Lead, South Dakota — Delaney Johnston, a 16-year-old from Lead, described the feeling she had when she became a member of the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame as an immense sense of joy. Johnston was inducted into the SD Country Music Hall last month as the youngest-ever person to be granted that honor.
What she has managed to achieve so far in her life and short country music career indicates what can only be described as an immense sense of accomplishment. Johnston said that an invitation she received to become a member of the class of 2019 inductees had come to her as a shock as she did not expect it. She stated that the sense of joy she felt when she stepped onto the stage to accept her reward had been overwhelmingly consuming.
Wini Iverson, the chair of the Board of Directors of the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame, claimed that she had been familiar with Johnston’s career ever since she heard her sing with Pam and Sherwin Linton a few years before.
In her interview with the Black Hills Pioneer, Iverson said that Johnston had impressed her because of her power to perform with a show of such a level in spite of being so young. According to Iverson, Johnston has made significant progress as a musician touring with Pam and Sherwin and performing at country fairs. Iverson said that the Rising Star Award had been introduced especially for Johnston, due to her age, and pointed out that she hoped it would compel other young people to pursue their musical careers. As stated by Iverson in the interview, Johnston has accomplished great success despite her age and managed to maintain an admirable academic score.
According to Iverson, young people trying to succeed in the music business should look up to Johnston. Iverson stated that achieving stardom was quite a challenge for adults, pointing out that the young lady in question had got off to a great start. Iverson concluded by saying that she was thrilled for Johnston’s success and that she hoped to see her keep performing, adding that she would keep following her career.
Johnston started her country music career as an amateur when she was only eight years old. She has so far played in various places across the Midwest, everywhere from South Shore in Massachusetts to Nashville in Tennessee, and even several gigs in Europe during the summer.
Johnston said that she had been performing with Pam and Sherwin Linton from Minneapolis in Minnesota for eight years. She said that she had met them at their concert in Labolt in South Dakota when she asked them to sing “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. According to Johnston, Sherwin invited her to sing with them, claiming that he had sensed something in her. After the show, they invited her to join them at the South Dakota State Fair, which marked the beginning of their collaboration, as stated by Johnston.
She has sung with them numerous times.
Sherwin Linton of 60 years of age is a country, folk, and rockabilly musician famous for telling “The Johnny Cash Story.”
Delaney Johnston’s mother, Holly Johnston, said that her daughter was a very brave girl to approach the two musicians and request that they play her favorite song, “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter. She stated that she was not present at the time as she was traveling with her husband, Delaney’s father, who was working as a truck driver. According to Holly, her mother called her when the show was over, claiming that she would not believe what her daughter had done. Holly admitted she had been rather surprised despite being familiar with her daughter’s musicality and the fact that Johnny Cash was her favorite musician.
Delaney Johnston confirmed that Johnny Cash was in fact her favorite musician.
Holly Johnston said that Delaney’s preschool teacher had informed her about Delaney singing Johnny Cash songs during class.
Delaney Johnston likes a particular genre of country music, just to be clear. As a matter of fact, she said that she was a fan of classic country, stating that the musicality was significantly more original. As stated by her, she has always loved the classic country as she has grown up with such tunes.
Sherwin Linton and the Cotton Kings promote original country music, which pleases Johnston and suits her style.
Holly Johnston said that her daughter had loved country music from a very early age. According to her, Delaney grew to love classic country thanks to her mother, who was a fan of the genre.
Although Delaney sings with Sherwin Linton, she has a solo career as well, frequently strumming her guitar and humming beloved classic country tunes.
Linton, who is also a member of South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame, cut two CDs of classic country songs for Johnston, “I’m Little But I’m Loud,” which was made when she was ten, and “You’re Looking At Country,” made two years afterward.
The first album received an award from the Rural Roots Music Commission for “Young Country Artist CD of the Year 2015.”
While she sings alto, Delaney Johnston’s voice has a range of four octaves.
Johnston said that she was able to sing almost anything because of that fact. She stated that she would possibly stay a month in Nashville during the summer and that there was a possibility that she would perform every night at the Nashville Night Life Theater.
Delaney Johnston had already sung at the Nashville Night Life Theater twice — one time when she was in fifth grade and once several weeks ago.
She said that she had performed alongside Tommy Cash, brother of Johnny Cash, claiming that was her favorite point of her career.
So is Delaney Johnston nervous before stepping onto the stage and performing? According to her, she only gets nervous when she is about to sing something she has never sung before. As for those old tunes, they are stuck in her head, as claimed by her. Her mother agreed.
According to Holly Johnston, Delaney has been comfortable on stage ever since she started performing. Holly claimed that her daughter had never been nervous about singing in public, saying that she would simply have fun.
As stated by Delaney Johnston, the most rewarding segment of every performance is the reaction she gets from the audience.
She said that it was pleasing to see how supportive certain people could be and to be able to witness the joy her music spread.
Delaney Johnston, who is a junior at Lead-Deadwood High School at the moment, wants to work as a music teacher once she graduates. However, she is keeping the option of having an established career as a singer open.
According to her, she would like to keep performing at a lower level. As stated by her, she is not eager to become famous, but she has to keep music in her life because of her love for it.
Holly and Jason Johnston fully support their daughter as well as her true talent and dedication.
Holly Johnston said that they were proud beyond words of Delaney for her achievements in music and the fact that she was performing in spite of being only 16. As stated by Holly, being the youngest member of the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame is a great accomplishment. She concluded by saying that they were even more proud of their daughter for staying humble and keeping her feet on the ground throughout the entire process.