Shawn Mayer, a 21-year-old from May City, Iowa and 2005 graduate of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School, has been performing country music for several years, first performing at JR's Bar in Melvin, where she worked as a waitress at the time.
Since that time, the daughter of Mark and Shandra Mayer performed here in Northwest Iowa for a time, then headed to the Country Music capital of Nashville, Tennessee. Shawn has been performing, recording and making business contacts ever since.
Shawn was supposed to be the opening act at last week's Cherokee Rodeo on Friday evening, and practiced here in town at The Gathering Place with a local back-up group on Feb. 7 of this year, in anticipation of that performance.
A funny thing happened on the way to the rodeo, though. Shawn entered the "Nashville Star" competition, progressed through the field, and was sequestered because she was still in the field of contestants, causing her to have to back out of the Cherokee Rodeo performance.
Shawn has now made the final field of 12 in the national competition, and will be on the first show of Season 6 this coming Monday evening June 9th on NBC, from 8 -10 p.m. CDT.
A press release states: One would never know that Shawn Mayer is from a town of only 45 people because her personality and attitude is big city! A true starving artist, Shawn will do anything to succeed - everything from working at a hog farm to fixing cars, Shawn's one tough cookie who spills her heart into her songs and performance.
"Nashville Star" is hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, once known as the singer of the hit country song "Achy, Breaky Heart," but now perhaps better known as the co-star of the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" television show and the father - both on the show and in real life - of that show's star, budding superstar Miley Cyrus.
Shawn Mayer first appeared on the KCHE radio program "The Cherokee Connection" on Sept. 6, 2007, then made a second appearance on Feb. 7, 2008. She also performed at the Thursday night Jam sessions at the Gathering Place, and following her first such performance, word has it that her mother Shandra, who had played guitar as a youth, was inspired to purchase a guitar, practice, and come to the Jam Sessions herself. As I hear it, Shandra has since become a "regular" at the every - other -Thursday night jams.