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Ronnie McDowell returns to Roxy

This year marks the 26th year for Ronnie McDowell to perform in Russellville. The Franklin County Arts Council will open the doors of the Historic Roxy Theatre March 16 at 7 p.m.

Through the years, McDowell has formed friendships with so many in Russellville that “he is more like our own hometown boy who has made it big,” said arts council’s Susie Malone. “His fundraising concerts have benefited the Roxy Theatre, the Chamber of Commerce and our local economy.”

Malone said people come from all over the United States for this show. “Ronnie McDowell has a winning personality that has inspired a nationwide network of fans that are devoted to promoting everything he does,” Malone said.

Wanda Myrick, past president of McDowell’s fan club and an active FC Arts Council member, has coordinated all of McDowell’s shows in Russellville.

Malone said McDowell “has an amazing string of hit songs that he has amassed over the years, but it is his stage presence and genuine warmth that fills the seats again and again.”

McDowell is perhaps best known for his 1977 song “The King Is Gone,” a tribute to Elvis Presley, who had recently died. To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than five million copies.

From that single onward, McDowell charted more than 30 Top 40 hits on the Billboard country music charts. He has toured constantly, promoting his album releases. He has performed with entertainers such as Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn.

McDowell sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer. He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me;” the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career, titled simply “Elvis;” and the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.”

In addition to his music, McDowell is also a well-known painter.  With that talent, he has created numerous paintings of Elvis and celebrities such as George Jones, Dolly Parton and Johnny Depp. Now he is focused on the world created by Walt Disney. Anyone who is a Disney art lover might want to check out artwork by McDowell in Disney parks, galleries and cruises. He will also have art for sale at the Roxy March 16.

Tickets may be purchased from any Arts Council members or by calling 256-415-3270. Floor tickets range from $20-$30, and general admission tickets in the balcony are $15.