Ramblin' Rhodes: Get ready to hear more of Moore's country hits live

Justin Moore performs at NASH FM 94.7's "NASH Bash" in February in New York. He was the headlining act in 2010 for The Augusta Chronicle's 225th anniversary party.

Masters Week once again rolls out of town, and another big country music show rolls into town.


WKXC-FM is hosting singer Justin Moore at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, for its Hooked On Country show at Bell Auditorium.

Tickets are $35 with opening acts Parmalee, of Parmele, N.C., and also Charlie Worsham, of Jackson, Miss.

By online at georgia
linatix.com or at the James Brown Arena box office or call (877) 4AUGTIX.

Local fans will remember Moore as the featured entertainment at The Augusta Chronicle’s 225th anniversary bash in 2010. He also performed at the A Day in the Country music festival in 2011.

His self-titled debut album resulted in his first No. 1 hit single Small Town USA, which was inspired by his own small-town upbringing in Poyen, Ark.

He also has scored with his No. 1 hits If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away and Til My Last Day and his Top 10 hit Backwoods. His current single, Point At You, was released a few weeks ago.

Moore’s music video of his recent single (He Can’t Even) Bait A Hook featured NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. The video had its debut on a giant screen at the Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Carl’s a great guy, and it was a blast having him on set,” Moore said of Edwards’ participation in the video. “What a cool experience hanging out on the lake and fishing with my favorite driver.”

Moore’s two albums for Big Machine Records are his self-titled release in 2009 and Outlaws Like Me in 2011. He now is working on his third album.

The North Carolina band Parmalee opening for Moore on the WKXC-FM show began when brothers Matt and Scott Thomas formed their own group after performing with their father as the Jerry Thomas and the Thomas Brothers Band. They joined with their cousin Barry Knox and their long-time friend Josh McSwain.

Musta Had a Good Time, a typical country party song, was released in early 2012. The demo for the song actually was recorded in the band’s RV, which doubled as their “studio,” when it was parked at the Comfort Inn in Nashville, Tenn., near Music Row during the flood that devasted the Grand Ole Opry House.

Their most recent single, Carolina, was released last February.

Learn more about the band on their Web site parmalee.bombplates.com/p/music.


REMEMBERING ANNETTE: The death of Annette Funicello on April 8 was a personal moment because one of my sisters, Annette Holland, of Cobbtown, Ga., is named after her.

My parents were expecting only one girl, so when they got two, they asked my then 3-year-old sister, Linda, what name they should pick.

She loved watching The Mickey Mouse Club program on TV and suggested the other baby be named after Annette Funicello. That was a perfect match name to go with the baby’s twin sister Jeanette.

In 1984, I got to interview Funicello by phone when she came out with her country music release The Annette Funicello Album on Starview Records.

“That was one of the highlights of my career,” she said of recording the album in Nashville. “I grew up listening to country music.

“My parents, Joe and Virginia Funicello, especially liked the western swing of Bob Wills and Spade Cooley. They used to go to the Aragon Ballroom in Los Angeles to hear Spade Cooley.”

Funicello added, “I love country music because of its simplicity. There are not any big messages. You don’t have to pound your head after hearing a country song and wonder if you missed something.”

When I told Funicello about my sister being named after her, she thought that was pretty nice and mailed my sister an autographed photo.


REMEMBERING ROGER: In 1988, The Chronicle started buying and printing the syndicated movie reviews of Chicago-based columnist Roger Ebert.

In my then-role as The Chronicle’s entertainment editor, I got to set up a phone interview with Ebert, who died April 4.

Ebert was the only movie critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize, which he won in 1975.

“I probably went to more movies as a kid than most people,” Ebert said in our phone conversation. “Television came relatively late to my hometown (Urbana, Ill.), because the two local newspapers had a long battle over which was going to be first to open a television station.

“Usually, I went to the Princess Theater on Main Street. On Saturday you could see two feature-length movies, five color cartoons, newsreels, coming attractions and try to win the Duncan yo-yo contest.”

Ebert started writing film reviews while earning a journalism degree at the University of Illinois and writing for his college newspaper.

“The first movie review I did was of The Parent Trap with Haley Mills and the second was La Dolce Vita. I liked La Dolce Vita,” he said.

His lucky break was being hired as a general assignments reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966 and becoming the newspaper’s movie critic the next year when he was 24.

“The previous film critic retired and I got the job,” he said. It simply was a case of being in the right place at the right time.”


EVEN MORE REMARKABLE: My buddy, Bill Kirby last Sunday wrote about Lula Hurst of Madison, Ga., who performed her feats of amazing strength for only two years on eastern coast stages at “The Georgia Wonder.”

Hurst, who media called “Lulu” in spite of the name on her gravestone being “Lula,” is a chapter in my book Mysteries & Legends of Georgia.

While researching her life, I came across Dixie Annie Jarratt Haygood of Milledgeville, Ga., who picked up Hurst’s act (actually based on principles of leverage) and became even more famous as Annie Abbott, “The Georgia Magnet.”

Haygood/Abbott, who performed this week in April 1911 at the Bijou Theater in downtown Augusta, would entertain the crowned heads of Europe including Great Britain’s Queen Victoria and the czar of Russia.

Her husband, a law enforcement officer in Milledgeville, had been killed leaving her a widow at 25 years old with three children. She needed to support her family and apparently had seen an appearance of Hurst and figured out her secrets.

Abbott died in 1915 at age 54 and was buried in her hometown of Milledgeville in Memorial Hill Cemetery where novelist Flannery O’Connor and Georgia politician Carl Vinson also are buried.