Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund Benefit Photos
The Seventh Annual Grand Ole Opry Superstar Spectacular Benefitwas just that… SPECTACULAR!
This year's CMA Music Festival event took place at the historic Ryman Auditorium (the mother church of country music) on Thursday, June 9, 2005. Some of country music superstars, new artist and traditional artists came together to help raise money for the Opry Trust Fund, which assists members of the country music community in need.
The Opry Trust Fund gives financial assistance in time of need, emergency or catastrophe to people who were or are actively engaged in the country music industry. Confidential disbursements cover everything from replacement of belongings after fires to general expenses, such as food and electric bills, to healthcare and funeral expenses.
This event is a "sanctioned" After Hours event. "After Hours" was a new element added to Fan Fair in 2001 in order to bring attention to Downtown Nashville. The event started at 11:00 pm and wasn't over until after 2 am.
The one and only Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride started the night off in style with his #1 hit "Kiss An Angel Good Morning." He wowed the audience with "Crystal Chandler" and "Anybody Going to San Antone". He then surprised the audience by bringing out his son, Leon to help him sing "Tennessee Girl". His son just finished recording his first album. Pride finished to a standing ovation with "Kaw-Liga".
Next was the pure, powerful voice of Rebecca Lynn Howard. She performed her hit single "Forgive" which would give anyone chill bumps hearing this powerful song. She then sang "Me and the Radio" followed by "I Hate to See You Go". She then closed with her new single "No One Will Ever Love Me".
The incredible Grand Ole Opry member Connie Smith was introduced next. She performed hits like: "If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone)", "Latest Shade of Blue", "I'll Come Running to You", "Once Again" and "Fight On" which she dedicated to all the men and women fighting.
This song was one she performed with Barbara Fairchild and Sharon White on their album, "Love Never Fails" on Word Entertainment in 2003. Her second song of the night was "I'm Always Here for You, Just Let Me Go" which she and her husband Marty Stuart wrote together.
Reminiscent of the late Conway Twitty is the incredible new talent of Jeff Bates. Jeff opened with his new single "Good People" which will be at radio soon. His first hit "The Love Song" was next followed by the Conway Twitty hit "Lay You Down".
Jeff had the ladies in the audience swooning with his likeness of Conway. When he finished he turned around and looked over his shoulder like Conway did during his performances. More flashes from cameras were seen from this performance than any others.
He closed with his seductive hit single "Long Slow Kisses". I believe we could of stood a little more from him on this evening. He was incredible from his "moves" on the stage to his interaction with the audience to his deep, smooth, baritone voice.
Curb recording artist Hal Ketchum took the stage next. He performed his first #1, "Small Town Saturday Night". Next was "Past the Point of Rescue". He next had the audience transfixed with his accapella performance of "Song Of Bernadette".
The Ryman's acoustics were phenomenal. You could of heard a pin drop with this song. He closed with his song, "5 O'clock". Hal was recently awarded with the Prestigious Special Achievement BMI Award for having several of his songs broadcast over ONE MILLION TIMES!!!
"Best Country Vocal Performance by a Female" Grammy award winner in 1967 and Grand Ole Opry member Jeannie Seely was up next. Performing hits such as "You Are My Sweetheart", "Don't Touch Me", "If You Don't Love Me, Sweetheart", "Today I Started Loving You Again" and "Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye". Faron Young taking it to #1, earning her a BMI Songwriter's Award, recorded the last written by Seely.
The impeccable velvet voice of Grand Ole Opry member Billy Walker mesmerized the audience. Performing his #1 hit, "Charlie's Shoes" which was just recently selected as one of The Top 100 Hot Country Singles of All Time. Next was his hit, "Funny How Time Slips Away", that BMI recently certified his for a million airplay. Followed by his #1 hits, "Cross the Brazos at Waco" and "This Time You Gave Me A Mountain". Billboard Magazine lists Billy Walker as one of the Top 20 "most played" artists for 20 years.
Singer/songwriter David Lee Murphy got the crowd going at the early hour of well after 1 am. Performing the song that he wrote that was recorded by Aaron Tippin "People Like Us" was then followed by his hit "Party Crowd". He closed with one of his first hits, "Dust on the Bottle".
After performing for over an hour at Tootsie's CMA award winner T. Graham Brown closed out the show with his hits, "Darlene", "Wine into Water", "Tell it Like it Use to Be", and his #1 hit, "Hell or High Water".
Article Written & Submitted by Mary Maggart