The 'Singing Lawman': CHS alumnus makes country music mag cover

Artie Rodriguez

Crestview High alumnus Artie Rodriguez — Country Music People's featured performer for March — says traditional country music inspires him, and that's the style he sings. Lower right, Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson Jr. presents Artie Rodriguez — law enforcement officer by day, country singer by night — with his lieutenant's badge in 2011.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 28, 2014 at 07:50 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Buck Owens famously sang "On the Cover of the Music City News." For a 1988 Crestview High School alumnus, being featured on the cover of an English country music magazine is just about as prestigious.

By day, Artie Rodriguez keeps residents safe. By night, he serenades them with country music. The twain met when he was the featured cover artist on Country Music People magazine's March issue.

Rodriguez, a Walton County Sheriff's Office lieutenant, is a traditional country music singer, and by "traditional," he means steel guitars, fiddles and nary a hint of rock.

"I play the opry style traditional country," Rodriguez said. "I was raised up with traditional country like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, George Strait, Freddy Fender, Ray Price: The real country music."

He said few local venues play the music he loves.

"In this area ... you’ve got the tourists and they want to hear more of the rock and roll, beachy, Margaritaville kind of music,” Rodriguez told CMP editor Duncan Warwick.

The 2011 release of Rodriguez's first album, "She Loves George Jones," brought him to Warwick's attention, leading to such a large following in the magazine's motherland that it's boosted Rodriguez to star status in England.

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