Front Porch Music: Leona Williams to headline the Classic Country Jamboree benefit
Leona Williams has toured with some of the biggest names in Country music. If you are a Country music fan, you are familiar with her work. Originally from Vienna, Mo., Leona grew up in a big family. Her mother played the piano in church while her dad played the fiddle. Some of her seven brothers and four sisters were also musically inclined.
“We had a lot of front porch music,” she said.
When Leona was a teenager she had a radio show in Jefferson City called “Leona Sings,” and later moved to St. Louis where she got married and performed in a band. Her career got a jumpstart when she met Loretta Lynn, who was just starting out in the business. Years later Loretta fulfilled a promise to help Leona when she made it big. She called Leona, asked her to move to Nashville, and for about a year they traveled and toured together.
Leona became a recognizable name in the country music industry and signed her first record deal. She started recording albums and traveling all over the world. She fondly remembers entertaining service men in the Far East.
Leona performed on the Grand Ole Opry, for some of the biggest shows on television, and toured all over teaming up with stars including Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, Vince Gill, Connie Smith, George Jones and many others. Some of her most popular songs include “Once More,” “Yes Ma’am, He Found Me In A Honky Tonk,” “When I Stop Dreaming” and “Melted Down Memories.”
Leona has been inducted into the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame, the Country Music Association of Texas Hall of Fame, the North American Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Mobile Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame.
Today, she owns a publishing company, Leona Williams Music, and lives in Kansas City. Before COVID hit, she was doing two or three shows a week and still looks forward to getting in front of an audience. She often performs with her son Ron Williams who is also an accomplished singer and songwriter. Both will be headlining the Classic Country Jamboree benefit October 18 at the Lodge of Four Seasons.
For more information and to purchase her music, go to www.music.leonawilliams.com.
About the Classic Country Jamboree
The Genuine Country Music Association (GCMA) will host its eighth annual Classic Country Jamboree benefit at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Exhibition Center at Lodge of Four Seasons. Doors open at 1 p.m. to the 20,000 square-foot exhibition center that will allow attendees space for social distancing. Please wear a mask if desired.
A blockbuster of talented entertainers and the Board of Directors Band will perform a variety of traditional country music. The event will raise scholarship funds for students attending State Fair Community College-Lake of the Ozarks and for Lake of the Ozarks Soccer Association. Last year the benefit raised $17,000 for SFCC’s Lake of the Ozarks student scholarships.
In addition to headliner Leona Williams, returning are Dennis Stroughmatt, fiddler extraordinaire, singer, recording artist; Alicia Farrell Lange, a Lake of the Ozarks native who is a demo singer and back-up vocalist in Nashville; J.R. Love, a talented country and gospel singer from St. Louis area; and The Board of Directors Band, with Jim Phinney on rhythm guitar, Elijah Chastain on lead guitar, Jimmy Willis on drums, Darrell Cummings on steel guitar, and John Farrell on bass. Bill (Goofer) Atterberry, singer and comedian, returns this year guaranteeing everyone a good laugh. Special guest is Monte Davidson who was well known at the “Wild Times” at Lodge of Four Seasons along with his pet bull, Gomer. Another special guest is Frank Warmbrodt, a favorite among traditional country music fans and a well-known singer at Steel Guitar Shows across the country.
Ken Kinzie with KRMS radio station and John Farrell will emcee the event.
A dance floor, concessions and a “bucket raffle” table with several exclusive items will be available. Raffle tickets will be a $1 donation per ticket. A live auction will be held for a week’s stay in a condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Tickets are $20 for GCMA members, $30 for nonmembers and free for children under age 12. Tickets are available at John Farrell Real Estate Company, and the SFCC Foundation, 3201 W. 16th St., Sedalia.
John Farrell, Brad Rigby and Tony Smith founded the GCMA in 2009 to promote, perform and maintain traditional country music. The association is a 501c3 organization.
For more information or tickets, contact Lynn Farrell at (573) 348-2181, (573) 216-2182 or at Lynn@JohnFarrell.com.
Learn more about the GCMA at www.gcmatherealthing.com or on Facebook.