FAIRBORN — Classic country music is coming to Fairborn when Nashville recording artist Leona Williams and more make a rare appearance.
The concert till take place beginning 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 at the United Methodist Church Gym, 100 N. Broad St.
Williams, a native of Missouri, had her first radio show at age 15. In the late 1960s Leona moved to Nashville. It was not long before she was gaining success. She would play bass guitar and back up singer for Loretta Lynn’s band and in 1968 would release her first album. In 1976 she would become the first female artist to record a album inside of a prison.
Williams would join Merle Haggard’s band as a singer and would go on to be married to him from 1978-1983. Williams and Haggard had a top 10 song “The Bull and The Beaver” but she perhaps may be most recognized by her hit song “Yes Ma’am.”
Williams has provided vocals to albums recorded by many country legends including: George Jones, Randy Travis, Hank Thompson, Ray Price, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and many more. She has been inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame and has received many awards. Her career has allowed her to perform all over the world. She has performed many times on the Grand Ole Opry stage and appeared on many television shows like “Hee Haw” and “Pop Goes the Country” and was a regular for several years in “Branson.”
After the death of her second husband singer songwriter Dave Kirby, she now performs with her son Ron Williams who has also made several recordings and is a songwriter himself working with many artist. He will be part of her show in Fairborn as well a local legend Chubby Howard.
Ray “Chubby” Howard is a radio personality from Real Roots Radio that operates several stations out of Xenia. His radio show can be heard on Saturdays and Sundays. He has met and worked with many artists and tells of his adventures on air. He has performed the steel guitar for greats including Boxcar Willie’s band and for Buck Owens and Connie Smith.
In 2015, Howard was named to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in St. Louis. He was part of several USO Tours and started the first ever steel guitar club and performed at the Grand Ole Opry and at Renfro Barn Dance several times. He performs several times a week around the Dayton area at VFW-type venues, festivals and other events. Howard’s son singer Tony Howard will also be a special guest at the Aug. 27 show. They will join members of Steve Lake and The Swingmasters.
Steve Lake is a name many know in Nashville. He has performed with many artist and was part of Connie Smith’s band for many years. One of Lake’s claim to fame is he performed the last Grand Ole Opry Show at the Ryman Auditorium in 1974 and the next day performed at the first show at the new Opry House.
Brian Ehlers and Friends are also on the bill. Ehlers has performed with many groups opening for many national acts both bluegrass and country. He formerly booked music for the Piqua Heritage Festival and has served as manager of the Clifton Opry House. He has put together many youth bands and teaches music at Sinclair Community College.
“If the people show support for these types of shows, I am open to bringing more classic country Nashville artist to the Fairborn area,” Promoter Stan Oliver said.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be sold. Tickets can be purchased in advance for a discount. Order with a credit card at www.itickets.com or by calling 800-965-9324. They are also on sale at Real Roots Radio’s store Classic Country Connection, 23 E. Second St. in Xenia. For additional information call 937-856-6564.