August 27, 2014

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Grafton couple wants to end contest on a high note

GRAFTON — Scott and Mary Joss know their music lyrics — well enough to get a shot on the national stage.

Since May, the Grafton couple have belted out the lyrics to various tunes at local establishments during karaoke night, including the Harry Buffalo in Elyria and the LaPorte Inn.

JASON MILLER / CHRONICLE
Mary Joss sings “Anyway” by Martina McBride on Aug. 5 during the 2007 National Talent Quest Singing and Performance Contest at the Lorain Palace Theatre in Lorain.

Scott, 29, prefers to sing songs from the country group Rascal Flatts, while Mary, 25, can hit the high notes like country music star Martina McBride.

When they aren’t singing, Scott works as an industrial knife sharpener, and Mary is a licensed cosmetologist. But the couple still has dreams of seeing their names in lights.

After winning local karaoke contests, the couple was selected to perform at the 2007 National Talent Quest Singing and Performing Contest at the Lorain Palace Theatre on Aug. 5 in the male and female country and western categories.

All of their hard work and dedication memorizing lyrics to their favorite tunes paid off — they both placed first in their categories.
Soon, Scott and Mary, who have been married for eight years, will be representing Ohio by singing their way to a stage in Laughlin, Nev., to compete in the seventh annual National Karaoke Contest. The contest takes place Sept. 23 through Sept. 30. The top prize is $3,500 and a trophy,

With television shows such as “Nashville Star” and “Singing Bee” testing a person’s ability to sing and perform, Scott and Mary have their talent down to a science. In fact, during the contest at the Palace Theatre, neither of them looked at the words flashing before them on the screen.

“He worked it (that night at the Palace),” Mary said, smiling at her husband. “You were great.”

In addition to winning trophies this year, they were awarded certificates allowing them time in a local recording studio. This will be the second CD Scott has recorded. His first CD, which he recorded in Tennessee, includes songs from Rascal Flatts, such as “I Melt” and “Bless the Broken Road.”

STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
Mary and Scott Joss, of Grafton, with trophies they won for National Talent Quest Singing and Performance Contest at the Lorain Palace Theatre.

For this husband and wife singing duo, being awarded a spot in the national contest has been surreal.

“I was shocked,” Mary said.

As for her husband, Scott was excited because this meant he is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a country music star. Scott admits he would like to break into the music industry, but it’s tough.

“I have been singing on and off since I was 8 years old. I would like to be a lead singer for a band,” Scott said.

But his wife added that most bands are looking for a rugged and twangy Toby Keith country sound these days, rather than Scott’s voice, which tends to be more of a crisp and clear country tone like that of Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox.

However, in the end, it’s just all about having a good time, Scott said.