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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Kinley Rice, Fort Scott, is ready to start a country music career

  • Kinley Rice, 13, Fort Scott, is at the start of her country music career, but her greatest influences are legendary performers who achieved their greatest fame decades before her birth.

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  • Kinley Rice, 13, Fort Scott, is at the start of her country music career, but her greatest influences are legendary performers who achieved their greatest fame decades before her birth.
    She said that her strongest influence is Loretta Lynn. Rice said she saw “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the film biography of Lynn, and sings all the artist’s songs.
    “My signature song is ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’, and I’ve sung it so many times I’m surprised I’m not tired of it yet,” Rice said.
    Her other influences are Dolly Parton and the late Tammy Wynette, and said  she prefers their sound to that of younger performers.
    Rice said she started singing at the age of 9.
    “I sang on radio a lot, but when I was 9 I sang in public at Fort Scott Idol, and that started it for me,” she  said.
    She’s now racked up five appearances in Fort Scott Idol and has twice won first place in her age category. She has also sung once in the Pittsburg  Idol competition, receiving the MC Award and placing third in her age category. She has also sung twice at the Big Creek Opry and the Bourbon County Relay for Life, at the Fort Scott Pioneer Harvest Festival, the Middle Creek Opry and at various area churches.
    Rice will be a special guest at 2 p.m. June 30 at the Fort Scott Country Music Show in the Fort Scott Memorial Hall.
    “This will be my fourth appearance at the show, but just my second time as special guest,” she said.
    In addition to singing classic country, she also does bluegrass and gospel.
    “I have also been writing some original songs,” Rice said. “I’ve learned the basics of guitar and I’m still learning on it so I can accompany myself.”
    She is the daughter of Jan Rice and Craig Rice, and said that her father also sings and plays guitar.
    “He doesn’t do it in public, though,” Rice said. “He didn’t have someone motivating him.”
    She’s been fortunate to have those in her life who will encourage and support her dreams.
    “My parents motivate me, and they both drive me to my shows,” Rice said.
    Another motivator/mentor for her is Jason Richison, who runs the  sound system and also plays guitar and sings at the Fort Scott Country Music Show.
    “Jason records my songs and when I go to sing with bands he helps me out with the keys I should sing in,” Rice said.
    She’s a Fort Scott High School student, but said it’s not a problem keeping up with school and making her performance dates.
    Page 2 of 2 - “My goal is to make music my career,” Rice said.
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