Roxy Theatre announces summer schedule

By Susie Hovater Malone
For the FCT

The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council is getting ready for a rockin’ summer at the Roxy Theatre, and the council wants to make sure the community is “in the know” when it comes to live entertainment available in Russellville.

Beginning Saturday, July 8, Kerry Gilbert and the KGB Band, will kick off the lineup with Jackson Nance as their guest. Nance, a 22-year-old singer, songwriter, musician and producer hails from Laurel, Miss., but is currently based in Franklin, Tenn. He has been perfecting his performance from an early age.

He is the youngest male artist to ever sign a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music at age 15, the same age he performed at the Roxy as a guest of the KGB.
Nance was commissioned by The Alabama Tourism Board to write and record an original song with session musicians from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as the Swampers.

He spent time on music row perfecting his songwriting abilities under the wings of some of Nashville’s greatest songwriters, including Devin Dawson, Jimmie Allen, Danny Orton, Mark Bright and many more. He has opened for or shared stages with Billy Ray Cyrus, Jeffrey Steele, Little Texas, Delbert McClinton and Jamey Johnson, among others.

Rick Revel is also on the lineup. A singer-songwriter from Tenn., he has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year by the 2023 Josie Music Awards. Revel is known for his historical reenactment performances, as well as being the owner and founder of the American Music and Entertainment TV, which produces shows for Roku and Amazon Fire. His latest song release is “The Father of the Blues” about W.C. Handy.

The Burnells take the stage July 15 at 7:00 p.m. Their show will feature rock, blues, country-western, folk and gospel. The band consists of Mark Kelly, Gary Hyche, Kat Beckham, Jason Ruha, David Kilmer and Mike Fields.

Their new album, Turn to Now, was recorded at Wishbone Studios in Muscle Shoals, with owner Billy Lawson producing. It also includes appearances by Travis Wammack, Brad Guin and Spooner Oldham. Mark Kelly, a graduate of Russellville High School, and the Burnells donate to local non-profit projects, including the Russellville Coalition for the Homeless.

The W. C. Handy Music Festival begins on Thursday, July 21, and runs through Sunday, July 30. The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council will sponsor its 22nd year of the “W. C. Handy Evening at the Roxy with the Great Pretenders” show on Thursday, July 27, at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be presented by local talent, featured as “The Great Pretenders,” performing songs of their favorite artists and music celebrating W. C. Handy’s contributions to the music industry.

Saturday, August 12, Kerry Gilbert and KGB show will feature Austin Bohannon as the special guest. Bohannon is an up-and-coming country artist based out of Muscle Shoals. A native of Russellville, he is known for his outstanding career in Division I baseball. He is now pursuing a career in the music industry, currently working alongside Grammy Award winning artists, producers and engineers, as well sharing the stage with some of the best performers in Muscle Shoals.

The 42nd annual Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Festival will be held Friday, Aug. 18 and Sat., Aug. 19, in downtown Russellville. On Saturday, entertainment at the Historic Roxy Theatre will feature “Dancing through the Decades,” which will feature musical favorites from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and current times.

Auditions for “Dancing Through the Decades” will take place Mon., July 10, and Wed., July 12, at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Roxy. Application for auditions can be found on the Facebook pages of the Historic Roxy Theatre, the Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular and the Roxy’s Salute to Broadway Facebook Page.

This show starts at 10 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m. Other groups featured will include Addie’s Flip Tip and Tap and Tara Greenhill’s students. Tickets cost $5 for one show, or $10 for a day pass.

Auditions for the Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular will be held August 26– 28. More information will be released soon and can be found on the Facebook pages of the Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular, Historic Roxy Theatre and the Roxy’s Salute to Broadway.

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