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R.O.P.E.’s 25th ANNIVERSARY BANQUET AWARDS SHOW OCTOBER 11, 2012 at the NASHVILLE PALACE

R.O.P.E.’s
25th ANNIVERSARY BANQUET AWARDS SHOW
OCTOBER 11, 2012
at the NASHVILLE PALACE
The 25th Silver
Anniversary of R.O.P.E.’s Banquet Awards Show was as
spectacular as always
, but this event was an extra
special show.  When you stop and think about 25 years, that
is a long time
for any organization to celebrate this type of event and to
be so successful in
doing so is a major accomplishment.  One of the main
ingredients of this
show was the incredible performance of T.G. Sheppard,
his wife Kelly Lang,
and his Slow Burn Band.  ‘T’ gave an extra special show
for
the full house of country music lovers and members of
R.O.P.E. and were given a
platinum evening of entertainment.
The meet and greet is
especially
great, because old friends and  new friends gather to talk
about what has
happened in our lives since the last time we were together,
and that made the
evening  filled with much joy, stories, and just a great
feeling of happiness
to see each other again.  The only sad thing for me is that
this was my
last awards show as President of R.O.P.E. My term will end
on December 31,
2012.  It has been a great time being President of this
organization, but
I look for bigger and better things for R.O.P.E. to expand
its horizons and
become a place for all traditional country music fans,
artists, and all of our
industry to be members.  We have made great strides toward
this goal and I
am sure that whoever becomes the new President will move
R.O.P.E. forward in
the direction we have been going.
I
will list the award winners at the end of this article, but
there are a few
things I wanted to say about this particular show.  It was
our first time
holding this event at the Nashville Palace, and we were very
impressed with the
location being easy to find, the room was perfect for our
event, the staff was
awesome, the food was super, and those in attendance made
the evening
complete.  I wish those that did not attend would think
about 2013 to make
their plans to attend our June and October shows.  Our June
show will be a
breakfast with many artists attending to be with the fans,
sign autographs, and
meet and greet.  There will be others events as I have
promised in the
past, and finally with the new members of the board of
directors and a new
President, I believe we shall see these events take place.
Much
thanks to Gus Arrendale once again for the generosity of
donating the bottled
table water and the wonderful Springer Mountain Farms
chicken that was a part
of our sit down buffet dinner.  Gus flew in with some of his
staff to be
with us, and we owe him our sincerest gratitude and
appreciation for continuing
his undying efforts in supporting Traditional Country
Music.  By the way,
Springer Mountain Farms does have the best chicken in the
world.  I hope
that you when you go shopping again you will make sure that
you purchase a
package of Gus’s product.  I promise you that you will not
be
disappointed.  R.O.P.E.and Country Music have a great friend
in Mr. Gus
Arrendale
There were some great
celebrities
in our audience and I will try and remember as good as I can
who they
were.  My dear friend, Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry
legend, Miss Jean
Shepard graced our event and stayed with us for the entire
show.  She
looked great and she told me that she had a wonderful time. 
She was
besieged by her fellow artists, her friends and fans
throughout the entire
night.  Jeannie Seely, Grand Ole Opry member was in
attendance with her
husband and our legal council, Eugene Ward, who incidentally
was an award
winner.
 Miss
Jan Howard along with Jim Ed Brown also from the Opry, with
his wife Becky,
Bayron Binkley one of Nashville great TV producers and also
member of
R.O.P.E.’s advisory council, Joe Taylor one of the founding
fathers of
talent agencies in the music industry, Bobby Tomerlin &
Robbie Wittkowski
both super songwriters, Bobby Lewis was in attendance and
Bobby has a new CD
out with the Heart of Texas and it is doing super great
worldwide, Leroy &
Donna Anderson who just became new members of R.O.P.E.  They
were both on
the Tommy Hunter TV Show in Canada for 17 successful years,
and we are so happy
to have them as members.  George Riddle, great songwriter,
artists, and
worked with George Jones for many years.  Tommy & Marcie
Cash joined
us for a great evening.
Also
in attendance were Leona Williams to give out the award for
entertainer of the
year.  As usual Leona looked great and had a great time. 
Dean
Unkefer and Marge Bell of SPI,who keep new talent
competition in the U.S. wide
Country Shoedown Talent Show.  Dave Barton one of our board
of directors
and his wife Marilou were with us also.  Merle Kilgore’s son
Steve
enjoyed the evening, as did Rattlesnake Annie.  Another
special guest that
enjoyed the show was Lynn Anderson and her father Casey, and
we did surprise
Casey with a special award.  It was great to see both of
them. 
Really good to see Razzy Bailey at the show, and he is a new
R.O.P.E. Board of
Director.
Dianne Sherrill, still
singing and
looking as great as ever, Charlie Dick, Patsy Cline’s
husband, Jim Vest
one of Nashville’s great steel guitarist, Kyle Cantrell one
of the great
air personalities in country and bluegrass music, and my
friend from N.C., Russ
Varnell and friends were there.  Russ is traditional country
to the bone,
always dressing himself and band members in the way it was
and still should
be. 
I
am sure (as I always do) that I have missed someone, so if
you read this
article and you do not see your name, it was not done
intentionally, just not a
good memory, and accept my apologies for missing your name.
I
am hoping that 2013 will see the likes of Little Jimmy
Dickens, Stonewall
Jackson, and all those artists who are members  of R.O.P.E.
attending the
events to contribute their support and to be with the fans
that love them
.  I know it is tough for artists to come to these
functions, but
let’s remember that the fans and industry people love to see
each of them,
so please come and spend time with old friends, fellow
artists, and your fans,
and new fans.
I
want to thank two special people who have been so helpful to
R.O.P.E. over the
past few years, our Master of Ceremonies, Keith Bilbrey once
again made the
evening run so smoothly, and it was good to see Emy Joe
Bilbrey looking great
after her health issues with her heart.  We are so happy for
her. 
Having Keith as our host made my night very easy.  He takes
the reins and
leads the show from start to finish.  Thank you Keith for
being such a
great friend to R.O.P.E.-always there to assist us in any
way we ask. 
Please know how much all of us appreciate the job you do for
us and the
artists, friends, and fans.
And I could not complete this
article without having pictures for you to see.  These
pictures are
from my dear friend Jerry Overcast, R.O.P.E.’s personal
photographer
,
and to say that he is a professional is right, but he is a
true friend of
R.O.P.E. and has been there for us at every event.  We have
been blessed
to have him give us his time and the awesome results which
will be the lifeline
of R.O.P.E. for those who want memories and for the new
artists and all members
to see who we are and what we pride ourselves in promoting
traditional country
music.  Our Silver Anniversary would not be a success
without Jerry
Overcast.  Thank you my friend for all of your support for
me and for the
R.O.P.E. organization.  BTW, if any of you are planning an
event that
requires professional photography, get in touch with Jerry
and he will do the
job for you better than anyone I know.  Just send me an
email and I will
get you in contact with him.
Over
the years we have been graced with so many friends who have
been so generous
with their time and talent, and this year was no different. 
This was a
great success for R.O.P.E. and I know that 2013 is going to
be a banner year
for the organization.  I have not forgotten to thank all of
the media for
the support they have given to R.O.P.E. every year, with a
special thank you to
Peter Cooper of the Tennessean, Bill Cody and Charlie
Mattos of WSM-AM 650
for being our friends and most of all those friends of
traditional country
music.  
Finally
as promised the following are a list of the winners for
R.O.P.E.’s Silver
Anniversary Banquet Awards Show on Thursday October 11,
2012 at the Nashville
Palace:

