Greatest Friend I Know
'The Greatest Friend I Know' was written by Jerry Vernon, and is also the title song of this CD. Seven of the eleven songs on this CD were written by Jerry, including three of which are country. The other four have been gospel favorites for years: 'There's Power In The Blood,'... 'What A Friend We Have In Jesus,' ...'When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder' and 'Amazing Grace.' One of Jerry's daughters, Sandi Grant, does some fine harmony work as well as some solo spots on the CD. Musicians on the CD were: Gary Martin - steel guitar Steve Cheek - lead guitar Ron Miller - bass guitar Jim Miller - drums Jerry Vernon - rhythm guitar Jerry Vernon was born and raised on a 60-acre cotton farm outside of Jackson, Tennessee, hometown of the late, great Carl Perkins. Jerry grew up in a musical environment. His dad played guitar, harmonica, and a Jews' harp. Jerry has early remembrances of his dad playing 'Casey Jones' on the harmonica, and 'Turkey In The Straw' on the Jews' harp, and he would accompany him on the guitar. His dad's youngest brother, Kenny Vernon, has recorded for Chart and Capital records, as well as playing for some 14 or 15 years at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas...and until his retirement in Nov. Of 2008,he was the opening act for Merle Haggard, and a member of Haggard's Band. At the age of 15, Jerry and his family moved to Gary, Indiana where his dad went to work for U.S. Steel .. and Jerry started playing for teenage dances in the northwest Indiana area. It was at one of those dances that he met and later married his wife, Beverly. At the age of 29, Jerry felt the calling of God to preach the Gospel, and pastored a church in Portage, Indiana for 32 years, until he retired in May, 2005, though he still preaches in churches that have no pastor, when called upon. Since his retirement, Jerry has turned to songwriting and recording and playing music with his 5 - piece band, 'Jerry Vernon and the Dune Country Band'. In 2006, Jerry recorded a CD, entitled, 'Country Gospel' for which he was awarded 'Traditional Gospel Album of the Year,2007' by the TCMA (Tennessee Country Music Association). He wrote ten of the thirteen songs on the CD... one, entitled 'Father Knows Best' for which he was also awarded 'Most Promising Songwriter of the Year, Traditional Gospel, 2007,' by the TCMA. Also in 2007, Jerry recorded a second gospel CD entitled 'The Greatest Friend I Know,' which he wrote, along with seven other songs on the CD, including three country songs,of which, as Jerry puts it, has a 'gospel flavor' to them. One of the country songs, 'Dream Come True' which he wrote of his wife, won him 'Songwriter of the Year, 2007' in the traditional country field, by the TCMA. Early 2008, Jerry recorded his first country CD, in which he re-recorded 'Dream Come True' as the CD's title song. There are 12 songs on the CD, all of which were written by Jerry and won him 'Album of the Year,2008' By the TCMA. In March of 2008, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Jerry won two awards, 'Traditional Gospel Rising Star Male Vocalist of the Year' and 'Traditional Gospel Rising Star Male Entertainer of the Year,' from the NACMAI (North American Country Music Associations, International). Other CD's Jerry has recorded include two Bluegrass gospel CD's with the late Pat Sowash, as well as some recordings with Acie Cargill. Jerry also hosted a 30 - minute country music TV program 'Dune Country' for 6 years, in Northwest Indiana. The program featured Jerry and The Dune Country Band as well as quest appearances by some of the local talent of the area. Jerry says, 'I love people and it's my prayer that my music will be a blessing to all who hear it.'