It’s no surprise Randy Nolen became a singer/songwriter. He was born and raised in Nashville, the son of a musician.
When dad wasn’t looking, little Randy would pick up pop’s guitar and play. At age 8, his dad gave him an old guitar and a handmade amplifier.
“The guitar became my best friend, I related to it and it gave me an easy way to express myself,” Randy said.
In junior high and high school, Randy played at many of the school dances and banquets.
“Dad warned me not to play music,” Randy said. “He said music separates you from others, especially those who didn’t play.”
That certainly didn’t stop him. The more his dad pushed him to study and think about college and his future, the more Randy played. “I think he was trying to protect me from a certain lifestyle that many rock stars had during that time. I mean, it was the ‘70s”
There, in the middle of the Music City scene of Nashville, Randy’s talent blossomed. He began to play more with area musicians.
He worked on projects with well-known Nashville musicians Brent Mason, Wayne Moss and others. He filled in as a guitarist for artists like Lorrie Morgan, Barefoot Jerry, and he jammed in a studio session with Toy Caldwell from The Marshall Tucker Band.
“Once people in Nashville knew you could play, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to get the call saying, ‘Hey Lorrie Morgan needs a guitar player tonight, can you fill in?’” he said. “My answer usually was, ‘Yes.’”
In the early 80s, he began working for Fantasma Productions, a concert promoter in South Florida. That gig led to him opening for big names throughout Florida and the Southeast.
He moved to Eustis and opened his music store “Music N Stuff,” played shows locally and began to teach music. He is known most for his amazing guitar solos which led to his nickname “Guitar Randy.”