Former TV reporter, Youngstown resident to release jazz album


Five of the seven songs on her new CD are originals.

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

VINDICATOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning Valley residents might remember Sharon Rae North, who was a reporter for WYTV-TV 33 in the early ’90s.

But they might not know that North is a jazz singer who regularly performs in the Atlanta area. She will release her first full-length album this month.

A 1980 graduate of Mooney High, North has a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and a master’s from the University of Akron.

After her 1991-95 stint at WYTV, North did freelance writing for ABC in New York before moving to Georgia. In Atlanta, she worked as a newswriter for CNN, and as a fill-in anchor for the Airport Network and CNN.com. She currently is communications specialist for the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the Centers for Disease Control.

Her new album, “The Way You Make Me Feel,” is the second time she’s recorded her music. In 2003, she released “The Things You Do To Me,” a four-song EP with two original songs and two covers. The CD got some airplay in Atlanta.

Of the seven songs on her new CD, five are originals.

Between working and performing at night, North stays busy. But somehow she also managed to squeeze in time to write a children’s book. “My Brand New Leg,” released in 2003, is about a young girl who loses a leg to cancer. It teaches acceptance and overcoming obstacles.

Music comes first

Music is her first love, North acknowledges.

“Singing is my absolute passion, and it’s the talent God gave me,” she said. “It’s always been a huge part of my life. As long as I can sing, everything is all right!”

North’s busy schedule doesn’t have much of a built-in cushion, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m always performing,” she said. “I sometimes have 25-30 dates on my calendar. So, it’s a high-wire act, between singing, working and promoting my book and overseeing the day-to-day operations of my company, Northstar Entertainment Group. Needless to say, I don’t get much sleep. Fortunately, when my mother retired, she moved to Georgia with me, so she helps out and even travels with me.

“But overall, it’s all worth it because I’m getting to do things that I love. And, that’s really what life is all about … balancing between the things you have to do and the things you love to do.”

“The Way You Make Me Feel” will be released Sept. 30. To purchase it, go to Northstarent.net, cdbaby.com or myspace.com/sraenorth.

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