Patsy Cline Classic (copy)

Zach Franz, president of Russ Potts Productions Inc., announces Monday that country music artist Clay Walker will headline the 12th Annual Patsy Cline Classic in Handley High School’s Patsy Cline Theatre on Oct. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with opening act Tom Wurth beginning at 7 p.m. Walker takes the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $39.50, $59.50 and $89.50 and are exclusively sold by www.eventbrite.com or by calling the Patsy Cline Classic box office at RPPI: 540-665-0598.

Country music star Clay Walker will be the headlining performer at the 12th Annual Patsy Cline Classic concert on Oct. 13 at Handley High School.

Singer-songwriter Tom Wurth will be the opening act.

The concert will help fund a new scholarship at Handley.

Walker made his debut as a recording artist in 1993 with the single, “What’s It to You,” which reached the top of Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart.

His other hit songs include, “If I Could Make A Living,” “This Woman And This Man,” “Live Until I Die” and “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.” Altogether, he’s had 32 singles make it onto the Billboard chart, including 11 that reached the No. 1 position.

The Recording Industry Association of America certified four of his albums as platinum for selling at least one million copies. Two others were certified gold for selling at least 500,000 copies.

His most recent album, “Texas To Tennessee,” was recorded in both his home state of Texas and his adopted home of Nashville.

Chris Mitchell, an announcer for Winchester country radio station WUSQ-FM (Q102), recalled that a glut of singers trying to make it as country music stars in the 1990s made it extremely hard for any new performers to achieve fame.

Walker, however, “broke through all the way to No. 1” on both his first and second singles, Mitchell said. He achieved popularity by taking time to meet his fans at concerts and attempting to relate to them, the announcer added.

In 1996, in his mid 20s, Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now 53, he conquered the disease after doctors originally predicted he would be in a wheelchair in four years and dead in eight, according to Mitchell.

Over the years, “he’s never missed a (scheduled) concert,” Mitchell added.

The Patsy Cline Classic is named after the legendary country singer, a Winchester native who died in a plane crash in Tennessee in 1963. The annual benefit concert for the Winchester Education Foundation is held in Handley’s auditorium, now named in honor of Cline.

Previous headlining acts for the concert have included Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, Wynonna Judd, LeAnn Rimes, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins, Sara Evans and, at last October’s concert, Ronnie Milsap.

At this year’s concert, Walker will take to the stage at 8 p.m. Wurth will open the concert at 7 p.m.

Wurth, who signed his first record deal in 2006, will perform an acoustic set. His singles include “Bread on The Table,” “Good Ground” and “If the Road Runs Out.”

Proceeds from the concert will go toward establishing a scholarship to be awarded to a graduating Handley student planning to pursue a career in the arts. The scholarship will be named in honor of former state Sen. Russ Potts, who was executive director of the education foundation. Potts died last December.

Tickets cost $39.50, $59.50 and $89.50 and are available online at eventbrite.com. They also can be obtained by calling the Patsy Cline Classic box office at Russ Potts Productions Inc. at 540-665-0598.

Zach Franz, senior vice president of Russ Potts Productions, called the Patsy Cline Classic “an annual tradition in our community.”

Glo Fiber is the presenting sponsor of this year’s concert.

“We look forward to supporting Handley High School,” said Glo Fiber spokesman Craig Venable.

Doors to the Handley auditorium will open at 6 p.m.

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