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Clay Keith prepares to tackle 'tough business'

BROOKSVILLE — You may not know Clay Keith by sight, but chances are you have heard him.

Since he was 5, Keith has lent his voice to countless TV and radio commercials (think the little kid describing how much he likes Cinnamon Toast Crunch shortly after the product was introduced in 1982) and was even the host of a teen talk show in Nashville.

These days find the affable Keith working hard building a music career as a singer/songwriter. He recently completed several demo tracks that he hopes to shop to a record label.

"I'm hopeful, but I know it's a long shot," said Keith, 36, who will be the featured performer Wednesday night at the Hernando County Fair Association's New Year's Eve celebration. "The music business is really tough. If nothing else, I'll have something my grandkids might enjoy hearing someday."

In addition to studying piano at Vanderbilt University, he began developing a following as a solo guitarist in small nightclubs and college pubs outside Nashville.

However, when the 9/11 attacks occurred in 2001, he joined the Army and in 2003 was in the first wave of combat units to enter northern Iraq.

Now firmly back in the music scene, Keith says he's looking to expand his horizons by performing at as many new places as possible.

If you go

The Hernando County Fair Association New Year's Eve celebration will be at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 S Broad St., Brooksville. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with dinner at 8 and entertainment by Clay Keith from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The dinner menu includes salad, roast beef or ham, potatoes, vegetables and dessert. Four bottles of champagne will be provided per table of eight. Wine and beer set-ups will be available for purchase; those attending may bring their own liquor. Tickets are $25 per person. For information or tickets, call the fair office at (352) 796-4552 or Sherry at (352) 796-0600.

Clay Keith prepares to tackle 'tough business' 12/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 25, 2008 7:21pm]
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