Charles Raymond Bell is a songwriter, musician, Ordained Elder, Pediatrician, published ...
If someone would have told me 25 years ago that I’d be writing and singing country music for Jesus, I probably would have laughed. However it is amazing how things can change. I actually didn’t start singing formally until about 8 years ago when I started singing at our church.
A few years ago, I felt that the Lord had put it on my heart to write a country song. After sharing it, everyone told me that it was so good it needed to be produced. So in 2017, my wife and I find ourselves on a trip to Nashville to record my first song.
Since then I have returned to Nashville and recorded several more songs. My latest release Good Clean Fun has been featured on a number of radio stations. I have had the chance to perform at a number of events. What started as a hobby has rapidly grown into a country music ministry to speak a message of life into people’s hearts and provide good clean family friendly music.
How long have you been creating music?
For nearly 5 years
Do you have a preferred genre?
Country and Christian Country
Tell us about your latest song, EP, or album.
Good Clean Fun is more of a upbeat pop-country style party song, similar to artists such as Luke Bryan, or Jason Aldean. However it’s most distinguishing characteristic is it’s family friendly lyrics. Instead of the overdone drugs, booze, sensuality, party theme that much mainstream music tends to glamorize, Good Clean Fun talks about good things such Faith, Family, Friendship, Love, Hard Work, Clean Country Living, and Clean Fun. So everyone’s invited to the Farm tonight for a real country party. We’ll show you more good crazy fun then you’ve ever had! As a bonus, you’ll know you had a good time because you’ll remember what you did the next day.
Are there any challenging aspects to writing and/or recording your music?
The most challenging aspect to this music ministry is the cost to keep it going. I have easily invested thousands into my music. Despite the strong social media following and receiving radio play, music royalties have only covered a fraction of the costs that were invested into it. It takes time and consistency to make this grow.
Has your style evolved since the beginning of you career?
I can definitely tell that I have improved greatly as a singer. My country voice is getting better and better each day. I like to sing and cover songs from a number of artists from multiple genres. This has not only improved my vocal range, but given me the ability to sing many songs and sing it as if it was my own. Some may say that I’m at a disadvantage breaking into the Country music scene in my early 50’s. However I see this as a potential advantage. My life experiences give me much more depth as a songwriter. And as far as my singing ability is concerned, I’m still improving and moving up on the curve. Many well known artists at my age who have may been singing for 30 years plus have either plateaued or are starting to decline vocally. Since I still have a fairly young voice, I’m hopeful I’ll have a number of years of continued growth before I plateau.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
The best thing I enjoy is the ability to sing and be a blessing for the people who listen. I have received so many positive encouraging comments online on how my music spoke to them at a certain time in their life and continues to speak to them. I remember back to many years ago when I felt that God was calling me into evangelism of sorts, however I had no idea what that would look like. Now as I see my music growing into a Country Music ministry, I am seeing God’s plan coming together. I feel that Country music is a great platform to not only entertain people, but be able to speak into people’s lives and share the Gospel through my story of faith.
Playing live or recording in studio? Do you have a preference?
Recording in a studio is always exciting as when I do so, I travel to Nashville to work with my producer Greg Bieck. Greg has the experience and influence to be able to bring in the best musicians Nashville has to offer for the instrumental tracks. Greg also has such a natural flair which he intuitively knows in how to bring an artists song to amazing life. Although Studio recording is definitely an adventure, I still prefer singing live for an audience. Regardless of whether I am performing to a karaoke track, or performing my own songs, it is wonderful to see the reaction of the audience… singing along… the cheers, the applause and much more. When you perform in front of a live audience, it carries an excitement and electricity that is almost hard to describe. I’m sure those who do perform, are among those who truly know what that feels like.
Do you have a preference… vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, or downloads?
As of now most of my music is only available through digital downloads, or streaming platforms. I plan on offering CD’s once I release my first EP.
Tell about a magical moment or positive experience that has happened through music.
There were actually 2 events, or magical moments… It was May 2005, when Michael Twitty, son of the great Conway Twitty performed at a local fundraiser event for the Winona County Sheriffs Dept. Michael performed many of his Dad’s famous songs, and also covered many other iconic songs from other artists. One song which he performed was Elvis “I cant help falling in love with You”. Before he sang the song he picked 3 newlywed couples which included my wife and I. Micheal Twitty then arranged to walk around the theater to one of the couples for each of the 3 verses. He then would hand the mic over to the husband for him to sing the line to his wife “I can’t help falling in love with you” I had a goofy sense of humor so I was tempted to sing the line in a silly manner, but something inside me told me to sing it well. When it was my turn I sang it well, surprising my wife and myself. After the show, we had a chance to get autographs from Michael. During that time, Michael looked directly at me and said “Lorne, you have a great singing voice!” I remember that incident to this day and I believe that was the first seed that God planted in my head to get me thinking that maybe I actually had what it took to be a Country singer someday. Since that incident, I had never really given singing much thought until about 8 years ago until I sang in church for the first time. There was a song I would often sing to my daughters at bedtime, called Love Song by the Christian group Third Day. I knew the song well and seemingly (out of the blue), decided to sing it one Sunday as a special performance during offering. I was blown away by the response of people who complimented me after the service. So many people asked “Wow where did YOU come from??”. My answer was sheepishly “I don’t know?” This encouraged me to continue singing, and I started singing everywhere I got the chance. I would sing at church events, plays etc… I would sing karaoke at bars and for singing contests all over the local area. What started as a hobby God has now turned into a rapidly growing Country music ministry and following..
Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?
Alan Jackson inspires me the most as a Country singer. My style probably has a bit of his influence on it. I love how Alan shares simple truths in a reminiscent story-telling way. It gets people to think of things which are most important in life. Alan’s music begs the question: “Are we moving too fast as a society in the name of progress to the point to where we are forgetting who we are as human beings?”
Would you like to travel to other countries to perform your music? If so, what would be your first stop?
I haven’t thought that much about that yet. However I would love someday to visit Ireland. I also know that Irish Country music is quite popular. It would be a real treat to perform there.
Are you currently working on any projects we should look out for?
Look soon for a new single to be released later this year. “My Little Girl” This will be a bit of an emotional song as I wrote and sang it for my oldest daughter at her wedding.
Is there something you would like to say, that we didn’t cover?
Music videos for all my releases are available on my YouTube channel: Lorne Brinkman Country Music. Be sure to check them out and subscribe: