I am discovering a whole world of tribute artists. I mean I'm discovering their existence, not that I'm buying CDs.
When I think of tribute artists, I tend to think of bad Elvis impersonators. But on Wednesday night, I saw a different possibility. We went to a show called Country Royalty - Tribute to Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was somewhat skeptical. Happily, I was pleasantly surprised.
It was an interesting mix of learning about the two artists, along with some entertaining comedic patter from Jason Petty, who played Hank Williams. He opened by saying, "Y'all are in the only spot in the country where you still need to run your air conditioner." He gave us interesting lessons on the life of Hank Williams, who wrote over 400 songs in his short life, and the development of particular types of country music. Katie Deal, who played Patsy Cline, taught us some women's history in addition to Cline's biography.
I knew all the Hank Williams songs, which surprised me a bit. I was only familiar with the most popular of Cline's songs. But I liked the show anyway--and I liked it far more than I expected to.
When I was trying to look up more information, I discovered that there are lots of shows like this one. One of our local theatres features shows that cover the music of the Beach Boys and the music of Peter, Paul, and Mary (not all of them together, but 2 separate shows).
I shouldn't be surprised. Years ago I saw the show Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, and then I was genuinely surprised at the size of the crowd. Musical history has all sorts of possibilities.