Carrie McDowell

2004 - Individual Artist

Carrie McDowell, as a child with a mature singing voice, was a sensation in the early 1970’s. She made a splash on the music scene with her recording of “Over The Rainbow.”

McDowell was born in Des Moines on May 11, 1963, one of five children of Douglas McDowell, a “Des Moines Register” pressman, and his wife Sally. Their daughter first gained attention at Bill Riley’s “Talent Sprouts” contest when she was eight years old. McDowell made her national television debut on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” on Oct. 11, 1974, and appeared with a then 77-year-old George Burns at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. She sang on Jerry Lewis’ MDA Telethon and she opened the show with Danny Thomas in Reno, Nev.

In 1975 she appeared with Liberace at the Hilton International Hotel in Las Vegas for a three-week engagement. She sang four songs and danced with the legendary entertainer.

Her career faltered when her mother brought her back to Iowa to attend Stilwell Junior High School and Valley High School in West Des Moines.

At 18, McDowell left for New York, then Los Angeles, where she signed with record producer Berry Gordy. She recorded one album on the Motown label and met future husband Michael Hodge, a guitarist

The couple wed in 1989, settling in Nashville, Tenn., in 1991. They are known as “Two Hearts” and specialize in contemporary Christian country and gospel music. They performed in South Korea and Kenya in 2002 and plan repeat visits. They continue working and recently released a new CD.

McDowell-Hodge, who is also a recognized artist, returns to Des Moines for club dates and to perform on the Variety Club Telethon, making 25 appearances with the children’s charity.

These days Carrie McDowell-Hodge finds great joy in being a first-time mom to the couple’s son Gabriel, now a little toddler.

A little girl with a mighty voice, she made her mark on the music industry at a very young age and still inspires audiences with her talent in 2004. McDowell and the category “Women Who Rocked” are a perfect fit!


The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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