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Heart of Texas Country Music Association Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 • Posted February 4, 2009

The Heart of Texas Country Music Association will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Friday and Saturday, March 13th and 14th, and Friday and Saturday, March 28th and 29th at the Ed Davenport Civic Center in Brady.

The festivities will include a Welcome Party and Dance on the Friday nights, an afternoon Matinee Concert at 1:00 p.m. on the Saturdays followed by the Dinner and Dance on Saturday night beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale at the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce on February 9, at 9:00 a.m. or can be charged by calling (325) 597-3491. Advance tickets are strongly suggested due to the limited space at the Ed Davenport Civic Center. Only 2,200 tickets will be sold for the festivities.

The entertainment this year will be full of Traditional Country Music legends including Ferlin Husky, Gene Watson and the Farewell Party Band, Moe Bandy and the Americana Band, Leona Williams, Darrell & Mona McCall, Jake Hooker and the Outsiders, Jody Nix & Texas Cowboys, Justin Trevino, Tony Booth, Curtis Potter, Frankie Miller, Kimberly Murray, Rance Norton, Robert Mizzell and Amber Digby.

Moe Bandy formed his first band in 1962. For a dozen years, he played all over Texas, until recording his first hit “I Just Started Hating Cheating Songs Today.” He followed that with a string of Number Ones including “Bandy The Rodeo Clown” “Hank Williams You Wrote My Life” and “Hey Joe.” He currently works at the Jim Stafford Theater in Branson.

Gene Watson cut his first record when he was 18. Capitol Records heard his recording of “Love In The Hot Afternoon” and offered him a recording contract. His traditional country music sound proved successful with “Fourteen Carat Mind” “Paper Rosie” “Memories To Burn” and “The Old Man And His Horn.” His mega hit “Farewell Party” provided the name for his band and proved his lasting power on the concert trail.

Ferlin Husky is truly one of the great pioneers of Country Music. He was born in 1927 in Flat River, Missouri. He started performing at an early age and recorded under four different names-Tex Terry, Terry Preston, Ferlin Husky and Simon Crum. His major hits in the business have included “Gone” “I Feel Better All Over” “A Fallen Star” “A Dear John Letter” and “Wings of A Dove.” He was the first Country Artist honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Leona Williams was born in Vienna, Missouri. She was featured on her own radio at the age of 15, before moving to Nashville. She recorded for Hickory, MCA, RCA and Polygram Records. She is now signed with Heart of Texas Records and has released two very successful projects on the label. Williams’ hits include “Yes Man” “You Take Me For Granted” and “Someday When Things Are Good.”

“I am looking forward to the Heart of Texas Country Music Association’s 20th Anniversary Party,” Leona Williams said. “We are really going to have a great time and I am looking forward to spending time with some of my friends and fans in Brady.”

Darrell McCall is a legendary Texas dance hall entertainer with many hits to his credit including “Dreams of A Dreamer” “It’s The Water” “There’s Still A Lot of Love In San Antone” and his duet with Willie Nelson on “Lily Dale.” Darrell’s wife Mona will also join him on stage. Mona released her first album “Memories Love A Melody” last year.

Tony Booth gained fame by working for Buck Owens as a front man and bass player. He branched out on his own with major hits including “Cinderella” “Keys In The Mailbox” “Close Up The Honkytonks” and “Lonesome 7-7203.”

Frankie Miller won a Grammy Award for his own composition “Blackland Farmer” and followed it up with hits “Family Man” and “A Little South of Memphis.”

Jake Hooker currently records for Startex Records and has gained a large following with Traditional Country Music fans.

Jody Nix, the son of the legendary Hoyle Nix, has done an incredible job keeping Western Swing music alive.

Justin Trevino has led both the Mason and Llano Country Opry Bands for six years while producing six very successful solo albums and touring with Darrell McCall and Johnny Bush.

Amber Digby is enjoying the success of her latest released album “Pride Passion and What Might Have Been.” The project joins “Here Come The Teardrops” “Music From The Honkytonks” as yet another fan favorite.

Kimberly Murray has just released her first project “Once Upon A Time In A Honky Tonk” and is a regular opry performer. Jake Hooker and Justin Trevino join her on the project.

Rance Norton, a senior, is another popular opry performer with his first release “True Country” now available including duets with Johnny Bush and Justin Trevino.

The Welcome Party and Dance on Friday night, March 13, will feature Jake Hooker and the Outsiders, Tony Booth, Leona Williams and Amber Digby. The Welcome Party and Dance on Friday, March 27, will feature Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys, Tony Booth, Leona Williams and Amber Digby. The dances will be from 8:00 PM until Midnight and admission is $15.00 per person.

The Saturday Matinee Concerts will feature Ferlin Husky, Amber Digby, Kimberly Murray, Leona Williams, Frankie Miller, Darrell & Mona McCall, Rance Norton and Justin Trevino. Moe Bandy and Willie P. Richardson will appear on the March 14 events and Gene Watson, Curtis Potter and Tony Booth will be featured on the March 28 events. Admission to the concert is $15.00 per person. The concert will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The Saturday Night Dinner and Dance will begin with a bar b que meal at 7:00 p.m. and a dance will follow from 8:00 p.m. until Midnight. Admission is $15.00 and it is BYOB. On Saturday, March 14, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree will be staged from Midnight until 2:00 a.m. The Midnight Jamboree will be broadcast nation wide over WSM Radio in Nashville and on the internet world wide.

The Heart of Texas Country Music Museum will have special hours during the 20th Anniversary Celebration. The museum will be open Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Several special guests will be at the museum during some of these times. The museum is located at 1701 South Bridge Street in Brady. There will be a special dedication of the new Heart of Texas Country Music Association office and the new Recording Studio at 11:00 a.m. on each Saturday. A ribbon cutting event will be held.

The Heart of Texas Country Music Association grew from the Hillbilly Hits Fan Club, a group established to promote the Hillbilly Hits Radio show from KNEL FM 95.3 in Brady. The traditional Country Music radio show is hosted by Tracy Pitcox and features requests and interviews with the legendary figures of the industry including George Jones, Willie Nelson, Kitty Wells, Ray Price, Bob Wills, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.

The association, which boasts 850 members, promotes the Mason and Llano Country Opry shows at the Odeon and Lantex Theaters. The organization has sponsored many Country Music entertainers at those venues including Ray Price, Gene Watson, Kitty Wells, John Conlee, Freddie Hart, the Geezinslaws and Jean Shepard among others.

The Heart of Texas Country Music Museum located in Brady, opened in August of 2000. The museum contains items from over seventy five country music entertainers including Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Hank Thompson and even Jim Reeves’ 1956 tour bus.

The organization formed Heart of Texas Records was formed in 2003, giving many of the established artists an outlet to record and promote their music. Leona Williams, Floyd Tillman, Hank Thompson, Joe Paul Nichols, Johnny Bush, Curtis Potter, Darrell McCall, Pretty Miss Norma Jean, Big Bill Lister, Justin Trevino, Amber Digby, Tony Booth, Frankie Miller and Ferlin Husky are all currently under the Heart of Texas Records banner.

“We are excited about celebrating our 20th Anniversary,” Tracy Pitcox said. “We have enjoyed a great relationship with many of our KNEL listeners. Our group grew from a small core of listeners to an 850 member organization that promotes Traditional Country Music throughout our state. We are certainly looking forward to celebrating this milestone.”

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