MAY 24, 2012
Con was very pleased
to be invited back
to be part of the
Opry Country Classic series at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.The series runs on Thursdays in May and again in October, and is hosted by Con's great friend, Larry Gatlin.
Each show is chock full of incredible talent and features a line-up of different artists every week.
|Larry is the perfect host
for this show, with his warm personality, great sense of humor, and of course his broad musical talent.|
Larry (right) and WSM announcer Eddie Stubbs get the crowd fired up and ready for the show.
And the fans just love 'em!
|First a little music, then
Larry insists on a little audience participation...|
|Larry's first guest this
evening is the lovely Rebecca Lynn Howard. |
In addition to being a talented singer, Rebecca also has written songs that have been recorded by John Michael Montgomery, Patty Loveless, Reba
|Next up is Country Music
Hall of Famer,Charlie McCoy. Charlie is well-known in country music circles, and has the distinction of being |
a staff band member
on one of the longest running television shows
of all time, Hee-Haw.
The list of artists that Charlie has worked with over the years also includes music greats Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, and
|Rhonda Vincent is next to
take the stage. Rhonda is a fan favorite and has recorded with Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Gene Watson and many others.|
|After her solo performance,
Rhonda invites Rebecca back to the stage, and the two songbirds wow the crowd with a beautiful duet! |
|Larry then brings Con to
the stage, and begins telling stories of their early years together, sharing time on the road a "few" years ago...|
|Con loves performing at the Ryman....
it's a special place with a remarkable sound and feel. |
And it's not just
the artists and musicians
who are moved by the aura of this room - the audiences are, too.
|Con performs his version of
the Bill Anderson classic, "Still".|
|Next, Con delivers pure
emotion on "You've Still Got A Place In My Heart" from his No Limit CD. |
|Larry then picks up
his guitar to join Con on stage. Looks like something special is 'bout to happen!|
Con was working on a record in 1980 on the Warner Brothers record label. While Con and the producers were working
in the studio one day, Larry dropped by to personally hand deliver a song he had just written and wanted Con to record. He sat there in the studio and sang the song, "Straight To My Heart",
for Con and it just knocked him out!
|Con did indeed record the song
and it has remained one of his all-time favorites for all these years. Con's version is available here on the website, on the I Don't Want To Lose You CD. |
But tonight's audience is in for a
real treat...Con and Larry are gonna sing the song together...just the two of them singing with Larry's spectacular accompaniment on guitar.
|The two friends are enjoying
this very special opportunity to sing the song together!|
|The audience was completely
captivated by this unique moment in the show...powerful and soulful.....it just don't get |
|To close out this evening's show is the
incomparable Ray Stevens. Super talented, super funny and always unpredicatable... ...that's Ray! |
Audiences love his comedic novelty songs, but they also know what a wonderful writer and arranger he
is. Ray penned the unforgettable tune "Everything Is Beautiful" and he brought the jazz standard "Misty" to country music fans by thinking out of the box and arranging the song with steel, fiddle,
and banjo. Ray's arrangement of this timeless song has become a classic in it's own right.
|Con and Ray take a few minutes to catch up
backstage. They've known each other since they were both with Warner Brothers Records years ago.|
|Con with the talented and legendary Charlie McCoy.|
|Con with his buddy |
and Opry announcer
A well-known and well-loved radio personality at WSM Radio, Eddie is also one of the greatest Country Music historians anywhere.
|And with the talented and lovely Rhonda Vincent.|
|Con and Larry |
hang out backstage
for some fan pictures.
As expected it's been another great night here at the Ryman with good friends sharing a lot of laughs and a lot of great music. Let's do it again...soon!