Shania Twain, Jerry Springer, Kellie Pickler Among Celebrity Onlookers
(June 16, 2011) Everybody who was anybody and lots of nobodies who are going to be somebodies some day stopped in at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge during the 40th Annual CMA Music Festival.
The world-renowned Nashville honky tonk showcased live music non-stop on its two stages throughout the Festival, an annual event that draws tens of thousands of country music fans from around the planet.
Among the famous faces in the Tootsie’s crowd were Shania Twain, Kellie Pickler, Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis, TV ringmaster Jerry Springer and John Chadwell from the History Channel’s American Pickers series.
Mark Herndon of Alabama, also a Country Music Hall of Famer, sat in on drums with Tootsie’s house band when Fort Payne thrush Leah Seawright performed. Herndon now leads Seawright’s band.
Several other rising acts generated huge applause, according to Tootsie’s entertainment director, John Taylor.; Georgia’s sultry country/soul singer, Melanie Denard; 10-year-old guitar prodigy, Jackson Capps . New Jersey’s queen of country, Sherry Lynn; hot West Virginia vocal trio,Taylor Made; the genre-blending Kentucky cover band, The Other Side of Midnight; and Tootsie’s alumna and former RCA Records star, Crystal Shawanda.
Also making their musical marks were Saddlebrook, Shelby Dressel, Chloe Litton, JOURDON Pace, Courtney Dickenson, Everett Lee & The Underground Stampede, Nathan Young, LANNDON , Morgan Frazier, Josh Black, John Stone, Kelsy Emma, Jordyn Mallory, Daniel Eagle, Kait Marsh, Tara Arender, Anthony Orio, Seth Tabor, Jake Maurer, Scott Collier, Amanda Ousley, LUK Nichols, Courtney Craig, Hollywood Yates, Heather Beeler, Steven West, Courtney Lynn, Lesley Crain, Mandy Layne & Lost Highway, Greg Hanna and The Boyle Brothers. These included Lucy Angel, the eye-popping mother-and-daughters trio from Arizona that easily were the biggest draw with packed crowds everytime they played.
“This is the best festival turnout we’ve had in years,” says Taylor, who also notes that Tootsie’s was packed from morning to night every day of the Festival.