Singer/Songwriter Ernie Penley started his musical journey at the early age of 8 as a drummer. He studied drums and percussion throughout junior high and high school. During those years he played in various bands - Rock Bands, Jazz Ensembles and finally Country Bands. It was during a Christmas break in high school that Ernie bought his first guitar. His Uncle Jay Penley taught him the first three chords (G-C-D). It wasn't long before Ernie started writing country songs. After high school Ernie played drums and sang with a band that led to first place awards and appearances with Grand Ole Opry performers. The band also played backup for many of these stars. Ernie also started his broadcasting career during this time. That career lead to several stations and positions (Music Director, Program Director and Station Manager). In 1983 Ernie started and built a radio station. He sold the station in 1994.
In December 1979 Ernie received a phone call from the manager of an up and coming country band. The manager said the group wanted to talk to Ernie about taking the drummer position. Ernie talked to the group on three different occasions over the next few months. They offered him the position but Ernie wasn't sure he wanted to travel so much, especially with a new baby at home. They told Ernie if he changed his mind to join them on April 2nd, 1980 in Myrtle Beach, SC. He didn't and on April 3rd Alabama hired Mark Herndon as their new drummer.
Ernie started singing in church and with several gospel groups. With John's River Quartet he wrote and sang lead on their two 2013 Singing News Top 80 hits, "J-E-S-U-S Spells Love" and "(Old Fashioned) Holy Ghost Revival". In January 2014 Ernie started his solo singing career. Two songs from Ernie's debut CD landed on the National Charts with "Jim Was Saved Tonight" reaching #32 in December 2014 and "Power Surge" debuted at #60 in April 2015. Ernie said, "I praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing me to use the talents and gifts He has given me!
The first country CD "Around & Around It Goes" was released globally in 2017. The title single was released in early 2018 and received positive reviews and national airplay in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain,
South Africa and Austria.
A new CD is set for release soon with a new international single release scheduled by the end of 2020. This CD of original songs is completely different than any other Ernie has recorded. With a Christian inspired premise, the music styles vary greatly.