PRINCESS THEATER - Raising the Curtain

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM coming to the Princess!

RSCC Playmakers

Selected Scenes

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare

April 26th at 2 PM & 7PM
April 27th at 2 PM

Donations will be accepted at the door.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Monday, March 24, 2014

Multi-County Talent Show - May 2nd!

Frog and Toad's Dixie Quartet Coming To The Princess

Apr 18 2014 - 7:00 PM
RSCC Art’s and Lectures Present 
Frog and Toad’s Dixie Quartet
7:00 P.M.
Ticket Information to come soon!

Frog and Toad’s Biography:
Jason Randolph Thompson is a third generation jazz musician from Peekskill, NY.  He began his professional saxophone career in 1996 when he gave up a scholarship to the University of Tennessee and started a six year stint on the road with Knoxville-based, nine member rock/soul group Gran Torino. The group toured nationally, made several recordings, and enjoyed some college radio success before disbanding.  Thompson then returned to the UTK  to study jazz.  He had the privilege of studying under many great professors including Jerry Coker and Donald Brown.  He completed his undergraduate degree in 2004 and has been studying on his own and playing local gigs ever since.  Thompson’s choice of the baritone saxophone as his main voice puts him in a smaller circle of the saxophone family, but it’s his bass saxophone playing that makes him truly unique.
His latest group Frog & Toad’s Dixie Quartet is the first of his groups to feature his original material and their first album “Debut” was recorded in Knoxville in June 2012.  It highlights Thompson’s skill and dexterity as a composer, arranger, and performer while, at the same time, allowing the other members of the quartet ample time in the spotlight. “Debut” is a set of light-hearted character sketches that represent the broad range of musical influences that direct Thompson’s style.  From a sultry Piazzolla-like tango to a “Drunk Pirate’s Waltz”, and even a nod to Yakety Sax, the album is diverse yet cohesive.  The key to their cohesiveness is that their instrumentation is their sound.  The lineup of bass/baritone saxophone, piano, guitar, and drums leaves a hole where the bass player should be.  In this ensemble, the role of bassist is filled by pianist Jason Day’s left hand and Thompson’s bass/bari sax.  This gives the group a very distinct overall sound quality as well as seemingly endless flexibility in dynamics and style.  Another prominent feature of the group is the melodic interplay between Chad Volkers’ guitar and Thompson’s saxes.  They weave complex polyphony, blend seamlessly and spar valiantly just as one would expect from two friends that have performed together for over a decade.  Alonzo Lewis’ swinging drum set rounds out the quartet.
Thompson is a high-energy, blues-based performer with an affinity for the dramatic and daring side of jazz.   He often takes off into swirling, free-jazz riffs, bombastic squeals or Hendrix-like feedback with a touch of didgeridoo.  His employment of these tactics heighten the drama and sets the listener up for an even greater sense of tension and resolution.  His writing and playing are both natural and organic and a greater sense of honesty and genuineness are evident in his performance.
Frog and Toad’s Dixie Quartet is the house band at the Crown & Goose in Knoxville, TN’s Old City.  They perform a dinner set every Wednesday from 6:30-9:30 in the main dining room and next door on Fridays at the Underground from 9-12.  It’s family friendly, the menu and staff are outstanding, and there’s no cover charge.  The swing is vintage and authentic.  You’ll leave smiling.
Two tickets are free to all RSCC students, faculty, staff, and ORICL members.  

The general community is asked, but not required, to make a $5.00 donation per ticket to the RSCC Arts and Lectures Committee to pay for future events.
Tickets will be distributed at the door.  
Students may reserve a ticket by emailing a request to  
Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources, and ORICL members should contact the ORICL office.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


There will be a Multi-Talent Show featuring students from Roane and Morgan area schools, grades K-12 coming up Friday, May 2 at 6 PM.

Schools have been informed! Students are getting ready!  

There are different age categories and different talent categories.
A more thorough post is TBA.

