Richard Hurley grew up in Canton, N.C. and graduated from Canton High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served an active duty assignment in the Navy aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS WASP, working on the staff of JFK's personal Naval Aide. Upon separation from the military, he was employed with Square D Company - now Schneider Electric - as Human Resources Manager for thirty-four years. As an early retiree, Richard is very involved in volunteer work in Asheville and serves on a number of boards across Western North Carolina.
Being a product of the Folk Era of the '60's, Richard began "pickin' and singin'" songs by the Kingston Trio and other folk groups which many Baby Boomers will well remember. The late folk singer, Jimmy Haynie, from Canton was also a major influence on him. Prior to his military service, he and Jimmy worked together as DJ's at radio station WPTL in Canton where he gained a great appreciation for country and bluegrass music. Jimmy was a regular entertainer at the Pisgah View Ranch for many years and upon his passing, Richard assumed his spot performing a family show there for 17 years.
While in college Richard began writing songs about his experiences here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. In 1981 he recorded a song he had written titled The Ballard of Old Fort Mountain, which gained regional prominence. He has performed regularly at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and the Lunsford Festival, and occasionally at the Shindig-On-The-Green where he serves as one of the MC's during the summer. He donates his program to silent auctions for non-profits and plays regularly as a volunteer for a number of senior citizen venues, plus performing for-profit programs.
This spring he decided it was time to dig into his files and record some of the songs he had written over the years. He teamed up with multi-talented musician, Josh Goforth and well-known studio engineer and CEO of Regal Media, Eddie Swann, to record My Mountains, My Songs. He hopes you will enjoy listening to his CD as much as he did recording some of the region's history!