Price to headline Hank fest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2006

A versatile and legendary performer called both &#8220a man who saved hard country when Nashville went pop” and &#8220a man who went pop when Nashville was starting to call its name with pride” will headline the Hank Williams Festival this summer in Georgiana.

Ray Price will be the featured performer at the three-day event, set from June 1-3 at Hank Williams Music Park.

Other performers slated for the 27th annual show include Brad Magness, John Conlee, Billy Joe Royal, Jett Williams and Doug Stone.

Plenty of hard work goes into the festival each year, and Mayor Lynn Watson says fans will not be disappointed when the event rolls around this June.

&#8220We may not have some of the big, big names we have had in the past, but our overall lineup is definitely one of the best we have ever had,” Watson said.

Billy Joe Royal, who had a string of rock/pop and country hits in the 60s through the 80s, &#8220puts on a heck of a good show,” the mayor said.

&#8220Both Billy Joe and John Conlee will be with us on Friday. Those are two good names with a lot of big hits.”

Watson said Doug Stone is yet another well-known country performer &#8220with a lot of hits” who will be taking the stage on Saturday with Brad Magness, Jett Williams and Ray Price.

&#8220I believe there will be someone for everyone to enjoy at this year's event,” Watson said.

Headliner Ray Price, whose recording career dates back to 1949, was a close friend of the festival honoree. Price inherited Hank's band, The Drifting Cowboys, after Hank's death. He later formed his own group which, over the years, included such talents as Roger Miller, Johnny Paycheck and Willie Nelson.

Price's rhythmic sound dominated much of country music in the 50s; by the 60s, the performer had achieved a new sound laden with orchestral strings and Texas fiddles. Since the 1980s, the singer has performed at his own theater in Branson, Missouri, singing, playing and occasionally recording.

Price's biggest hits include &#8220Crazy Arms,” &#8220Danny Boy,” &#8220For the Good Times” and &#8220Faded Love.”

The three-day festival also offers arts and crafts, food and drink, and performances by local favorites such as Robert Layton and Blu Braden with The Music Makers and Starla Jones, among others.

&#8220We encourage folks to come out and support this event,” Watson said.

&#8220The Hank Williams Festival brings a lot of visitors to our area and that means a lot of extra revenue to our area – hotels in Greenville, Evergreen and Andalusia all sell out for this weekend. People eat, they buy gas, they shop – it's good for everyone.”

Advance tickets are on sale through May 31 for $30 each. Gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday and at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Friday-only tickets are $15; Saturday-only tickets are $25 each.

For more information, contact (334) 376-2396, fax (334) 376-9850 or e-mail