(Reunion of Professional Entertainers
TN-6.8.13) Mel Tillis holding the R.O.P.E. Intl. Appreciation award presented
to him during his performance on June 5th for our Breakfast with the
Stars.  And there were many, many stars, some 40 artists from Hall of
Famers, Grand Ole Opry members, Indie artists who attended the best show in
Nashville to begin CMA Music Fest Week. 
Tillis delivered a awesome show with his super band The Statesiders.  How
great it was to see a 9 piece band all dressed alike and knowing exactly what
they were going to do on every song that Mel sang. What a joy to see and hear a
real entertainer, but that is who Mel Tillis is and he gave a great performance
for all present.  He was really excited about the fact that the show was
totally sold out-I mean totally sold out.  Those of you who missed this
fantastic show, need to get ready to get your tickets for next years Breakfast
with the Stars, which we are already working on for you.
the time our Board of Directors arrived at the Nashville Palace to get things
ready until the doors opened, you could feel the excitement in the building,
and I mean the electricity was high voltage.  The fans were standing all
around the building waiting to get in to get seated or pick up their tickets. 
When the last person got inside, then the rain came and it was a downpur, but
someone was looking out for us, because the rest of the day turned out
buffet lines were great, the artists and fans mingled, and the media was there
to enjoy what I sure they know was the best show in Nashville to start what “we”
still call Fan Fare, and to most of us, it will always be Fan Fare. 
Before I get deep into this article I want to send out a great thank you to Inside
Music Row with Kelly Lynn doing the interviews,
and she was awesome, also
Keith Bradford’s NBRN with Laura Dobbs was super greatJennifer
Justus from The Tennessean was in attendance also, and WSM’s All Night
Trucking Show host, Marcia Campbell was also with us as she promised she would
  I personally thank Marcia, Bill Cody, and Charlie Mattos of
WSM-AM 650 for their great support given to us for this show and for years
  We owe all of the media a debt of gratitude for being with
us.  There were others that came to interview, but I cannot remember all
of them.  Thanks to Terri Church for joining in the media interviews along
with the ladies who were with her, one a DJ, but all three great supporters of
traditional country music.  The media this year played an important part
in the success of this show.  All of us on the Board of Directors for
R.O.P.E. knew that this show was going to be special, but never did we think
that it was going to be one of the best that our organization has ever
presentedin its 30 years of existance. 
from all of us at R.O.P.E. who make the decisions on what we do with our
events, we thank all of you in the media for believing in our show to take the
time to join us and give us coverage that we felt you would enjoy being a part
of.  And we are not forgetting all of the foreign countires who were in
attendance for our show, and some of their media people who were in
attendance.  A special thanks to my friend from England, Duncan Warwick
who is the Editor of the super mag Country Music People
was also with us
again this year and promised he would be back for next years breakfast. 
He said he loved the show with Mel Tillis.  And our special thanks to
Jerry Overcast, who is R.O.P.E.’s exclusive photographer
and all of
the picture that you see in this article are credited to my friend for his
undying work and love of our organization. 
artists who were in attendance reads like a Whose Who in Country Music.  I
am going to list the names so that those of you who do not listen to my
Saturday morning Radio Show from 10 to 1030am CST, will be able to get an idea
of what you missed.  As follows:
JSeely.jpgMel Tillis and His Band-Charlie
Pride-Bill Anderson-Jean Shepard-Mac Wiseman-Jim Ed Brown-Jeannie Seely-Jan Howard-Razzy
Bailey-T.Graham Brown-T.G. Sheppard-Kelly Lang-Tommy Cash-Helen Cornelius-Jimmy
Fortune-Jim Glaser-Rhonda Vincent-George Hamilton IV-Sam Wellington-Guy
Hardin-Stan Hitchcock-Ronnie Reno-Georgette Jones-Robyn Young-Bobby G.
