Local songwriter to be inducted into Palliser Wall of Fame

By Stephen Tipper/Vulcan Advocate

Aug 23 2012

After being kicked out of school band in Milo, Larry Vannatta is being recognized years later for his outstanding achievement in songwriting.

The Milo-area resident, a graduate of County Central High School, is being inducted on Thursday, Aug. 30 into Palliser’s Wall of Fame.

“That’s a feather in my cap, because I was never that good in school,” said Vannatta during an interview with the Advocate last week.

He says he was “goofing around” in band class, and that’s “probably why I got kicked out.”

To this day, he says he’s “musically illiterate,” unable to read music sheets.

“I wish I would taken music,” he says.

His parents were great people but didn’t have a lot of money for him to do everything, he said. Instead of music, Vannatta played hockey in his youth.

But even though his grades were poor, things he learned at school — like how to market himself — have helped him achieve goals in his adult life, he says.

“Maybe I didn’t apply myself as much as I could have,” he says. “School was the last thing I was thinking of.”

He got a passing grade on most of the courses he took, says Vannatta, who is dyslexic.

“That (dyslexia) entered my school as well,” he says.

Despite the obstacles, Vannatta, who taught himself to play the guitar, has pursued his musical goals, and he was named songwriter of the year by the European Country Music Association in 2011. Vannatta’s first band, Straight, Clean & Simple, was nominated for Juno Awards in 1992 and 1993.

The latest single, Paradise, off his latest album, Working Class Man, has been getting good airplay in Canada on some stations, he said.

“The reality is there it’s not a lot of money in music,” said Vannatta, who buys grain from farmers for a living.

Playing music has given him the opportunity to play with other artists in many different locales.

“It’s opened up so many doors for me,” said Vannatta, adding he’s seen parts of the world that would have never seen if he wasn’t a musician.

After he was nominated for the Wall of Fame, a Palliser official had told him that not everybody has to be good at school to succeed.

“I guess I had a lot of that in me,” said Vannatta.

The achievements of Vannatta and three other former Palliser students will be celebrated on Thursday during a ceremony that’s part of the school division’s opening day celebration at the Cultural-Recreational Centre.

AM to FM Promotions

January 2012, Larry Vannatta's Working Class Man song, the title track to his new album will be released to Canadian radio stations. RDR promtion will be sending out the song on DMDS. Andrea Morris from AM to FM promtions will be promoting this song accross Canada.

Assocation of Country Music in Alberta
The 2011 ACMA Nominee's are in:
Male Artist of the year
Shane Chisholm, Craig Owen Jenkins, Mark Lorenz, Gord Bamford, Larry Vannatta, Bobby Wills, Quentin Reddy, Frank Eagle, Dusty Dee, Jason Greeley, Chris LeBlanc
And Fan’s Choice of the Year nominees are:
Alee, Ashley Rae, Bobby Wills, Chemical Cowboys, Chris LeBlanc, Craig Owen Jenkins, Danielle Lowe, Dani-Lynn, Domino, Dusty Dee, Frank Eagle, Gord Bamford, Jason Greeley, Jaye D Marie, Katie Mission, KixxSin, Larry Vannatta, Mark Lorenz, Mary, Myrol, Netty Mac, Olivia Wik, Pear, Quentin Reddy, Sarah Beth Keeley, Shane Chisholm, Six West, Tenille, The Hanson Jeans, The Orchard, The Travelling Mabels

As the ACMA grows, so shall our Awards Show and Categories, until all areas of the country music industry in Alberta are recognized and awarded for their outstanding efforts in supporting, marketing and showcasing Alberta’s musicians.
For this year, please log onto our website at http://www.abcountrymusic.ca, click on "Vote" to cast your vote for Alberta's Top Talent.

2011 European Country Music Association songwriter of the year, Larry Vannatta has a new album, Working Class Man. A CD release party is combined with a video shoot to help with renovations of the Milo Community Hall and celebrate the new release. Working class people are encouraged to participate in the filming of the Larry Vannatta’s band, Straight Clean and Simple.  Filming will take place during the musical showcase of his new album.on Nov. 19 at the Community Hall in Milo.

Admission is $25 per person; net proceeds of the door and bar will help contribute to renovations of the Milo Hall.

  • Doors open at 7:30 pm
  • Music Showcase Performance / Filming:  8 pm

ECMA Awards Winners

July 26th, 2011.
Palafrugell (Spain)

The European CMA has announced today thru its radio station ECMA Radio the winners of Best of ECMA, our annual awards to country music industry. Congratulations to all winners and nominated people. At the same time, we got the bad and very sad news of that our member and past award winner George McAnthony recently died. Our homage to him, his family and his belove dones.