Admission $5 adults; all students FREE.
Then on May 31st, a concert event of the summer as T. Graham Brown and his band One Horse Town bring down the house, along with the awesome hard hitting country of Southbound. 

Tickets are on sale now at and 
Tickets are selling fast, so get yours now and join us for a night of music history in the making with, T. Graham Brown, One Horse Town, and Southbound. 

It's going to be a Party in Harriman Tennessee!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Kentucky Headhunters And Cathouse Prophets Rocked The Princess Crowd

As I sit here in my Kentucky Headhunter t-shirt, I'm reminded of the great time I had Saturday.  Not only was the concert great, but getting to meet the members of the band made it even more special.

I got the shirt with just the Headhunter logo on it, after asking the band's vendor in lobby which one he'd get.  His answer was "The one without their pictures on it.  I have to look at those faces every day!"  That sealed the deal for me.
Keyboard= Stone Stewart (the tallest of the boys)
Guitar = Jess Langley (crew cut)
Mandolin = Cole Tilson (shortest of the three boys)
Cloggers/singers = Olivia Chapman (long blond hair) and Darby Francis
The show's opener was a group called "Stone, Jess and the Rest" from Oakdale!  They were 7th and 8th graders who are starting out young; reaching for their dream.  They've formed a band of musicians, singers, and cloggers, and they started the night off right, singing "Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine".  In the wings stood the Headhunters and members of the Cathouse Prophets smiling and watching them perform; perhaps remembering back when they first start reaching for their dream.

Having kids on the stage is what Gary and Muse dreamed of back when they set their sights on the goal of restoring the Princess.  Everyone involved in the Princess should have "The Dream" prominently displayed on their office wall.  It's the ultimate goal of the Foundation, and we hope you help us in that endeavor.
The house had a few tickets left over, but you could hardly tell it.  There was even a big crowd up in the balcony!  The place looked packed to me, and with everyone backstage, and the volunteers working the lobby and aisles there was at least 500 people there.  All were anxious for a great show and to make a little money for the Princess Foundation.

As it turned out, a little money was made, so now the Foundation group will make an assessment, and just maybe a screen can be purchased to match up with the projector recently donated by Regal.

The band is: Scott Maddux (electric guitar, wearing his signature Fedora), Steve "Bird-dog" Burgess (drums), Mike McGill (lead vocals/guitar), Justin Nix (bass), David Glover (percussion), and Roger “The Glue” Schmidt (Hammond B3 and Keys).

So finally it came time for our friend Scott Maddux, and his band "Cathouse Prophets" to hit the stage.  And hit it they did, kicking off the evening with a blend of Southern rock sounding much like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels!  The audience seemed pleased with what they heard and erupted in applause after each song!

Scott, wearing his signature Fedora, and Mike McGill's vocals lead the group through nearly a dozen tunes, setting the tone for what was to follow: The Kentucky Headhunters!
I must mention here that without Darrell Cole's cymbals there would have been no concert!  The band left theirs in Kentucky, but Darrell saved the day!

When the "coonskin hat" comes off, Fred is just getting warmed up!
Fred Young hit the stage first, taking his position behind his vintage Ludwigs, and a couple of old bass drums from his marching band days at Metcalfe County High in Edmonton, KY!  Fred never left his post until the final beat.  He even remained on stage for a great solo, using mostly his hands, while the rest of the band took a short break.  I asked Doug Phelps if Fred ever got tired.  He thought for a second and said, "You know, I don't believe he does!"

