His parents named him George, but country music fans came to know this native
of Prestonburg, Kentucky as Sandy Salyers. He moved to Michigan back in 1942 where
he lived since then except for a tour of duty serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Sandy started his musical endeavors at an early age. He started singing when he was
just 9 according to a 1995 interview, entering and winning his share of talent shows. He also sang baritone
in a church choir for four years. He told Teresa Frith of the Maple Valley News
that one of the highlights early on was when he and his brother got to sing at a land
auction in Prestonburg, Kentucky. That came about when the main act that had been
hired to appear didn't show, Flatt and Scruggs, so instead of just going around town
and putting up posters for the show, the promoter put them on as singers on the show.
From about 1962 to 1965, he was a country music disc jockey in Ionia, Michigan
at radio station WION. He decided he wanted
to add to his career choices and left the radio work for a time to go to Barber school
where he graduated in August of 1966.
During his stint at WION, he got to interview Miss Minnie Pearl during her appearance
at the Ionia Free Fair in 1962. He also shared the stage with Ernest Tubb that same
He was a promoter of country music; his efforts led to many country music shows
being brought to Ionia, including acts from the legendary WSM Grand Ole Opry.
He was the owner of the Northway Records label as well as the Northway Music publishing
company (affiliated with BMI). His songwriting efforts did not go unnoticed in Nashville
as Surefire Music Co. published three of his songs:
He was said to have written about 200 songs back in 1965
and had released eight songs on his own.
- No Future For Me
- Storybook of Love
- Extra Boyfriends
Later, in the 1970s, SAndy moved to Nashville, Michigan where he built "Sandyland Park"
where he would continue promoting country music to fans in Michigan and had over
100 shows at the park from 1978 to 1982.
A 1985 promotional flyer for Sandyland Park gives a good idea of the acts that Sandy
booked to his park. During that summer season, fans would get to see such stars
as Jimmy Dickens, Rex Allen Jr., Big Al Downing, Ernest Tubb, Cal Smith, Moe Bandy,
The Original Drifting Cowboys, Jimmy C. Newman along with local acts such as Don Lincoln, who it should be noted,
opened every show at Sandyland Park.
He mentions in the 1995 interview that he had started the Norway Recording Studios
around 1983 and had a record or song that reached number 29 on the music charts,
but that song couldn't be recalled for the interview. He operated that company
from 1983 to 1985.
He looked back on his career in that interview and noted he came close a couple of times
to getting that big break. In one case, a record company ni Nashville had offered him
a contract, but he wasn't ready to give up his steady job that paid the bills. He noted
that a record contract "...doesn't insure an artist of anything except a chance to make money."
In addition to being inducted into the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame, he was inducted
into the Western Branch of the Michigan Classic Country Museum in 1990 "...for his
support in preserving country music and his encouragement to his fellow musicians."
Back in 1995, he owned and was still working at a barber shop and a sports shop in
Nashville, Michigan where he had lived since 1972.
Sources & Credits
- Country Song Roundup; No. 90; October 1965; American Folk
Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
- "Nashville Man Elected to Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame;
Teresa Frith; Maple Valley News; 1995; Publication date unknown; (Copy of article
courtesy of Linda Smith, Lansing Michigan)
- "Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame"; Michigan Magazine;
Volume 5 Number 2; Aug-Sep-Oct 1996; (Article copy courtesy of Linda Smith, Lansing,