The country group known as South Sixty-Five -- or later as South 65 -- offers boy band lovers a chance to go country, but not completely country. There's enough pop and rock flavor in the group's music to draw in fans of the Backstreet Boys, *N Sync, and O-Town. Members of South Sixty-Five are singers Brenton "Brent" Michael Parker, Jerimy Pat Koeltzow, Alfred "Doug" Douglas Urie, Lance Aaron Leslie, and Stephen Phillip Parker. The roots of South Sixty-Five can be traced to Delious Kennedy, one of the members of the R&B vocal quartet All-4-One. With the backing of Rick Blackburn, president of Atlantic Records Nashville, Delious hand-picked the first two members of the new country group, a pair of talented brothers, Stephen and Brent. A nationwide talent search was conducted to find the other three pieces to the puzzle: Jerimy, Doug, and Lance. By 1997, the act was together, polished, and already performing.
Brothers Brent and Stephen were born and raised in California. Brent on March 8, 1977, Stephen on January 31, 1970. They both began singing professionally when they were only small children. It seemed the normal thing to do, since their family was a musical one, and performed as the Parker Gospel Group. The brothers went on separately to work with other groups before joining South Sixty-Five.
Doug was born on June 27, 1976, in Claremore, OK. He spent his childhood singing along with the country greats he listened to on the radio. He followed more practical steps at first, working as an automobile mechanic, but his love for music was stronger than his need for financial security. It was a need his father understood well. Sadly, just before Doug signed his first recording contract, his father died. Jerimy is from Hobart, OK. He was born on June 21, 1977. He grew up on a diet of country music television and dreams of stardom. At one time he worked as a construction worker. Besides being a singer, he can play the drums, guitar, and even piano. Lance is from Dallas, TX. He was born on November 14, 1976. His father's love for music was inherited by young Lance, who became a member of his first group when he was only in middle school. In high school he was part of the choir. When that choir was picked to do backup singing for none other than Garth Brooks, Lance decided that music and performing were the things he wanted to turn into a career. He spent time polishing his skills and getting comfortable on-stage while working in musical revues in an amusement park in Texas.
In 1998, South Sixty-Five recorded its self-titled debut album. Some critics thought the songs had a little too much pop style to them, but fans seemed to disagree. Still, when work on the sophomore album, Dream Large, started, the guys pulled in a little more country. The second album was released in 2001. In June of that same year, Doug Urie left the group to begin a solo career of his own. ~ Charlotte Dillon