The Starlite Theatre Launches Stellar New Lineup with Major Acts for 2017
Gene Watson, April 19-20, Oct 12-13 and Nov 1-2, 2017!
This masterful country stylist from Houston, Texas has been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. Gene’s very first radio single, the self-penned “If It’s That Easy” was released in 1962 so the entertainer is celebrating his 50 Years in the music business, a “Golden Anniversary” in 2012. Although the song didn’t make any radio charts, it did start the career of the man now known as “The Singer’s Singer.” Gene Watson’s tally of 75 charted titles, 23 top-10 hits and 6 number-one records has led to membership in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Radio listeners are still transfixed whenever classics like “Farewell Party,” “Fourteen Carat Mind” or “Love in the Hot Afternoon” are played. The depth of emotion in his singing, his brilliant phrasing, his jaw-dropping range and the power in the lyrics he chooses are all factors in the awe he inspires in both fans and his musical peers.
At an age when most people are contemplating retirement, Gene Watson is still making some of the greatest records of his life, receiving such accolades as Album of the Year and even Album of the Decade from journalists around the world. Watson earned the title of 2010 Country Music Legend of the Year, from Citadel Media’s Real Country Radio Network nationwide fan vote.
Watson is one of the rare singers who still sings in the same key as he did 30 years ago and his audiences respond with standing ovations night after night when he nails the octave jumping last note on his most requested song, the now country classic “Farewell Party.” As Rodney Crowell so aptly stated, “Just when I think Country Music is a lost art form, something by Gene Watson catches my ear and I can breathe again.”
Considered one of the finest pure-country singers of his generation Watson offers up one of the best traditional country shows in the business. His stunning voice captivates audiences and keeps his fans coming back again and again.
Jimmy Fortune, Oct 17-18 and Nov 11-12, 2017!
The incomparable Jimmy Fortune, of the Statler Brothers fame, rounds out the list of artists you absolutely must see in the new BootDaddy Concert Series presented at the Starlite Theatre.
Jimmy’s breathtaking tenor voice paired with his uncanny ability to crank out a string of #1 hits makes him a force in the industry. Fortune spent 21 years with the Statler Brothers band, racking up enough awards to earn the title, “The Most Awarded Act in the History of Country Music.” Close to his faith and down to earth, Fortune is now pursuing his own career with several new albums and singles performed as part of a phenomenal new live show.
Jimmy Fortune joined The Statler Brothers first as a temporary replacement for Lew DeWitt, after DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended him. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by the famous band and performed his first show with them on January 28, 1982, in Savannah, Georgia. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers, and Fortune was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.
Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group’s second No. 1 hit, “Elizabeth,” on their 1983 album Today, and followed that with two more No. 1 hits–“My Only Love” (from 1984’s Atlanta Blue) and “Too Much On My Heart” (from 1985’s Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote the top-10 hit “Forever” from 1986’s Four for the Show and co-wrote the top-10 hit “More Than a Name on the Wall” from 1988’s The Greatest Hits.
Jimmy Fortune has performed in all of the U.S. States, in Canadian Provinces, and in front of audiences as large as 100,000. He was part of the Statlers’ annual Happy Birthday USA celebration in Staunton, Virginia, for 14 years. He also sang on many of the Statlers’ gold, platinum, and double platinum recordings. Jimmy’s career included The Nashville Network’s popular “The Statler Brothers Show,” which aired for seven seasons and debuted in 1991 as the highest rated show for the network. He was also privileged to perform at the White House on two occasions, once for President Ronald Reagan, and once for President George H. W. Bush, and he presented a special gift to actress Elizabeth Taylor by singing his song “Elizabeth” to her for a birthday celebration.
Jimmy and The Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007, and inducted into the CMA (Country Music Association) Hall of Fame in June 29, 2008.
After the Statler Brothers retired on October 26, 2002, Fortune seized the opportunity to launch a solo career to share new music with his fans. His first solo CD, When One Door Closes, was released August 2003 on Audium/Koch. He released a gospel album, I Believe, in June 2005, a Christmas CD, Feels Like Christmas, in 2006, a live concert DVD in 2007, and another country CD, “Windows” in 2009. Jimmy is currently living in Nashville, writing for Melrose Entertainment, is a frequent guest on the hit RFD-TV show, “Larry’s Country Diner,” and continues to successfully tour the country throughout the year.