The Llano Country Opry will be staged on Saturday, September 8, at the Lantex Theater in downtown Llano, Texas. There will be two shows with the matinee to begin at 2:30 PM and the evening show to start at 7:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, Llano National Bank, Lively Computers, Heart of Texas Records Office or by calling (325) 247-5354. Admission is $15 per person.
Texas Country Music Hall of Famer Johnny Lee will headline the shows. Lee’s 1980 single, “Lookin’ for Love” not only spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard country singles chart in the second half of 1980 but also went to the Top 5 on the Pop charts, and Top 10 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary survey. He racked up a series of country hits in the early and mid-80s.
Lee grew up in Alta Loma, Texas on a dairy farm. In high school he formed a rock n’ roll band, “Johnny Lee and the Roadrunners”. After school, Lee enlisted in the United States Navy and served a tour of duty on the USS Chicago, a guided missile cruiser. After his discharge, he played cover tunes in Texas nightclubs and bars through the 1960s.
Lee worked ten years with Mickey Gilley both on tour and at Gilley’s Club in Pasadena, Texas. The 1980 hit movie Urban Cowboy was largely shot at Gilley’s club. It was the soundtrack from the movie that catapulted Lee to fame. The record spawned several hit singles, one of which was Lee’s “Lookin’ for Love.”
Lee had five songs reach the top of the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart. In addition to “Lookin’ For Love,” those songs are “One in a Million” (1980); “Bet Your Heart on Me” (1981); “The Yellow Rose” (1984, a duet with Lane Brody and the theme song to the NBC TV-series of the same name); and “You Could Have Heard a Heartbreak” (1984). His other major hits include “Pickin’ Up Strangers” (1981), “Prisoner of Hope” (1981); “Cherokee Fiddle,” “Sounds Like Love” and “Hey Bartender” (1983); and “Rollin’ Lonely” and “Save the Last Chance” (1985).
During the height of his success, he appeared on talk shows, several network specials and series such as “Fantasy Island” “The Fall Guy” “The A Team” and “The Grand Ole Opry.
Lee’s recording career was largely on hold following his 1991 cover version of de Burgh’s pop hit “Lady In Red.” He finally returned to the studio in 2003 and recorded the “13th of July” and a Christmas album “Santa Clause Is Looking For Love.” Lee then released two albums in 2006, the original CD “Emotions” and a compilation of record 46 songs on a 2 CD set titled “Johnny Lee’s Greatest Hits And More.”
Since the release of his cookbook in 2006, “Chef ‘R’ Lee”, he has been working on his very own food line while continuing to tour the country.
Other entertainers on the show will include Blake and Kendall Barnes, Star Longaria, Justin Trevino, Shane Lively, Charlie Walton, Don Ricketson, Sammy Geistweidt, Bode Barker and Bucille Snotgrass.
Tracy Pitcox will MC the show.