From Country to Crooning

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Tim Rushlow’s performing the Great American Songbook was foreshadowed decades ago.

It’s been 27 years since I first wrote about Oklahoma’s Tim Rushlow, who was then the lead singer for a spirited young group called Little Texas. Little Texas had come to what was then the biggest country-music venue in town, Tulsa City Limits, as the opening act for the hit band Shenandoah. I concluded my June 30, 1990, Tulsa World review of the show by saying, re: Little Texas, “Watch these guys. They should make it, and big.”

I certainly wasn’t always right with my predictions, but I was on the money with that one. A year later, the group’s members were watching their first single, “Some Guys Have All the Love,” soar into the Top 10 of the national country charts, beginning a near-decade run that took Little Texas from opening in clubs to headlining in arenas. As the band’s primary vocalist as well as a guitarist and mandolinist, Rushlow was right there in the middle of it all, and after the group disbanded, he continued to record hits like the Top 10 country ballad “She Misses Him,” an affecting story of the emotional toll of Alzheimer’s disease.

Even then, however, there were indications that Rushlow might eventually find his way down a different musical path.

“I remember a comment my wife made to me 25 years ago,” he says. “She said, ‘You now itnow, I’m really happy you’re a country star, but I see y