21st Annual ECMAY's - Country Music Awards
Song/Single of the Year:
Murder on Music Row - Robert Mizzell & Collin Raye
Artist of the Year:
Hermann Lammers Meyer
Male Vocalist of the Year:
Allen Karl
Female Vocalist of the Year:
Ashley Roberston
Band of the Year:
Zac Brown Band
Duo of the Year:
Paul & Helen Mateki
Vocal Collaboration of the Year:
Murder on Music Row - Robert Mizzell & Collin Raye
Album of the Year:
Allen Karl - My Final Rose
New Composition of the Year:
River Of Love (Billy Burnette, Shawn Camp, Dennis Morgan)
European Entertainer of the Year:
Hermann Lammers Meyer
European Song of the Year:
Murder on Music Row - Robert Mizzell & Collin Raye
European Album of the Year:
Hermann Lammers Meyer - 1961 A Love Song
Christmas Song of the Year:
Elvis Presley & Martina McBride - Blue Christmas
Gospel Song of the Year:
Robert Shields - Calling His Name
Songwriter of the Year:
Larry Vannatta

Production of the Year:
Clelia Adams - Wildflowers (Stuart French)
Hall of Fame:
Dolly Parton

Larry Vannatta hits number one for four weeks in a row with original song Country Junkie   [- Hide]
European Country Music Assocation
European Country Music Association Country Music Radio Chart Top-100 This is the oldest country music radio chart in Europe, active since 1989.  TOP-100 CHART (Only the top-20 is featured here).
Based in airplay throughout Europe.
Number 246. Survey, December 26, 2009. 20th year, 2nd Age.  Updated 2010/04/06
1 5 7 5 Vannatta. Country Junkie.  POWERPLAY SONG Hillcrest
2 1 1 6 Robert Mizzell & Collin Raye. Murder On Music Row. Hillcrest
3 3 14 4 John Maines Jr. Lonely Broken Heart. Endless Love
4 2 2 10 Hermann Lammers Meyer. Alley of Shame. Hillcrest/Desert Kid
5 9 4 5 Doug Bruce. Just Three Minutes. Hillcrest
6 6 3 7 George Strait. Twang. Mca
7 8 12 11 Debbie Nunn. Looks So Good. AGR
8 10 16 5 Kathy Kane. Pins & Needles. Hillcrest
9 4 6 6 Brad Paisley. Welcome To The Future. Arista
10 13 28 4 Liz Talley. Johnny's Getting Out Of Jail BBQ. Armadillo
11 18 43 5 Zac Brown Band. Toes. Atlantic
12 7 18 4 Toby Keith. American Ride. Show Dog
13 33 35 9 Tabea Anderfuhren. Roll Muddy River. TA/Hillcrest
14 20 40 11 Brad Paisley. American Saturday Night. Arista
15 12 8 13 Allen Karl. My Final Rose. AK-RhonBob

1 Victoria Shaw God and me
2 Vannatta Country Junkie
3 Miranda Lambert White Liar

1 Vannatta Country Junkie
2 David Pool & Hermann Lammers-Meyer What Are You In Here For
3 Carl Mann California Blues

1 Vannatta Country Junkie
2 Doug Bruce Just Three Minutes
3 Tabea Anderfuhren Roll Muddy River

1 Wynn Stewart & Johnny Paycheck Wild side of life
2 Vannatta Country Junkie
3 Marty Maggio Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

1 Robert Mizzell & Collin Raye Murder On Music Row
2 Vannatta Country Junkie
3 Doug Bruce Just Three Minutes

1 Robert Mizzell & Colin Raye Murder On Music Row
2 Cody McCarver White Trash With Money
3 Vannatta Country Junkie

Press Release

June 5, 2011


The European Country Music Association has just announced the preliminary nominees for their 2010 Awards.  Local musician, singer, songwriter Larry Vannatta is excited to have been nominated in three major categories.  Vannatta’s most recent album, RED NECK THOROUGHBRED, has been nominated as ALBUM OF THE YEAR along side such country greats as George Strait, Randy Travis, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Reba McIntyre.  BAND OF THE YEAR  is the 2nd nomination, with Zac Brown and Lady Antebellum helping round out the roster.  The final nomination is for ARTIST OF THE YEAR, and among the 10 nominees are Paisley, Strait and Miranda Lambert. 

