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Nancy Wilson, Rascal Flatts, Bow Wow and other stars got their start locally

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun put Columbus in the spotlight with a video that traversed his hometown in late May for “Lavish,” a track from their latest Twenty One Pilots album, “Clancy.”

Like other acts with roots in central Ohio, the duo started small and humble. Joseph once told Rolling Stone how his mother gave away tickets at shows near Ohio State University.

Lead singer Gary LeVox lets loose during Rascal Flatt's show at the first annual Buckeye Country Superfest.Lead singer Gary LeVox lets loose during Rascal Flatt's show at the first annual Buckeye Country Superfest.

Lead singer Gary LeVox lets loose during Rascal Flatt’s show at the first annual Buckeye Country Superfest.

Years earlier, teenager Nancy Wilson was such a talented singer that she hosted a local TV show while still a student at West High School.

Dwight Yoakum got his start performing at Northland High School. As a student at Eastmoor High, Michael Feinstein played piano in productions for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus.

Local Columbus stars could fill quite a bill. The Dispatch has put together some of the best performances – concerts, studio recordings, music videos, films and TV appearances – from some of the best homegrown talent.

More: Columbus is featured in Twenty One Pilots’ new music videos

Nancy Wilson, ‘Face it girl, it’s over’

“She has a beautiful voice and a good stage presence,” Dispatch writer Johnny Jones wrote of 14-year-old Wilson and her performance in a talent show at West High School in 1952. Before graduating, Wilson hosted a biweekly television show, “Skyline Melodies,” on the channel now called WSYX-TV.

Wilson moved to New York and released her first album ‘Like in Love’ in 1960. She recorded 70 albums, won three Grammys and was revered as a civil rights hero throughout her life and career. She recorded “Face It Girl, It’s Over” in 1968 and performed the song on “The Ed Sullivan Show” that November.

Wilson died in 2018 at the age of 81.

More: These former Grammy winners all have something in common: ties to Columbus

Beverly D’Angelo, ‘Good Morning Starshine’

Her bath towel-clad performance of “Hey, Big Spender,” as Chevy Chase wielded a camcorder the size of a small car, has racked up some 600,000 more YouTube views, but it’s not Beverly D’Angelo’s best on-screen singing performance .

It’s not even her best song, from 1985’s “National Lampoon’s European Vacation.” (Check out how she hits Minnie Riperton’s high notes in a “Loving You” duet with Wayne Newton.)

The Upper Arlington resident starred in the 1979 film version of “Hair,” for which she recorded “Good Morning Starshine.” She also sang Patsy Cline’s biggest hits in ’80s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

More: Upper Arlington native Beverly D’Angelo on the enduring popularity of ‘Christmas Vacation’

Penny and the Quarters, ‘You and Me’

According to Columbus’ now defunct The Other Paper, it was 1969 or 1970 when Penny, Preston, Johnny and Donald Coulter answered an advertisement for Harmonic Sounds Studios on the East Side. They sang backup for other artists until one afternoon they were asked by singer Jay Robinson to collaborate with him on a song he had written.

“You and Me” sat in a box of tapes for more than thirty years until it was purchased at an estate sale. It ended up on a 2007 CD of long-forgotten music, caught the attention of actor Ryan Gosling and was included in his 2010 film, “Blue Valentine.”

The song has been listened to more than 47 million times on Spotify.

Dwight Yoakam, ‘Guitars, Cadillacs’

As a 17-year-old in the early 1970s, he once told Columbus Monthly, Yoakam had scraped together enough money to record a few songs — “experiments in terror,” he called them — in a studio near Sunbury and Agler Roads . Growing up in Columbus, he listened to country music on WMNI-AM, played drums and participated in drama at Northland High School.

“Guitars, Cadillacs” was the top song on his 1986 debut album. It peaked at No. 4 and was ranked No. 137 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 200 Greatest Country Songs of All Time earlier this year.

Jermaine Stewart, ‘We don’t have to take off our clothes’

Jermaine Stewart had a brief stint in the spotlight, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1986 with this hit, “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.” However, he had a long career doing backup work, as a dancer on “Soul Train,” for friends Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel in Shalamar, and as a backup singer on the 1984 Culture Club hit, “Miss Me Blind.”

Stewart died in 1997 at the age of 39 from AIDS-related liver cancer.

Rascal Flatts, ‘These Days’

Gary LeVox, a native of Powell, formed Rascal Flatts with his second cousin, Jay DeMarcus of Columbus and Joe Don Rooney. After being named the Best New Vocal Group by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in 2000, they went on to win top group honors from the academy or the Country Music Association (CMA) seven years in a row.

The woman in the video for “These Days,” the 2002 hit that reached No. 1, is Allison Alderson, a former Miss Tennessee who was cast to play LeVox’s ex. She met DeMarcus during filming and the couple has been married since 2004.

More: Here are some of Ohio State’s most famous alumni, from authors to athletes to actors

Bow Wow, ‘That’s My Name’

Compared to Mozart, who composed his first pieces at the age of 5, Shad Moss got a late start in music. The Reynoldsburg native was discovered by Snoop Dogg at age 6 and released his first album as Lil’ Bow Wow at age 13.

Now 37, retired and known as Bow Wow since 2002, Moss is a musician, actor, TV host, restaurateur and entrepreneur. “Bow Wow (That’s My Name)” was included on his 2000 debut album, “Beware of Dog.”

The Evolution Control Committee, ‘Rebel Without a Pause (whipped cream mix)’

Not everyone is paying tribute to the Evolution Control Committee, a 38-year-old band from Columbus that created the mashup. Their first: 1993 mixes of Public Enemy raps with Herb Alpert instrumentals. As founder Mark Gunderson (aka TradeMark G.) says, “The ECC has been making mashups long before they were called mashups.”

Other hits include a mix of Dan Rather reporting on atrocities with the music of AC/DC, as well as the lyrics of Britney Spears’ “Oops!…I Did It Again” mixed with the music of Led Zeppelins” Stairway to Heaven”. .”

Michael Feinstein

Feinstein, a graduate of Eastmoor High School, began playing piano with the Columbus JCC Gallery Players. At age 20, he moved to Los Angeles and became an assistant to lyricist Ira Gershwin; he has been recording and performing since his 1986 debut album, ‘Pure Gershwin’.

In 2007, Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation to celebrate and preserve American music. He has been nominated for five Grammys in his career.

Teen dream, ‘Let’s get started’

In 1987, two years before En Vogue and three years before the formation of the group that would become Destiny’s Child, Columbus teenagers Lisa Jackson, Terri Whitlow and Nikki Desiree signed a recording contract with Warner Brothers, gained widespread attention with their first music video and hit the road for a 25-city tour. “Let’s Get Busy” peaked at number 44 on the Hot Black Singles chart.

Teen Dream was in the spotlight for only a year and disbanded in 1990.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: The best videos from bands and singers who got their start in Columbus

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