Ramblin' Rhodes: You still have a chance to get in sold-out Guitar Pull

Luke Bryan performs at the 46th annual Country Music Awards earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn. The country singer will perform Nov. 20 at the Guitar Pull.

The 14th annual WKXC-FM Guitar Pull takes place at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20, at James Brown Arena with Georgia native Luke Bryan headlining.


Even though the concert is sold out, there will be
480 coveted tickets given away from today through Monday.

According the kicks99.com Web site, 40 tickets will be given away at each of these locations:

• Thursday, Nov. 15 – Affordable Insurance, Augusta, 11-a.m.-1 p.m. and Tyler Tire, Aiken, 4-6 p.m.

• Friday, Nov. 16 – Boots, Bridles & Britches, Grovetown, noon-2 p.m.; A&D Carpet, Augusta, 2-4 p.m. and Augusta Kawasaki-Suzuki 4-6 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 17 – Anything Goes Gifts, North Augusta, 10 a.m.-noon, Unique Expressions, Aiken, noon-2 p.m., B&E Heating & Air, North Augusta, 2-4 p.m. and Carolina Outdoors, Aiken, 4-6 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 18 – Hooters, Augusta, 1-3 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 19 – Boots, Bridles & Britches, Aiken, noon-2 p.m. and Executive Partners Realty, Evans, 4-6 p.m.

Call the station at (706) 922-9999 for exact addresses.

The Guitar Pull, which benefits local children’s charities, has become one of Augusta’s hottest annual events.

It began in 1999 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, and then moved to the Imperial Theatre in 2000, to Bell Auditorium in 2001, to the USC Aiken Convocation Center in 2007 and to James Brown Arena in 2010.

Here is the 2012 line-up in which the artists will play and sing acoustic and electric versions of their hit and new songs:

Luke Bryan: This Georgia Southern graduate grew up in Leesburg, Ga. Local fans have seen him at the A Day in the Country festival in addition to the Guitar Pull in 2008 and in James Brown Arena with Jason Aldean. Hit singles include Country Girl (Shake It For Me), I Don’t Want This Night To End, Drunk On You and All My Friends Say.

Little Big Town: This quartet began in 1987 when Kimberly Roads Schlapman and Karen Fairchild met while attending Samford University in Alabama. They moved to Nashville and hooked up with Jimi Westbrook, a friend of Fairchild’s husband, and Phillip Sweet. Fairchild and Westbrook married in 2006. The foursome won the 2012 Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year (Pontoon) just a few days ago. They were on the Guitar Pull last year.

Billy Currington: This veteran of the 2005 Guitar Pull was born in Savannah and grew up in nearby Rincon.

He has family members in the Augusta area and has churned out hit singles such as Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right, Good Directions, People Are Crazy, That’s How Country Boys Roll, Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer and Let Me Down Easy. He and Shania Twain had a duet hit with Party For Two. Currington’s civic work includes founding the Global South Relief organization to deliver supplies to those in need in Central American countries.

Brantley Gilbert: Local music fans have seen Gilbert at the Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon. This is another Georgian who comes from Jefferson. His hits include Country Must Be Country Wide and You Don’t Know Her Like I Do. He co-wrote Jason Aldean’s hit singles Dirt Road Anthem and My Kinda Party.

Lee Brice: This native of Sumter, S.C., also is a past Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon guest artist. He began early playing the piano and singing in church. Brice attended Clemson University on a football scholarship but changed his career direction to country music after an arm injury. His hits include A Woman Like You, Love Like Crazy and Hard to Love. His songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Adam Gregory, Eli Young Band and Tim McGraw.

Lauren Alaina: This newcomer was born as Lauren Alaina Kristine Suddeth and was reared in Rossville, Ga., near Chattanooga. She was the runner-up on the 10th season of American Idol that saw Scotty McCreery win the competition.


GOODBYE JOE SOUTH: This is a belated goodbye, but I wanted to make note of the death of Georgian Joe South on Sept. 5 at 72 of a heart attack at his home at Flowery Branch near Atlanta.

South, born Joseph Souter, was one of the greatest songwriters whose compositions sold in the millions for himself and other performers. Those hits included Down in the Boondocks, Games People Play, The Greatest Love, I Knew You When, (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, Hush, Walk A Mile In My Shoes, The Greatest Love, Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home and many more.

The inductee into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame became extremely reclusive after his brother’s suicide in 1971.

He told me, however, in a rare 1987 interview that his songs grew out of a cracker barrel homespun philosophy.

“Country music fans needed identification because so many songs at the time were about cheating on your wife, getting drunk and stuff like that,” South said. “Country people, by and large, are not like that. I figured those type of songs were a slap in their face, and they needed something they could identify with.”

South was a kind and greatly admired individual who certainly made his mark on the music world.