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Pocahontas Countian's song about home state goes viral

Watch Wyatt Turner's video of his song, "You Remind Me of West Virginia," here.

 CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pocahontas County-born singer and songwriter Wyatt Turner knew he'd touch a nerve when he released a homegrown video of his new song, "You Remind Me of West Virginia," but the 24-year-old aspiring country star had no idea the tune would soon go viral.

"As soon as I tweeted it and put it on Facebook, it just caught on fire," Turner said via cellphone from a parking lot in White Sulphur Springs. "It's like everyone in the state is watching it."

First posted two days ago on YouTube, "You Remind Me of West Virginia" had been viewed 47,000 times by Wednesday afternoon, retweeted over and over on Twitter and shared numerous times on Facebook.

"I was out of West Virginia and missing home," Turner said of the song. Inspired in part by his fiancée, Turner said he wanted to make a comparison between her unadorned, natural beauty and the natural beauty of his home state.

The simple video features Turner sitting in a room with an acoustic guitar. Lyrics include the lines "You're wild and wonderful, like a breeze I've always known" and "You're my country road, oh girl, you take me home."

"I knew West Virginia would like the song," Turner said, but even he was surprised about how much attention the tune would get around the country and internationally.

"It's all over everything, isn't it?" he said. "It's really taken off."

Turner grew up in Stony Bottom, a small town near Cass and Green Bank, in Pocahontas County. He started writing songs seriously in high school, writing the words while his friend came up with guitar parts and helped write the melodies. About a year ago, Turner learned to play the guitar, and now writes the music himself.

"The first time I ever sang in front of a crowd was my junior year in high school," Turner said. He took first place in the West Virginia High School Idol contest, a multi-county talent competition.

The experience convinced Turner that he had a talent others might appreciate. He moved to Clarksville, Tenn., just outside Nashville, to pursue a recording career.

A lot of aspiring musicians do that, but Turner's manager is paying for his recording sessions, and Turner is about finished with his first CD.

Turner previously released another YouTube video for his song "I'm Too Country For That," featuring a highly polished Nashville recording of the tune set to footage of Turner's recording sessions and scenes of Turner's home state.

Turner is about to move back to West Virginia, but he and his management company are convinced he'll soon get his big break.

"Several [record] labels have shown interest," he said.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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