Ramblin' Rhodes: Local Elvis winner to compete nationally

Elvis tribute artist Keith Henderson performs during the 2009 CSRA Images of the King Contest, which Henderson won. This year's local competition, CSRA King of the World, is scheduled for Feb. 3-4.

Augustan Danny Haywood, who in the past organized the local Images of the King-affiliated contest, has switched his allegiance to the newer King of the World national talent contest.


As with Images of the King, the Elvis tribute artist who wins the CSRA King of the World contest will be eligible to compete in the national King of the World contest in Memphis, Tenn., in August.

Contestants are expected to converge on Augusta from several states.

The preliminary rounds at the VFW Post 3200 on Gun Club Road near the Pilot gas station on Riverwatch Parkway will be 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Admission is $12.

The final round is 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, with admission being $15. Special guest artist will be 10-year-old singing sensation Ashton Blush, of Aiken. Call (803) 221-3200 for details.


CAREY BACK IN TOWN: Lookaway Hall at the junction of Carolina and Georgia avenues in North Augusta will host a rare concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, featuring North Augusta-reared singer-songwriter Carey Murdock. Admission is $7.

Murdock moved to Nashville, Tenn., last August and already has become a popular entertainer in such area clubs as The Basement, 12th & Porter, National Underground and The Whippoorwill.

He will be singing songs from his current CD, Baby Don’t Look Down, as well as newer compositions that he has penned since living in Music City U.S.A.


THE GREAT RICKY SKAGGS: Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and his Grammy Award-winning band, Kentucky Thunder, will do shows at 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Newberry (S.C.) Opera House. Tickets are $45. Call the box office at (803) 276-6264 or order online at


RE-PACKAGED JANIE FRICKE: The 2004 independent CD Janie Fricke: The Bluegrass Sessions has been nicely repackaged and re-released as Country Side of Bluegrass. It is available online at janiefricke.com and in person at Ernest Tubb Records Shops around Nashville and at her shows.

The album contains several of Fricke’s hits adapted to a bluegrass style, including You Don’t Know Love, Do Me With Love, She’s Single Again, I Need Someone to Hold Me (When I Cry), Down to My Last Broken Heart, Tell Me a Lie, Don’t Worry About Me Baby and her signature hit, It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy.

Among the musicians playing on the album are fiddler Andy Leftwich and bass player Mark Fain, both veterans of Ricky Skaggs’ band, Kentucky Thunder.

The 1982 and 1983 Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year told this columnist in 2004 that the CD came about from a call out of the blue asking whether she would like to do a bluegrass album.

“We looked it over and said, ‘Yeah, we could do this,’ ” she recalled. “I used to sing some bluegrass when I had my first band in Tennessee, including Fox on the Run. One of the guys who played steel guitar in my band also played banjo.”

When I told her I was amazed at how well her past hits sounded in bluegrass style, she laughed and replied, “I was, too. The producer picked up the tempo so fast on some of them, it about scared me to death. But now I’m getting used to them that way.”