John Wayne Schulz is new to American Idol, wowing the judges in Austin last night with his country persona and incredible chops.
But John Wayne Schulz is not new to the music scene. This 23-year old actually recorded an album on an independent label when he was 14.
It contained 10 tracks, was titled "Ropin' Dreams" and was released on Texas-based BSW Records, confirms that company's president and CEO, Frank Willson.
"He was very, very young when we first started," Wilson tells Billboard. "He's of Mormon faith, and he had to go on his church mission. He was gone for two years, and we just weren't able to reconnect once he returned."
Does Wilson have a prediction? Could John Wayne win American Idol? The record company expert says:
"I think he will [go far], yes. That whole family is really a super, super family. They really stick together. They work hard, and he's got the talent. I think he has a very good chance."