Van Buchanan, Singer/Songwriter from Houston, Texas, had his first taste of success in
1980 when Mark Charron signed several of his songs to Mickey Gilley's publishing
company, Red Rose Music. The deal was basically inked on the strength of one of Van's
popular songs at the time, Saturday Night Live (Sunday Morning Dead). Within a year
Van got a cut on Carroll Gilley with Hey Little Girl.
In April, 1982 Ritchie Cordell called from New York regarding Who Fooled Who, a
song Van pitched to Joan Jett when she played The Rock Saloon in Houston. Though
they didn't use the song, this event convinced Van his writing was on the right track. In
1983 one of Van's songs was an award winner in the American Song Festival. In
August of that same year, Hurricane Alicia destroyed his home and property, placing his
music career temporarily on the backburner.
Bouncing back after a chance meeting with and great advice from record producer Ian
Samwell in Houston (this just after Ian had completed work on the first Bourgeois Tagg
release on Island), Van started to focus on his strength--writing great songs. Having
compiled a collection of fairly strong material and winning yet another award, this time
in the Music City Song Festival, Van ventured to Nashville. Playing songs for those
who would listen (Mark James, Sara Young, Shelby Kennedy) Van was told there
was definitely a place for what he was doing.
Van won a spot on Cajun singer Don LaFleur's 1988 release Farmbelt, from which the
second single hit the Billboard Hot 100. After the artist and investor parted ways, Van
was able to network and get several more cuts on artists such as Rick Campbell,
Tommy Hodges, Janet David and Al White. This activity caught the attention of
record producer/music publisher Huey P. Meaux, who did a remix of Lost and Found.
Van then worked as Creative Director for Don Westmoreland's Nandon Music,
wrote and performed on spots that aired on major TV and radio stations and was a
member of the Houston band Bates Motel.
After spending several years in Austin, Van returned to Houston and started performing
his original songs throughout the metro area. In 2006 he won Songwriter of the Year
and, with his song Motherlode, Song of the Year with the Houston Songwriters
Association. In 2008, Van placed Honorable Mention in the Woody Guthrie Folk
Festival Songwriting Competition. Most recently he won HSA Song of the Year again
(2009), this time with his song Neverland and Regional New Folk at the 2010
Kerrville Folk Festival. In late 2010 he independently released the CD Motherlode,
which includes the award winning title track and other listener favorites and in 2011
was a semi-finalist in the Songwriter Serenade.
Through it all the songs have remained the one constant. Performance after
performance, Van establishes the fact that he truly is a singing SONGWRITER.
©2021 Van Buchanan