Ladies Night Out At American Music Theater


Seven of country music’s great female artists gathered together on Aug. 16, this past Friday night in Lancaster, PA for a super awesome package of country music as it should be played and listened to.

Crystal Gayle, Barbara Fairchild, Ava Barber, Norma Jean, Jett Williams, Jan Howard, and Shelly West gathered together to put on one of the best shows that has appeared at the American Music Theatre.  I promise you that no man should ever get in the middle of a conversation when 7 women are talking over old times.  You will not get a word in edgewise, but just listening to their stories let me know that they are a great part of the reason that country music has come so far, then when the new artists started taking over it has started downhill like a snowball rolling to hell.  These ladies were awesome to work with, did their jobs, met their fans, signed autographs, took pictures, shook hands and stayed until the last fan had left the building.
LNO-revThe one thing that was sad was that Leona Williams took a fall when she got off of the plane in Harrisburg, PA and dislocated her shoulder and was unable to appear on the show, which worried all of us until we heard from her that she was doing alright.  She is home in MO in a Branson hospital where they are keeping her under observation.  She has asked me to tell all of you that she appreciates your concerns and prayers for her well being.  She loves all of you, and I can tell you that the ladies truly missed her great presence and voice on the show, but there will be other times.
To go into detail about the show would take more space than I can have at this time, but I can tell you this, that when the show was over, the entire cast of the show received a standing ovation from the audience, and it was well deserved.  Each of the ladies still sang with super great vocals and looked as great as ever, and that is my heartfelt feelings, and I must say I enjoyed keeping my mouth shut for the time I was there to host the show.  All I had to do was tell them what time they would be scheduled to appear, how much time to do, and point them to the stage.  THERE WERE AWESOME.
And now about the band that backed the ladies and their music.  Call them musicians, pickers (and I hate that word), players, whatever you use to introduce them, I was honored and amazed at the sound that the 4 musicians gave for each performer.  It was as close to their recordings as they could ever get.  Bandleader Dick McVey put this group together, and he did a masterful job of getting charts to all players, going over all of their music, and then giving them a short rehearsal at the venue.  Dick played base, Doug Jernigan is as good as it will ever get on steel guitar, Glen Dickerson on lead guitar, and he and Doug made it worth my while to just sit and listen to them work their magic behind each artist, never once having to scramble on what they were going to play, Dewayne Harper on drums, borrowed from the Crystal Gayle Band, and what an addition he was to put together the rhythm section with Dick McVey holding down the fort and leading the group through each individual lady’s segment.  It was truly country music at its best.  My congratulations to the band as one of the best I have ever used.  They did do their homework and in my mind, they played for the music, and yes they received pay for their work, but they worked for the love of what they do, and I can tell you the audience appreciated their great efforts.  Thanks to Dick for putting this group together. I will surely use them any time I can because they are loyal to their word.
martymartel01To the Ladies I thank you for an awesome professional job, and for never missing a beat on entertaining your fans.  The youth of today would do well to take a lesson from these seven women, but as I said, never interrupt seven women talking over old times, if you are a man.
It was a great night for me, the audience and the American Music Theatre.  Wish you could have been there with us.
Marty Martel

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