Music, BBQ set for Morris fundraiser

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Next Sat., Oct. 3, musicians from all over the south will come together to do a music benefit for Lamar Morris, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer at UAB.

Morris has spent his life in the music industry. The Covington County native learned to play guitar as a boy, and was a regular on Saturday morning radio shows by his teen years. He left school for a fulltime music gig, and later was instrumental in the career of Hank Williams Jr., who at the time was his brother-in-law. Morris played lead guitar, but he also was a songwriter. Williams’ first No. 1 hit was Williams’ “Eleven Roses,” which also has been recorded by Trace Adkins, Al Martino, Don Gibson, Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis. He also recorded solo, and worked in publishing.

He now lives in Opp, teaches guitar, and performs now and then.

“Lamar Morris has no idea how many musicians he has inspired and influenced through the years,” said Wes Laird, his song writing and music partner for many years.

“Lamar probably thinks his biggest contribution to the music world was leading Hank Jr.’s Bama Band through the years when Hank was on top, but to me that pales in comparison to the number of young people he has taught guitar and voice lessons. Many have gone on from our area to be professional musicians. Many more, like me, just find stress relief in performing for others.”

The benefit will be held outside at the residence of Angus and Stacey Edgar on Highway 84 in Opp.

Morris, right, when he was a part of Hank Williams Jr.’s band, before leaving the road to teach guitar.  Courtesy photo

Morris, right, when he was a part of Hank Williams Jr.’s band, before leaving the road to teach guitar.
Courtesy photo

“Tripp Bass and Carroll Williams of Andalusia graciously agreed to provide sound and a house band for the benefit,” Laird said, “and it promises to be a special day.”

It will feature the Carroll Williams Band, and also include Simple Bluegrass from Dothan, Andy Norman from Montgomery, Doctors Lawyers & Editor Chiefs, E Town Band from Enterprise, and Southern Steel from Tennessee.

Southern Steel features Lamar’s son and Hank Williams Jr.’s nephew, Rickey Morris.

“Lamar and Cathy’s daughter, Samantha Drinkard, and their two granddaughters, will perform as well,” Laird said. “There will also be a number of guest appearances, including George Wallace, Jr., as well as other special guests.”

Barbecue plate tickets are being sold only in advance, for $15 each, and are limited to 200 tickets. They can be picked up that day from 11 to 1. Tickets may be purchased at Jus’ Folks Coffeehouse in Elba, Laird, Baker & Blackstock in Opp, or from Bass Agency in Andalusia. Everyone should bring a lawn chair and a donation for the music, which will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Musicians will typically do everything they can to help a brother in need and there has been an outpouring of support for Lamar Morris. It is a prime example though of how when a person has touched a lot of lives, it comes back around,” Laird said.

 

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