By Helena Rodriguez
She’s a multi-platinum selling songwriter. Her music has been featured in the movie, “Eight Seconds.” Her story has appeared in “Third Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul.”
And yet many people have never heard of Jana Stanfield.
Stanfield — a Clovis native and graduate of Eastern New Mexico University, who is often called “the most famous singer-songwriter you never heard of” — returns to Portales to headline the second annual Jana Stanfield Concert and Youth Rally on Saturday.
The event will be held at the Portales High School Performing Arts Center.
The youth rally, from 2-5 p.m., is free to children in sixth grade and up and will include workshops in poetry, mime, songwriting, art and puppetry.
The concert, which will follow the rally at 6 p.m., costs $5 a person for the general public or $3 for ENMU students.
Stanfield became a triple platinum recording artist and songwriter in 1991 when Reba McEntire recorded her song, “If I Had only Known.” In 2000, Stanfield, whose music also has been heard on TV’s “Oprah Winfrey Show,” “20/20” and “Entertainment Tonight,” became the first-ever artist to be invited to appear on the Grand Ole Opry as a result of an international Internet popularity contest.
According to Judy Hall, one of the event organizers who is also a cousin to Stanfield, it’s not just about the music when Stanfield performs.
“Jana’s gonna touch every person listening to her, in some shape of form,” Hall said. “Jana has music with a mission.”
Stanfield sings a mix of contemporary and religious music. In fact, one of her songs, “Enjoy the Ride,” made it to the Americana Top 40 charts in the mid-90s.
Stanfield is also a motivational speaker and, after successfully launching her own record company, she wrote a book, “The Musician’s Guide to Making and Selling Your Own CDs and Cassettes.”
Known as the “Queen of Heavy Mental,” Stanfield call her music, “psychotherapy you can dance to,” according to a news release. Among her popular hit singles are “Bitter or Better,” “I’m Not Lost, I’m Exploring,” “What is Mine Will Find Me” and “What Would I Do Today If I Were Brave.”
Stanfield believes it’s up to each individual to provide himself or herself with a balanced mental diet. “Music has the power to reprogram our thinking, even when we’re not thinking about it,” she said in a press release.
During her years at ENMU, Stanfield worked on-air at KENW-TV. After graduating from ENMU, she worked for a television station in Waco, Texas, and later for KOB-TV in Albuquerque. In 1985, she followed her dreams and went to Nashville.
Prior to the concert, there will be a pre-show featuring the Portales High School Chorale, the Farwell High School Band, Victory Life Singers and The Dance Academy Performing Company.
Tickets for the concert are available at Master’s Books & Gifts in Clovis, Southwest Books & More, First Presbyterian Church and at the door.