Born a mile from the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, singer/songwriter/author Micki Fuhrman grew up to a soundtrack of her father’s extensive LP collection that included Marty Robbins, Ray Charles and dozens of other classic country and western artists. At age 7, she began singing in her grandmother’s rural church. Micki’s family briefly relocated to Prescott, Arizona, due to her battle with severe asthma and that was a turning point, both in terms of improved health and discovery of her passions.
“I was playing outside when I saw a dust cloud down the dirt street. From the dust emerged a small herd of mustangs—pintos, bays, buckskins—being driven into a pen by a few cowboys. I think that was the moment I lost my heart to the West. I think of that moment every time I write a Western story or song.”
Micki’s father was born in North Dakota and her grandfather in Oklahoma and she spent summers at the Fuhrman farm in northwestern Minnesota. She recalls, “They raised cattle and quarter horses, sheep and chickens. Anyone who happened to be staying there, vacation or not, was expected to help with the hay baling, oat harvest, whatever. My grandmother kept foster kids, and since the farm was located on an Ojibwe reservation, I always had three or four Ojibwe or Sioux kids to play with.”
At thirteen, Micki joined a Christian music band called the Jesus Christ Power and Light Company and toured small churches across north Louisiana and east Texas. She taught herself to play an ancient upright piano by listening to Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date” album, listening and lifting the record player needle to replay each song, over and over. Later, Micki studied music theory and improvisation with a Shreveport-based jazz musician. She still plays piano and is “boning up” on the accordion for her upcoming tour.
During her high school years, Micki headlined a 1970s-80s incarnation of “The Louisiana Hayride,” the venerable country music show that launched the careers of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, George Jones, and others. The weekly show introduced her to guest stars like Slim Whitman, The Lazy B Wranglers (with Tom Justin) and Ken Curtis, famously known as “Festus” on Gunsmoke but who was once a member of the Sons of the Pioneers.
Eventually, Micki was signed to MCA Records, twice appeared on “The Grand Ole Opry” and toured nationally.
Micki took a long break from touring to move to Nashville and raise a family but continued to work as a songwriter. She also got a degree in industrial engineering and worked as a project manager in the commercial construction business for a number of years. In 2014, Micki turned to literary writing and has twice been named a Western Writers of American Spur finalist for short fiction under her pen name of Vonn McKee.
Writing Western fiction led to the idea of recording an album of Western music and, with the help of legendary Nashville producer/arranger Ron Oates, Micki recorded eleven songs (five are originals). She named the collection Westbound.
A dazzling arrangement of “Buffalo Gals” kicks off the album, featuring guest singers Mary Kaye Holt, Andi Renfree and Leslie Ellis. Among other tracks are duets with Colorado Western troubadour Jon Chandler (“Loving County”) and a poignant remake of a Marty Robbins love song (“Is There Any Chance”) with Marty’s son, Ronny Robbins adding emotional vocals. Also on the album is “River of No Return,” the theme song from the 1954 movie, originally sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford. In another father/son connection, Buck Ford adds background vocals to “River”, channeling his father’s rumbling bass voice.
2022 promises to be an exciting year for Micki as she promotes the release of Westbound and prepares for upcoming tour dates. She is already writing material for the next album.