The Llano Country Opry will be staged at the Lantex Theater in Llano on Saturday, November 13. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Country music legend Claude Gray will headline the show with special guest Tommy Horton. Admission is $10.00 per person with tickets available at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, Llano National Bank, Lively Computers in Kingsland, KNEL radio in Brady or by calling (325) 247-5354.
Claude Gray began singing at the age of five and received his first guitar at thirteen. While stationed at Yokosuka, Japan, he had the opportunity to appear on U.S. Naval sponsored shows as well as in Japanese hotels and clubs drawing huge crowds. In 1960, Gray joined radio station WDAL in Meridian, Mississippi as a disc jockey. Mercury Records contacted Gray about a recording career while at Meridian.
In 1961, his debut single "I’ll Just Have A Cup of Coffee and Then I’ll Go" became a major hit selling over a million copies. Many other hits followed including "The Family Bible" "I Never Had The One I Wanted" "If I Ever Need A Lady, I’ll Call You" and the Roger Miller composition "My Ears Should Burn When Fools Are Talked About." One of Gray’s biggest records, "How Fast Them Trucks Can Go" also sold over a million and spawned the hit TV show "Alice."
"Actually Willie Nelson wrote "Family Bible," Gray said. "Willie wanted to sell it for $50.00 and it took three of us singers to raise that much money back them. We bought it and the song became a great hit for me and several others."
Gray was a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry for fourteen years and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and many European countries. He has just released his first Greatest Hits package on compact disc including many classic songs that he recorded for Mercury, Columbia and MCA records.
Gray is a member of the Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame.
Gray is also promoting three projects including "Claude Gray’s Greatest Hits Volume I," "Claude Gray’s Greatest Hits Volume II," and the "Golden Way of Claude Gray."
Tommy Horton was a regular on the Louisiana Hayride out of Shreveport, Louisiana, from late 1975 until mid 1977. Tommy was part of the Tony Douglas Show, played bass and was a front man for the Norma Jean and Claude Gray road show, and a performer on the Big "D" Jamboree in Dallas. Tommy has even been featured on The Nashville Network and the RFD Television Network.
Tommy wrote and recorded a song called "The Surveyors of Texas" for the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors. This song, along with the fact that Tommy worked as a land surveyor for many years, has given him the title "The Singing Surveyor".
Tommy has won many awards during his career including the prestigious Male Entertainer of the Year by the Metroplex Country Music Association (MCMA) in Fort Worth/Dallas, Texas. He holds a degree in Commercial Music received from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.
Tommy will also include a tribute to Johnny Horton on his portion of the show. This month marks the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Country Music Legend Johnny Horton in a tragic vehicle accident near Milano, Texas.
Other guests on the Llano Country Opry include Carolyn Boyd, Bode Barker, Sammy Geistweidt, Don Ricketson, Charley Walton, Bucille Snotgrass and Shane Lively. Tracy Pitcox will MC the show.
"I am very excited about returning the the Llano Country Opry" Claude Gray said. "I have made several friends in the Central Texas and Northwest Hill Country area and always look forward to coming back and entertaining."
For more information about the Llano, Mason or Marble Falls Opry shows or the Heart of Texas Country Music Association, please call (325) 597-1895 or log on to www.heartoftexascountry.com.