As the premiere of Don Williams: Music & Memories of The Gentle Giant approaches, organizers announce guest performers such as Trace Adkins, Sara Evans, Tracy Lawrence and Victoria Shaw to pay tribute to the legacy of Don’s music. The three-day residency starts Thursday, October 31st and runs through Saturday, November 2nd giving fans a chance to experience a first in Country music history, where through technology and video footage Don Williams will perform, once again, along with his touring band and The Nashville Symphony.
Thursday, October 31st
- Trace Adkins
- Tracy Lawrence
Friday, November 1st
- Victoria Shaw
Saturday, November 2nd
- Sara Evans
Music enthusiasts attending the show will also get to see some personal artifacts that took Don to his place in Country Music history. On display at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be Don’s 1971 MCI tour bus, ‘Gypsy Lady’, which carried Don from show to show for many years until his retirement. In addition, inside the venue, ticketed patrons can view the medallion presented to Don as he was entering the Country Music Hall of Fame, his legendary cowboy hat and jean jacket along with Gold records and a few of his most recognizable guitars.
Williams – (1939-2017) – was one of the earliest Country artists to take their music globally. In addition to his North American success, The Gentle Giant toured extensively throughout Europe and Africa and his legendary songs reached all corners of the globe and continue to capture the hearts of fans worldwide. His catalog is among the most streamed music from his era.
Tickets for these shows are on sale via Ticketmaster and are also currently available with Nashville Symphony season ticket packages at NashvilleSymphony.org, 615-687-6400 or the Schermerhorn Symphony Center box office.
About Don Williams:
Williams first came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the folk group The Pozo-Seco Singers. The trio recorded several hit records, with the biggest being “Time.” By 1971, Williams had gone solo, and had signed a publishing deal with Jack Clement. The Hall of Fame producer was so taken with Don’s style that he offered him a recording contract with his JMI Records in 1972. Early hits included “Atta Way To Go” and “Come Early Morning,” as well as “We Should Be Together,” which became his first Billboard top ten hit from 1974. He then moved to ABC / Dot (Later MCA), where the hits increased. Tracks such as “Rake and Ramblin’ Man,” “Tulsa Time,” and “Nobody But You” helped to make him one of the most-played artists on Country Radio in the 1970s and 1980s. He took home the Male Vocalist of the Year trophy from the Country Music Association in 1978, and notched his biggest hit in 1981 with “I Believe In You,” which also crossed over to the top-30 on the Hot 100.
Subsequent moves to Capitol Nashville and RCA kept Williams on the charts into the 1990s, as he continued to play for huge crowds on the road. His success in the United States is well-documented, but the music of Don Williams has made him an international star – with followings in such places as Africa, England and New Zealand. He has placed 52 singles in the top-40 on the Country charts in the United States, with 17 going all the way to the top spot. Williams was a member of The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry. Williams appeared in the films W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and Smokey & The Bandit II with Burt Reynolds.
About Trace Adkins:
Towering baritone Trace Adkins has sold more than 11 million albums and charted more than 20 singles in his 25 years in Nashville, a remarkable run for one of country music’s most easily identifiable stars. With over one billion spins on Pandora (10 million per month), one million followers on Spotify and nearly 200 million plays on YouTube, the Louisiana native is back in the studio after releasing his 12th studio album, Something’s Going On, on BBR Music Group / Wheelhouse Records in 2017. A three-time GRAMMY Award nominee, Adkins has won three Academy of Country Music Awards, including the 2009 Single of the Year Award for “You’re Gonna Miss This” and Vocal Event of the Year with Blake Shelton for “Hillbilly Bone” in 2010. The Grand Ole Opry member is also an author and spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project and The American Red Cross, for whom he raised more than $1.5 million dollars as winner of NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. In recent years, Adkins has performed for our service members across 12 USO Tours. In his 2007 autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck, Adkins recounted his rise to fame, brushes with death, and battles with personal demons. Adkins has also acted in multiple films and television shows, playing a tough-as-nails biker in The Lincoln Lawyer (starring Matthew McConaughey), a desperate father in Deepwater Horizon (starring Mark Wahlberg) and a wise oracle of a tattoo artist in the family friendly film Moms’ Night Out (starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, Sarah Drew). Additionally, he played the role of MercyMe’s real-life manager, Brickell, in the box office smash I Can Only Imagine. The film was the third biggest selling movie on its opening weekend in America. For tour dates and more information, visit www.traceadkins.com or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TraceAdkins.
