Confirmed artists for the event include: Jimmy Fortune, the talented tenor beloved by many for his 21 years of performing with the world famous Statler Brothers and his solo releases; Jason Crabb, a breakthrough gospel and country performer and Grammy award winner, and Kevin Williams, the talented Gaither artist who impresses with his musical ability and wit on stage.
The upcoming concert will be Fortune’s first appearance at the Helping Hands show. Williams has been a part of the Rector benefit events from the first concert in 2008. Crabb visited Rector in 2010, wowing the crowd with his memorable performance.
While those three names alone would pack much larger venues worldwide, event organizer and Helping Hands Foundation co-founder Bill Carter said another appearing artist will be announced, likely before the end of 2011. Carter has been a driving force behind both the Foundation and the benefit concert events, with his many years as a producer for the popular Gaither Homecoming videos providing an invaluable connection between Rector and the top stars.
While tickets have not yet gone on sale, the likelihood of a quick sellout has created an opportunity for tickets to be reserved by calling (870) 595-3501.
All proceeds from the event will go the Helping Hands Foundation. The organization has helped numerous students and organizations in the Rector School District over the past several years. Helping students meet the costs of everything from field trips to dental care and college scholarships, the Helping Hands Foundation has made a lasting difference in many students’ lives.
About The Concert Artists
In 21 years with the Statler Brothers, Fortune appeared before sellout crowds around the world as a member of one of the most beloved musical groups of all time. During that time, Fortune wrote several number one songs for the group, including “Elizabeth,” “Too Much on My Heart,” “My Only Love” and “More Than a Name on the Wall.”
Following the retirement of the other three members of the group in 2002, Fortune embarked on an extensive performance schedule. He has remained a popular solo performer and songwriter and has made countless fans through the years both as a member of the Statlers and as a solo performer. His most dedicated fans refer to themselves as “Fortune Hunters.”
Crabb was for years the powerhouse lead vocalist for The Crabb Family and, after other family members retired in 2007, launched a solo career which has taken him all over the world. Crabb has performed at Carnegie Hall, become a "fan favorite" at the Grand Ole Opry, appeared regularly on the Gaither Homecoming Series videos and has been a popular artist on CMT. His self-titled album in 2009 earned Crabb a Grammy.
Williams has been performing and recording with Bill Gaither and his organization for over 20 years. Williams is known by many fans for both his talent with a guitar and his humorous offerings onstage. He also writes a humor column in the Gaither Homecoming magazine.
Originally from Kentucky, Williams has been playing the guitar most of his life. By age 12, he was playing in quartets and gospel groups. He was introduced to Bill Gaither in 1991. Williams was called in as a substitute guitarist for a Gaither recording session. His skill and personality caught the group's eye, and he has been a part of hundreds of recordings since.
By RYAN ROGERS Times-Democrat News Staff