I would like to share a few experiences of the full and rich life of one of our most highly accomplished local residents, Jim Clayton. He is returning to his first love, music, and will join the Union County Opry Band for a live performance this Saturday. Clayton’s uncle gave him his first guitar on his sixth birthday, and he was in love! As he grew older, he idolized Eddie Arnold and wished to be like him; but God had better plans.
Union County Opry
Last year on March 1st I was so happy to share the exciting news of the Union County Opry with our readers! I concluded the article with the news that I had a copy of their schedule on my refrigerator and was looking forward to catching some of their shows, inviting you to join me. Then the Coronavirus hit. Our world seemed to stop spinning as the pandemic raged on. I confess that it was an unreasonably long time before I could bear to remove that show lineup, well into the Fall, long after any hope was gone.
County Commissioner Debra Keck enlightens us regarding the Joint Economic Community Development Board (JECDB) and their current and upcoming plans and projects. I have known Debra Keck for years as Mayor Mike Williams’ assistant, and we interacted often, especially when working together on functions of the Chamber of Commerce and as members of the JECDB. Recently, Keck and I discussed the progress being made in Union County.
It begins on the night of Saturday, April 20, 2019 in the Union County High School Auditorium when the announcer introduces the Union County Opry Band to play a musical tribute to entertainers that have come from Union County including Lois Johnson, Carl Smith, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff and Jim Wyrick. “The good Lord above has poured out a special bucket of talent on Union County,” said Danny Cooke.
Maynardville is now home to The Union County Opry. Known as the Cradle of County Music, Union County is noted for its musical heritage; four of its sons are now known throughout the world–Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Carl Smith, and Kenny Chesney. Lois Johnson, Hilda Kitts Harrill, and Melba Kitts Greene are among its best known women entertainers (https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/union-county/).