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As a young man, Zack Zerkle split his time between working in oil fields and finding ways to break into jailhouses all over the country. Eventually, Zack went to spend some quality time with Texas Department of Corrections. “It was while I was in prison that I decided to clean up my act. I figured i ought to learn how to play the guitar so I could showcase my true passion for singing.” ZZ
Zack was released in 2008. He started college and also started dating Zelpha, who would become his wife. While Zack was rebuilding his life, his uncle Stanley Schrank – a honky-tonk singer, accomplished songwriter, and Zack’s boyhood hero – was diagnosed with cancer, a terminal diagnosis Zack devoted the next couple of years to helping Stanley at his country place – “Stanley had done time also, and I reckon I assumed he would be a comforting soul to hang out with when I was released.” – ZZ
Soon, with his new wife and stepdaughter, Zack settled near Austin. Here, he decided to try to make a name for himself as a singer. “About the time that I had a set of songs together to go try out on folks, I got the call that my uncle had been hospitalized and likely wouldn’t be coming home. I went to the hospital and sat for a week or two until it was done and pondered about the music business and whether or not I should take a stab at it.” – ZZ
Stanley Schrank never made it back home. He died in August 2011. After the memorial service Zack was given some paperwork by his aunt. Riding back to the farm from the church, Zack looked over the document. It was Stanley’s will. Without ever announcing it, Stanley had quietly left him the rights to all his music.
With reverence for the songs and deep respect for the man, Zack Zerkle set out on the mission that compels him today – to record the music that was bequeathed to him. The songs you’ll hear on this site are the very first studio recordings – simple demos, if you will – of some of Zack’s favorite Stanley songs. Stanley Schrank’s musical catalog is deep, and Zack Zerkle’s deep and comforting voice is the perfect medium to bring these timeless songs into the present day.
Now that you know where this music, and the singer, are coming from, please take a listen.What you’ll hear reflects a deep family bond that spans generations and connects a world-weary songwriter and a young performer in his prime.
“This music needs to be heard. I don’t expect anything, but I would be a sorry-ass nephew if I didn’t take a solid shot at getting these great songs out there.” – Zack Zerkle