County Road 12 - Waffle House Waitress

In a time when everybody seems to be looking for the next big singing sensation, we think we may have just found her and you won't believe where. Debbie Williams found her somewhere out along County Road 12.

Valerie Perry will be the first to tell you she loves her job. "That's the reason why I love my job just for the people like you all that come in." She's here five days a week from seven till two and she never meets a stranger.

"Waffle regular, waffle, sausage crisp, and bacon crisp," she says ordering for a couple before they say a word.

"Every day, and a coffee and water and he wants this sugar free syrup cause he's watching his figure." You know the food is smothered, covered, chopped and all that other stuff, there's another reason folks seem to keep coming back.

She grabs a bottle of ketchup from the counter. In one swift move she has plopped two quarters into the jukebox and punched number 194.

In seconds, the familiar introduction of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" begins sifting through he ceiling speakers. As she waits for her cue, she dances back and forth and then begins belting out, "The Waffle House Song".

She wrote the words. She sings it several times a shift and it keeps 'em coming back. "When it's packed out and you have people sitting here in a long line waiting out the door waiting and you have to do something to just keep their mind off the wait and enjoy themselves at the same time.  I do it and I help ease the moment."

As soon as the music fades, applause. "This is why I do it." Valerie, "American Idol" has nothing on you

In Prattville, Debbie Williams and photojournalist Darren Gilley humming our way along County Road 12.

You can catch Valerie's act at Waffle House, at the Highway 14 Prattville exit off I-65.