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Legends of Country Music and New Artists Invade Carthage, Texas

This weekend was Texas Country Music Hall of Fame weekend in “The Best Little Town in Texas.”

Grady Lee and Ann Stuckey
Grady Lee and Ann Stuckey, K-G-A-S Show Judges /Elaine Etheridge

Legends, like David Frizzell, Jim Ed Brown, T. Graham Brown, Helen Cornelius, Johnny Rodriguez, Jeannie Seely and T.G. Sheppard were in Carthage, Texas, to perform at the annual Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Show.

But there were also new talent contests that showcased local and regional artists with cash prizes and chances to star with legends.

I was honored to be asked to be one of the judges for this year’s country music showdown sponsored by radio station K-G-A-S. Among the judges, were local singer Mike Parker, singer/songwriter Grady Lee, and wife of Nat Stuckey, Ann Stuckey.

We found it difficult to pick winners because there were so many great performers. One of my favorite performers was Gyth Rigdon, from Lake Charles, La., who performed a Darius Rucker cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Gyth? Garth? We may be hearing from this young man again.

You’re liable to run into country music greats at the local restaurants in Carthage during the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame weekend.

It’s always fun to reminisce about legendary performers whose artifacts line the showcases at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum. They all performed in Carthage, Texas, or were honored posthumously. Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Tanya Tucker are among them.

Congrats to K-G-A-S radio station for putting on another incredible event and always to Tommie Ritter Smith and her amazing museum. The birthplace of Texas country music is only 45 minutes from Shreveport.

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