Town & Country Days Celebrates 50 Years
Two big names in country music and several more local perennial stage favorites will top the fabulous schedule of events for the golden anniversary edition of Town and Country Days.
Held yearly the second week of August, this year Aug. 9-14, at the Wetzel County 4-H ground approximately three miles east of New Martinsville on state Route 7, Town and Country Days will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a big way. “The Board of Directors is very excited about this great celebration,” said president Merle Lemasters. “Our theme for the fair this year is ’50 Years of People Sharing’. We have worked diligently to provide the people of Wetzel County and the surrounding area a quality week of fun, excitement, and entertainment.”
Darryl Worley, known for chart-topping hits such as “I Miss My Friend” and “Have You Forgotten?”, and Little Texas with their number one hits of “God Blessed Texas” and “What Might Have Been” will grace the fair’s stage Saturday and Tuesday nights, respectively.
For 10 years Worley has been a mainstay of modern country, a distinctive singer, and first-rate songwriter whose music has chronicled life, love, and the world situation with equal facility.
Along with the previously mentioned number one songs, he also hit the top with “Awful, Beautiful Life”. He was in the Top 20 with the first three singles from his impressive major-label debut, Hard Rain Don’t Last–“When You Need My Love”, “A Good Day to Run”, and “Second Wind”–and followed with smashes like “If Something Should Happen”, “I Just Came Back From A War”, and the iconic “Tennessee River Run”. Most recently people might know this impressive 6’6” artist from his single “Sounds Like Life To Me”.
However, “Keep The Change” is Worley’s latest single presently gaining momentum at country radio. Darryl says the song was inspired by a title on a bumper sticker. One day while writing with Jim “Moose” Brown and Phil O’Donnell they started discussing their feelings about the way things seem to be going in this country.
“Most of the change this song addresses is the change that has been coming about for 30 or 40 years and not about President Obama,” Darryl explains. So many politicians today spend too much time fighting back and forth and worrying about the next election instead of finding the best solutions and working together. This song is not ‘red’ or ‘blue,” it’s red, white, and blue.”
“Keep The Change” is the first single from his new six-song project coming out this fall titled God and Country. It seems like a natural theme for this artist who has been known for his patriotic songs and military support. He recently returned from his eighth trip overseas in May. He has been awarded the VFW’s Americanism Award, the USO Merit Award, and the U.S. Army Appreciation Award.
“Patriotism has always been a part of my music but this is the first time I’ve let my faith infuse the music and it feels good to sing about things I have always believed in,” said Worley.
Over the course of his career, Worley has sold more than 1.5 million records and released 19 charted hits, the majority of which were penned by the platinum country star, including the three number one singles.
The other big name to grace the Town & Country Days stage this year is Little Texas, who will play Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The high-energy rockin’ country band may not have topped the charts for a few years, but that doesn’t stop fans from loving their new sound mixed with favorites such as “Some Guys Have All The Love” and “First Time For Everything”.
“Everybody still has a ‘What Might Have Been’ and there’s always a ‘First Time For Everything,’ and folks still want to ‘Kick A Little,'” shares bassist-vocalist Duane Propes, referring to the group’s continued rotation at radio and generations of both old and new fans that keep the band playing their classics and putting out new music.
The sophomore album, Big Time, released in 1993, has sold more than three million copies to date. It spawned three number one singles–“What Might Have Been,” “God Blessed Texas” and “My Love”–and captured the group’s first CMT Award, a Billboard award, a Radio & Records award, and a Grammy nod.
After the self-titled Little Texas album was released in 1997, Little Texas, the players, needed a break following years of performing a relentless concert schedule. Thus, at the end of that year, each member went his separate way, opting to spend time with family and friends, and work on individual projects.
Says Propes, “At that point it was time for our loved ones to have us back for a while. It all happened for a reason.”
Today, though, Little Texas is back! The multi-platinum band’s four original members–Propes, Porter Howell (lead vocals and lead guitar), Dwayne O’Brien (vocals and rhythm guitars), and Del Gray (drums)–have rebuilt the franchise with a completely new sound and with two recent albums under their collective musical belt, they couldn’t be happier to be back on tour and bringing fans what they do best.
“The four of us appreciate each other and still have a ball on stage,” says Gray of the band’s chemistry on stage after all this time. “There is a comfort level that happens to us when we play together that can only happen with 20 years of experience.”
Also returning to the Town & Country Days stage, a favorite in years past, will be Phil Dirt and The Dozers on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. America’s premiere “Rock ‘N R’oldies” review (and the most popular vintage rock and roll show in the nation) helps audience members recapture those wonderful days! With their musical talent, high energy, and contagious sense of humor, Phil Dirt & The Dozers will transport you to another time and place . . . namely, the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s of rock and roll.
Friday evening the stage will be owned by some local bands beginning with the Tharp Brothers at 6:30 p.m., Coaltrain at 8 p.m., and Days Later at 9:30 p.m. Also, Barbara Lynn and The Silver Eagle Band will open for Little Texas; Hundred Miles From Nowhere for Phil Dirt & The Dozers; and Gary Shelton will do the same for Darryl Worley.
Of course Town and Country Days is much more than just stage entertainment. The track offers great events each night: Monday, demolition derby; Tuesday, ATV and motorcycle motorcross; Wednesday, truck and thrill show; Thursday, 4×4 truck pulls; Friday, 4×4 truck pulls; and Saturday, ATV and motorcycle drag races.
Daily there are commercial, home, livestock, and produce exhibits; Bingo, puppet show; chainsaw demonstration; and drawing for prizes; as well as carnival rides and games by Deshler Amusements, which are included with the price of admission. Admission is $8 per day for age five and up. Season passes are available for $30.
For a schedule of events see the advertisement on this page and for more information visit townandcountrydays.org.