MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- After spending his days rebuilding electric generators and equipment for Combined Arms Exercises, Cpl. Daryl A. Myers, repair specialist, Exercise Support Division, takes off in his beat-up, white van to his home/personal music studio. When he gets there, his cammies and cover are replaced by blue jeans and a cowboy hat.
Not only is Myers a fan of pointed boots and black jeans, but a lover of country music and a confident singer. Some say he?s a rising star.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Myers grew up listening to country, oldies and classic rock. Music was a hobby, but he said he never thought it would lead to anything more.
?In sixth grade I got into music,? the 30-year-old Myers explained in his strong southern accent. ?My parents were afraid I would get hurt playing sports, so I joined a band,? he said. ?You know how parents are.?
Myers started playing the tuba and continued with it through high school. Offered a full-ride to the University of Alabama and a scholarship to Louisiana State University as a music major, Myers had to make one of the first major decisions of his life.
?I wasn?t that serious about music at the time. As for the future, I didn?t see myself as a band director or a tuba player,? said Myers.
He stayed closed to home, went to community college for about a year and had a series of jobs before he joined the Marine Corps. During that time, through a series of performances at local karaoke bars, Myers found that he had a real talent for singing.
?I got a rush from singing on stage, and after a while I got used to singing in front of crowds,? said Myers.
Before he decided to join the Marine Corps, Myers had to make his next life-altering decision.
?I made a life evaluation of what I wanted, and music was what was true for me. I had kept it as a hobby, but I finally realized God had blessed me with these talents,? explained Myers. He then decided to follow his dream of singing. He put together a band called ?Southern Style,? but he wasn?t getting the exposure he wanted. That?s when Myers joined the Marine Corps.
?If I would have stayed in Mobile, Alabama, I would have had a following, but the thing about joining the military is you meet people from all over the world,? said Myers.
His first tour was to Okinawa, Japan, where he made multiple connections with the local clubs and received lots of exposure. He quickly pieced together equipment for a music studio, which he operated in his barracks room. He soon finished a self-recorded album and marketed it to the local stores.
?He has his own original sound,? said PFC Timothy Marshall, electrical equipment repair specialist, Exercise Support Division. ?How he put together his album using his computer blows your mind.?
Myers made numerous appearances on the local radio stations and was the focus of articles published in the Japan Update and Stars and Stripes newspapers.
His original lyrics and voice caught people?s attention, and he was soon known throughout the island.
?The only reason I sing country is (my voice) comes out like a country song,? said Myers, who likes the simplicity of most country songs.
?I take the feelings I want to have towards someone, or how I imagine I would feel, and put it into lyrics,? said Myers, rooting through his box of notes and lyric clippings. ?Sometimes I?ll be driving down the road and see something, think of something, or a phrase or idea will pop into my head.?
The first track of his current album is what Myers considers his most popular song, called ?Solid Gold I Love You?.? He sings about a man trying to get his woman back, but he doesn?t think flowers and candy will work this time. So, the man decides he?ll try giving her a ?solid gold I love you,? ?a genuine I?m sorry,? and a ?pure carrot forgive me.?
Now assigned to the Combat Center and working on his next album, Myers wants to put together a live band with drums, guitar, piano, fiddle, trombone and saxophone, so he can add a jazz and swing twist to his country singing.
?I just don?t want to sing one style of music. I want to mix it up,? explained Myers. ?I?m trying to add a mixture of different types of singing and instruments. I?m not going to try to copy what they did years ago, I?m trying to re-invent it.?
Recently, Myers entered the Colgate Country Music Showdown, a contest held at Grubstake Days in Yucca Valley. He was one of 15 contestants.
?He won!? said Marshall, who attended the show. ?He had good stage presence, made jokes and got the crowd to wake up, since it was the middle to end of the contest. He got more reaction from the crowd than every body else.?
?I now get to compete at the state level, then the regional, and then the national finals, if I make it that far, for a $100,000 prize and an appearance on a TV special at the Grande Ole Oprey,? said Myers, excited.
?He?s determined,? said LCpl. Daniel Connelly, electrical equipment repair specialist, Exercise Support Division. ?If he keeps it up, I?m sure he?ll make it far.?
Myers is currently taking classes, hoping someday for a degree in music business and recording engineering. Eventually, he said, he wants to sign a contract with a major recording label.
?I figured I?d stay in the Marine Corps for another enlistment, so I could get my degree,? said Myers. ?That way, if I don?t have a recording contract, I can go to Nashville and work as a studio manager at a record label.?
?I love being a singer and an entertainer,? said Myers.