by Millie Voliva-Wiggs
July 2019 — He has built his career around the arts — musician, magician, actor and singer. It all started with his grandfather, the late Roy Burcher, and the harmonica. He honed his skills with precision and before long his craft would intersect with his art.
For Jeremy Parks, art vs. life is all he’s ever know.
From a very early age Parks showed there was another side to him — the stage life.
“When he’s on stage, he’s a different person,” Grandfather Burcher once reveal about his grandson.
At the tender age of 4, Burcher was trying to learn the bluegrass song, “Rolling in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” his grandson began to sing, absorbing every word.
After thinking about what just happened, a light bulb went off in his head and he encouraged the youngster to take the stage. The 4-year-old Parks had already been practicing for this moment.
“I would stand on my grandfathers bed, look in the mirror, start singing what I had heard in the family band, blow the harmonica and then clap for myself,” Parks disclosed.
The rest as they say is history.
He went on to sing for and with his grandfather and his grandfather’s best friend,
the legendary Charlie McCoy from the Million Dollar Band. As the music director of
Hee-Haw, McCoy invited the young Parks to play on stage with him, which he did
from age five thru his mid-teen years. Those performances would include opening
for other country music legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and
He went on to include “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis in his own show.
The cowboy’s bluesy twang is a style vocally inspired by the electric influence
of Frank Sinatra emerged with his traditional country idols.
Parks continued to perform across Virginia locally with his grandfather
including the WCMS radio live country weekly music show and at the
legendary “Gong Show” at the County Line with Carolina Charlie and
the Heavy Cowboys.
“I had several first place wins,” he boasts. “I remember Carolina
Charlie giving me a stool to stand on so I could be as tall as the other
two that got second and third place.”
His grandfather was proud.
Parks grew up admiring his harmonica-playing grandfather and
at the age of 10, he was inspired to take up the harmonica as
well. You could say the torch was passed from one generation
to the other.
While he went on to learn guitar and keyboards, harmonica
was his instrument of choice — a skill he has refined for nearly
At age 16, Jeremy was featured on the national nightly news
with Peter Jennings as one of the youngest professional
harmonica players in the US.
During those high school years, Jeremy was heavily involved in
choir and theater, taking on lead rolls of several productions and
by his junior year he became fascinated with the illusions of magic.
He also recruited 4 of the best singers he knew from his high school
and formed an A Cappella group called the Skool Boyz. The group
quickly gained notoriety and would perform all over the east coast,
opening for national acts.
Skool Boyz would go on to record three songs produced by Leon
Sylvers from the 70’s platinum group (The Sylvers) and in 1993, they
were invited to perform on The Black Entertainment Television
show “Teen Summit.”
When the group disbanded in 1994, Parks continued his singing
career as a performer at the Williamsburg based amusement park
— Busch Gardens for several years.
It was there, he tells us, that his love of magic, acting and singing
intertwined. “I actually did a one man magical musical show at
Busch Gardens called ‘The Enchanted Laboratory’ where I played
the character Northrop — highlighting acting, singing, dancing
In the summer of 1997 landed a job singing and do voiceovers
for cartoons produced by CBN (The Christian Broadcasting
Network) before moving to Nashville after college to follow his
dreams of recording and working as a studio demo singer and
Parks ventured away from music for a few years before starting
his own karaoke business. The singer found his way back to
Virginia, back into the studio and back to his roots as evident in
his upcoming album of the same name.
“Roots” is a project in progress and he has released four singles
from the album that are available on his website including the
title cut and “Virginia Is Still For Lovers.”
The singer admits he’s ready to complete his music goals.
“I want to finish the album project, have it on the country
billboard, and perform my songs on tour.”
His dream destination to perform any where in the world
would take him back to Nashville.
“I would love to perform at the Grand Old Opry,” he beams.
… and the beats goes on.
winning 1st place in the talent show.