Lionel Cartwright was a multi-talented performer and songwriter whose career took off in the late '80s. Like his peers Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, and Alan Jackson, Cartwright favored a contemporary country-pop sound. His love of music began during childhood piano lessons; Cartwright also went on to master the guitar and eight other instruments. At age ten, he began performing at community gatherings in his hometown of Glendale, WV. While in high school, he was a regular on a country radio show in Milton, WV, also appearing on Columbus, OH's Country Cavalcade. After joining the Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia as a pianist, he was soon promoted to performer status, and from there became the show's musical director.