The rest of the band followed, with their "rock'n roll" hair barely dry from showers.  However, it was soon wet again from an exhaustive performance that ran the long way through their 46-year repertoire!  The audience got everything they came for and more.  From "Dumas Walker", "Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine", to the Beatles "Don't Let Me Down"!
No one enjoyed the show more than the band.  You could tell it in their eyes and from their smiles...they love performing.  You can bet that most of the time spent in the "Practice House" back home is just sitting around playing music together.
The Kentucky Headhunters are Greg Martin (L), Richard Young (C), Doug Phelps (R), and Fred Young on drums.
It was awesome!  The group brought in a crowd; only revivaled by the grand opening night with Marshall Tucker.  The only complaint from a few was that they were a little loud, but hey, it was Southern rock!  If you attend a Princess Foundation concert, bring some ear plugs!  The acoustics in the Princess make it a little tough on sound guys, and even Fred Young was wearing plugs!  However, it was not unbearable, it was just plain ol' enjoyable!
Darrell Cole, who saved the night, gets Richard Young to sign his t-shirt.  He deserved it!
Nobody enjoys the Foundation concerts more than our mayor Chris Mason!
The band with Keaton Jones (Jimbo Duncan's grandson), and lovely Vera Scarbrough (who brought the check for the band!).
After the show another crowd formed behind stage and out in the lobby.  There is always a row or two reserved for those wishing to "meet and greet" the performing act. Sometimes the push to get photos becomes a challenge for me within the limited space, but I did my best.  Everyone wanted to see the Headhunters and thank them for a great time.

It seemed everyone had a t-shirt and wanted it signed.  The band members took it all in stride and stood and signed until everyone was satisfied.  It just proved what great Southern gentlemen they really are.

I certainly hope, after seeing how the Princess crowd welcomes and reacts to performers, the Headhunters and Prophets will want to come back to our stage soon.  We would welcome them back anytime!  They were a great bunch of guys, and I'm glad I got to meet them.

Okay, this is where I usually post the remaining "best of the rest" photos as a history of another great time at the Princess.  So here we go...

Roger “The Glue” Schmidt playing barefoot!
David Glover working out on the congas!

And, it wasn't over until Fred stood atop his drum set!
Don't forget folks, if you liked what you heard, you can hear it all again on May 24th, at The Shed in Maryville.  Scott invites everyone over for a great party!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


There are still tickets left for Saturday night’s The Kentucky Headhunters, and the Cathouse Prophets, concert at the Princess in Downtown Harriman. 

Tickets are available at Rocky Top General in South Harriman, the Harriman Jewelry Exchange in Harriman, online at, or (probably) at the Princess Ticket Booth prior to 7PM! 

It should be the biggest concert since Marshall Tucker! See you there!

Friday, February 28, 2014

March 8th Will Not Be The First Time The Kentucky Headhunters Played Roane County!

Way back in 1989, just after the group Itchy Brother changed their name to The Kentucky Headhunters, Richard Young and company booked and played a small club in Roane County, Tennessee called "Rock And Country".  The club was up near the Rockwood Airport, on Airport Road, Highway 299.

Richard, the rhythm guitar player for the Headhunters, remembers the date and what a good reception the band received back then.  He had no idea the club had burned sometime in the early 90's, but suffice it to say, he and the band is looking forward to their return engagement!

The band is booked at the Princess Theatre at 8PM on March 8th, and everyone, me included, can hardly wait to hear them!  Since then, the band's sound has undergone changes, but had recently returned to their Southern Rock, R&B, and blues roots.  For me, that makes the upcoming engagement exciting.

Both the Headhunters and The Cathouse Prophets have that "Lynyrd Skynyrd"/"Charlie Daniels" sound.  It's a Southern sound that I have researched and grown to love!

I called Richard Thursday at his home near Edmonton, KY, catching him trying to track down some financial issues that involved someone in New York City.  He, like many of us, miss the old days when many records were kept in "hands-on" brains, and not computers.  We talked about how kids these days are so lost in computers, their phones, and "social media" that they no longer know how to communicate.  We coined the term "UNSOCIAL MEDIA" while discussing the lost art of face-to-face communication, to describe today's electronic culture.  People today don't know what they are missing and that they are killing our culture with all this Facebooking, texting, and Instagramming!

