Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

July 2, 2014

'An Evening with Steven Whitson' to benefit Kids on the Rise

CROSSVILLE — Kids on the Rise will be hosting a fund-raising concert Aug. 2 at the Palace Theatre. The local non-profit agency will present An Evening with Steven Whitson. Sharing the bill will be Crossville native Travis Rice. 

Whitson hails from the small town of Trimble, in west Tennessee, where he started singing in church with his hymnal turned upside down. He began writing and recording his own music when he was just 16, with his first project being an inspirational gospel CD. Subsequent projects have resulted in a collection of 10 CDs including Christmas, country, gospel and patriotic music.

In 2003, he won the title of West Tennessee Idol and served as the host and lead vocalist of the Tennessee Shindig in Pigeon Forge from 2007 to 2010.

Whitson now calls Nashville home. When not writing songs and performing, he is a tour guide at the Fontanel Mansion — former home to country legend Barbara Mandrell. During his tenure as a singing tour guide, he has opened for country acts that include Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan and Rascal Flatts.

His television debut was last year on the "Marie Osmond Show." Brenda Lee, also known as Little Miss Dynamite, took Whitson under her wing and has been mentoring his career for over a year. Whitson has played over a dozen times at the world famous Bluebird Cafe even before its fame on the ABC show "Nashville."
Rice will be making a special guest appearance by opening the show. Growing up in East Tennessee, he was surrounded with a rich musical influence of bluegrass, Southern rock and Nashville country. Always attracted to the music coming from the radio, Rice dreamed of playing and singing like his idols, Garth Brooks and Travis Tritt.

In high school he began to do just that, by learning to play guitar and picking up local acoustic gigs around Crossville. It wasn’t until his college years, however, that he discovered his own brand of original music and spent the next few years writing and polishing his songs into industry standard tunes.  

After college, he began playing all over the Southeast, sharing the stage with Craig Morgan, Bucky Covington and Rhett Atkins.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now by calling 484-6133 or online at www.palacetheatre-crossville.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Palace box office or the night of the show. Corporate sponsors of the event are Gernt Insurance, Hilliard Lyons and First National Bank of Tennessee.

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