Although his first album, One Voice, won't be in stores until June 20, young Billy Gilman may cut two more before the year is out. A Christmas collection is firmly in the works for the pre-teen troubadour, and his producers are considering recording a second studio album.
Gilman, who turns 12 on Wednesday (May 24), is currently performing with Asleep at the Wheel on the George Strait tour. His recently released debut single, "One Voice," has been bounding up Soundscan's Top Country Singles sales chart, jumping last week from the No. 12 to the No. 6 spot. The sales boost is apparently the result of his crowd-rousing performance May 3 on the Academy of Country Music awards show, which aired in prime time on CBS-TV.
"The Christmas record is definitely in the plans," confirms Scott Johnson, assistant to Gilman's co-producer, Don Cook. "The way they're talking, it looks like [he will begin recording] some time in late June or early July. As far as another studio album goes, that has not been decided on yet. I'm sure it's a possibility. But as far as them saying, 'Yeah, we're definitely going to do this,' that's not been decided."
Gilman will perform June 12 on the Sony show at International Country Music Fan Fair and is scheduled to make his first Grand Ole Opry appearance June 24. On June 28, he will be featured in the TNN special, Class of 2000, co-hosted by teen superstar LeAnn Rimes and actor Andrew Keegan.
Since Epic Records announced the signing of the promising youngster from Rhode Island, the most common question has been, "What if he hits and his voice changes?" A backlog of recordings made at his "prime" might make this a moot point.
Besides Cook, the other producers of Gilman's first album are Blake Chancey and David Malloy.