemed apropos to have him be a part of my first album/CD! My dad would have been thrilled!"
Along with the Classic and Traditional songs included on the album, Lorraine is featured playing the piano on two of the songs, and she showcases her songwriting talents with the debut of three of her original songs, "Free To Love", "This Bed That I Have Made" and "A Man Who Ain't Mine". FREE TO LOVE was released on October 24, 2015, and is available for purchase by clicking here.
Two days after the album's release, Lorraine was in Austin rehearsing with Chip, and the late "Skinny Don" Keeling, a legendary Austin bassist whose musical career has included playing with musicians such as Hank Thompson, Jack Greene, The Louvin Brothers (with whom he opened for Elvis and George Jones), and Don Walser's "Pure Texas Band". While rehearsing, Lorraine sang her original song "Free To Love", and when the song ended, "Skinny Don" complimented Lorraine and said he wanted to help promote her songs to radio.
The following morning, "Skinny Don" called friend, fellow entertainer, and Austin-area disc jockey, Rodney (Rod) Moag, to ask that he consider interviewing Lorraine on his live radio show. Rod, a talented music personality, singer-songwriter, producer, and music historian (who plays multiple instruments, and has been entertaining for more than a half century) promptly invited Lorraine, "Skinny Don" and Chip (whom Rod also knew from music circles past) to be guests on his show, "The Country, Swing, and Rockabilly Jamboree". During the radio interview, Rod played several of the songs from Lorraine's album, FREE TO LOVE. The interview caught the attention of radio disc jockeys, from around the country, who were tuned in to the broadcast.
Within a few weeks, as more disc jockeys across the U.S. became aware of Lorraine's music, they began playing her songs on their programs and stations. More requests soon followed from disc jockeys across the globe, as Lorraine's music was discovered in places such as Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Argentina and France. Numerous radio interviews soon followed, with radio personalities whose programs broadcast globally, and Lorraine's album has been reviewed by music critics in several foreign publications. As such, the list of radio programs playing Lorraine's music continues to grow, and her songs can now be heard on radio stations around the world!
Not only has Lorraine been recognized on radio and in print, she has also been recognized at a number of awards shows in Texas and in Nashville, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, where she has won awards (and received numerous nominations for singing and songwriting) such as Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Artist of the Year. With an indelible voice described as smooth, rich, smoky and sultry, Lorraine certainly has distinguished her voice for today's Classic and Traditional Country audiences!