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franklin county times

Ronnie McDowell returns to Roxy

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside, entertainment venues are slowly reopening their doors to the public – and that includes a Russellville institution.

The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council is making plans for the Historic Roxy Theatre to reopen following more than a year of being closed because of pandemic restrictions.

Council members report the month of June has been scheduled for the reopening. By this time, many people will likely have received their COVID-19 vaccines, and most restrictions are expected to be lifted.

After rescheduling the Ronnie McDowell concert a couple of times from the original concert date of March 16, 2020, the doors will open for McDowell’s return to the Roxy June 26.

This year marks the 27th year for Ronnie McDowell to perform in Russellville.

“Through the years, he has formed friendships with so many in Russellville that he is more like our own hometown boy who has made it big,” notes the concert announcement. “His fundraising concerts have benefited the Roxy Theatre, the Chamber of Commerce and our local economy.”

According to the council, people come from all over the United States for this show, drawn by McDowell’s winning personality that has inspired a nationwide network of fans devoted to promoting everything he does.

Wanda Myrick, past president of McDowell’s fan club and an Arts Council member, has coordinated all of McDowell’s shows in Russellville.

McDowell boasts a string of hit songs he has amassed over the years, but fans say it is his stage presence and genuine warmth that fills the seats again and again.

He is best known for his 1977 song “The King Is Gone,” a tribute to Elvis Presley. To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than 5 million copies.

From that single onward, McDowell charted more than 30 Top 40 hits on the Billboard country music charts. He has toured constantly, promoting his album releases.  McDowell has performed with entertainers such as Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn.

Like all great entertainers, McDowell is still in demand on the road, and he tours relentlessly with his band.

McDowell sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer. He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me” and the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis,” as well as the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.”

In addition to his music, McDowell is also known for his paintings. He has created numerous paintings of Elvis and celebrities such as George Jones, Dolly Parton and Johnny Depp.

McDowell has turned his talents to paying tribute to the work of Walt Disney, and the paintings have captured the imagination of Disney Fine Arts, with pieces featured in Disney parks, galleries and cruises.

For tickets or more information on the June 26 show in Russellville, call 256-415-3270.

Prior to McDowell’s show, Kerry Gilbert and the KGB will kick off the reopening of the Historic Roxy Theatre June 12 at 7 p.m.  They will resume their monthly second Saturday show, “Rock’n at the Roxy” with special guests. This show is a local favorite that has been continued for more than 10 years.

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