About Sara Evans:
Multi-platinum entertainer SARA EVANS is at the top of her game. As the fifth most-played female artist at country radio in nearly the last two decades with five No. 1 singles including “No Place That Far,” “Suds In The Bucket, “A Real Fine Place To Start,” “Born to Fly,” and “A Little Bit Stronger,” which spent 2 weeks in the top spot and was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A., Sara thrills audiences across the U.S. playing close to 100 shows each year, including 2019’s Bloodline Tour and the upcoming holiday shows, Blue Christmas Tour. Her “stunning, country voice” (Rolling Stone) has earned her the prestigious Academy of Country Music Top Female vocalist accolade as well as numerous American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Country Music Association, CMT and Grammy Awards nominations. In addition, the CMA awarded Video of the Year honors for her hit chart-topping single, “Born to Fly” from her double-platinum album of the same name. Evans’ discography also includes the platinum-selling studio albums Real Fine Place and Restless as well as the gold-certified projects Stronger and No Place That Far.
Sara continues to forge a bold, creative path with the launch of Born To Fly Records and her eighth studio album, Words, which debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart. The project has been dubbed the album of her lifetime that “captures an artist in full musical flight” (Associated Press) and was named among Billboard and Rolling Stone’s favorite country albums of 2017. In 2019, Sara teamed up with her daughter Olivia Barker and son Avery Barker to release The Barker Family Band as both children embark on their own solo music careers. Sara is in the studio herself, recording a new solo album, the follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed Words.
In addition to a prolific country music career, Sara has been honored for her philanthropic work and in 2018 was presented the NAB Education Foundation’s Service To America Leadership Award. A Red Cross ambassador, Sara received the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization and recently raised more than $10,000 for CMA Foundation and music education from the sale of her ONEHope Sara Evans Signature Series 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
About Tracy Lawrence:
One of country music’s truest traditionalists, Tracy Lawrence has sold more than THIRTEEN MILLION albums and has charted EIGHTEEN No. 1 songs. He has garnered numerous CMA and ACM awards and nominations, as well as a Grammy nomination. This past summer, Lawrence released his latest album, MADE IN AMERICA, a milestone for Lawrence – who penned 8 of the 12 tracks featured. Lawrence’s last studio album, 2017’s critically acclaimed, GOOD OLE DAYS, hit the #1 position on the iTunes Country Chart. In addition to his chart-topping success, Lawrence hosts the Award-Nominated nationally syndicated radio show “Honky Tonkin’ With Tracy Lawrence,” for which he has received two ACM nominations for National On-Air Personality of the Year. The show features music from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and is heard on more 90 affiliates. Tracy is also the co-creator of STORMING HEAVEN: THE MUSICAL, a production based on the novel Storming Heaven. Tracy, along with others, helped to develop the storyline of the musical and also composed songs for the drama. He was honored by the Nashville chapter of AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) with “Philanthropist of The Year” for his nationally recognized annual MISSION:POSSIBLE Turkey Fry and Concert, which has raised over Half a Million Dollars for the homeless and hungry in Dallas, Louisville and Nashville, and served more than 84,000 meals. MISSION:POSSIBLE is poised to make an even larger impact in the future, as the 501(c)3 organization expands into more markets across the country in 2019.
About Victoria Shaw:
If you’ve listened to music at all during the past twenty years – and honestly, who hasn’t? – chances are Victoria Shaw’s talent has touched you. The Nashville-based, New York-born, Los Angeles-raised triple threat has either written or produced some of music’s most memorable tunes and performed on the world’s biggest stages.
Whether you’re talking about Garth Brooks, Ricky Martin, or Lady Antebellum, Victoria’s Midas touch has helped craft music that makes memories.
Victoria’s #1 compositions include Garth Brooks “THE RIVER” and “SHE’S EVERY WOMAN,” Ricky Martin’s “SO’LO QUIERO AMARTE,” Doug Stone’s “TOO BUSY BEING IN LOVE,” Jim Brickman’s “SENDING YOU A LITTLE CHRISTMAS” and “I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE YOU ME,” recorded by John Michael Montgomery and Boyzone. Other hits include Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s duet “NOBODY WANTS TO BE LONELY” and the Garth Brooks/Trisha Yearwood duet “WHERE YOUR ROAD LEADS.”
Shaw is the recipient of an ACM award for Song of the Year, two daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Original Song, 4 Emmy nominations and numerous ASCAP and SESAC awards. She has performed throughout the world, including opening for Garth Brooks in Central Park, playing the London Palladium, and touring with her friend and frequent collaborator Jim Brickman.
In addition to writing and performing, Shaw is also a music producer including co-producing Lady Antebellum’s debut album for which Shaw won a 2009 CMA award for Single of the Year, “I RUN TO YOU.” Other production credits include Jim Brickman, Richie McDonald, Robin Meade (of Headline News) for Target exclusives, and The Scott Brothers (aka THE PROPERTY BROTHERS). Victoria is currently in the studio producing and writing with up and coming country artist, Cooper Alan.
In the fall of 2019 Shaw debuted her own series, Songwriters Under the Covers with Victoria Shaw, on the ALLARTS channel and streaming platform (check local listings or allarts.org). ALLARTS is the multimedia arts platform launched earlier this year by WNET (parent company of New York’s PBS station THIRTEEN and WLIV21 and operator of NJTV).