I can’t say this is a dream come true… because I never dreamed I’d ever being doing anything like this.
On Sunday night at the Starlite Theatre in Branson , Missouri, I will be heading up the video crew of Artistry Entertainment Agency as we will be a part of John Schneider‘s benefit concert that will go to help those affected by the recent floods in Baton Rouge. This opportunity and privilege to help came about pretty unexpectedly and as such it’s been a rush and flurry of activity and action getting everything in place and ready to rock n roll. Nothing better than a stressful rush to get the old blood pumping. But I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
As I’ve mentioned throughout numerous reviews and posts over the years, I’ve always been a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard. And while I appreciate all of the cast and many of their various pre and post Dukes endeavors, John Schneider has truly been involved in so many different projects that have fueled my entertainment needs. From his music career to his work on Smallville and now his efforts in promoting and creating independent films, I just can’t help but love the guy.
John’s music career has been pretty far on the back burner of his to do list these days but the string of hits he put out in the 80’s are pure honky tonk gold. As a country music disc jockey and then later program director in the 90’s, I got myself in numerous bouts of trouble when I would “break format” and drop a few of those into my show. That was back when the world revolved around Garth Brooks and just as Tim McGraw was starting to screw things up. Consultants were pushing music and program directors far and away from the “old stuff” and since the sales department (who can’t dance or hold their liquor by the way) agreed and the music muzzle was applied.
Well, I was never know to follow the rules too terribly well. Sure I did what I was supposed to as far as formatics and all but there is something in my DNA that simply could stomach playing McGraw’s “Don’t take the girl” twice in one day everyday for month’s on end ( don’t even get me started on “Indian Outlaw”). So, I didn’t and filled that hole with something that was a helluva lot more fun or nostalgic. John’s music definitely fit the bill. And to note, once I became a program director, his stuff became regular in my rotations. And in both of those roles, the audiences loved me for it. So bite me Jay and Mark, wherever you are.
As the years rolled by and I got out of the radio business for good, caught the film bug and then of course the blogging bug, I embraced my “inner geek”, John showed up again in the role of Jonathan Kent on “Smallville”. This to me was an absolutely perfect fit. I can’t think of any better actor, in regards to his presence, character and charisma to help mold the young man that would become Superman. And if you watch the Smallville series finale you’ll see how right that choice was…
And if you didn’t tear up during those scenes between Clark and his Dad, you really should just go back to your cliff overlooking Whoville, Mr. Grinch.
Since that time John has been actively working on his own independent films and projects which are really quite good. I must admit, I haven’t seen them all but from what I have seen, I’ve enjoyed. Also his interactions and outreaches on social media, especially Facebook, have been very cool to connect with. It’s also had the opportunity to be heartbreaking as we all watched his studio get washed away by Louisiana flood waters, not once but twice. Cruel hand of fate for just a good ole boy. But, just like Bo Duke or Jonathan Kent, it’ll take more than that to lick him. And not only is he recovering he’s coming back to help out those who were also bullied by the treacherous Boss Flood. And in my own little way, I and my awesome and amazing crew get to be a part of this slug fest, and you can too actually.
As I mentioned, the benefit concert is coming up this Sunday night August 28th , 2016 at the magnificent Starlite Theatre in Branson, Missouri on the legendary Highway 76 strip. Doors will open at 6P and the show will begin at 7P. Adding to the night of fun and entertainment John will be joined by another legend of the 80’s music scene; Johnny ‘Picking up strangers / Looking for love in all the wrong places” Lee and rising star Jason Pritchett. Admission is by donation, but we would truly appreciate a minimum of $20 per person. Plus there will also be a silent auction held with all of the proceeds going back to help the folks affected* by the floods.
*To note I don’t use the term “victim” because that would give the appearance of weakness when the exact opposite is true. I’ve been watching the PEOPLE of Baton Rouge doing some wonderful and incredible acts of human kindness for one another. That’s not a victim, that’s a survivor. That said, it doesn’t take away the needs these folks have. A 1,000 year flood obviously washed away lifestyles that he took a lifetime to build and in that they do need a hand.
Before I wrap up and get back to working on the stuff for the show I want to send a shout out to some folks who aren’t looking for recognition but deserve at least a tip of the hat:
Branson, MO Mayor Karen Best. Talk about a proactive mayor. Bravo and kudos on al the work you’ve been doing in bringing Branson back to it’s “best” (pardon the pun, I couldn’t help myself)
Linda Merkling and the crew of the Starlite Theater. You are simply the best. In the few months that we at Artistry Entertainment have been working with you, it’s been fun and a little challenging but that’s what makes the stars shine extra bright in our efforts and work.
John Scheider, Johnny Lee and Jason Pritchett – Kudos for stepping out and stepping up on stage to share your talents to help folks out. That’s exceptional character personified and may no-one miss how incredible that truly is.
Derek Usery Sr., Toinette Madison and Kim Rosson – You guys are stepping up in a huge way to make the production process happen on this one and I truly appreciate it. Word’s really aren’t enough but still THANK YOU!
Artistry Entertainment – Matt Duncan, you’ve opened doors that I never had the chance to walk through before, thank you for that. And we aren’t even close to the end of this long hallway 😉 My wife, best friend and partner; Alicia Bumgardner. You my love, are my rock and without you I couldn’t keep pushing so hard. With you in the field with me, I can relax (okay, a little).
And of course YOU dear readers. Without you all this would just be a journal entry that no one would ever see, and that would kind of suck right now since I need, request and kinda sorta beg all of you to share the information about the concert with everyone you know. Regardless whether or not you can make it to the show, the live stream will be able to bring the show to you. I’ll get you the final official that info ASAP.
I know I can count on all of you and I do truly appreciate you all. Back to work for me and as always I strongly encourage you to Now, Go Play! – Jim 08/26/2016