February 13, 2014
Most of you who have followed my career over the years know that the late Jimmy Dean was one of my closest friends in the music business.
We traveled together, vacationed together, went fishing together, played golf, celebrated, laughed, and cried together…and always tried to be there for one another, particularly throughout the last ten to twelve years of his life. He once chartered a private jet and flew from his home in Richmond, Virginia, down to Commerce, Georgia, just to take part in one of our City Lights Festivals. He wouldn’t let anyone reimburse him a dime.
That’s one reason I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be taking part in the First Annual Jimmy Dean Music Festival coming up on Mothers’ Day, May 11th , in Richmond. I’m going to have the opportunity to hopefully repay some of his kindness to me.
Jimmy and his wife, Donna, started The Jimmy Dean Foundation several years ago to support education in their community, and through this Foundation they’ve offered scholarships and incentive programs to area schools. The proceeds from the concert we will be performing in May will go to help build a learning center for the children in Henricus Historical Park, a Richmond landmark. More than 30,000 children visit the park annually.
The show will be held at the downtown Richmond Marriott at 2 p.m. In addition to our part of the show, Donna, who performs under her maiden name of Donna Meade, will sing and play along with Lynne Carnes and Brad Spivey and The Honky Tonk Experience. It promises to be a fun afternoon.
Or as Donna puts it, “It’s going to be a terrific opportunity to treat the moms in your life (or yourself) to an afternoon of very special entertainment.”
It’s been quite a few years since I have performed in Richmond, and I’m really looking forward to going back, especially for such a worthy cause. OH…and as part of the Festival, a life-sized bronze statue of Jimmy will be unveiled. It will be on display for public viewing in the Marriott lobby after the concert and photo ops are welcome. The statue will later be transported to Jimmy’s hometown of Plainview, Texas, where it will be part of the forthcoming Jimmy Dean museum.
Tickets are available at http://cwired.co/JimmyDeanFest or by phone at 1-800-514-3849. I hope lots of you will come see us and help make this special event a sellout.
Somewhere “upstairs” I can’t help but believe there’s a singer and sausage magnate and special friend with a big ole West Texas grin on his face.