Anyway, we finally got back to talking about "the music" and the band's trip to Harriman, and their brand of Southern Rock, R&B, and blues fusion music.

The Kentucky Headhunters' latest album, Dixie Lullabies (2011), released through the Red Dirt Company label, was written and recorded in the "Shack"/"Practice House", which was their grandmother's home at one time.  The old house, with no water, heat, insulation, phones, etc. sits on the remaining 700 acre homestead near Edmonton, KY.  Richard and Fred Young have about 700 head of cattle there, and at times money is tight.  Recently they sold 100 head just to buy enough feed to get the rest of the cows through the rest of this cold winter.  So, you can see they have problems just like us!

Believe it or not, the old house serves as a real practice house for the band, and on this latest album it was an actual studio where the "Lullabies" was recorded.  Richard said a thermometer in the house, at times, read 13-degrees!  It's a testament to the group's love of old amps and guitars!  They stayed in tune and sounded great on the album!

"Over the years we have put up record albums and posters, Bob Dylan and such, to keep out the wind!  I think they are worth more than the house!"

You can hear and see more about the "Practice House" by watching this video -

Yes, the boys are what the sound like...ordinary Southern country folk!  Just like us!

There are no "put on airs" with these guys.  They are what they are and all they are interested in is playing good music.  There was a time they thought they wanted to reach for the sky, the top ten, and be as commercial as other country and rock groups.  However, they have come to see the light and are satisfied and comfortable with making good music over quantity.   They like living on the farm, living within their means, and being true to their love of music!

I got the feeling, while talking on the phone with Richard, that two things brought the band (called Itchy Brother then) back to earth.  One, was the 1977 crash of the C-47 carrying Ronnie Van Zant and the Lynyrd Skynyrd band, whom they knew well.  The other was the death of John Henry Bonham, an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin.

The crash made the band turn introspective, and they wondered if fame was what they were really wanted.  They came to final grips with this question after Bonham died in 1980.  John's death was the final straw that kept the Itchy Brother band from becoming Swan Song Records' first American band, had they ever got to produce a song on the label.  This record label, launched by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, stopped in 1983.

I think these days Richard is more proud of his son, John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals), and his band "Black Cherry Stone", than of any success he and the Headhunters could achieve.  

I could tell he was smiling over the phone as he talked about his son and the fact that "Stay", a song written by Joey Moi and the rock band Black Stone Cherry, originally recorded on their 2011 album Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, was taken to #1 status by American country music duo Florida Georgia Line; who covered the song on their 2012 album Here's to the Good Times. It was released in October 2013 as the album's fourth single and, as of December 18, 2013, it's sold 547,000 copies in the United States.

You can get a since of their history by watching the above video, which explains their journey to "Headhunters" much better than I could ever write it.

Suffice it to say, the group is happier going for the heart of the music than trying to reach the top 10.  Richard promises that at the Princess "we we will connect at a personable level to the audience."  We are so looking forward to it!   

"If we could, we would make our living in old theaters…that would be the place, or at bars with large seating somewhere!"

"We will be putting out new songs to try them out on the Princess audience...we will make the Princess our "Practice House" on the road!  That's our first gig of the year and we want everyone, including us, to remember Saturday night, March 8th!"

Richard apologized to me, just before hanging up, for having to run, but he reminded me that it was going to be 14 degrees again in Kentucky last night, and he have "heffers" to feed!  Prioities, you know!

As Richard wrote in a song once, we have to keep on rocking:


(Richard Young, Fred Young, Vernon Dale Grissom, John Fred Young, Anthony Kenney, Doug Phelps, Greg Martin)

So rock on,

Let your heart be handy with a song.

Don't ever let go

Of those dreams that you hold

As the river of life rolls on,

Baby rock on

Tickets are available now online at, or at the Rocky Top General Store or The Harriman Jewelry Exchange, or by calling 865-882-8867!
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