RICHMOND –Farris Theatre hosts classic country music in March.
“And I do mean classic,” John Sharp, the Richmond musician who is organizing the show, said. “Songs from the ’40s through the ’60s.”
That means no songs by Garth Brooks, Clint Black or Luke Bryan.
It does mean songs by Tanya Tucker, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Connie Smith, Hank Williams, Ray Price and Johnny Cash.
“This is a classic country music appreciation show,” Sharp said.
At the show Saturday, March 14, Sharp will share the mic with local favorite Mary Lou (Baker) Leslie, as well as D.D. Snyder, a singer from southern Missouri.
“Nobody on this show is a rookie,” Sharp said. “I’m as close to a rookie as anyone, and I’ve been at it 40 years.”
Sharp said he picked up a guitar at 26, an age at which most people give it up. Since then, music has been his full-time job.
“I was a road musician for 25-30 years,” he said, adding that, after a break to attend to personal matters, he returned to the “only thing I know how to do.”
He said he sent a sample CD to Snyder, who runs the Truman Lake Opry near Warsaw, Missouri. Performances there include musical shows, dinner theater and guest artists.
“It’s quite a fine establishment,” Sharp said, adding Snyder has made him part of her musical family for the past five years.
Sharp has also performed with Leslie over the years, including at country shows at the Farris in the early 2000s.
Leslie said her own career began at the Farris decades ago,
“My very first singing performance was at the Farris when I was 10 years old,” she said. She won a talent contest and was given a choice of prizes: a teddy bear or $5. “I took the $5 home to Mama. She bought cabinets.”
Joining the singers are a band of “nothing but professionals,” Sharp said.
For example, John Sharp, of Sedalia a “very good drummer, a young prodigy,” Sharp said.
Lead guitarist Wayne Vaughn travels and plays behind a lot of big-name artists, Sharp said.
David George comes from a musical family and usually plays lead guitar, but he is playing bass for the Richmond show.
Jerry Foster plays steel guitar. A lifelong musician, he said that when he was serving in the Army in Germany in the early 1960s, he was invited to join The Beatles onstage and played George Harrison’s guitar.
“That said something about his talent,” Sharp said.
Sharp said people are always asking him where they can hear good, classic country music.
“This is their chance,” he said. “Classic country music in your own backyard. Come out and support it.”
Individual tickets for reserved seats are $15.
The show begins at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. March 14. To order tickets, call (816) 776-6684, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.farristheatre.com.
Additional information is also available at the theater, 301 W. Main St., Richmond, MO, 64085.