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Country Star Darryl Worley Rediscovers Himself

Country singer Darryl Worley signed his first major record deal in 1999 and made his debut on country music's most famous stage, The Grand Ole Opry, the following year. Since then, he has become known for serious, melancholy songs. But on his latest album, he has a new perspective and a new sound. VOA's Larry London has more on this rising country star.

Darryl Worley's album "Here and Now" takes his music in a new musical direction with songs about good times and living life to its fullest. That new attitude is a throwback to his days playing local clubs and dances in his hometown of Pyburn, Tennessee.

He is also more willing to express himself as he did in the video for "Nothin' But a Love Thang." "I wasn't divorced yet at the time. We decided to do kind of a steamy [sexy] video -- not too carried away. It got pretty steamy, and my wife kind of freaked out [got upset] about it. My mom wasn't that crazy about the video, either."

Despite his growing fame, Worley's roots remain firmly planted in southern Tennessee. His charitable organization, The Darryl Worley Foundation, supports local and national charities, while his annual fundraiser, the Tennessee River Run, promotes the area he calls home. "When I first started this business, I told my management, 'One of my dreams is to someday be successful enough in what I'm doing, to maybe have a big show back home, like the June Jam or whatever -- those big mainstay shows -- and do it for charity, bring all the proceeds and let it help those from my local area where I grew up.'"

Worley has enjoyed great success on the country music charts including three number one songs.

As he takes his music in a new direction, he feels the best is yet to come. "I have grown a lot. I think we've spent a lot of time … I think everyone spends a lot of time worrying about things that you really can't control. I think for the most part, we just go along for the ride. I just get comfortable in my seat, and watch it all unfold."