Tim Menzies (also known as Tim Mensy) has been known for writing songs such as Reba McEntire's "Love Needs a Holiday," Mark Chesnutt's "I Just Wanted You to Know," Doug Stone's "I Thought It Was You," Trisha Yearwood's "Nearest Distant Shore" among many others. Menzies himself has had released 2 major labelled country albums. Now he's back with his debut Christian record "His Way of Loving Me." We are so honored to catch up with Menzies for this Hallels Exclusive Interview:
Hallels: You have written so many hit songs for Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, George Jones, Shelby Lynne, Kenny Rogers and so many others. What are your top 3 most memorable songs you have had written? And why?
-"Mama Knows" by Shenandoah would be in my top 3 because it changed my career, and it has stood the test of time. It was not the first song I'd had recorded, but it was the first time I really got noticed in Nashville's songwriting community.
-"I've Been There" is in my top 3 because George Jones and I recorded that as a duet. By then, I had been blessed to have many songs recorded, but my singing with George Jones was a coming of age in the eyes of my Dad and who doesn't want to make his Dad proud?
-"His Way Of Loving Me" is in my top 3 because it is the manifestation of where I currently stand.
Hallels: For years you have gone by Tim Mensy. Why have revert back to Tim Menzies for this new record?
-Many years ago, the marketing team at CBS records thought altering the spelling of my last name would decrease the frequency with which my name is mispronounced. I could not argue that the "z" in my name has a tendency to cause dyslexia. Subsequently, the record I made for CBS did not garner the commercial success I had hoped for, but other artists heard the songs included on that album, and started recording them reprinting the altered spelling. I then signed with a new label and they thought it wise to keep the altered spelling since it had a degree of recognition. History repeated itself.
When I felt led to record my new Christian album, I also felt led to return to my family name.
Hallels: After a career in country music, why have you decided to record a Christian album? Is this a one off Christian record or will you be cutting more faith-based albums?
-Over the course of time, my Christian world view, and my writing, have become inseparable. In retrospect, this album is just the point of full merger. I haven't felt as though I am walking away from something, but rather that I am walking toward something. As for the future, I have an increasing passion to point fellow travelers to Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that God will anoint my passion. Hallels: I really like "The Grandpa That I Know." Patty Loveless has recorded it and you have cut it before on your "This Ol' Heart" album, why do want to re-cut it again?
-I kept feeling like "His Way Of Loving Me" was an autobiographical, chronological unfolding of my faith. I didn't choose or reject any titles based on their having been previously recorded or not. My Grandfather died when I was fourteen, and his was my first funeral. At that point in my life, I had not received Jesus, nor did I have any Church affiliation; so the whole process of a funeral presided over by a Pastor I'd never met made a profound impression on me. "The Grandpa That I Know" felt like a necessary structural step in the journey.
Hallels: Tell us a little about your faith, when did you come to know Christ?
-My wife grew up in the Church. When our son was very young, she felt compelled to raise him in the Church. I ignorantly thought I didn't need Church so they attended without me. One day my son, now 5 years old, asked me why I stayed home on Sunday mornings; I was immediately aware that anything I said could become his reason to imitate me. I started attending Church simply because I knew my son enjoyed it. I now know, God used my love for my son, to bring me to His. I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior while studying His Holy Word in the fall of 1991.
Hallels: Besides this new album, are you writing for any artists right now?
-For the most part, throughout my career, songs start from a point of personal observation or experience. I've not normally written with any particular artist in mind. As a professional songwriter, I think my approach has advantages and disadvantages. I tend to think the current market responds more favorably to songs specifically written with a particular artist in mind; that's probably the best business approach, but it hasn't really worked for me. I'm always writing in some form or another and praying I'm not the only one who wants to hear it!
Hallels: For our readers who love to purchase your new album or find out more about you, where can they go?
-CD Baby now has "His Way Of Loving Me" for sale on their web site. My web site, timmenzies.com should be up and running by the end of March and it will have links to CD Baby, ITunes, etc.
I pray this album will bless those who hear it, and that our Heavenly Father will use this music to touch hearts.