But beyond his God-given ability to sing and play guitar is something even more special.
“He’s so genuine,” John Wayne’s mom, Vicky Schulz, said during the TV program. “He is the most genuine, kindest person you would ever meet. And he loves his Momma!”
The TV show told the story about why John Wayne decided to audition for “American Idol.”
“In 2007 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer,” John Wayne Schulz said. “It was a hard time for all of us. And I told her, ‘Mom, I love you. I will do anything for you.’ She said, ‘Try out for American Idol.”
On Feb. 2, “American Idol,” a nationally televised singing competition on Fox told John’s story and showed his audition in Austin before a panel of three famous judges.
John Wayne sang “Believe” by Brooks and Dunn in his audition.
The judges were impressed with the 23-year-old cowboy from Karnes City.
“That last ‘Believe’ almost brought a tear to my eye,” said judge Jennifer Lopez. “I believe that you believe! You have the strength of faith and I can feel that. And it comes out in your singing.”
Steven Tyler, another judge on the panel, agreed with Lopez.
“Beautiful,” Tyler said. “Great. I liked it.”
Judge Randy Jackson said, “I really… I feel you… I get you. I really like it. I think you could do well.”
The judges then called John Wayne’s parents into the audition room and in unison said, “Welcome to Hollywood!”
TV cameras showed tears filling John’s mother’s eyes as she heard the good news that her son was going on to “Hollywood” – the next round of the competition.
“I don’t think America will be disappointed in him,” Vicky Schulz told the judges.
“He’s a genuine really nice guy,” Jackson said. “We felt his whole spirit – his passion.”
“You guys raised a good boy,” Lopez said. “Congratulations.”
When they left the audition room the family celebrated together as John showed them his gold ticket to the Hollywood round of competition.
After the television program aired last week, people in Karnes County and all over South Texas began to show their excitement about John Wayne and his performance.
The chatter on Facebook and everywhere else among local people began immediately and hasn’t really let up.
“I taught John Wayne Schulz at Karnes City High School,” said Julie Hemby Nichols. “What you saw on American Idol is what you get. John is genuinely a good person. He’s kind and sincere and truly puts his family and his faith above all else. He has been singing for a long time and people in Karnes County love him, but he has so much to offer to a larger audience, and I know he will deliver.”
“Seeing a South Texas cowboy from Karnes City made my night,” said Patricia Crawford Staples. “Small town America is still at the heart of it all. How great was the segment on John Wayne Schulz – an All-American genuine cowboy that loves his mom!”
“He’s a throwback to the 1960s,” said Clay Pace. “That’s a good thing! Manners, respect and humbleness, just to name a few of his positive attributes. His audition proved him out to be a genuine talent wrapped in a package that has the potential to make him the next George Strait.”