Christian music artist Jonathan Pierce has passed away on May 10 while recovering from heart surgery. He was 49. Pierce began singing in church at age seven and took voice lessons from age nine. Following his graduation from high school, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he sang with the Christ Church Choir.
In Nashville, Pierce met Naomi Judd who introduced him to The Imperials, with whom he performed for three years (1990-93), he left The Imperials to join the Gaither Vocal Band (1994-97) and then went on to become a solo artist on Curb Records.
StowTown Records co-founder, renowned producer and multi-award winning songwriter, Wayne Haun takes the time to reflect upon his encounters with Jonathan Pierce in this moving tribute.
"I first met Jonathan in 1992 in the green room at Christ Church in Nashville. I was in the orchestra and he was a part of the special music that day. He was very nice and close to my age. We chatted a while. When he sang a duet that day from the new Imperials record, I melted into my seat. I'd never heard a voice like that.
Afterwards, I asked where he found that song and he mentioned 2 writers, Reggie Hamm & Joel Lindsey. I immediately committed those names to memory in case I ever got to meet them one day. I also bought the CD that day and wore it out for weeks. Over the years we sang in choir together, took a few trips, attended several parties where we ALWAYS ended up around the piano singing songs we swore we hated, and yet we never sang anything else.
One night I totally botched a key change in his most popular song, and then I blamed it on him just for the fun of it. If we were ever separated for months at a time, we'd just pick back up where we left off.
He was gracious to my family too. When he sang with Gaither Vocal Band he went out of his way to embrace them at concerts.
About a year ago we were all hanging out with some of his friends and he started bragging about me. And he was really pouring it on (which was so not Jonathan, LOL). I finally stopped him and poured it right back. In all those years I had never ever told him how I was probably his biggest fan and how I even borrowed from his technique when I coached in the studio. We were both a crazy crying sloppy mess by the end of the night.
The last time I spoke to Jonathan was at a supper at our friends Mary Frances and Joe's house. We were eating fried chicken and guzzling sweet tea and he made us all cornbread from a skillet (buttermilk, no sugar, please.) If I had known that was gonna be our last time together ... well, we all say that. But I am SO glad this guy was a part of my life and career.
When we all get to heaven, I want Jonathan to come over to my mansion and make that cornbread again. You're all invited. He won't mind. I will find you again, Jonathan."
About Wayne Haun:
4-time GRAMMY® nominee, 21-time DOVE Award winner and 3-time BMI Music Award winner-recently garnered attention as he released his debut jazz vocal recording through StowTown Records and Provident/Sony Distribution. With fresh interpretations of timeless love songs and classic Broadway tunes, Wayne Haun's "Old Soul" CD took the number one spot on the iTunes Jazz chart for two days. In all, the project remained in the iTunes Jazz Top 10 for a full week.
In spite of his fresh foray into the spotlight, Haun is best known for his behind-the-scenes expertise as a songwriter, producer, arranger, orchestrator, musical director, record label founder, publishing company owner. Notably, Haun has become increasingly busy arranging and orchestrating for artists in a variety of genres, including Celine Dion, Boyz II Men, Clay Walker, Jessica Simpson, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Rayburn, J. Mark McVey, and Earl Scruggs.