IF YOU GO
* What: Vince Gill in A Song for the Children.
* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.
* Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
* Admission: $35 and $50.
* Phone: 423-642-TIXS.
* Website: www.ChattanoogaOnStage.com.
* Note: VIP tickets which include a cocktail party, dinner, premier concert seating and a post-concert dessert reception, are $175. They may be purchased by calling 423-266-6918.
Country music legend Vince Gill returns to Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 30, for the 12th edition of A Song for the Children.
The annual concert benefits the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County, a nonprofit agency serving children affected by abuse or neglect.
Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and earned 20 Grammy Awards and 18 Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and 1994.
But his superstar status around Nashville could be attributed just as easily to his “nice guy” generosity. He has participated in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career and was named Humanitarian of the Year in 2006 by the Academy of Country Music.
On his last visit for A Song for the Children, Gill brought along Nashville supergroup The Time Jumpers. This year, he’ll be joined by Dale Ann Bradley, a five-time Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Gill has released 14 studio albums since 1984, including his 1989 breakthrough, “When I Call Your Name.” The classic title song, and other hits such as “Pocket Full of Gold,” “I Still Believe in You,” “Whenever You Come Around” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” still get radio play.
We took a quick tour around the Internet to see what the legendary singer and guitarist has been up to recently.
He released a new album, “Bakersfield,” in July.
It’s a duo effort but not with a singer. Instead, he teamed with steel guitar great Paul Franklin, one of his Time Jumpers cohorts, for an album celebrating the music of Left Coast country icons Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.
“I’ve done so many duets over the years, but it’s always been singing,” Gill told Peter Cooper of Nashville newspaper The Tennessean.” I didn’t want to make an instrumental record either, so I said, ‘Let’s find a neat way to really feature what the steel guitar does best and what the Fender Telecaster electric guitar does best, and let’s sing songs from what I think is the best era country music ever had.”
Gill said he thinks the way the steel guitar was used on those Bakersfield-era songs “complements the way I sing more than any other instrument. The ‘crying’ part of it does what my voice does.”
He will be inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in February.
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell will present Gill with the Country Radio Broadcasters Inc. Career Achievement Award in Nashville. They also will perform a few of Gill’s songs.
Gill is already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He told The Tennessean’s Cooper that his 2007 induction into the Hall of Fame “had a great impact” on him.
“My response was, ‘OK, now go earn it,’” he said. “I want there to be a recorded legacy of what I’ve done that will have an awful lot of respect tied to it. I’m on fire, and I don’t give a rip about resting on my laurels. This isn’t like baseball or boxing: Your knees don’t give out. You should get better.”
He’s still playing with The Time Jumpers.
He has called their shows and the “Bakersfield” album “the most authentic” country music he’s ever made.
“I love this point in life because I’m not a current, radio-hit-maker guy,” he told Chris Richards of the Washington Post. “For the past 30-plus years, I’ve been the focal point of just about everything that I’ve done. And that’s OK. But there are times when I like to just there and be a guitar player.”
He had a run-in with Westboro Baptist Church protesters that made headlines in September.
Church members picketed outside a concert venue in Kansas City, Mo., to protest Gill’s divorce and remarriage, which the church considers adultery.
In a YouTube video, Gill is seen approaching the picketers. A woman asks, “Vince Gill, what in the world are you doing out here?” He answers, “I just came to see what hate looked like.”