Weatherford Democrat

October 6, 2013

Connie Smith returns to Texas Opry Theater stage

‘Elvis: The Experience’ show coming to theater on Oct. 19


Weatherford Democrat

— As next Saturday’s Second Annual Hometown Heritage Stampede event is winding down in the central square, things a couple of blocks away will just be getting started.

2011 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Connie Smith, along with her band The Sundowners, makes her return to Texas Opry Theater next Saturday for two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets in three price ranges – $25, $35 and $45 – are available for both shows. Also performing is Michael Hix and Texas Opry’s own Amazing Made In Texas Showtime Band.

The theater is located at 319 York Ave., just south of the historic county courthouse. Tickets can be purchased online at texasoprytheater.com or by calling 817-341-1000.

Smith was born to sing on Aug. 14, 1941, in Elkhart, Ind. Although originally from Indiana, she spent her early years around Hinton, W. Va., and then grew up in southern Ohio. Following her high school graduation, she began singing locally at area frolics and on area television shows. It was at the country music park, Frontier Ranch, near Columbus, Ohio, where Smith met Anderson, a Grand Ole Opry star.

Anderson heard her perform and was impressed with her singing. Six months later Anderson invited her to Nashville to be a guest on the “Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.” Within a year following her first visit to Music City, Connie was signed to RCA Victor Records by Chet Atkins and released the first recording of her career. The song, “Once A Day,” topped the charts at number one, where it stayed for an unprecedented eight weeks.

Smith’s recording of “Once A Day” became the first debut single in country music history by a female artist to reach number one, a record that Smith maintained for the next 25 years. Her self-titled LP also reached number one, and served as the first of more than 50 albums Smith has recorded to date.

Along with her string of hit singles and albums, she has became a solid box office contender and appeared in a series of what are now regarded as country cult classic films. Smith appeared in “Las Vegas Hillbillies,” “Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar,” “Hell On Wheels” and co-starred with Marty Robbins and Doodles Weaver in “The Road to Nashville.” She can be seen every week on the “Marty Stuart Show” on RFDTV.

To open the shows for Smith will be the fastest-rising entertainer in Texas, Michael Hix, with The Amazing Made In Texas Showtime Band (formerly known as the Granbury Live Band).

Elvis in the house

On Oct. 19th, The “King of Rock-n-Roll” will come to life when David Allen brings his “Elvis: The Experience” Show to the Texas Opry Theater.

“David was voted one of the top 10 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists of the world by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis during the 2011 Elvis Week,” stated Carmen Gantt, Allen’s manager.

Allen will have the Dallas-based Elvis tribute band Fever backing him up on all of Elvis’ songs. Fever has been backing Elvis and other celebrity tribute artists for more than 15 years all around the United States.

Upcoming shows

Coming up on Nov. 9 at 3 p.m., Carbon Copies Celebs presents “A Tribute To Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton,” all by Rhonda Medina, national celebrity tribute artist. Don’t be surprised if a few other well known celebrities show up, too.

The following week, on Nov. 16, “The Official Ernest Tubb Tribute Show” starring Tubb’s nephew, Glenn Douglas Tubb, and his wife, Dottie Snow Tubb, in a two-hour musical journey through the life and music of “The Biggest Country Music Star of all Time.” The show by Glenn is a fixture during “The Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree” at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville, broadcast live on WSM radio. The jamboree is the second-longest running radio show in America. The Amazing Made In Texas Show Time Band will play the part of The Texas Troubadours in this show.

On Dec. 7, Johnny Rogers from “Buddy and Beyond” fame, Michael Hix and up-and-coming 14-year-old Abbey Cone from the Grapevine Opry will present “A Rock-n-Roll Christmas” with The Amazing Made In Texas Show Time Band.

On the night of Dec. 20 is another big Christmas show, “A Lone Star Country Christmas,” starring many of the original Granbury Live cast with Carey Dyer, Lani Staci, Abbey Cone, Zac Wilson, Mike and Alecia Echols, Christian Hutton, Roger Ramsey, Josh Rodgers, Joe Tom McDonald and the Amazing Made In Texas Show Time Band.

Mark your calendars for New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2014, when at 6 p.m. the one and only Donny Edwards returns to the stage at the Texas Opry Theater with his “True Tribute To Elvis” along with Wayne King as Roy Orbison.