"All About Ava"
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Ava grew up singing in her oldest brother's rock 'n' roll band. When a new song would come out, she'd buy the record, learn the lyrics, and go around the neighborhood "putting on shows". I had one of those True Tone record players and I'd act like I was Brenda Lee, singing for anyone who would listen.
Country music can be catching though, and each morning when Ava awoke, her father would be in the kitchen with the radio tuned to a Country station. Pretty soon Ava started going to the WNOX Auditorium on Saturday nights where an all Country Music show was performed. Ava was hooked! Actually, two good things happened in the early 70's. One was that Ava became a Country convert, and secondly, Ava met her future husband to be Roger Sullivan who was the drummer in the band.
Ava began singing professionally at age 10. She joined a local Country Music television show at age 14 in Knoxville and, stayed with the show for four years. The show was carried on thirty television stations which provided great exposure for Ava. She then began performing around the Knoxville area and began even recording records locally. Then Ava's mother, who was an avid fan of the Lawrence Welk show, suggested that Ava send Welk her demos and records. Welk was well known for helping young acts.
Ava wrote to Mr. Welk in 1973. A couple or months later Ava received a letter from Mr. Welk telling her that if she was ever on the West coast to come and do the show. That's all it took, Roger, Ava's husband made the call to the Lawrence Welk office,
Mr Welk was in the office that day in October of 1973 and suggested that Roger & Ava meet him at a golf tournament in Nashville. They met on the golf course, went into a tent on the grounds of the golf course where Ava auditioned and then in February of 1974, Ava did her first show and Mr. Welk hired her right there on the air as a regular.
Ava pursued her recording career and she experienced success with her recording of "Waitin At The End Of Your Run" which was a truck driving song. The song did well and then she scored big on the charts with a new song. "Bucket To The South" reached #13 on the Billboard Charts, and #12 in Canada.
Being part of a nationally watched television show, and having a hit record, opened many doors for Ava. She's appeared on many television shows such as: "Nashville Now", "Music City Tonight", "Crook & Chase Show", and made two appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.
When the Live Lawrence Welk tapings came to an end in 1982, Ava and Roger decided to move back to Knoxville, Tennessee. They formed their own Country band, purchased their own bus, and toured all over the United States and Canada, doing what they love the most, music.
In 1990 Ava & Roger decided to go into partnership with Dick Dale, and open their own theatre in Pigeon Forge, TN. For six years the Rainbow Theater was a popular spot in Pigeon Forge, TN. "We had a blast!", said Ava, "One of my favorite parts of the show was when Roger and I did a comedy act pretending were were Sonny and Cher singing 'I Got You Babe.'. It was halarious and then Roger would do his drum solo 'Wipeout'." The theater had a great run. From 1997 to 2000 Ava worked at the Welk Theatre in Branson, MO.
Ava still tours with "The Live Lawrence Welk Show Tour" featuring Stars from the Lawrence Welk Show. Fun times and tours have included her place with two great shows one being "The Wunerful Women" and also "The Grand Ladies" show. Ava is still very active on the road doing shows across the US and the Lawrence Welk Show is still in reruns on PBS. Some of her most fun and recent tours include her monthly shows with the "Big South Fork Opry" and her newest project with "The Royal Ladies of Country Music".
One of the most exciting things that happened to Ava was hearing from the great legend Andy Griffith. They have exchanged CD's and talk to each other several times. Ava's comments regarding Andy Griffith, " I never thought I would hear from such a great Star as Andy, if I never do anything else in this business, that's the highlight of my career, and when he told me I had one of the most beautiful voices he ever heard, that was the icing on the cake. The Good Lord has blessed my life so much, to Him goes all the Glory.
Ava's life is centered around her strong Christian faith and her testimant to life has never burned brighter in her love for the Lord. Ava is a real sweetheart in real life and she is humble and down to earth. She has a wonderful sence of humor and gladly anounces her love for Jesus Christ.
Her "All Time Gospel Favorites" album speaks volumes starting with 'The Unclouded Day' and ending with 'The Old Rugged Cross'. Eighteen wonderful songs full of inspiration tesitfy to her wonderful spirit.
Today, Ava is still singing and booking dates for your entertainment pleasure.