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Mark your calendar: Fresno Grand Opry

LIF DLW OLD MOVIE HOUSES LIBERTY.JPG

Nashville ain’t the only city that can have an opry. Radio station KFSR (90.7 FM), the Big Fresno Barn Dance and a committee of community volunteers have announced plans for the Fresno Grand Opry.

The event is May 14 at the historic Liberty Theatre (aka the Hardy Theatre).

The idea is for a handful of well-known local musicians, not of the country-music persuasion, to cover classic country music from the likes of Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.

Confirmed performers: Mofo Party Band, Deja Blues, Blake Jones & Trike Shop, Strange Vine, Karen Marguth, Rockville and Josh & Jaime.

Writes Jaime Holt — part of the six-person volunteer committee behind Fresno Grand Opry and the Jaime in the Josh & Jaime duo:

We were looking for something that wasn’t being done that would involve local music and showcase one of the great old theaters downtown. The Liberty really is a gem. Old-school country western music is beloved by lots of local bands, but no one was really performing it live. The folks involved in the event also feel that the old school stuff is a far cry from the modern stuff selling out the Save Mart Center. The old stuff is about heartache, prison, divorce, alcoholism, etc, and the new stuff is a lot tamer. This makes the old stuff really meaty for a live show

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door, will all proceeds going toward KFSR. Tickets should be for sale soon at myticketportal.com.

Responses to "Mark your calendar: Fresno Grand Opry"

Michael says:

You had me at Johnny Cash. Though I hope someone does some Buck Owens too.

blake says:

I’m with Committe-Member Jaime on this one: The Trike Shop is all for heartache, prison, divorce, alcoholism, etc.—-oh, wait a minute…

(It’s gonna be a good show!)

Fher1286 says:

This sounds like it’s going to be an awesome show. I love old school country music for those same exact reasons (heartache, poison, alcoholism…) and it will be great to hear some of the local bands put their spin on it. I have to agree with Michael up above in hoping someone does some Buck Owens. I wouldn’t mind hearing a little bit of the Possum George Jones, though.

hilary says:

this is the same night as Swede Fest 7! decisions decisions.

Mike Oz says:

Swede Fest is at 5. It’s not TOO long usually, so you can probably do both. Not too far apart either.

Creative overload!

Heather says:

Swede Fest is free. My decision’s made.

What time does the Opry thing start?

Bryan Harley says:

Swede Fest should wrap up around 7pm, plenty of time to drive (or walk!) over to Liberty.

Btw, nobody’s been making a big deal of this but… LIBERTY THEATRE!!! Fresno’s oldest still-standing theatre! This is awesome. I was talking to Craig Scharton and he said there hasn’t been a public event like this at Liberty in 40 years!

blake says:

@fehr1286—yes!
George Jones…The Race is On is one of my faves. and: you went from ‘prison’ to ‘poison’…man,this IS gonna be a serious show.

@Bryan—yes! The venue’s gonna make the whole thing that much cooler!

Tony Martin says:

40 years ago? That is a big deal! What time does it start? I’d like to come support this show! Great bands, sounds like a cool venue! Is it All Ages or 21+?

George B. Feist (DUKE) says:

I hope some obscure country is done too, not just the obvious. Sun Records Country
Carl Perkins early sides were down-home hillbilly, same goes for Charlie Feathers. Slim Rhodes must have been their first country artist and The Miller Sisters were also pushed real hard, but never had much success, also check some sides of Malcolm Yelvington and Warren Smith even if they’re more considered Rockabilly.. Then there is always Jerry Lee Lewis who recorded plenty country at Sun and would become a big country star later. Right behind them came Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Bill Justis, Harold Jenkins (a.k.a. Conway Twitty)…and my ALL TIME FAVORITES…SONNY BURGESS AND BILLY LEE RILEY…My gal is RED HOT….

http://www.boija.com/skivor/sun_singles.htm

Why are there no Country artist on the bill? These are all great acts but there are great country artists in the Valley that are being ignored. I truly guess that country is just not cool anymore.

Bradley Rogers says:

Sorry I miss read the article. It would be nice to see a hoe down with some of the veteran musicians in the Valley. So many have given’ their entire life to country music and now they have no place to play. My sincerest apologies and good luck with the show.

Famous says:

Yeah, there was a bit of a blow up about this over on FB. And while the frustration seems a bit misplaced, the point is well taken. Hopefully this will get someone motivated to put on a show with some of these original guys doing there thing.

bradley rogers says:

Thank You Famous. I agree but the frustration is still there. Such a shame that we neglect such a valuable and shrinking resource. Just no draw for classic country in Fresno anymore.

So I have a chance to hear “Ring of Fire” performed live? That would awesome. Tell me somebody wants to do that one.

Ben says:

I would love to hear Brad “Dudeboy” Rogers at this gig. Kevin Blake Willard also is the real deal.

Hey Ben,

Come on out to Audie’s tonight Bro! I’m opening for Petunia and The Vipers…..

Yee Haw!

Fher1286 says:

I like his gut-wrenching songs. My favorites are ‘Grand Tour’, ‘Tell Me My Lying Eyes Are Wrong’, and ‘She’s Mine’.

I also wouldn’t mind hearing some Harlan Howard or Ray Price on here. Essentially anything honky tonk i’m down to hear.