Originally created 06/08/06

Music, comedy headline 2006 City Lights Festival



Mark Wills will be a headliner at Bill Anderson's 10th annual City Lights Festival at 7 p.m. June 22 in Commerce, Ga.

Mr. Wills' 1999 hit single Wish You Were Here was written by Mr. Anderson, Skip Ewing and Debbie Moore.

Comedian James Gregory also will perform at the dinner and show at the Commerce Civic Center. Tickets are $50, and the proceeds will benefit a music center at Commerce High School.

Mr. Wills, 35, grew up in Blue Ridge, Ga., and now lives in Kennesaw. His other hit singles include I Do (Cherish You), Don't Laugh at Me, Back at One and 19 Somethin'.

A luncheon and acoustical concert featuring Mr. Anderson and George Hamilton IV also will be held in the Commerce Civic Center, at noon Friday, June 23. Tickets are $35.

To reserve tickets for either show, call toll free: (877) 826-8482. You can save $10 by purchasing a $75 combo ticket for both events.

GOODBYE, BILLY WALKER: Grand Ole Opry performer Billy Walker, 77, died from injuries suffered in a van wreck May 21 that also claimed his 61-year-old wife, Bettie, and two of his band members, Charles Lilly Jr., 44, and Daniel Patton Sr., 40.

Police said Mr. Walker, a member of the Opry since 1960, was driving the van on Interstate 65 south of Montgomery, Ala., early that morning when it went off the road and overturned.

The singer and his band had performed the previous Saturday night at the Palm Lake Opry and RV Park in Foley, Ala., and were returning to Nashville, Tenn.

An estimated 2,300 mourners attended the funeral of the Walkers on May 26 at Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tenn., where Mr. Walker was an elder.

His fellow Opry members attended en masse. Ricky Skaggs and The Whites sang Farther Along, Vince Gill sang Go Rest High on That Mountain, and Connie Smith sang How Great Thou Art.

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 35 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at don.rhodes@morris.com.



Mark Wills Greatest Hits

Listen to a portion of the song 19 Somethin' performed by Mark Wills. [MP3 format]