South Molton country singer off to Nashville

Joseph Bulmer

Hairdresser Carol Penfold, alias Miss Carol Ray, is pursuing her dream of a full time singing career in the UK and across the Atlantic.

A South Molton hairdresser is hanging up her scissors as she bids to hit the big time on both sides of the pond as a country and western singer.

Carol Penfold, aged 44, who owns Coco’s hair salon in South Street, has auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and is a regular visitor to Nashville, the spiritual home of country music and the famous Grand Ole Oprey.

As Miss Carol Ray, her first CD Songs from the Studio is out over here on Friday, classic covers of heartfelt ballads through to toe tapping tunes and through her many friends and admirers in Nashville Carol says she hopes to launch a full time singing career once more.

She has been singing since she was five-years-old, but when she and husband Raymond had their first child she decided to put her musical ambitions on hold despite some promising recording sessions and feedback.

But now her three children Nadine, Tinita and Ray have left school she is determined to pursue her dream.

“Now it is time to rekindle my career,” she said.

“Raymond and I have been going to Nashville for eight years and I have made many friends in then music industry. One, musician and songwriter Frankie Staton, encouraged me to go back into the studio and release some tracks.”

On a recent trip to Nashville she said she had performed at the ranch of famous country singer Loretta Lyn and the people there “loved it.”

“I’m hoping to divide my time between Nashville and North Devon,” she said.

“New songs have just been sent to me, written specially for me, so when I go back in about eights weeks I’ll record them over there. I want to get my own image now, I don’t want to go on singing other peoples’ songs, I want to record my own and get them out there.”

Carol’s new CD Songs from the Studio is available at Coco’s salon in South Street or from her website at

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