This October, North Carolina is rolling out the red carpet for one of its own: legendary country music producer, Tony Brown. The Stokes County Arts Council, in tandem with the North Carolina Arts Councils 2019 state-wide campaign: Come Hear NC, are celebrating Brown’s accomplishments with a 4-day Homecoming Celebration from October 17 to October 20.
Born and raised in Walkertown, Brown got his start playing keys for Elvis before becoming President of MCA Records Nashville. During that time, MCA Nashville was awarded Label of the Year for 10 years straight. Brown went on to produce over 100 number one singles for the most well-known names in country music: George Strait, Reba, Trisha Yearwood, Lyle Lovett and countless others.
The first time I heard the name Tony Brown, I was twelve. My grandpa told me, Little Tony, from the Brown gospel family, was playing piano for Elvis. Then in the 90s, every country artist I listened to had Tonys name listed as the producer. I decided then that if I were ever in a position to celebrate Tonys achievements here in his home state, I would, says Eddy McGee, Executive Director of the Stokes County Arts Council. Its long overdue but well deserved!
Tony Browns Homecoming Celebration will kick-off on Thursday, October 17 with a reception at 7:00 pm.m. at Moores Springs Manor, 1229 Hall Road, Westfield. (Doors open 6 p.m.) Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for Stokes Arts Members. Opening reception festivities include an appearance and interview with Tony Brown, book signing, video and images from his career, light hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar.
Friday, October 18, 2019 join us for “Singers, Songs, and Stories” with Tony Brown at 7:00 p.m. at The Arts Place of Stokes, 502 Main Street, Danbury. (Doors open 6 p.m.) This presentation of songs produced by Tony Brown and performed by local musicians with commentary from Tony. Songs by George Strait, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Marty Stuart, Patty Loveless, Lyle Lovett, and Nanci Griffith.
In 2018 Tony Brown published “Elvis, Strait, to Jesus: An Iconic Producer’s Journey with Legends of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Country & Gospel Music,” featuring exclusive photographs and stories about his more than 40-year career as one of Nashville’s leading producers and executives.
“Elvis, Strait, To Jesus” showcases the people who have played pivotal roles in Brown’s life, dating back to his early career playing Southern gospel music with JD Sumner and The Stamps Quartet, which lead to work with Elvis Presley, and then through Nashville’s ‘90s boom where he produced multi-platinum albums by George Strait and many others.
McKay’s Books will host two book signings for “Elvis, Strait to Jesus” on Saturday, October 20, 2019 at the following triad locations:
10:00 a.m. – McKay’s Books, 1607 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro
1:00 p.m. – McKay’s Books, 745 Jonestown Road, Winston Salem
The Homecoming Celebration concludes with a NC Music Hall of Fame presentation and homecoming finale at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20th at the Walkertown High School Auditorium, 5240 Sullivantown Road, Walkertown. (Doors open 3 p.m.) The finale features a concert by EmiSunshine, special guests and more. Tickets are $15 General Admission, $5 Ages 18 & Under. All Opening Reception and “Singers, Songs, and Stories” ticketholders/attendees receive free admission to the Sunday event!