ENTERTAINER OF THE
YEAR               JIM
ED BROWN (Grand Ole Opry)
DISC JOCKEY OF THE
YEAR                 KYLE
CANTRELL (Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction)
MEDIA AWARD OF THE
YEAR              CHARLIE
MONK (Mayor of Music Row)
SONGWRITER OF THE
YEAR                BILLY
HENSON
MUSICIAN OF THE
YEAR                                   BILLY
JOHNSON 
(Billy passed away earlier
this year)
          (Stu
Basore accepted the award on behalf of Dina Johnson,
Billy’s wife)
BUSINESS
AWARD OF THE YEAR         EUGENE WARD
MAC
WISEMAN NIGHTENGALE                      
CASEY ANDERSON and GLORIA
‘JANIE’ BOYD
AWARD
OF THE YEAR
I
hope that this article and the
pictures will give you a good idea of how great of an
evening it was for the
award winners, and all those that attended this great
event.  On behalf of
myself, and all members of the Board of Directors of
R.O.P.E. (Reunion of
Professional Entertainers), we wish to thank you for making
the 25th
Silver Anniversary of R.O.P.E. a giant success and we ask
you to make plans to
join us in 2013 for our 26th anniversary, as we
continue to
grow.  If you have not joined R.O.P.E. please think about it
and become a
member if you are in the music industry, or be a Friend of
R.O.P.E. to enjoy
all of our events.  Thank you for your support and we wish
you a great
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holiday season.

Marty
Martel©

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