Meet the Wilsons
Windsor native lands reality TV show on CMT
Kortney and Dave Wilson, this is your life. Imagine a full crew behind you when you’re filming the kids’ birthdays, family vacations, even changing the diapers.
Meet The Wilsons is a kind of Truman Show about workaday Nashville folk trying to juggle music careers with the demands of raising a family.
The half-hour weekly series on Canada’s Country Music Television (cable 37, ExpressVu 575, StarChoice 583) begins Sunday at 9 p.m.
The series was the branchild of Windsor-born Kortney Wilson, and her Ottawa native husband, Dave.
“The show came about because of the hardships we both faced pursuing music careers in Nashville,” said Kortney, 30.
“We needed to come up with an angle that would work for us and keep us together doing something we both enjoyed.”
Kortney was born Kortney Galerno here in Windsor, but moved away before she was two. When she was 18, she moved to Nashville with dreams of making it in country music.
She landed a record deal, but not before meeting husband-tobe Dave at a mutual friend’s house. He had moved south, too, in hopes of playing country music for a living.
“I had just shaved my head,” recalled Dave, 38. “I had basically given up on dating.”
Even though Kortney remembers thinking he looked like a killer, she saw something more.
“We fell in love almost imme- diately. I know it sounds corny, and even cornier now that we have three kids and have been married 11 years.”
Eventually, both signed recording and publishing deals with Nashville’s Lyric Street Records. But Kortney’s dream of having a family derailed their music careers. At first, anyway. “I spent four years with Lyric Street,” said Kortney. “But in Nashville, they frown on new artists having families.”
“Too much baggage,” said Dave.
That’s when they dreamed up Meet The Wilsons, inspired by other reality shows about musical families — The Osbournes and Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.
“We tried to pursue careers, but it was difficult because of what Dave says about the baggage of having kids,” said Kortney. “Obviously, when you have kids, things change dra- matically in your life. Everything becomes a lot harder.”
They got released from their record deals, and a year later, in 2004, their first son, Jett, was born. Two years after that, Sully came along.
Even before the kids were born, Dave and Kortney had been flipping houses to supplement their musical incomes. Kortney also had a brief stint on the TV soap, One Life To Live.
Having the boys wasn’t enough for her, though. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to adopt,” she said.
She even mentioned it to Dave on their first date.
“She told me, ‘I want two of my own, then I want to adopt.’ That’s exactly what happened.”
They applied for adoption initially in the summer of 2008. But just days before it was to go through, the birth mother decided to keep the child.
“It was devastating,” said Kortney. “It was like losing a member of the family.”
They went on another waiting list within weeks. This time, they were able to adopt an infant girl, Lennox.
The experience occupies the bulk of episodes four and five on Meet The Wilsons.
“Honestly, for me and Dave the best part of the show has been documenting that part of our lives,” Kortney said. “It has been an emotional rollercoaster.”
Music remains a key element in their lives. Dave’s Canadian musician friend Jeff Steele pops up to keep that dream alive.
And life in Music City, USA, is a constant struggle for the family of five.
“What we’re hoping to get across with the show,” said Kortney, “is that one of the best gifts you can give your kids is to still pursue your dreams.”