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Skaggs to play Jonesborough Days

Country music legend Ricky Skaggs will headline this year’s Jonesborough Days Festival, helping to put the event a “notch above” what it has been in the past few years.
“I think this will put us back as one of the top festivals in the area,” said Melinda Copp, chairman of the annual town event. “Jonesborough Days was great at first. We were one of the first in the area. But we can’t fund big names. It’s all we can do to fund the small names.”
That all changed when area resident George Shinn, executive director of TruLight Foundation and owner of Daily Bread Restaurant in Jonesborough, came to town leaders late last year.
“(Shinn) approached us wanting to bring a music festival to Jonesborough,” Copp said. “We talked to (him) and suggested they do the music part of Jonesborough Days, since that has been lacking.”
Shinn and his foundation secured Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder to perform at the festival on Saturday, June 30. They will be joined by well-known gospel group The Whites, set to perform the following day.
“Ricky Skaggs is the perfect fit,” Copp said. “He has the Jonesborough feel.”
Skaggs, a 14-time Grammy Award winner and seven-time winner of Country Music Association Awards, is a country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer and composer. He is best known for songs such as “You May See Me Walkin,’” “Crying My Heart Out Over You,” “I Don’t Care,” “Heartbroke,” “I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could” and “Highway 40 Blues.”
The June 30 concert will be a gated event, held behind the old courthouse on Main Street in Jonesborough. Tickets are expected to cost $15, with officials estimating an attendance of 3,500, Copp said.
“He will perform right before the fireworks,” Copp added. “That is going to be a packed night.”
Ticket sales from the concert will go to Shinn, who is paying up front for the artists to play at the festival, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting his foundation.
The Whites will perform Sunday, July 1, for free, at the same venue.
The gospel group includes Skaggs’ wife, Sharon White, her sister Cheryl White and their father, Buck White.
The group is best known for its songs, “You Put The Blue In Me,” “Hangin’ Around,” “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling,” and “Pins And Needles.”
“I feel like this is going to make the festival a notch above what it has been in the past,” Copp said. “It’s time for a big name at Jonesborough Days.”
Skaggs will make an initial trip to Tennessee’s oldest town on Wednesday, March 14, to host a fundraiser at Daily Bread restaurant on Jackson Boulevard.
“A Lunch Date with Ricky Skaggs and the Whites,” will take place from noon-1 p.m., with proceeds raised at the event benefiting the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry.
The event costs $75 per person and includes lunch, a meet-and-greet session with the artists and a performance by Skaggs.
“We are excited about hosting legendary performer Ricky and the Whites at the restaurant, especially for such a great cause in the JAMA Food Pantry,” Shinn said. “It will be such a great opportunity for country music fans, and is also a great kickoff to announcing the concerts at the (Jonesborough Days) festival.”
For more information about the lunch date event, or to purchase tickets call (888) 925-9521. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the fundraiser.
In 2011, the TruLight Foundation was established by Shinn, former owner of the NBA New Orleans Hornets. After successfully battling prostate cancer, Shinn said he decided to devote his life and resources to “do good works.”