Country Gold Tour – Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune, Steve&Rudy Gatlin, Mandy Barnett and T Graham Brown
Country Gold Tour – Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune, Steve&Rudy Gatlin, Mandy Barnett and T Graham Brown
LEROY VAN DYKE
Leroy Van Dyke, of “Auctioneer” and “Walk On By” fame, star of the movie, “What Am I Bid?” is known around the world as an entertainer, recording artist, radio and television star, actor, auctioneer and veteran of the Nevada circuit. He has recorded over 500 songs, and probably holds the record for most repeat-performance bookings of any working, name country music entertainer. He has worked 40 to 70 fairs and livestock events per year for over five decades, in addition to a great variety of other engagements.
He was born on a farm (not in a hospital) in rural Pettis County, Missouri, without the amenities of running water and electricity. He was reared on a 3,000-acre ranch southeast of Sedalia and became fully conversant in all aspects of farm/ranch operations. His father was also the pioneer truck line operator in central Missouri, and Leroy became an expert over-the-road driver, hauling furniture, livestock, freight and farm commodities. This early training developed in Leroy diverse occupational abilities and a work ethic that has served him well in every aspect of his life.
Elementary schooling for Leroy was in one-room country schools, then to high school at Sedalia, where he ranked third in a class of 180 graduates.
Leroy is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a dual major: Animal Husbandry and Journalism, with a minor in Speech. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, did one semester of graduate work, and was a member of both the junior and senior University of Missouri intercollegiate livestock judging teams. Between his junior and senior years at the University of Missouri, Leroy attended and graduated from Reppert’s School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana.
After serving as a special agent, U. S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, in Korea, Leroy was catapulted into show business while working as a fieldman in the purebred livestock advertising department of the Cornbelt Farm Dailies, a chain of livestock newspapers, when his self-penned “Auctioneer” recording went a million-plus just weeks after its release. He then joined Red Foley’s ABC-TV Network “Ozark Jubilee” in Springfield, Missouri, as a regular member, and continued in that position for three years until the show left the air.
He again had a multi-million seller with “Walk On By,” a record that stayed in the charts an incredible 42 weeks, nineteen in the number one position, and was later named by Billboard Magazine as the biggest country music record in history! In 1961, Leroy moved to Nashville, Tennessee, then, in 1962, became a regular member of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry.
Music industry experts named Leroy Van Dyke as the Country Music Entertainer of the Decade for the 1960s. He had the starring role in the 1967 movie “What Am I Bid?.”
Leroy was a founding co-host of “Country Crossroads,” the most widely syndicated show in radio history; he hosted his own syndicated television series, “The Leroy Van Dyke Show;” he hosted the 1965 Country Music Association Awards Show at which Ernest Tubb was inducted into the Hall of Fame; he was the first entertainer to receive the prestigious Country Music Association Founding President’s Award for contributing to the advancement and improved image of country music; he served on the board of directors of the Country Music Association, and on the board of the International Entertainment Buyers Association.
He was selected by the Country Music Association to represent it in showcase situations at the Waldorf in New York, The Monteleone in New Orleans, The Edgewater Beach and the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, The Ambassador in Los Angeles and numerous Country Music Association functions in Nashville.
Van Dyke is considered by industry moguls and by his peers to be the entertainer who put professionalism in country music. He was the first to blaze a trail and take a staged, produced, choreographed, self-contained country music show to the “Strip” in Las Vegas. He was the first to take country music to Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. He was the only country music performer ever to open a show for Marilyn Monroe.
Leroy is a 2001 inductee into the North American Country Music Association, International, Hall of Fame, and is a member of the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2007, Leroy was the recipient of the Missouri Country Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, Leroy was inducted into the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s Hall of Fame.
Also, in 2008, Leroy was named the Alumnus of the Year by the University of Missouri (Columbia) College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. After more than five decades as an entertainer, Leroy has not missed a performance, and still travels in excess of a hundred thousand miles yearly around the world . . . he performs in all facets of show business, including fairs, festivals, concerts, rodeos, supper clubs, conventions, radio, television, recordings, the Nevada circuit, livestock events, agricultural shows and private functions.
On a personal note, should you ask, Leroy will tell you that there are only four things he ever wanted to do: sing, sell, write, and raise livestock. He is living his dream. His name is a household word in country music circles around the world. He is an auctioneering Hall of Fame member. He was a successful journalist, and is the author of “Auctioneering, Motivation, Success,” a work that is rapidly becoming the textbook of the auction profession. His Arabian mules are developing a reputation from New England to California and from Canada to the Deep South.
Jimmy Fortune toured, sang and performed with the legendary Statler Brothers for 21 years. He joined them first as a temporary replacement for Lew DeWitt, after DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended him. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by the Statler Brothers and performed his first show with them on January 28, 1982, in Savannah, Georgia. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers, and Jimmy was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.
Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group’s second No. 1 hit, “Elizabeth,” on their 1983 album Today, and followed that with two more No. 1 hits–“My Only Love” (from 1984’s Atlanta Blue) and “Too Much On My Heart” (from 1985’s Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote the top-10 hit “Forever” from 1986’s Four for the Show and co-wrote the top-10 hit “More Than a Name on the Wall” from 1988’s The Greatest Hits.
