Country music star and Taylor Mill native Carly Pearce was honored with a proclamation declaring September 2 as “Carly Pearce Day in the City of Taylor Mill”, a key to the city, a plaque proclaiming her commission as a Kentucky Colonel, and a welcome sign that will be installed in the northern part of the city with her name on it.
“She gives me hope that someone from a small town can make it big and still say grounded,” said Julie Parece, an attendee to the event.
“She still keeps up with my life,” said Chris Ransom, another attendee. “She is truly a sweet person.”
Ransom said that she has watched Pearce grow up in Taylor Mill and was her room mother around third or fourth grade.
“As a young girl, Carly had a dream and a talent to sing country music,” said Dan Bell, mayor of Taylor Mill. “And that’s why we’re here, to honor that dream.”
Bell continued by listing the many awards and accomplishments Pearce has achieved before reading the proclamation declaring today as Carly Pearce Day.
“It’s very hard for me to even put into words what this means to me,” Pearce said. “I think the biggest thing that I think about is I wouldn’t even know what country music was without this town, I wouldn’t know what it means to be on stage without this town. So many of you guys I feel like have grown up with me and my mom probably paid you to come to my shows early on, so that there were people in the audience.”
She paused, to laughing and applause.
“It all started here for me. I remember playing down the hill here, just dreaming about one day maybe having this happen to me. Taylor Mill’s always been such a part of my story, and I never wanted to lose sight of that. I’m so grateful and honored for this. My grandparents were very special to me, and that’s the Pearce name. They both passed away before this happened to me. I always told them that if I had the chance to make it, I would keep their name alive.”
She faltered, and her voice broke. “And so I kind of feel like I’m going to keep them alive here. So, thank you for this!”
After Mayor Bell declared Carly Pearce day in the city, Commissioner Mark Kreimborg, who had been mayor while Pearce lived here, presented her with the key to the city and State Representative Kim Moser was instrumental in making Pearce a Kentucky Colonel. Commissioner Dan Murray reminded Pearce he used to be her mailman, a long time ago.
Photo: Left to Right: Mark Kreimborg, Carly Pearce, Caroline Braden, Dan Murray, Dan Bell
Pearce remembers her childhood here, attending Taylor Mill elementary, and some of junior high school. She said she thinks she could always sing.
“I don’t know a day I didn’t know,” she said. “I really don’t. I always wanted to sing.”
She remembered that she wanted to go to Nashville in middle school. She said she started to write her own songs when she was 13. Nevertheless, it was tough, she said, leaving everything to bet on her future, but she was a fearless freshman, and that was a blessing. And she had her mom with her.
“I might leave out a few parts of my story,” she said with a slow smile, “but I encourage people, whatever dream they have, to go out and follow it.”
Pearce had words of advice for young fans of hers who might be entertaining dreams of success like she had.
“I came from a town of 6000 people,” she said. “If I can do it, you can, too!”
Some of her goals have been met; she has been inducted into the Grand Old Opry, and she has met Dolly Parton several times, but she said she would love to be nominated for female vocalist of the year in a few weeks, and she said she just wants more of this – she wants to go down in country music history like Dolly and Reba.
Pearce has a concert the PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation in Newport on Thursday evening as part of Lady A’s tour. She also will be releasing her third album, 29: Written in Stone, on September 17.
Written by Connor Wall and Patricia A. Scheyer