published Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

City launches opry in revitalization effort

By Paul Leach/Correspondent

IF YOU GO

What: Open mic night for singer/songwriters

When: April 30. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; performances start at 6 p.m.

Where: The Copperhill Opry, 160 Main St., Copperhill, Tenn.

Admission: Free for singer/songwriters; $5 for spectators

To sign up: Go to http://copperhilltennessee.com/


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Learn more about the Copper Basin and the Copperhill Opry at http://CopperhillTennessee.com, http://McCaysvilleGeorgia.com, or http://DucktownTennessee.net

COPPERHILL, Tenn.—Singer/songwriter night at the Copperhill Opry is bringing music back to one of the town’s historic landmarks April 30.

The Main Street building’s musical roots go back 50 years, when it was known as the Copperhill Canteen and served as a regional focal point for the 1960s garage-band scene.

“The Copperhill Basin is starting to make a comeback, but much is needed to help bring it back to the memorable days of the ’60s,” said Danny Davenport of Copperhill Enterprises, which has partnered with the city to make the new music venue a reality.

Davenport, a retired music industry promotions veteran, played at the Canteen during its heyday. The Copper Basin native said he never has forgotten his roots.

Copperhill Mayor Cecil Arp said the efforts were “a plus for the community.”

Davenport said the vision for the Opry is open to embrace all sorts of entertainment, including choral performances, plays and musicals.

Opry performances will take place in the recently renovated upstairs gymnasium of the landmark downtown facility, which houses Copperhill City Hall on the first floor.

A recent test performance by Short Notice, a North Carolina bluegrass band, exceeded his expectations for the venue’s sound and lights, Davenport said.

Rip Mann, a board member of the Copperhill Revitalization Committee, said panel members hope community support for the Opry leads to more rejuvenation projects for the town and its Copper Basin neighbors, McCaysville and Ducktown, Tenn.

The committee was instrumental in recruiting Davenport for the Copperhill Opry project.

“When I counted 20 empty storefronts on a downtown walk last fall, I knew we had to do something,” said Mann, owner of the Christmas Is Here ornaments and collectibles store.

The Copperhill Revitalization Committee has ideas for creating a scenic riverwalk and plans for capitalizing on the tri-cities’ popular Fourth of July fireworks event, according to Mann.

He said one of the keys to growth will be to tap into the large number of people already drawn to the area for its rafting and other outdoors activities.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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