When Gary Herzberg married Danette Day at the Willcox Inn in Aiken over Thanksgiving weekend of 1998, the wedding photos ended up in Country Weekly magazine.
That's because the groom is better known as country music singer Gary Allan.
The marriage to Ms. Day, a model and real estate broker, lasted only 10 months, but Mr. Allan's career has shown signs of longevity. His hits include Her Man, The One, Man to Man, See If I Care and his latest, Songs About Rain.
Mr. Allan will perform Saturday at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Milledge Road at the annual Hot Southern Night concert. The event is a fund-raiser for the Augusta Red Cross and also features Pin Monkey and The Marshall Tucker Band.
After his divorce from Ms. Day, Mr. Allan turned around a year later and married his third and current wife, Angela, in June 2001.
His more stable music career has produced five albums, beginning with his Decca Records debut, Used Heart for Sale, in 1996. It was followed by another Decca album, It Would Be You, in 1998, before he moved to MCA Nashville Records and released Smoke Rings in the Dark, Alright Guy and his current one, See If I Care.
His new release, Songs About Rain, is the second single off the current album. Its chorus goes:
"Rainy Night In Georgia and Kentucky Rain,
"Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again, "Blue Eyes Cryin in the Early Morning Rain, "They go on and on, and there's no two the same,
"Oh it would be easy to blame all these
"Songs about rain."
Mr. Allan, who loves to spend his free time surfing off the California coast, is not one for music fads and not about to let the music business shape or manipulate him if it goes against the grain of how he sees himself.
"I think I could do without the fame," he told me on a previous visit to Augusta.
"But it's one of the necessary evils of this business. I've been doing this music thing about every night since I was 12. So I'll keep doing it some place almost every night in the future and hope we'll have a crowd there."
MEET AND GREET: If you'd like to drop by and say hello, I will be signing copies of my Arcadia Publishing book, Entertainment in Augusta and the CSRA, from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at Border's Books, Music & Cafe, 257 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway.
If you don't want to buy the book, come out anyway and hear bluegrass-country artist Eryn Eubanks and her Family Fold band.
Don Rhodes has been writing about country music for 33 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOT SOUTHERN NIGHT
What: Benefit concert with Gary Allan, The Marshall Tucker Band and Pin Monkey, a fund-raiser for Augusta Red Cross
Where: Lake Olmstead Stadium, Milledge Road
Time: Gates open 6 p.m. Saturday, concert at 7 p.m.
Cost: $18 advance (Augusta Red Cross, 1322 Ellis St.; Gas Plus stations in North Augusta; Harmon Optical in Southgate Plaza; Coyote's nightclub; Boots, Bridles and Britches store; or tixonline.com), $25 day of the show
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