Jimmy has performed in all of the U.S. States, in Canadian Provinces, and in front of audiences as large as 100,000. He was part of the Statlers’ annual Happy Birthday USA celebration in Staunton, Virginia, for 14 years. He also sang on many of the Statlers’ gold, platinum, and double platinum recordings. Jimmy’s career included The Nashville Network’s popular “The Statler Brothers Show” which aired for seven seasons and debuted in 1991 as the highest rated show for the network. Jimmy was privileged to perform at the White House on two occasions, once for President Ronald Reagan, and once for President George H. W. Bush. He also presented a special gift to actress Elizabeth Taylor by singing his song “Elizabeth” to her for a birthday celebration.
Jimmy and The Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007, and inducted into the CMA (Country Music Association) Hall of Fame in June 29, 2008.
After the Statler Brothers retired on October 26, 2002, Jimmy seized the opportunity to launch a solo career to share new music with his fans. His first solo CD, When One Door Closes, was released August 2003 on Audium/Koch. He released a gospel album, I Believe, in June 2005, a Christmas CD, Feels Like Christmas, in 2006, a live concert DVD in 2007 and another country CD, “Windows” in 2009. Jimmy is currently living in Nashville, writing for Melrose Entertainment, and touring.
T Graham Brown
T Graham Brown was born Anthony Graham Brown in Arabi, Georgia. T’s first performed in a duo, Dirk & Tony before founding two more bands, “Reo Diamond” and “T. Graham Brown’s Rack of Spam” . He married his wife Sheila in 1980. The couple has one son, Acme Geronimo Brown T moved to Nashville in 1982 and found work singing advertising jingles for companies such as McDonald’s, Disneyland, Budweiser, Coors, Stroh’s, Almond Joy, Coca Cola, Sears, Dodge Trucks, Ford, Hardee’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, The Nashville Network, B.C. Powders, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Harrah’s and many others. He was also the singing narrator in the Taco Bell “Run for the Border” television spots.
T also found work as a songwriter for E.M.I. Publishing before signing to Capitol Records in 1984. He was with E.M.I. for 13 years. His first release as an artist for Capitol, “Drowning in Memories”, made TOP-40 on the Billboard country charts. His debut album and Title Song, “I Tell It Like It Used To Be”, went to TOP-10, followed by “I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again” which landed at No.4. His next 2 singles, “Hell and High Water” and “Don’t Go to Strangers” made their way to the number one slot.
His second album for the label, Brilliant Conversationalist, followed a year later and accounted for three more Top Ten hits. A third album, “Come as You Were”, produced his third Number One in “Darlene”. “. In early 1990, he sang guest vocals on the multi-artist charity single “Tomorrow’s World”, as well as Tanya Tucker’s single “Don’t Go Out”, from her album Tennessee Woman.
Brown joined Broadway icon Carol Channing for a duet of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” on her 2012 album True To The Red, White, and Blue. He also recorded a duet of You Are So Beautiful with Lulu Roman (of Hee Haw fame) for her 2013 album At Last. In 2012, Brown appeared on a Country/Gospel album “Working on a Building” featuring a quartet version of the title song with Marty Raybon, Jimmy Fortune, and Trace Adkins that reached No. 1 on the Gospel chart.
In 2014 Brown collaborated with producer Mark Carman to produce a new album featuring guest appearances by industry giants; Leon Russell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Cropper, Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Booth Brothers, Three Bridges, Jimmy Fortune, Sonya Isaacs, and Jason Crabb. In July 2014 the first single from the album was released on the MCM World Media Label. The song, “He’ll Take Care of You” was written by well known, award winning songwriters; Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson, and Donnie Fritts. It features vocal and guitar performances by country superstar, Vince Gill.
STEVE & RUDY OF THE GATLIN BROTHERS
When you think of the Gatlin Brothers, harmony is what naturally comes to mind. That “classic family sound” was and still is made famous by Steve & Rudy Gatlin. Now appearing together for select performances, ready to entertain you by singing all the hits you’ve come to know and love:
Broken Lady (Grammy Award Winner)
All the Gold in California
“These guys don’t just sing… they entertain and have a lot of fun, too!” Over the past few years, Larry, Steve and Rudy have had the privilege to take on several individual projects, including Broadway, public speaking, church concerts, and musical productions, as well as charity golf events. All three talented brothers will continue to work together. Steve & Rudy coming together for additional concerts is a natural extension of that great Gatlin Brothers sound. “A show we promise you will enjoy and have a lot of fun right along with us!”
Mandy Barnett, a native of Crossville, Tennessee, started singing at five years-old. She has been singing since. Mandy’s style is rooted in the classic country and pop crooning of iconic singers and enduring sounds. She delves into a song with a keen interpretative sense, studying the intricacies of its emotional content and rendering a powerful performance through her full-bodied voice.
Among the many publications praising Barnett’s talents, the Los Angeles Times has heralded her “pipes of steel,” “big, brassy voice and vintage-sounding arrangements.” USA Today calls Barnett one of the “finest classic country and torch singers” to come out of Nashville.
Mandy tours regularly, nationally and internationally, and is a frequent guest on the Grand Ole Opry.
Admission fee: $73.00 -$53.00 -$43.00 -$19.00
Blue Gate Theatre
105 E Middlebury St., Shipshewana