Kendall musician finishes second in competition
By Tony Graf firstname.lastname@example.org August 14, 2012 10:06PM
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:26AM
MILLINGTON — Woody James gained more than 50,000 votes and got the loudest applause of the night for his performance of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”
However, the Kendall County musician’s performance on Aug. 5 landed him just short of the first-place mark with an opportunity to audition for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
James finished second in the top 5 competition at Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.
The winner was iLLest Vocals, a beat-boxing duo.
This weekend, the contest results were announced at the Taste of Arlington Heights. All five acts performed again, to showcase their talents. However, judging was based on the Aug. 5 performance.
During the earlier show, James played Cash’s 1955 classic, based on the judges’ selection.
“They picked a song they wanted me to do from all the performances that I did,” James said. “That was their favorite one.”
He said it was a great feeling to see the audience so enthusiastic.
“Woody James” is a stage name for James Woodraska, a singer and guitarist from Millington, northwest of Morris. His parents are Lowell and Judy Woodraska of Millington.
James plays country and old rock ’n’ roll, such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., Buck Owens and rock from the old WLS days.
James, along with the other top 40 performers from Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent, will return to the Metropolis in the future to play for talent scouts and booking agents.