Rector rapidly is gaining a reputation as a concert center for the Northeast Arkansas region.
The newest chapter in that exciting development is an upcoming appearance in the community by Country-Broadway star Gary Morris, who possesses one of the greatest voices in American music.
Morris will appear at the Rector Community Center on Friday, Dec. 10. The time of the concert and ticket prices will be announced soon.
"I don't know anybody anywhere that sings better than Gary Morris," said Gerry House of WSIX-FM in Nashville. "He's magic on stage...he takes his own songs and makes them yours and takes other people's songs and makes them his own. Whether in front of a kickin' band, a symphony or just with a single white spotlight with a guitar and an audience, Gary Morris is captivating."
"Gary Morris is one of my favorite singers, one of my favorite people," said noted Nashville music host Ralph Emery. "As far as I am concerned, he had the No. 1 song of the 80's with 'Wind Beneath My Wings'."
Morris will be appearing on the Rector stage due to his friendship with Rector native Bill Carter, who has been the driving force behind three major gospel concerts held in recent years in his hometown. Proceeds from the Morris concert will go to the Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation, an organization founded by Carter and his friend George Barker.
The foundation helps disadvantaged students in the Rector School District and Carter said Morris especially is attracted to any effort which helps young people.
Details concerning the concert will be announced soon, but it is anticipated Morris will open with an acoustic performance and round out the exciting concert with his band. In addition to his well-known country and Broadway selections, Morris will perform several hymns and Christmas songs in keeping with the holiday time of the concert. Morris was Billboard's New Male Artist of the Year in 1982 and had the Academy of Country Music Single of the Year in 1984 with "Wind Beneath My Wings."
At the height of his country music career, Morris broke new ground by playing opposite Linda Ronstadt in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Puccini's La Boheme. Later, he played the lead role of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" on Broadway.
The Texas native produced 12 country music albums that generated 16 Top Ten singles and five No. 1 hits, including "Baby Bye Bye," 100% Chance Of Rain" and "Leave Me Lonely."
Morris has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, as well as at the White House, where he has performed for every living U.S. President.
For five years he hosted TNN's top-rated show, "North American Sportsman," which featured celebrity guests such as Bryant Gumble, Troy Aikman and Larry Csonka.
He keeps an active touring and production schedule, dividing his time between Nashville and a second home at Mountain Spirit, his spectacular hunting and fly-fishing executive resort in Southern Colorado.
There is no question the Rector-area audience is in for a special treat when the supremely-talented Gary Morris appears here, as evidenced by this summary of his musical appeal in the Dallas Morning News -- "There are voices that transcend seasons and settings. They are the kind of voices that through sheer beauty and unbridled passion soar above others. Gary Morris has one of those voices."