Rice-Bobby Lewis-Leona Williams-Shelly West-Miss Jeanie-Allen Karl-Donna
Cunningham-Helen Cornelius-Rattlesnake Annie-Lulu Roman-Dianne Sherrill-Karen
and I know I have forgot others who were in attendance, but I did not mean
to.  Also joining us were Brian Edwards one of Canada’s top
promoters, Bayron Binkley who was so intrumental in bringing television shows
to country music, Charlie Monk (We call him Mayor of Nashville and Country
Music), and Joe Taylor one of the last of the greatest talents in the world. 
Joe was a mentor to so many of us. He was thrilled to be with us, and thanks to
Bobby Tomerlin one of Nashville’s great songwriters, for bringing Joe to
the show.  There were so many musicians and fans who were enjoying the
moment that the entire Nashville Palace was turned into a salute to real
traditional country music and we celebrated it in high fashion.  And
before I forget, we would like to thank the entire staff of the Nashville
Palace for a super job of taking care of our people with great food and great service. 
A special thanks to Jeanie Spears who designed the R.O.P.E. Breakfast with
the Stars flyer for us.
  Everyone was so impressed with Jeanie’s
great work and we here at R.O.P.E. are so thankful for her help.  And
thanks to our Board of Directors for a great job on this event.
TillisandBand.jpgEveryone evidently had
enough food, and then it was showtime.  The Statesider’s were
introduced by the host of our show, Keith Bilbrey.  Mel’s band is
so, so good, and the time had come for the introduction of Hall of Famer and
the band played a great intro to Mel coming on stage, and as all great
entertainers do, Mel took over the entire room and gave a 45 minute performance
that was made to order for Mel’s fans and all country music fans who
attended.  Mel then signed autographs for almost 30 minutes, took
pictures, shook hands with all of his fans and stayed until the Palace emptied
out.  We thank you Mel Tillis and we thank the Statesider’s for
being the professional band that I wish all bands were like that.  We do
not have many left that still dress alike.  I guess Mel, Bill Anderson,
Ray Price, Jesse McReynolds, and a few others.  I do not think it would
change any of the minds of the new artists even if they were at this show to
see how great Mel’s band looked and played.  R.O.P.E. is so thankful
for Mel agreeing to do our show this year and we were all treated to a true
legend, a professional, and one of the best entertainers country music has ever
known.  I had bands for almost 25 years and I made sure that they all dressed
alike, so when you see a band that are great musicians and they are all dressed
well, you know you are in for a great show.
of the fans that were there said they wished that all of the artists in
attendance could have sang a song.  That would have been great, but we
asked Mel if he would do our show, and he was kind enough to accept our
invitattion to bring his band at his expense, and I do not think it was our
choice to ask Mel to have his band back everyone with their songs.  All
artists that were there knew what the format of the show was going to be and
there were comfortable with how everything turned out.  Mel enjoyed being
with his fellow artists, and several artists that he had no seen in a long
time.  Rhonda Vincent asked me if I thought Mel would take a picture with
her, and if I would ask him.  After the show was finished and Mel was on
his tour bus, we asked if he would take a picture with Rhonda and he said just
get that young lady out here and bring her on the bus, which we did and she got
her picture, plus she spent time with Mel talking, so she was a happy
lady.  She looked great and she bought tickets for her friends to come to
this show she said it was one of the best shows she had been to.  Also I
want to make mention that I received an email from Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie
Seely who said it was one of the best shows R.O.P.E. ever presented, and that
was great to have her let us know.
MeLeonaRhondaMac.JPGJShepard-LWilliams.jpgOne of
the classic of this years breakfast was once again to see Hall of Famer and
Grand Ole Opry legend, Jean Shepard agreeing to attend the show if Mac Wiseman
would be there and they could sit together and talk, and that is what they did
for three hours.  They both have been great friends for so many years, and
like me, Jean feels that Mac should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, so I
say to the nominating committee, please read up on Mac Wiseman and you might be
embarrassed to see that he is not in the Hall and should be nominated and
inducted in next years class.  Please realize what this man has done for
our industry.  But just to see Jean and Mac, and then Leona Williams sit
down with each other and talk about old times, tell great stories with great
memories, and to enjoy each others company was a treat for all fans who were
taking picture as many as they could get, and Jean accommodated as many as she
could with autographs before she left.  I thought she would leave early,
but she said no, because it was such a great show and she was enjoying it, that
she was going to stay.  I hope everyone knows, that in my heart and mind,
Jean Shepard is the Matriarch of Country Music and if you need questions
answered, she will be the one to give you a straight answer. 
