Richard Hartley, star of the USA Network’s new docu-comedy series, “The Rev,” has been whipping choirs together for superstars such as Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Diana Ross – for over two decades. After years of making others sound good, he’s finally making his own great sounds with a new track, “Highway,” which is available on all digital platforms. “I love taking old songs like `Highway to Heaven’ and making them cutting-edge and current,” he says of the bass-heavy, urban-flavored groove. The dance-floor ready song comes on the heels of the recent premiere of “The Rev” (Thursdays 10:30 PM ET/PT). which revolves around Hartley’s real-life role as a pastor. The plot centers on Hartley and his real-life family (wife, Stacey, and their adult children, Judea & Jordan) and the hilarious interactions between them and the zany characters at their church in Queens, New York.
“The show is a God-move,” says Hartley. “I didn’t audition for anybody. A friend filmed one of my choir rehearsals which can be brutal and hilarious at the same time. He sent it to a friend of his in Hollywood who sent it to an agent and the agent sent it to somebody at a production company. A bidding war started and there were offers from Lifetime, OWN, Netflix and USA Network. They ended up going with USA Networks and here we are.”
Hartley began coaching church choirs at the age of six and landed his big break in Vy Higginsen’s off-Broadway stage musical, “Mama, I Want to Sing“, circa 1987. “I was with that show for 13 years,” Hartley says. “That show took me all over the world. Europe, Australia. I’ve been to Japan 150 times alone. Then, I came back and started training choirs to back superstars.” Hartley’s been there right under our eyes for years. He was in Mariah Carey’s “Anytime You Need A Friend” music video. He led the choir in Diana Ross’ 1999 telefilm, “Double Platinum.” Visit: https://www.usanetwork.com/the-rev