A Kid Named Timberlake

Justin Timberlake, 11, belts out “When a Man Loves a Woman” during a taping session in August 1992 at Ardent Studios in Memphis. An executive for Columbia and Epic Records asked Justin to make the recording after seeing the sixth-grader at a talent contest. (Thomas Busler/The Commercial Appeal)

August 20, 1992

His baby-blue eyes beam.
His mound of golden blond hair sweeps back.
His wide, pearly smile flashes.
His trained soprano voice rolls, trills, yodels and twangs.
And girls' hearts throb, they say, when he works the crowd from a stage.

That was reporter Thomas Bailey Jr.’s account of his first encounter with 11-year-old Justin Timberlake as the Jeter Elementary School sixth-grader recorded a few songs at Ardent Studios.

Looking back: Reflecting on that moment now, Bailey said he’d been contacted by Millington Mayor George Harvell, on behalf of the youngster’s proud grandfather who was seeking some publicity. Could he do a story because Justin had just won a Nashville talent contest?
"Looking back, I’m glad I said yes."

Landers- Center
Landers- Center