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Issaquah, Washington
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November 11, 1987     The Issaquah Press
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November 11, 1987
 

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Country-western hopeful Rob Ondras. One of Ondras' first jobs was at the Foothills Restaurant, Where he and sister, Sheila, took a break to clown around in 1977. VALUES ** 7.97 4'xS'xtA '' CDX Plywood 49 c 1"X4"x4' Pine Appearance Boards Pine Appearance Boards lx4 xO ..... 89 lx4X8 ..... 1.19 1x6 x4' 1.69 lx6"x6 .... 2.19 1x6' x8 ...... 69 = 8x4 ..... 1.29 x8'X6 ..... 1.79 xSe, ..... 2.59 x0'x4 ..... 3.29 lO'x ..... 99  lxlO"x8 ..... 1.69 1x12' x4 ..... 2.39 1x12 x6 3.39 1512' xS 4.39 t 51.19 2"x4"x8' Stud  Grade Studs He's a country boy Issaquah singer's career is Nashville bound Barbara Ondras knew fate had special plans for her youngest son the day she caught him doing an Elvis impersonation in the back- yard, using a board torn from the picket fence as a guitar. She was peeved, but not sur- prised. Young Rob had been banging away at his toy xy- lophone since he was a tod- dler and had solemnly in- formed his family at age four that he was going to become a singer. So it is not entirely unex- pected that Rob, now 27 and living in Indiana, is still at work on his dream of carving a niche in the world of coun- try western music. This summer he released his first album, "Forever in Your Eyes," a shoestring-budget recording featuring four songs written by Ondras. He hopes it will lure producers and in- vestors into backing his ca- recr. The Issaquah native has come a long way from the days of the picket-fence gui- tar, on a road that has taken many turns. Ondras struck out on his own at the tender age of 15, quitting Issaquah High School in his junior year to pursue his love of music. He's not too proud of that decision, Ondras said in a phone interview, even though it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. His mother will never forget the day it happened. "He called me at work. He was in the I 1 th grade and he said he had quit school," Bar- bara Ondras said. "I talked with one of his teachers who by Peg Carver said, 'that kid's got some kind of potential, but it's not coming from anything in school.'" The family didn't stand in his way. Ondras started playing with bands at the H&H Tavern and Foothills Restaurant in Is- saquah. He toured the state and the band eventually began opening shows for the likes of Porter Waggoner, the For- rester Sisters and Johnny Russell. Ondras had a suc- cessful nightclub act, too, until he realized he had gone about as far as he could go in the Pacific Northwest. "Nashville is so far from Seattle," Ondras said, refer- ring to the opportunities more than the miles. "You just can't get any farther than nightclub acts in Seattle." But the capital of country had its own drawbacks for the fledgling performer. "It's hard to go directly to Nashville and make a living," Ondras said. "There are some fantastic musicians down there, but they're lucky to make $25 a night." So Ondras settled on Columbus, Indiana, where he could be near friends and still be withing striking distance of the musician's mecca of Nashville. He and his wife, Kim, moved there in 1985, leaving friends and family here. He has been working steadily in nightclubs ever since. Ondras recorded his album in Nashville last February, with the help of friend and country songwriter Ira Allen, whose melodies have been recorded by Loretta Lynn and Ondra5 got his first guitar at age 9 and the rest was history. Conway Twitty. He used the talents of Nashville producer Jimmie Young. And he had the strong, long-distance, moral support of his Issaquah contingent. "I'm so Proud of him," Barbara Ondras said. "He's just always been musical. I just wish my dad could have GILMAN VILLAGE Santa has a big bag full of surprises! Visit us for all the decorations and trim you need to make your home festive for the holidays. lived to see this. He taught Rob how to pick out his first guitar chords. "My dad died 12 years ago. I just hope he's looking down and seeing this. He'd be so proud." Classical I Piano Lessons Theory; (ecl-mique. All ages, beginners welcomed. European trained Exp Teacher. , Jean Jacobson_ 746-1461 PROMISE THEM PEACE "Under all conditions thank 145 N.E. GILMAN BLVI). ISSAQUAll ii Purina Wild Bird Products Purina * Wild Bird Chow The Issaquah Press, Wednesday, November 11, 1987 - Page 11 The family support for the new album wasn't strictly moral, it was financial as well. Ondras' parents put up the $10,000 needed to produce the recording and 500 copies. They are lobbying for Seattle stations to give the album airplay, although the program director for KMPS said the recording has not been played there yet. Other friends and family members are scouting the area for possible investors for the project. Ondras needs $250,000 to promote "Forever in Your Eyes" and produce a follow- up release. So far no major labels have taken the bait, but Ondras isn't too worried. A couple of his songs have been submitted to MTM country recording star Kathy Mattea, who has been nominated as the best new female vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. Other songs written by Ondras have been sent to RCA recording artist Michael Johnson, who is reportedly considering them. That alone is enough to keep Ondras going for now. "Things are going pretty well for me," Ondras said. "Having a song submitted to Michael Johnson and have him seriously consider it...that's quite a way to go for someone from Issaquah." We get story ideas from our readers. If you have an idea, yes, we'd like to hear about it! CHIMNEY SWEEPS Prevent Chimney Fires this Winter! Clean it yourself and savel Brush rentals from $7.50 We also rent quality Chalnsaws & Log splitters for all your winter wood cutting needs. Issaquah Rental & Sales | Twin Firs La.wn & Garden | 1705 S.E. 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