Merle Haggard at Hank Williams Festival

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2001

The Hank Williams Museum and Festival, Inc. announces plans for its annual "Hank Williams Festival", which is always held the first weekend of June. The Board is very excited about the festival entertainment that has been booked this year.

This year's event will start on Thursday evening, May 31st, with the "Hank Williams Song Writers' Contest". This will be the third year for the contest, which is coordinated by George Rohm of Mobile. Anyone interested in entering should contact George at 334-666-2097 or email at georohm@aol.com .The winner of the contest will be given ShowTime on Saturday to perform his song.

Friday, June 1st entertainment will begin at 4:00 p.m. and serving for a barbecue dinner will begin at 5:00. Entertainers for Friday will include Brad Magness and The Flying Buffaloes from Indiana. Brad and his band have performed at the festival since 1993 and have donated their talents to help with the fund raising efforts for the museum. Country Music entertainers T. G. Sheppard and the group Exile will headline the show. T. G. Sheppard is noted for his songs, "Do You Want To Go To Heaven", "War Is Hell (On The Homefront Too), "I Loved EM Every One". Exile has had several number one hits such as "The Closer You Get", She's A Miracle", Give Me One More Chance" and "The Girl Can't Help It".

Gates on Saturday will open at 8:00 a.m. with music getting under way at 9:30. Highlights during the day will include many of Hank's band members including Braxton Schuffert of Prattville, Clent Holmes, PeeWee Moultrie, and Berneice Turner. They will pay tribute to Hank Williams while singing many of Hank's songs. This is always a favorite time for the many "Hank Williams Fans" in attendance. Back for the 9th consecutive year will be Jet Williams and The Drifting Cowboys. Jett is the daughter of the great legend and Don Helms, known as perhaps the greatest steel player ever and who was in Hank's band, continues playing with the "cowboys".

Headliner for the weekend will be the great Merle Haggard. The board is most excited about being able to book Merle for the festival. For many traditional country music fans, Merle is considered to be one of the best along with Hank and George Jones. Among his hits are, "Mama Tried", "Okie From Muskogee", Workin' Man Blues" "If We Make It Through December", plus many more.

There will be other entertainers, arts and crafts booths, and food vendors to provide good family entertainment for the weekend. Make your plans now to attend the festival. Tickets will be on sale at the City Hall in Georgiana. Prices for an advance weekend pass will be $25.00 for adults and $13.00 for students, daily tickets: Friday $10.00, Saturday $20.00, and Barbecue $8.00.