Mercer Music at Capricorn Announces Recording Session with Betty Cantrell, Jonathan Wyndham at Historic Studio


MACON – Mercer University continues to raise awareness and funds to restore Macon’s legendary Capricorn Studios by partnering with Mercer alumnus and Grammy-nominated producer Steve Ivey for a recording session on Dec. 7. This will be the first official recording session at Capricorn since the building returned to Mercer’s ownership last month.

Partnering with Macon radio station 100.9 FM, “The Creek,” artists Betty Cantrell and Jonathan Wyndham will each record a track that has deep associations with Macon. Cantrell will record Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” and Wyndham will record the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.”

Cantrell, the Warner Robins native and Mercer student who was crowned Miss America 2016, is currently recording her first country music EP. She will now have the distinguished honor of being the first artist to record in the Mercer Music at Capricorn studio.

Wyndham is a South Carolina native and former contestant on the hit television show “The Voice.” He has just completed his first EP and is excited for the opportunity to record a song by a band that helped inspire his musical career.

The recording session will take place Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 3-5 p.m. Former Capricorn session musician Paul Hornsby will support the artists on keyboard, along with other local talents, including Charles Davis, Rob Evans, Leroy Wilson and students from Mercer’s Townsend School of Music.

Ivey is a Mercer alumnus who has made a name for himself in Nashville as a multi-Emmy, Grammy and Dove award-winner and nominee. His music has been in the Billboard Top 10 sales charts for an astounding 1,000 weeks, with over 10 million units sold, including music he has produced and written. Top artists he has produced music for include Dolly Parton, Aaron Neville, Willie Nelson and Vince Gill, among others.

Mercer Music at Capricorn’s mission is to create a space where innovation meets preservation. Mercer Music is committed to maintaining the legacy and “vibes” of the original studio while advancing music education, incubation and putting Macon back on the map as a world-class place to create great music.

About Mercer Music at Capricorn

Capricorn Studio, co-founded by the late Phil Walden, a Mercer alumnus, during its heyday recorded such acts as the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop and the Marshall Tucker Band and was the epicenter of Southern Rock.

For more than a decade, the facility sat vacant and fell into disrepair until it was purchased and stabilized by NewTown Macon with a grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation. In 2010, it was named one of Georgia’s most endangered historic buildings. Along with local developers, the historic Capricorn Studio is now part of the largest market-rate residential development in the history of downtown Macon.

Mercer University has committed to raising an additional $1 million to complete restoration of the historic structure, which will be known as Mercer Music at Capricorn. Gifts may be made online at

About Betty Cantrell

How does someone go from growing up in a doublewide trailer outside of Warner Robins, Georgia, to becoming Miss America 2016? Well it sure ain’t “luck.” At a young age, Betty began singing with the musical influences of Linda Ronstadt and country music, singing songs like “Harper Valley PTA” with her dad’s band. Betty began taking professional vocal and stage lessons at 14, continued studying in Mercer University’s music program and never looked back with her non-stop drive and determination. Due to her singing talent, it was suggested to her by a friend to enter a pageant at age 19. Although she had never entered a pageant in her life, she stepped up and just 24 months later, after just three pageants, she was crowned Miss America 2016.

Now this has become just part of the growing story as Betty moves to the next step with the same determination and confidence in her career as a singer and country music entertainer. Betty’s family and fiancée Spencer Maxwell (a graduate of The Citadel) both have deep roots in the military, and due to her experience as Miss America, she has performed around the world for the military’s USO tours. Her first recording and video reflect her values and heart for the military with the song “Soldier On,” available soon on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.

About Jonathan Wyndham

While it makes a good media hype story, “overnight music success” just doesn’t happen, because it starts typically with a young kid picking up an instrument or singing. Jonathan spent many days playing electric guitar and developing his style and technique as a country music “guitar slinger.” He recently completed a degree in commercial songwriting, and then “overnight success” happened when he walked out and sang on the hit show “The Voice.” All four judges wanted to work with Jonathan, and he made his choice and survived a while longer on the show. This fall, Jonathan has been the guitar slinger on the opening act slot for the national tour of Pentatonix. He has just completed his first EP, which is available internationally, as well as videos for his popular songs “Six Pack and 20 Bucks” and “Beach House.” Recording “Can’t You See” at Capricorn is an honor to his musical heritage and a great stepping stone on the path of “overnight success.”