Since moving to Nashville in 1984, Debbie has done many things in the music business. She began working at Digital Recorders, while performing at different venues in town and singing demos for songwriters and publishers.
She went from there to working as a production assistant for the then independent producer Doug Johnson. One day she walked in with a song she found that became a number one song for Doug Stone called “Come In Out of the Pain”. After that, Doug Johnson insisted she started listening for hit songs full time. Debbie continued finding many songs that Doug cut on various artists he was working with. One in particular was ACM song of the Year, “I Love the Way You Love Me”, performed by John Michael Montgomery.
In 1991 when Doug went to Epic Records to head the A&R division, he took Debbie with him as his right arm in the song search department. She brought in many songs there as well. For instance, a few of Collin Raye’s biggest hits, “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It”, “Somebody Else’s Moon”, and “On the Verge” were DebbieZ finds. In 4 years, she went from A&R consultant to Sr. Director/A&R and was a very integral part of the huge success of Epic Records. She found and signed The Kinleys to the label. The Kinleys first single, “Please”, made history at the time by being the highest charted debut single by a female group or duo in R&R history. The song also garnered a Grammy nomination and led to the ACM Best Duo or Group award.
While working with the Kinleys she brought her songwriting expertise to the table by co-writing their top 10 hit “Just Between You and Me". In October 1996, Debbie left Epic records to head the A&R department at Irving Azoff’s independent record label Giant Records. There, she signed Blake Shelton and The Wilkinsons. Blake had a 5 week #1 record on his very first single. A song Debbie found for him called “Austin”, Debbie set Blake on the path to stardom. He’s gone on to have major success with his platinum album sales and being one of the most visible popular artists in the industry. The Wilkinsons also made chart history with the highest chart entry at the time by a debut single on the R&R country chart. Both The Wilkinsons and The Kinleys have achieved platinum status.
Her next challenge was managing the career of Blake Shelton along with John Dorris of Hallmark Direction Company. After being in the management forum for a year and a half, Debbie decided that going back to her true love of songs and songwriters would complete her full circle trip. Starting Zavitson Music Group in 2005 with her then, producer, songwriter husband Russ, Debbie had garnered cuts on artists such as Brooks & Dunn, Reba McIntire, Blake Shelton, Josh Thompson, Chris Young and others.
In 2012 Debbie stepped out on her own to represent songwriters and publishers with Debbie Z Entertainment. She can cherry pick from the most successful publishing companies and songwriters to represent the best songs in the business. This independence also allows her to build a new publishing company, developing aspiring songwriters and artists to help them acquire their dreams of success.