Morristown's 'Idol'-ist Josiah Leming gets into L.A. groove

Pop singer-songwriter Josiah Leming

Photo by ADAM BRIMER

Pop singer-songwriter Josiah Leming

Pop singer-songwriter Josiah Leming

Photo by ADAM BRIMER

Pop singer-songwriter Josiah Leming

— Singer Josiah Leming — the former “American Idol 7” contestant from Morristown, Tenn. — came back home this week and did a short, last-minute show at the Square Room on Market Square. The opening act was The Royal Buzz, a band that his brother is in.

Here’s the irony: Leming is performing in the same venue in which “American Idol 7” winner David Cook will be playing later this month. Looks like Leming, who recently turned 20, isn’t doing so badly for himself, considering he didn’t even make the Top 36 cut on the hit series. He’s been touring and is making some changes to his debut CD, coming from Warner Bros. later this year.

“It’s been a big learning process,” he says of making the CD. “You can either go in, attack and get it out there or you can slow down.

“I get the idea that a lot of labels would have just thrown me into the deep end of the ocean and see what happens. We want to go for a commercially successful album.

“We all know what works on radio, but we don’t want to compromise so far that we go in another direction. It’s a fight. It’s a struggle … It’s wicked frustrating.”

He’ll be going back to England — and making a detour to France — this spring to work on some songs worthy of being Top 40 radio singles. Leming currently lives in Venice, Calif., near Los Angeles, where he dines on only the best — McDonald’s and In and Out burgers.

“It takes about a day, and it all becomes familiar to me again,” he says of being back in East Tennessee. “I find myself on the same roads back home, and it feels like home again.”

Killer role. The lovely Elaine Hendrix, who was born and grew up in the Oak Ridge and Morristown areas, will produce and star in “Eve,” an indie horror flick, Variety reports.

The story is about a woman who stalks supernatural serial killers. Freddie and Jason had better watch out. Hendrix is on her way, and she’s got you in her sights.

She comes home occasionally to see her relatives and friends who still live here. During the holidays, you may have seen Hendrix outside West Town Mall, protesting the cruel treatment of animals around the world.

Dancin’ shoes. She’s conquered country, pop and gospel. Now, Dolly Parton is ready to tackle dance music. She’s currently working on a CD with club mixers.

A date has not been announced for release, but she is writing the tunes herself. “Wee Bit Gay” is one cut, which Parton says is about a wife who can’t see the signs her husband is gay.

Meanwhile, she’s not pinning her hopes on winning a Tony if “9 to 5” gets a nomination. If she does win one, she’d be one of only a handful of entertainers who has been nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony — the big four. (This is how big of a star she is: She couldn’t even remember being nominated for an Emmy.)

Words to live by. “I never much cared to be on television or anything like that. It’s all a musical thing for me.” — Josiah Leming

Terry Morrow may be reached at morrowt@knoxville.com or 865-342-6445. His blog can be found at knoxville.com. He contributes to “Live At Five At Four” on WBIR, Channel 10, and “The Marc & Kim & Frank Show” on WWST-FM, 102.1.

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