The driving and creative force behind VANNATTA is Larry Vannatta, a native of Milo , Alberta.  Larry has played it all, from back porch steps, barns, dance halls, festivals across Western Canada, to 3-level balconied theatres.    He has received two Juno nominations for his previous band, Straight, Clean and Simple.  His three albums and eight single releases with Hillcrest Music have resulted in Vannatta’s growing popularity across Europe.  “Country Junkie” is the latest single to chart #1 in Germany, Sweden and Top 10 in the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Belgium and France.

Bud Maynard is the bass player in Vannatta, sings vocals and back-up vocals, and writes a lot of the original material.  Bud is the real deal…former rodeo performer, cattle boss of the famous OH ranch in Southern Alberta and adds a very authentic dimension to the band.

Vannatta has a varied line-up of stage and studio musicians rounding out the sound of their studio and live performances. 

Vannatta is proud to be included in the prestigious ECMA nominations, and looks forward to continuing to entertain country fans both at home and abroad.


For additional information, interviews, photos, etc. please contact Larry Vannatta   cell:  403-899-8600

Or e-mail at larrylvannatta@hotmail.com  To listen to sample music www.larryvannatta.com

MUSIC UP CLOSE, JUNE 2010 June 17, 2010 | by Skope Staff Our headliner is Vannatta, a five piece country band from Milo, Alberta. We’re lucky to get them into our virtual lounge here because these guys are booked solid all over Alberta and have been since they started in seven years ago. Their repertoire is packed with originals by their front man Larry Vannatta who also plays guitars, harmonicas, and mandolin as well as handles lead vocal duties. The band does a mix of Texas swing, roadhouse tunes, Nashville sounds, and what I call pure Canadian country. Vanantta has played with the best, including Canada’s country icon Ian Tyson and our own Waylon Jennings and Marty Stuart. These guys have three albums and eight single releases with Hillcrest music, and two Juno nominations for Country Group of the year. And it’s no wonder! The songs are solid and well sung with great backups by bass man Bud Maynard, guitarist Johnny Fraser, and drummer George Davidson. They are assisted by Blaine Evans who also plays mandolin and guitars. They’ll be playing cuts from their 2009 CD Redneck Thouroghbred. Wriiten By: Janie Franz – jfranz@skopemag.com
Bunchgrass Band performs to full house at Calgary Stampede Posted By Simon Ducatel Vulcan Advocate The Bunchgrass Band performed to a full house at the Calgary Stampede on July 18. From left, John Frazer of Okotoks, Bob Macgillivray of Nanton, Larry Vannatta of Milo and Bud Maynard of High River played some cowboy heritage tunes, as well as some covers. There were few empty seats at the Stampede's Window on the West stage during the Bunchgrass Band's performance on July 18. "It was a lot of fun, a lot of people came," said Larry Vannatta, who plays guitar and mandolin and also sings. "It's kind of rewarding to have that many people come out to watch." Including Vannatta, the Bunchgrass Band is made up of four musicians. Bud Maynard of High River, John Frazer of Okotoks, and Bob Macgillivray of Nanton. "We've been playing for a lot of years," said Vannatta, adding that he, "basically grew up with these guys." The band, which has been together for more than 10 years, released its first album in 2001, and has since released a few more, including the most recent 2010 release called Far Out West. Vannatta and Maynard write the Bunchgrass Band's songs, but the band also does covers. At the Stampede performance, the band played six original cowboy heritage songs as well as six covers, including tunes like Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms, which the crowd would clap and sing along with. "We're an interactive band," Vannatta told the Advocate. Although the band's individual members had previously played at the Stampede, it was the Bunchgrass Band's first time performing there. "It was awesome, we had a great time," Vannatta said. While the Bunchgrass Band has a lot of projects on the go — they play in Okotoks on Friday and in Pollockville on Saturday — Vannatta also branches out to play country music and blue grass songs, which his other band, called Vannatta, focuses on.

Radio single releases

Buy Music


 Working Class Man Album available to down at these fine stores. Click on logo to go to store.

Other Larry Vannatta and Bunchgrass Band Albums available at:



Bunchgrass Band

Join Larry's mail list

Sign up for latest music updates


Previews and Interviews Treaty Seven live acoustics interview on Q91 Radio 2013 Working Class Man Paradise Sixteen Tons live at the Calgary Stampede 2013 Country Junkie Preacher Man Joe Gone Fishen Live acoustic two piece

New Release!

For my son and Daughter I release "Hooked on You" on Hillcrestcds Records