By Curt Yeomans
Joy Waters Fowler's singing career began when she was a 2-year-old in the pulpit of her father's church in East Point. She is still singing Christian music 32 years later.
Fowler, a graduate of Jonesboro High School in 1992, recently released an album entitled "Joy."
The album, her second, is a collection of Christmas songs, including "Silent Night," "O' Holy Night," and some of her original songs: "I Do Believe," and "Our children's Eyes."
Her first album, in 2007, was "My Savior First of All," a collection of traditional religious hymns.
The holiday album was produced by another graduate of Clayton County Schools, Erik Grant Bennett, a Forest Park High School grad and the stepson of former Clayton superintendent, Dan Colwell.
"Some people seem to have a natural affinity towards one thing," said Fowler, who now lives in Atlanta. "This [singing] was just my area that I excelled in."
Fowler's parents, Edgar and Aletha Waters, operated the River Bottom Seafood Restaurant on Main Street in Jonesboro in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her dad also was a minister at the East Point church of God in East Point for 35 years, until he retired in 2004.
As a child, Fowler's mother gave her a tape player, and tapes of several female vocalists, including Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline and Aretha Franklin. She gave her some marching orders, too.
"She basically said 'Study these singers, and whatever they do, you should do as well,'" Fowler said. "That's how I trained myself to sing."
After Fowler graduated from high school, she studied vocal performance at Georgia State University. She went on to become what she called a "session singer," where she sang back-up vocals for other artists.
"I sang on just about every kind of music you can think of, even hip hop," said Fowler. "But, when it came time to do my own album, I went back to my roots, where I felt most comfortable, and where I could make the biggest impact."
As Fowler was beginning to prepare for a solo career, it appeared as if she would go into a career as a country singer, she said. However, she said a drive in her car ultimately led her to decide to become a Christian singer instead. "I was listening to pitch songs that writers in Nashville were pitching to me," she said.
"As I listened to some of the lyrics, I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to sing songs that didn't have eternal value," Fowler added.
Fowler's music can be found on several web sites, including Facebook, MySpace and iTunes. "Joy" and "My Savior First of All" can be purchased on Amazon.com, and CDBaby.com. Her web site is www.joywatersfowlers.com.