Ashley Gearing was just 12 years old when her country ballad “Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You” broke into the Billboard charts. The youngster’s Nashville success story began in her hometown of Springfield, MA, where as a little girl she sang regularly at local events and with the Dan Kane Orchestra, an area choir group. A self-released CD sparked the interest of Nashville-based songwriter Jimmy Harnen, who brought Gearing in to record a demo. Radio outlets in Music City and Gearing’s hometown started spinning “Can You Hear Me” almost immediately, generating such a buzz that Gearing soon found herself at the center of a label bidding war. Disney’s country imprint, Lyric Street, eventually won out, and issued “Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You” as a single in preparation for Gearing’s eventual full-length debut, which was slated for autumn 2003.