Millions of viewers of the ESPN cable network for almost a decade have heard Big Kenny (Alphin) and John Rich’s rocking recording Comin’ To Your City as the theme for the network’s College GameDay show.
So that is why it will be a special treat for local sports fans to hear the duo sing it in person when they perform Friday night, Nov. 4, at Lady Antebellum Pavilion at Evans Towne Center Park.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with the show starting at 6 p.m. with special guests Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister.
Lawn tickets with preferred seating are sold out, but there are still lawn tickets with bring your own seating for $25. VIP tickets are $110 with premium seating, dinner provided by The Varsity restaurant, private restrooms and preferred parking. Buy through gamedayladya.com or cityspintickets.com.
Alphin and Rich came together as songwriters in Nashville, Tenn., in the late 1990s and eventually were signed to Warner Bros. Records in late 2003 as Big & Rich.
Their association with the label would produce the hit singles Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), Comin’ To Your City, 8th of November and Lost In This Moment.
Since leaving Warner Bros., the duo in recent years have been releasing singles on their own label including Look At You, Run Away With You and their latest Lovin’ Lately featuring Tim McGraw.
Alphin was born in Culpepper, Va., and eventually moved to Nashville. He co-wrote Gretchen Wilson’s hit Here For The Party, Jason Aldean’s Hicktown and Amarillo Sky and solely wrote McGraw’s hit Last Dollar (Fly Away).
He is also known for his humanitarian efforts including trips to Darfur, Sudan, to deliver medical and educational supplies and to Haiti to help with rescue efforts after that country’s 2010 earthquake.
Rich had a good reason for co-writing Amarillo Sky since he grew up in that Texas town with his father, Jim Rich, being a preacher at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
His first success came as a songwriter and co-lead vocalist of the group Lonestar.
Rich will be performing in the Augusta area just four days before the presidential election.
It’s a pretty good guess who he will be voting for since he became a good friend of Donald Trump in winning the season four Celebrity Apprentice game show Trump hosted with Rich defeating finalist and actress Marlee Matlin.
The resident of Dickson, Tenn., during the course of the show, raised more than $1.2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
His final business task of marketing the 7Up Retro sales campaign celebrating the soft drink’s history found him paired with Lil Jon, Mark McGrath and Star Jones. Trump told Rich after his victory, “You’ve been a leader. You’ve been strong. You’ve been smart. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
EDGEFIELD CONCERT SERIES: Next to perform for the Edgefield County Historical Society’s new concert series is Flo Carter, the 2016 Greater Augusta Arts Council’s lifetime achievement honoree.
She will sing a variety of songs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the William Miller Bouknight Theater in the Joanne T. Rainsford Discovery Center, 405 Main St. Tickets are $12. Call (803) 637-2233 for reservations.
Carter, frequently acclaimed as a local legend, has been performing in the Augusta area and along the Eastern coast for more 60 years and hosted her own weekly TV show on WJBF with her band The Sounds of Joy.
Rounding out the series will be Americana singer/songwriter Carey Murdock on Saturday, Nov. 19.
BILL GAITHER BACK THIS WAY: Gospel music impresario Bill Gaither will be back in Augusta with The Gaither Vocal Band, at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Bell Auditorium.
Besides Gaither, band members are David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles.
Guest artists will include Charlotte Ritchie, Gene McDonald, Matthew Holt and Kevin Williams.
Tickets are $71, $37 and $27 regular admission and $24 for seniors 60 and older and children 12 and younger.
THE TRAVELLIN’ MCCOURYS: The Morris Museum of Art’s Budweiser True Music Southern Soul & Song series will feature The Travelin’ McCourys at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Imperial Theatre.
Comprising the group are members of the band of bluegrass star Del McCoury including his sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo
Tickets at $28, $23 and $15 can be purchased at the Imperial Theatre box office, 745 Broad St., or by calling (706) 722-8341 or online at imperialtheatre.com.
ANNIE MOSES BAND BACK: Augusta Amusements Inc. (Mike Deas) is bringing the Annie Moses Band back to Evans, Ga., with the band performing its’ public broadcasting special Art of the Love Song.
Performances at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Theatre, 7016 Evans Towne Center Blvd., are at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, ($39) and 7:30 p.m. the same day ($49). Call (706) 726-0366 or buy online at augustaamusements.com
RAMBLIN’ RHODES 46TH ANNIVERSARY: This week’s column marks the 46th anniversary of when I began writing it for the Saturday afternoon edition of the Savannah (Ga.) Evening Press on Oct. 31, 1970.
It was continued in the Saturday edition of the Augusta Herald when I joined that afternoon daily in late 1971, and in late 1972 it was moved to the Sunday edition of the combined newspapers. It has been online weekly almost 20 years since early December 1996. My first online column BTW was about Tip Toe Through The Daisies crooner Tiny Tim.
Country music authority Robert Oermann in 1982 wrote in The Nashville Tennessean that I was the longest-running country music columnist in America. Best I can tell from online searching I now seem to be among the longest running columnists of any kind in a daily newspaper, which is an accomplishment I never expected.
Because of the column, I became the first media person to write about Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Ronnie Dunn 10 years before he teamed up with Kix Brooks, the band Alabama through a phone interview with band member Teddy Gentry and also Joe Diffie, Baillie & The Boys and many others.
I first interviewed Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Tammy Wynette and George Jones in 1972 on the same show at Bell Auditorium, Garth Brooks in 1990 when he came to perform at Augusta’s Riverwalk Amphitheater, Reba McEntire in 1979 when she was recording duets on Mercury Records with Jacky Ward and Barbara Mandrell in 1973 when she was doing three shows a night, six nights a week, at a country music nightclub in the 600 block of Broad Street.
It’s been a wonderful, journalistic journey, and I thank you, loyal readers, for being along for the ride.