Country singer announced for fourth Patsy Cline Classic
By Josette Keelor -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER - Country singer LeAnn Rimes will perform for the fourth Patsy Cline Classic in November.
Russ Potts, former Virginia state senator and current executive director of the Winchester Education Foundation, announced the selection during a news conference Wednesday morning at the Patsy Cline Theatre at Handley High School.
"It's a very, very exciting announcement," Potts said, noting that Rimes' "fame and glory is absolutely unbelievable."
The concert, which will include a video of the late Patsy Cline and a supporting act yet to be announced, will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 14.
Rimes, a Grammy-award-winning artist who earned Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the hit single "Blue" when she was only 13, will be the fourth in a tradition of famous acts to take the stage at the school.
A major fundraiser for students and faculty in Winchester, the Patsy Cline Classic has in the past featured Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys and Wynonna Judd.
Other hits by Rimes include "How Do I Live," "Can't Fight the Moonlight" and "I Need You." Rimes also has expanded her career to acting and writing, having written four books -- two novels and two children's books.
According to Patsy Cline Classic promotional material, Dallas disc jockey and record promoter Bill Mack said he wrote "Blue" in the 1960s for Cline, who died before she could record the song.
Unable to find another singer to do the song justice, Mack held onto it for four decades, until he heard Rimes sing, said Chris Mitchell, of Winchester country music radio station Q102.
"He heard LeAnn Rimes, and that was it," said Mitchell, who said he remembers the stunning local response to Rimes' debut song when it aired in 1996.
"I want you to know what the reaction was when we heard this," he said at the news conference. "The phone rang off the hook. That was then, she was 13." He reiterated that those who called in to the radio station were "just unassuming, normal people." But they knew talent when they heard it, he said. They knew she was the real deal.
"I promise you, you will never regret choosing to see LeAnn Rimes here on this stage," Mitchell said. "Buy your tickets, trust me."
Tickets for the Patsy Cline Classic at the Patsy Cline Theatre will go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at Ticketflly.com, Potts said.
Those who enter the special pass code - Q102 or q102 - until 10 a.m. Monday will be able to order tickets before they go on sale to the public, he said. Ticket prices will range from $39.50 to $79.50.
"That's a departure from our ticket prices in the past," said Potts. The foundation made an effort to price the tickets moderately to make them more affordable to the community, he said.
Proceeds from the show will go to academic programs, schools and "wherever the WEF can help," Potts said.
Quoting Cline's husband Charlie Dick, Potts said, "Patsy would have loved LeAnn's work."