By SALLY SEXTON
Tonight’s game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners will have a few fireworks after the game, but one group from Parker County will provide some sparks before the game.
The Country Boys, a trio made up of David Hunt and Barry Feriend, of Weatherford, and Paul Newberry, of Arlington, will be providing the National Anthem to kick off tonight’s game festivities.
The performance will be the second for the group at the Ballpark in Arlington, as the trio performed the anthem last year as well.
“We’re kind of proud of that,” Hunt said of the repeat performance. “The Rangers have auditions and anybody can send in a CD or video.
“We did that last year and, as they do every year, the Rangers reviewed all of the groups that performed and asked us if we wanted to come back and sing.”
The Country Boy roots began when the three met while attending Howard Payne University in Brownwood in 1974.
“We met in college about 1,000 years ago and just fell in together,” Hunt said. “We took our name from the John Denver song, ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy,’ and started off performing that song. We still sing it at our concerts.”
While their gigs as part of the country group, influenced by a little bit of gospel and other musical genres, may be part-time, music is a daily thing for each singer. Hunt currently serves as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Dennis, Feriend leads the music at Western Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth and Newberry is a full-time music evangelist.
“We’ve all got full time jobs but we just love to sing,” Hunt said.
While music is a passion, the trio enjoys using it to give back to the community, performing at some of Parker County’s larger events, including performing the National Anthem at the Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo in June, as well as helping to raise more than $3,000 in a benefit concert for Grace House Ministries.
“We’ve also sung at different banquets and events, and at several churches in the Weatherford and Dennis area,” Hunt added. “We’re always looking for other opportunities.”
More than 75 family members and friends are expected to attend Friday’s game in a show of support. First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
To find out more about Country Boys, visit their website at www.countryboystrio.com.