PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: August 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

EmiSunshine Is Coming To The Princess!

Coming to the Princess Theatre by popular demand:
Even before Emi could talk, she was cooing along to harmonies with her grandmothers.  By the time she was 5 she'd written her first song.  By the age of 6 she had performed live at countless churches and festivals around east Tennessee, and at age 7 she recorded her first 2 albums, simultaneously, Strong As The Tall Pine and Wide River To Cross in her family studio with the help of her daddy and grandpa Bill.

Drawing inspiration from artists such as Dolly Parton and Sister Thorpe and her distant cousin Kevin Abernathy, Emi strives to write and perform her own songs while also covering some of her favorite artists.

Emi is also a talented musician currently learning guitar as well as taking lessons for ukelele. Her band consists of her daddy on bass guitar and her older brother John on mandolin.

Order tickets today at, or call 865-882-8867!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Princess Became A Dance Hall Saturday Night!

C. Vaughn Leslie, Boys' Night Out, Archie Bell, Clifford Curry, and Kathy Hill held church Saturday night at the Princess, and had people coming forward to dance the night away!
The "Right Reverend" Leslie, even had the congregation stand and shake hands with someone near them.  The audience relaxed, felt at home, and were ready to dance!

The front of the auditorium was packed with dancers Saturday night, and the performers seemed to respond by giving their best.  It was a true "happening" and, I for one, had a blast watching and photographing people letting their hair down and having a good time at the Princess.

I'll begin by showing you the result of the good music, and further down I'll get back to the performers and performances!  After all, the whole purpose of the Princess is to entertain, and she did her job well Saturday night!

Seeing Ruth Coleman, matriarch of the Coleman family in Harriman, up dancing with various people to Archie Bell's oldies was very touching.  I'll have to admit, these photos are very special to me, and they were the best moments of the event!

C. Vaughn Leslie and Boys' Night Out lead the line up and paved the way to a grand show, which celebrated the life of Tony Mason.  The benefit was for the Tony Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund, and the organization raised much more than expected.  Chris and the entire Mason family would like to thank everyone who came and contributed to the scholarship fund.  There will be many that will benefit from your generosity! 
Besides the big band, Archie Bell, Clifford Curry, and Kathy Hill joined in on the fun had on and off the stage.  The performers seemed to be on top of their game and interacted with the packed house at every opportunity.

Like me, all of the performers are reaching their golden years, but their energy, attitude, and voices have retained their strength.  They delivered!

The audience, like me, reacted to all the old familiar tunes with applause and foot tapping!  It was hard to stay still long enough to photograph what was going on around me.
What can I say, C. Vaughn and Boys' Night Out are the consummate "beach band" and Mr. Vaughn's voice still carries all the standards straight down memory lane. 

Archie Bell, at 70 years of age, still has most of the energy he always had and explodes on stage.  He challenged the "old folks" in the audience to "let go and keep moving" just like he does during his performance.  I wish I had his energy and talent!

And how about that outfit and those shoes!  Awesome!  The photo does not show it well, but the shoes have gold tip plates and the heels have silver plates.  I wanted a pair!  However, my feet would still never move like his!
I noticed Archie during the rehearsal too; he demands that everyone be on top of their game, and he stops them and tells them exactly what he wants to hear and when.  He hasn't lost a thing...he's perfected his shows and knows what sounds the best.  It was motivating to watch him work.  Boys' Night Out is a great "horn band" that has been around too, and they responded immediately to changes in the music and line up.  They are all professional musicians.

Mr. Clifford Curry; he's still got that big baritone voice it rolled out some of his greatest hits.  

As a senior at Austin High School in Knoxville, Clifford Curry met fellow schoolmates Benjamin Washington, Charles Holloway and the Myers Brothers, John, Herbert and James and became the sixth member of the "Echo's".  The Echos didn't really make their mark until Clifford joined the group.  His strong voice and writing talents added a lot to the group.

And, who knew Kathy Hill could sing so well?  I mean, I remember hearing her sing years ago, but I guess I never paid much attention!  Man, she can sing, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance.  She had everyone up dancing too, and really added a special touch to the program.  
I did the above photo in black and white to give it the "Etta James" feel!  Kathy did "At Last", and man it was spot on and the audience responded by getting out on the dance floor!  It was another great moment.

Blogger would not let me post a short video clip of the "all acts on deck" showing ending "Shout" number, so try clicking on THIS FLICKR LINK to see it.

Here are more photos from Saturday night's show.  It was great!

Heaven is Archie's granddaughter, and will probably follow in his footsteps.  She already has the moves down!  Also on stage are Addie, Chloe, and Kendal, all from the Mason clan!

Suffice it to say, if you missed it, you missed a great show.  The shows are getting better and better, and you can't beat the what are you waiting for, get on down to the Princess and have a wonderful evening!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Boys' Night Out Rehearsal Goes Well

I sat through last night's rehearsal at the Princess and was just blown away by C. Vaughn Leslie's voice.  He may be in an older man's body, but the youthful C. Vaughn is still in there!  I could hardly wait to hear what he sang next!
When he really got into the groove, he danced around, snapped his fingers, and let the old C. Vaughn loose!  He's still got it!  He's keeps that old voice in top shape and loves to be on stage and let it live again!

If you miss tonight's show, you will have missed one of the best shows the Princess has had.  It will be Boy's Night Out's second appearance on the stage.  They were here just a little over a year ago with the TAMS.  Tonight they headline and they are a headline group!
The rehearsal was fantastic and a learning experience for the two new members.  However, the band is tight and you'll enjoy them, and the old sounds of a "horn" band!

Boys' Night Out (BNO) was organized in 1983 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with the goal of recreating the authentic performances of the rhythm and blues (R&B) music that had been extremely popular with teenagers in the south during the late 1960s. Boys' Night Out's first public performance was at the Oak Ridge Azalea Festival on May 5, 1984, and they have played a busy schedule ever since.
Oh yeah, Clifford Curry was there too.  Such a great guy, and he's still full of "the music"!

Tickets available at the door!

The cost is only $15 and it goes to a great cause; the Tony Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund!  Come give and receive a great night of entertainment!
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