|WRAL Anchor Named New Age Reporter’s Best New Artist
Leslie Also Honored for Best Christmas Album
WRAL-TV Anchor Bill Leslie proudly displays his NAR Award for Best New Artist.
For some time now Triangle viewers have known that WRAL-TV Anchor Bill Leslie does more than wake up the Raleigh-Durham area with the latest news. Most know that Leslie is an accomplished musician, but now the rest of the world is getting in on that secret.
Recently, radio program hosts around the world named Leslie as the Best New Artist of the year in the New Age Music category. The group also awarded Leslie with Best Holiday Album for his 2005 release “Christmas in Carolina.”
Radio music hosts in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia voted on the awards presented by New Age Reporter (NAR). NAR tracks New Age, Celtic and world music globally.
Leslie is no stranger to the NAR charts. His first album, “Peaceful Journey,” hit number one on the NAR charts in December 2004, and “Christmas in Carolina” peaked at number two in both November and December of 2005.
Leslie is currently working on a new album, “I Am A River,” which will be released in October of this year. One track on the album, “Tall Ships” will be the theme music for WRAL’s special coverage of the Tall Ships Festival in Beaufort & Morehead City this summer. The album also includes a song Leslie wrote for WRAL-TV Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner’s daughter, Reese.
Did You Know?
Bill Leslie is one of a quartet of famous musicians. Leslie roomed with New Age musician John Tesh after college and worked at radio station WKIX in Raleigh. The two are still very close friends and keep in touch. They played a benefit together last June for the Alzheimer’s Association in Raleigh.
Rick Dees, most famously of Rick Dees’ Weekly Top 40 on the radio, and Leslie became best friends while in college at UNC. And another close college friend of Leslie’s, Ken Lowe, created both HGTV and the Food Network.
All four worked together at WKIX and played on the station basketball team.
“The CD features tunes about North Carolina rivers which I covered and grew to love as WRAL’s environmental reporter in the late 1980’s and 1990’s,” said Leslie. “Three of the cuts are vocals. The other eleven cuts are instrumental featuring acoustic guitar, Celtic whistle, piano, violin and cello.”
Leslie is also working on a new song about Raleigh which he will perform at the September induction of the Raleigh Hall of Fame.
Leslie plays with a Celtic fusion group called “Bill Leslie & Lorica” and will begin a busy concert schedule with them this fall. They will play a Christmas concert with the NC Master Chorale on December 9th at Meymandi Hall in downtown Raleigh. The group will also perform at Campbell University, Cole Auditorium in Richmond County, Morganton, Cary, Tarboro, Roxboro and Pinehurst.