WILLIAMSON — Three words that could accurately sum up the life of Cathy Podunavac would be family, horses and religion.
The ninth and most recent artist signed by the Lyrick Talent Group Inc., sat down with the Daily News to discuss what made her, well, her.
“I’ve been singing all of my life,” the 50-year-old Christian vocalist from Logan said. “My dad was into country music and actually emceed the Buffalo Creek Disaster Benefit Concert back in the 70s at the Field House. He eventually became a preacher and sang gospel.”
A well-traveled spirit, Cathy said that she had sang in a number of places, such as a fair in Oklahoma which drew a crowd of 500 and an outdoor singing festival in an Ohio park, where she was the first gospel singer to have performed there.
“People came off of the trails to listen,” Cathy said.
After a performance, some artists might say it feels “amazing,” or “awesome,” to have the crowd applaud at your performance. Not Cathy.
“I’m honored,” she said. “To be in that moment, doing what I do, knowing that they got something from it.”
A registered nurse at Logan Regional Hospital for nine years, Cathy said that her singing has helped with her job. Specializing in geriatrics, she said that she sings for patients when she has a day off or sings at special events, like Christmas.
However, she had every intention of being a veterinarian instead. A lover of pets, Cathy said she had a “menagerie” of pets, including six horses, three dogs and a pair of cats. And as a youth, she was a horse thief.
“I would ‘borrow’ the neighbor’s horse and down the road I would go,” Cathy said with a laugh. “And since everybody knew everybody, my dad would get calls saying ‘Hey, your daughter’s at it again.’”
She also said that Tom Petty wrote a song about her.
“‘Free Fallin,’” Cathy said, laughing, “was written about me. “‘She loves Jesus, and horses too.’” She said that song would be played at her funeral.
But how does it feel to be a professional recording artist?
“Unbelievable,” Cathy said. “Pinch me.”
But she said she knew there was still a long road to go.
“I was taught that things don’t come easy, you have to work for them,” she said. “But know Jesus and watch it all be blessed.”
And she’s dreaming big. Within a year, she expects to see herself on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. And within five years?
“Part of the biggest music ministry,” Cathy said. “Not just myself, but with others, Toby Mac, Yolanda Adams, Nicole C. Mullen, taking the world by storm.”
And once she makes it to the big time, she said that she would use her music career to open a Christian-based horse ranch and riding stable for troubled youth.
But for now, she’s sticking with singing. She began recording her first demo CD yesterday and will be performing at a number of upcoming festivals and church revivals.
With her at Daily News’ office was her husband, Scott Podunavac, whom she calls her “honey man.” Her husband, Cathy said, was her number one support and number one fan.
“I’m proud of her and what she’s doing,” Scott said.
A mother of three and grandmother, Cathy was asked to describe her life in a single sentence. She was able to do so in a mere three words.
“I am complete.”