Press / Articles
September 15, 1996
By DARYL-LYNN CARLSON
Calvin Wiggett has a passion for adventure and the next one on his list lies in the heart of Nashville.
The rising country star and 30-year-old welder, who calls Calgary home, penned a deal last weekend with a major U.S. record label that carries talents as big as Whitney Houston.
"It's unbelievable," says Wiggett, wide-eyed about the contract with Arista that could make the singer a household name. "I've always sang and always dreamed of doing something with it ... this could be it," he says.
Although visions of stardom have danced in Wiggett's eyes since he learned all the words to Don McLean's American Pie at the tender age of four, the fantasy is becoming reality with a speed that is taking him aback.
During the past year, Wiggett has released two singles: Missing You and Loves Music, Loves To Dance; an album Made For Each Other; and two videos for NCN.
He was also nominated in the Best Country Male Vocalist category in this year's Juno Awards and for Best Male Artist in the RPM Big Country Awards.
Amidst a crushing schedule in pursuit of recognition, he's kept his welding job with Bradon Industries and an active lifestyle that includes motorbiking and driving around in Hobbs -- his trusty pickup truck nicknamed after the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbs.
Should he hit the big times, Wiggett swears he'll keep his humble disposition. "I don't feel like I've changed at all so far," he says. "If I'm successful I want to share my wealth." Besides, co-manager and friend Robert Chin vows he'll "whack him on the head" should Wiggett forget his roots.
Born and raised in Bienfait, Sask., Wiggett acquired a passion as a youngster for the country beat that emanated constantly from the household radio. The youngest of four kids, Wiggett started chirping full-length songs as a toddler with the coaching of his sister during the family's two-year stay in Tehran, Iran.
Upon graduating from high school (which he finished in North Dakota during another brief family move), he headed west to find his fortune. He found a modest one -- selling vacuums for Electrolux when he arrived in Calgary in 1988. Yet the stint turned valuable when a colleague encouraged him to make a home recording of his voice. "I've since burned that tape," Wiggett quips.
The endeavor was motivational, prompting Wiggett to persevere and enter every singing contest that he could. His big break came when he won a recording session and accompanying video production at a Camrose radio station which culminated in Wiggett's first CD and exposure that spanned Germany, Italy and the U.K.
Pending commitments mean Wiggett won't be performing anymore this year around Calgary, "at least probably not until I make another album." But the fans are already catching Wiggett's wave -- especially women. A sea of them massed during a recent autograph-signing session, prompting Wiggett to confess "it blew me away."
The rising star is as wholesome as he is boyishly handsome.
"I've gone to hundreds of
parties, stayed late a lot, but I never drank or smoked," he says firmly.
"Yeah, I'm always a cheap date."
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