HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – One of the biggest concerts of 2021 is coming to Huntsville, and the lineup includes some of the biggest names in country music.
Lee Greenwood is no stranger to Huntsville. He’s performed here, in Birmingham, and Montgomery during his 40-year career. “Alabama just seems to have some magic,” he told me during a zoom interview.
And because it’s so close to his home in Nashville, the spotlight will shine once again on Alabama. Lee will celebrate 40 years of hits with an all-star salute October 12, 2021 at the Von Braun Center Propst Arena. “It’s only 10,000 seats. I guarantee you they’re going to be gone quick,” he said, “That’s why we’re announcing it a year out.”
And stars will be falling on Huntsville. “It’s a celebrity event and it will be a one-time show,” Lee told me, “We’re never going to do this again.”
The night will be a tribute to the writers, musicians, and people behind the scenes of his career. “Instead of me singing the songs which I had on radio for the last 40 years, I have all these great artists that are going to sing my songs,” he said smiling, “So, I’m just going to sit back and salivate and listen to the wonderful reproduction of the hits that I admire, and the fans bought.”
The people who will be performing reads like a who’s who in music. Alabama’s Randy Owen, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, and Sam Moore will be there. When I mentioned Sam, Lee broke into song singing, “I’m a soul man, ain’t no trick. And that’s his kind of song.”
Other performers include Riley Green, Michael W. Smith, Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch, Michael Ray, Tracy Byrd, Mark Wills, Big & Rich, Home Free and the Frontmen of Country featuring Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, Richie McDonald of Lonestar and Tim Rushlow of Little Texas.
With seven number one hits and more than two dozen albums, Lee Greenwood is one of those artists whose country songs crossed over into other genres of music. “A song like “I.O.U.” written by Kerry Chater and Austin Roberts that won us the Grammy definitely crossed over. “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” the title of that album crossed over to AC. At the time it was called adult contemporary music,” Lee said, “And I’m kinda like the James Taylor, if you will, of country.”
While he has numerous country music awards and a Grammy, he is perhaps best known for “God Bless the USA”, a song he wrote and brings crowds to their feet still today. It has been in the top five, three different times. “I’m flattered and humbled. It has served the purpose for me that I intended and that was basically just to unify America,” he said proudly, “And now, I know I’ve been used politically and that’s fine. I’ve served for democrats and republicans. It’s not an issue for me. I just want to reach the public and let them know we have a country that’s greater than any other on earth and we’ll survive this pandemic and we’ll bounce back just like we did in 2001 when we had the attack on America and we’ll fight terrorism or whatever comes our way but we have to stay united as a country.”
Lee is planning to sit back and enjoy the concert that will honor him and his music, but fans are hoping he’ll also be on stage. “It may be a couple of times during the performance, during the show but you’re right, I’ll just sit there and salivate,” he said smiling, “You know, I get these great singers singing my songs and just go, dang, I’m sure glad I had that hit cause he could have had it or she could have had it.”