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Keith Bryant and Glen Shelton

Updated: The Virginia Opry Set To Perform A Benefit For Tunnel To Towers

(Editor's Note: Here is an update on this concert: "The Virginia Opry has changed its venue from the Jackson River Sports Complex’s River Rock Amphitheatre on Sat., Oct. 1, to Darby Dancers A-1 Dance Troupe’s indoor facility at 214 S. Lexington Ave., in Covington."

The Virginia Opry, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official Opry, working in conjunction with the City of Covington’s Department of Parks and Recreation had scheduled the “Keith Bryant Showcase” to take place at 6:00 p.m., but due to the forecast for rain all day Sat., Oct. 1, Allen Dressler, head of the Covington Parks and Recreation and acting city manager, agreed to co-sponsor the event at the indoor location.

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Clifton Forge, VA (Sept. 14, 2022) - The Virginia Opry, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official Opry, will perform a benefit for Tunnel To Towers at the Jackson River Sports Complex’s River Rock Amphitheatre on Sat., Oct. 1, at 6:00 p.m.

Glen Shelton, a familiar vocalist to the Alleghany Highlands, will emcee “The Keith Bryant Showcase.” The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

Donations received at the concert will benefit the Tunnel To Towers Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides mortgage-free, smart homes to disabled war veterans and first responders or the widows of those killed in action.

Both Bryant and Shelton are Nashville recording artists, and both have been performing as members of The Virginia Opry since 2017.

The concert is being produced by Appalfolks of America and sponsored by Covington Parks & Recreation. The Virginia Opry’s show on June 21 at the River Rock Amphitheatre featuring the Opry’s Brian Buchanan Band with Gentlemen South as its opening act raised $3,500 for the widow of fallen Covington police officer Caleb Ogilvie.

After recording his first album, “The Secret of Life,” in 2000, Bryant received a good review from Robert K. Oermann of “Music Row” magazine that awarded him the magazine’s DISCovery Award.

His second album, “Welcome to Love” was released in 2002, and his third, after signing with Lofton Creek Records, was titled “Ridin’ with the Legend.” The title song was a tribute to Dale Earnhardt, the champion NASCAR driver who was killed in 2001.

Bryant soared to national prominence as “Ridin’ with the Legend” charted for 15 weeks on Billboard’s Hot Country Top 50. It remains popular today on the NASCAR circuit.

A talented vocalist who taught himself to play the piano and guitar, Bryant won the East Coast County Music Championship as a vocalist at 19 and then formed his band, Ironhorse.

Shelton, a graduate of Liberty University, is from Madison Heights. He has opened for more than 40 nationally prominent acts, and he has written and recorded numerous Top Ten Christian country songs. He recently returned from Nashville where he recorded some of his new songs.

Appalfolks of America founded The Virginia Opry on October 17, 1992, on stage in the Historic Stonewall Theatre in Clifton Forge that was renamed The Historic Masonic Theatre after Appalfolks donated the theatre to the Town of Clifton Forge in 2003.

Governor Ralph S. Northam signed “Senate Bill 263” on March 31, 2020, which designates The Virginia Opry as the state’s official Opry.

Appalfolks has performed musical benefits and held events that raised funds for the Clifton Forge Little League, Clifton Forge Public Library, The Salvation Army, Total Action Against Poverty (TAP), Alleghany Highlands Free Clinic, Alleghany Highlands Literacy Volunteers, Wounded Warrior Project, 9/11 Fund, Children’s Miracle Network and dozens of individuals with life-threatening diseases or injuries.

Concert goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets because the picnic area shelter near the amphitheatre has limited seating.

WKEY Radio Station’s 103.5 Big Country became the “Home of The Virginia Opry” on May 2, 2019, after Appalfolks signed an arts-education partnership with the Highlands Media Group that included a commercial lease of the WXCF Radio Station Building in Clifton Forge.

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