Hall of Fame Showcase

Written by Teresa Dennard.

The Best in Country Music

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame is gearing up for a busy summer. With ticket sales for the August induction ceremony beginning the first Monday in May, the Hall of Fame Board is preparing for an exciting announcement--the newest inductee will be revealed June 1.

The last weekend in June will highlight two events. The first is a new program, Artist Development 101. This two-day program is designed for up and coming artists who want to learn more about the business; the performance side as well as the business side. “We are trying to offer these young entertainers a weekend to be with professionals in the business who can help them and answer questions,” says Tommie Ritter Smith, Hall of Fame President. “Professionals in the business such as Lang Scott, Ann Stuckey and Dallas Wayne will be part of the panel who will answer questions and help the kids with advice about performing and songwriting.” They will be presented with some tips on getting started in the music industry, as well as how to deal with the legalities involved.

On Saturday, June 25, the John Ritter Tribute Showcase Auditions begin at 9:00am at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. The contest is open to amateurs who will perform traditional country music before a panel of judges. Finalists will be chosen to perform again for “celebrity judges” on August 12 at the JRT Showcase. The over-all winner will receive a grand prize package that includes $1,000 cash, the title of Ambassador of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, an invitation to perform at the induction ceremony on Saturday evening, personal appearances at various shows and festivals, radio interviews, a vocal coaching package and artist development seminar.

“This is the 19th year for the Showcase, and we’ve had a great group of winners,” states Ritter-Smith. “Chris Colston from Lindale, Texas, is representing us this year. Some of our previous winners are in Nashville now and several have been invited by Hall of Fame inductees to open for them. It’s a great opportunity for these kids.”

For more information about the Hall of Fame events, visit the website www.carthagetexas.com/halloffame or contact the Chamber office at 903.693.6634. For Showcase auditions, contact Music Director Shawnda Rains, 903.436.8992. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Induction on August 13 are $60 and may be purchased at the Chamber office at 300 W. Panola or call 903.693.6634.