About a month from now, Joe Bielinski, host of Classic Country Review on KTFW/92.1 FM, will realize a dream when he presents Opry Comes to Cowtown beginning at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Round Up Inn in the Will Rogers Memorial Center.
The concert will feature country artists who made their names in the '60s, '70s and even '50s, including Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jeannie Seely, and Connie Smith, as well as comedian Johnny Counterfit.
These are classic-country names, and Bielinski says that it's a coup to get them all together.
"It's hard, because they don't like to travel that much anymore," Bielinski said during a recent phone interview. "And especially doing a package show costs a fortune. These people have been there and done that, so they're gonna get paid or they're not gonna leave home."
But Bielinski, who has been hosting Classic Country Review since 1991 - and whose parents ran Mingus' Trio Club, which was a hot country-music venue for 50 years -- has been wanting to bring Opry stars to Fort Worth for a long time. He's developed some clout through his show -- last year, he was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame -- and that helped him get the names.
"Even though they're on the Opry, they don't perform there all together," Bielinski says. "I thought, 'Man, if I could put five Opry stars together and put them in Fort Worth's backyard, it'd be really intriguing for people who don't want to travel to Nashville and wouldn't get to see them all togther anyway.' "
Bielinski says he first approached Anderson, a multiple-award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, author and former Nashville Network TV host (he also appeared for three years on the soap opera One Life to Live). "He's such a classic, famous guy, you'd want him to fall in first," Bielinski says. "If he's doing it, [the others] know it's gonna be cool."
The concert will feature Vegas-style table seating. Tickets are $65, available at 254-672-5900. Seating lis limited. For more info, go here. Meanwhile, here are a few hits by these artists.