That time Allegany Magazine inspired a country song

In tune with Brooke Ansley

 Do you remember that experience of being on the cover of Allegany Magazine? Was it a good one?

I remember it so well because it was one of the first (and coolest) opportunities I had after winning Miss Maryland.  Allegany County was always so welcoming with opening arms, they truly support the Miss Maryland Organization in so many ways and being put on the cover of Allegany Magazine was just one of the many ways they’ve supported the organization.  

What do you remember most about it?

As I’m thinking about it now, the quote that was put on the cover along with my photo, “Not your Grandaddy’s beauty queen” became a motto of mine.  In fact, I turned that quote into a country song I wrote.  I played it live all over Hollywood with a full band in many of my shows.  The song is about breaking the glass ceiling, being proud of your voice and what you have to offer, and owning your beauty both inside and out.  The song goes, “she may be wearin’ pearls, but she will run this world, just wait and see -- She ain’t your Granddaddy’s beauty queen.”    I guess you could say that article in Allegany Magazine helped me define who I was as a Miss Maryland.  I always felt like I wasn’t quite a pageant girl, but somehow it found me, and ultimately it gave me a voice. 

What are some things you have been up to since we last caught up with you?

In 2012 I moved to Los Angeles where I began songwriting and pursuing music as a country singer/songwriter under the name Brooke Ansley.  It’s a tough industry, but I was able to record a few of my own songs and release them on the major platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and even TikTok. I have a recent single titled “Another Hit” out now, as well as a four-song EP titled “First Rodeo.” I like to think that I developed a bit of street-smarts from being Miss Maryland, and I’ve used that savviness to create, record, and film songs and music videos on low budgets here in LA.  Outside of music, I developed a passion for health, wellness, and mental health through meditation and yoga.  I’m now a 200-hour certified yoga teacher with a focus on corporate yoga.  I love to work with business professionals to develop a meditation and yoga practice as a supplement to work, to help them find mental clarity, stress release, and focus. I discovered this passion while working as the Director of Events for a non-profit in Beverly Hills and found that meditation and yoga were powerful ways to decompress from the stress than can accompany a demanding job.  

What is it that you would love to do next?

I want to get back to songwriting.  The last year of my life has involved a move to a new location along with career changes, and when things get a bit tough, often the first thing that goes out the window is creativity.  I’d love to start writing songs again and recording, so keep your ears peeled for new music!

 What is something about you that people would be really surprised to learn?

Two years ago I was asked to film a segment for Tinder (yes, the dating app) with Jennifer Lopez that would be used as part of a YouTube advertising campaign.   I reluctantly agreed because, well, it’s Tinder. But who can say no to JLo?   When I arrived, it was a full-on commercial shoot in Hollywood – hair, makeup, giant crew, the whole bit – I was in my glory!  Jen and I filmed completely candid for an hour, with her swiping from my Tinder profile and helping me “find love”.  I had no idea how popular the segment would be, but it ended up getting 7.5 million views on YouTube and was blasted on E! News.   Now, if I could just get 7.5 million people to watch my “Whiskey Wednesday” music video on YouTube.

 Do you still feel a connection to Allegany County?

Absolutely. My parents met in college at Frostburg State University, so I suppose you could say if it wasn’t for Allegany County, I wouldn’t exist.  I spent last Thanksgiving with my family in Deep Creek Lake and it was one of the most memorable holidays my family has ever had. I actually stopped in Cumberland on my way and it made me think of the train station and photoshoot we did so many years back for the cover of Allegany Magazine.  It was the first time I had been back in nine years.  

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