Clubs and Organizations
November 21, 2014
The lights and sets are now gone and the sound system has gone silent on this year's 2014 AMG Heritage Awards. The Union County Agricultural Center was crawling with dignitaries and stars from all over the country. The convention started with educational classes for the public schools and for the up and coming artists of tomorrow. Students were under the leadership of Terry Webster, the Guild's educational director. Chubby Checker, David L Cook and Billy Gilman also came in to work with the various schools. Local talent was showcased as well. Attorney John Painter's daughter Sarah was the host of this years red carpet and worked with the Senior Mrs. America's who served as trophy bearers and red carpet escorts.
Then came showtime!
The show opened with YouTube stars Sam and Nia lip-syncing to their viral lip-sync of Disney's, "Love is an Open Door." Then the time came that everyone was waiting for as the lights went down and the stage filled with children from Pine Lake Preparatory and Forrest Hills High School and entered the host of the show, Billy Gilman. Gilman worked the standing room only crowd and made his way through the children while never missing a beat of his double platinum song "One Voice." After the music faded Gilman launched into a very moving rendition of Roy Orbison's mega hit "Crying." The audience were on their feet.
Billy announced to the stage his co-host for the evening, Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop who as many will remember as the iconic puppet made famous by Shari Lewis. Mallory who is Shari's daughter brought Lamb Chop to life and made the audience truly feel like they were sitting in the presence of Shari who died in 1998.
The night was filled with mega stars taking the stage. Gloria Gaynor worked a ballad which was danced by the Union County Youth Ballet and then went right into her smash hit, "I Will Survive," which was danced by the Eddie Mabry Dancers dressed in disco era costumes. Country music legend Terri Gibbs took to the piano and brought down the house with the song that launched her career, "Somebody's Knockin." Eleven time Grammy Award winning gospel icon Shirley Caesar brought the audience to their feet as she started moving across the stage and giving the crowd a performance that only she could deliver. However, the night would not have been complete without a performance by two musical legends that not only had their own careers but also success as a due at one point. Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp worked the crowd up into a frenzy as Chubby's hit song the "Twist" took off with dancers dressed in poodle skirts. Then the moment everyone was waiting for finally happened. The music started and Chubby and Dee Dee went right into their mega smash hit, "Slow Twisting" With so many other performances which also included Wingate and Sterling Elementary Schools, the night was magical.
The executive president of the Artists Music Guild, 7 time Emmy Award winning recording star, David L Cook said, "I am so happy that we were able to bring a program here to Union County of this size and have it received as well as it was. We were able to book out 4 of the area hotels and bring lots of revenue into the area that I love to call home. The people here are used to seeing me walk around town, but the looks on people's faces were priceless when they saw Billy Gilman, Lamb Chop, Chubby Checker, Gloria Gaynor and all of my other friends. I can't wait until we bring it back next year!"
Pete Hovanec the city's tourism director said, "The City of Monroe was proud to be a part of the 2014 AMG Heritage Awards. This was a great opportunity to showcase our community and contribute to the growth of the arts. We look forward to a long term partnership with the AMG and the Heritage Awards."
When asked about what Union County can expect from next year's lineup all Cook will say is, "We plan a much larger program for next year now that we know what we are dealing with. I really would like to see about doing a whole week long festival where we have vendors and local companies on display with performance stages set up in various locations throughout the property and performances going on by the artists of the Guild and the celebrities who will be in attendance. I think if we want to make a difference in the arts here in Union County it can't be done from behind a desk or a little luncheon every now and then. We have to beat the pavement and bringing the people of Union County an arts program that makes us shine to an entire nation!"
The City of Monroe and Mayor Kilgore bestowed upon Cook and the entire board of directors a Proclamation of Appreciation naming November 15th as The Artists Music Guild Day.
For press or media information please contact the Guild at 615-469-1595 or Info@ArtistsMusicGuild.com The Artists Music Guild is a 501(c)(3) corporation.