Longtime Opry star will bring hits to Newberry

Jeannie Seely

Hit songwriter and singer Jeannie Seely will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, in the Newberry, S.C., Opera House.


Tickets are $25 and can be bought online at newberryoperahouse.com or reserved by calling the box office at (803) 276-6264.

Seely marked her 44th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast on Sept. 16. The Pennsylvania native moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 1965 at the urging of Opry member Dottie West. 

Just the next year, Seely scored her first major hit single with Don’t Touch Me (If You Don’t Love Me Sweetheart) written by Hank Cochran. The recording on Monument Records later would win a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

Seely and Cochran were married for 10 years. She previously has joked about saying, “We got a divorce because of religious differences. He thought he was god, and I didn't."

Seely and Jack Greene had a Top 10 single with Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You.  Her song compositions have been recorded by Dottie West, Connie Smith, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and others including Leavin’ and Sayin’ Goodbye, which was a hit single for Faron Young in 1973.


NEWBERRY PLAYERS: The Newberry Community Players will present the two-person musical Always Patsy Cline at 3 and 8 p.m. Sept. 28 and 8 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Opry House. Tickets are $25.

Ellen Adams Hunt, a director with the Newberry Community Players’ children’s theater, will co-star as Louise Seger, the real life close friend of Grand Ole Opry star Patsy Cline, and Hunt’s daughter, Savannah Green, will portray Cline.

Hunt, the sister of Augusta painter Annette Bush, grew up locally and starred in several productions of The Augusta Players in the 1970s.


LISA SHAFFER AT HEPHZIBAH OPRY: Songwriter and singer Lisa Shaffer, a native of Crittenden , Ky., will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Hepzibah Opry, in the former Masonic Lodge building on the corner of Brothersville Road and Georgia Highway 88. A love offering will be collected.

Two weeks after graduating from Northern Kentucky University, Shaffer moved to Nashville and was signed to Walt Disney’s Lyric Street Records.

Shaffer’s song compositions have included I’ve Gotta Start Somewhere and Promise Land recorded by bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent; It’s Hard To Stop A Heart (When It Starts Breaking) by Australian country artist Kristy Cox; I Know I Love You by Jeff & Sheri Easter; and Mt. View Missionary Baptist Church recorded by bluegrass group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

You can learn more about Shaffer at: lisashaffermusic.com.


HONORING JOHN JARRARD: Late hit country songwriter John Jarrard will be honored this weekend with music and arts on the campus of Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. Jarrard, a native of Gainesville, died in 2001 from complications of diabetes.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, performances will be by Zac Brown Band bass player John Hopkins, also a Gainesville native, in addition to Rachel Farley and the bands Balsam Range and Blackberry Smoke. Tickets are $20.

There will be an arts exhibit and family day activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; a songwriting seminar at 10 a.m. conducted by Bruce Burch and a concert at 7 p.m. ($30) featuring Grammy-winning songwriters Manuel Seal and Steve Dorff and also singers Jan Smith, Stella Parton and Katie Deal, daughter of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. For details, visit www.johnjarrardfoundation.com.