TGraham.jpgOne of the impressive things
about these legendary artists is how they do not say no to anyone.  The
interviews were coming from all directions and the media room was in a buzz
from the time the doors opened until they closed.  And the excitement of
the media people was great to see when they knew they were going to be able to
interview Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Charlie Pride, Jan Howard, Jeannie
Seely, T.G. Sheppard and the long list of artists who paraded back to the media
room to do the
and they enjoyed it as much as the interviewer.  I told T. Graham Brown
when he asked me to explain to him what R.O.P.E. stood for, that our
organization was to help preserve traditional country music and that we felt we
were the catalyst to make sure that the media, the fans, and the country music
industry did not forget the Bill Andersons, the T.Graham Browns, Jean Shepards,
and that we wanted all of the artists to talk to the younger artists and let
them know that real country music is alive and well, although there are some
factions of the industry that would like to see it completely die out, but that
is not going to happen as long as R.O.P.E. continues to grow, and I feel that
it is just now beginning to move forward and that artists are beginning to
recognize our organization as being one that they will always be able to depend
on, and by the way, it is not an old age retiremennt home. 
BillAnderson.jpgThis particular show
proved a point beyond anyone’s doubt that artists such as Mel Tillis,
Bill Anderson, Jean Shepard and the many that were there, believe in what we
are doing and will endorse us to keep going.  It is made for the Friends
of R.O.P.E. and for industry people such as the artists, songwriters,
publishers, media, booking agents, record labels, record producers, and anyone
and everyone who wants to know who we are.  This years show was living
proof that we are here to stay.  Now I hope that CMA will add us to their
agenda during next years CMA Music Fest and also in October during Country
Music Week.  We have paid our dues.
CPride-Rattlesnake.jpgOne of the
best parts of the breakfast was to see Charley Pride with us with his manager
John Dane.  Charley stayed the entire time talking with old friends that
he had not seen in some time, autographing, taking pictures, shaking hands, and
doing almost one hour of interviews non stop.  We feel that he was glad to
be there with his fellow artists although it was early in the morning, he
seemed to enjoy himself, and his being there along with other artists, gives me
the feeling that we will see more artists and fans joining R.O.P.E. because of
the attendance of the artists.  I hope all of the artists realize that by
their commitment to be at the breakfast it has helped R.O.P.E. tremendously, so
that when we partner with another organizations such as cancer, heart disease,
or someone that we can help, it will give us even more recognition that we are
here to help others and to keep traditional country music alive, and hopefully
the younger artists and more indie artists, legends, and veterans will join us
to realize that we are building an organization of comaraderie and friendship
as a place to enjoy each others company and to make sure that we can join hands
with the younger artists to let them know that we are not a bunch of old people
getting together for hot dogs and hamburgers and a beer to live out our golden
years.  If you would have been there you would have seen the number of
young people and indie artists who were enjoying every minute of this great
event.  The artists made this possible, and Mel Tillis gave the
performance that makes our organization as authentic as any of the other
organizations in country music.  We need the Charley Pride’s to let
people know that R.O.P.E. is a organization to be a member of.
5, 2013 was a special day in the life R.O.P.E
.  It was a great
successful because of all of the artist who were there to enjoy being with
their fans and their fellow artists, and to you the fans for attending this
event to show your support of these great artists, and to enjoy what we all
felt was one of the best shows we have ever had.  On behalf of all Board
of Directors of R.O.P.E. we sincerely thank all of the great artists, all of
the super fans, and the super media.  This event was successful because
you made is successful  2014 is going to be awesome.  See all of you
back here next year during the CMA Music Fest for our Breakfast with the Stars.


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