When “The Cowboy” George Strait announced last year that he is planning to retire from touring in 2014, local fans hoped that the legend would ride into the Derby City one last time, but Louisville was not included on the tour’s first leg. Well, fans can breathe a sigh of relief because the second half of “The Cowboy Rides Away” Tour was announced last month and Strait is scheduled to perform at the KFC Yum! Center on March 7. At press time, tickets for this must-see show had not yet gone on sale. Strait’s May 31, 2014 Foxborough, Massachusetts stop is the last show currently scheduled, but the big finale will take place in his home state of Texas in Dallas on a yet-to-be-announced date. The final leg of this tour will feature a variety of opening acts: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, and Chris Young. The opening act(s) for Louisville has not yet been announced.
Following the devastating tornadoes which ripped through Oklahoma on May 20, numerous country artists have stepped up to the plate to offer assistance and raise money for the victims of this natural disaster. Checotah, Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood collected $1 from each ticket sold on her recent “Blown Away Tour” and donated a whopping $1 million to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in her home state. Speaking of the donation, she said, “With the help of my fans who attended my concerts over the past year, we can offer the Red Cross a little extra help in comforting those affected by the recent tornadoes.” Country crooner and recent three-peat winning The Voice coach Blake Shelton, who was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma, teamed up with the NBC network to host last month’s one-hour musical telethon Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert with fellow Okies Reba McEntire and Vince Gill, as well as wife Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Usher, and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. The event raised more than $6 million for the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund to be used for recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Moore, Oklahoma native Toby Keith, who now lives in neighboring Norman, Oklahoma, will host the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on July 6 at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in his hometown. Keith recently said, “I grew up in Moore, I live in Norman, and I’ve got lots of family and friends who were directly affected. I know these folks, and they’re resilient, but we’re going to keep helping them any way we can. I’m proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities.” Joining Keith for this benefit show will be Oklahoma natives Garth Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood, and the legendary Willie Nelson. Brooks recently said, “Once we got the news that the tornado had hit Toby’s hometown, Miss Yearwood and I told Toby we were at his service for whatever he chose to do. I am amazed at the human spirit the tornado victims have shown. I am humbled by the giving of the volunteers. It is an honor to get to be a part of this healing process.” Proceeds from this special concert will also benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
Our hats are off to all the country artists and all Americans who have extended a helping hand and money to victims of the tragic Oklahoma tornadoes!
A visibly shaken Vince Gill with Patty Loveless sang Gill’s “Go Rest High On That Mountain” at George Jones’ funeral. Interestingly, The Grand Ole Opry had the video taken down with a copyright claim. Should that video ever be posted, we’ll bring it to you.