The Florida Theatre http://floridatheatre.com Historic arts and music venue in Jacksonville, FL Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:17:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.4 A Rising Star Lights up Jacksonville: Tyanna Jones to Perform at the Florida Theatrehttp://floridatheatre.com/a-rising-star-lights-up-jacksonville-tyanna-jones-to-perform-at-the-florida-theatre/ http://floridatheatre.com/a-rising-star-lights-up-jacksonville-tyanna-jones-to-perform-at-the-florida-theatre/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:24:54 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=6270 A Rising Star Lights up Jacksonville: Tyanna Jones to Perform at the Florida Theatre

By Cristina Epperson, Florida Theatre staff

 

On July 15 the Florida Theatre will welcome its very own American Idol finalist Tyanna Jones to the stage. This season, Jones, a Westside High School student, blew away American Idol judges with her enchanting voice. Just  like residents of Jacksonville, the staff of the  Florida Theatre, has enthusiastically watched and rooted our hometown girl on.  With her top five finish, Jones was guaranteed a spot in the American Idol Live 2015 Tour.

 

 

At 16 years of age, Jones has quite the story and the adventure is far from over. The middle child of 11, started singing at age five in a church choir, and has expressed herself through music ever since.

 

While America witnessed that memorable smile as she sang with joy, they also felt her hardships through her soulful voice, capturing melancholy song lyrics so well. An example of this is when she sang “Stay” by Rihanna in memory of her grandmother.  As a young child, Jones overcame homelessness and tough living conditions, but her parent’s emphasis on love, her music and having a big network of support helped her through the worst of times.

 

Jones will be stepping onto the same stage that three of her American Idol predecessors, Scotty McCreery, Fantasia and Clay Aiken all performed on. Where are these talented singers now, and have they set the path for Jones future?

Scotty McCreery won the tenth season of American Idol and then over the course of a few years, “debuted three consecutive albums at No. 1 on a Billboard chart, achieved three Platinum-certified singles and two Top Ten hits, toured with Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, and headlined his own tours.”

 

Fantasia won the third season of American Idol and has since released four albums, written a New York Times best selling memoir, starred in a Lifetime movie about her life, and she is still touring today. In May she performed at the Florida Theatre as part of the 2015 Jazz Festival.

 

Clay Aiken was the runner up in season two of American Idol. His first single debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, he’s sold six million albums and sold-out 11 nationwide concert tours, he is a New York Times Best Selling Author, and has performed in the Broadway cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot in 2008. His biggest accomplishments off-stage are his charitable foundation National Inclusion Project and his efforts and successes of raising awareness of various human rights issues.

 

Jones’ fans have faith that because of her exposure through the American Idol show and tour that she too, will create a similar list of accomplishments in the building of her post American Idol story. Jones’ mother, Tamara Jones, showed that confidence when she said “beyond what ‘American Idol’ may mean, her future is blinding because of her gift.” Jones watched her dream unfold, and did so seemingly effortlessly.

 

With a diverse taste in music as well as a diverse vocal range, the music industry better watch out, because this is 16 year old just might “Run the World.” Jones will be singing her heart song with the rest of the top five on July 15 at 7:30pm. Hundreds of fans will fill the theatre for a magical night that shouldn’t be missed, especially for the residents of Jacksonville, who have a chance to show a strong sense of community and support for a fellow Jacksonvillian. Tickets are available online at http://floridatheatre.com/events, by calling the box office at (904) 355-2787, or in person from 9 am-5pm Monday-Friday.

 

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Welcome to our new websitehttp://floridatheatre.com/welcome-to-our-new-website/ http://floridatheatre.com/welcome-to-our-new-website/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:10:20 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=5556 Annually more than 150,000 people travel to downtown Jacksonville to attend a performance at the historic nonprofit Florida Theatre. That’s a lot of people!

We want everyone’s Florida Theatre experience to be the best it can be. So we’ve given our website a new look that is not only attractive, but user friendly. Whether you’re reading this on your tablet, your mobile device or computer we invite you to get to know our new web site.

Hopefully- if you’re on a tablet or computer- you will first notice the site’s menu bar is now easy to find. Each menu bar heading offers a drop down menu that will help you easily find the information you are searching for. Our newly designed mobile site also features an easy to use pull down menu, which is in the upper right corner of your phone’s screen.

The homepage has a sliding billboard highlighting current coming attractions. Located just below the sliding homepage billboard, is a new photo tile layout where upcoming artists’ photos lead you to their individual event page!

In addition to metered street parking, which is free after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, and free on weekends and holidays, there are almost 1,500 parking spaces in the parking garages and surface parking lots within a two block walk of the Florida Theatre. Our new site now helps you find the spaces that are in closest proximity to the theatre. This feature is located under the Contact heading on the homepage menu bar. Even if you know where to park, or have a favorite parking spot, check it out!

It’s never been easier to donate to the nonprofit Florida Theatre! Every page includes a “Become a Friend of the Florida Theatre” button! Just click the blue button – located on the bottom in the right side column- to learn about the benefits of joining. It’s also now much easier to sign up for our Florida Theatre weekly emails, and since e-club members are the first to know what’s coming to the theater, we want you to join, so take the time to sign up.

If you have ever thought about hosting a corporate or special event at the Florida Theatre, you can easily learn all about renting the Florida Theatre under the Rentals menu heading. This new interactive feature will help you learn everything you need to know about hosting an event at the theatre.

Our new site was designed by the creative minds of On Ideas. These are just a few of the highlights of our newly designed web site. We hope you will spend some time using the site, and that you will like it as much as we do!

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Rock The Cityhttp://floridatheatre.com/rock-city/ http://floridatheatre.com/rock-city/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 16:54:28 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=4256 Breathtaking rooftop city views created the perfect backdrop for The Florida Theatre’s second annual gala, Rock the Rooftop. From gourmet food and mouthwatering handmade cocktails to priceless live auction items–including two signed guitars–the evening was an incredible success for the Theatre.

Jazz musicians from Jacksonville University entertained guests as they enjoyed the sights from the top of the Yates Garage before moving over to the Florida Theatre for a concert by trumpeter Chris Botti.

Guests were encouraged to wear white for this unique rooftop event. Tables/food – Partygoers enjoyed appetizers from Black Sheep and dinner by Executive Food Service.

 

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The Florida Theatre Presents the Comedy Brilliance of Paula Poundstone from NPR’s News Quiz Show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” on Saturday, April 12thhttp://floridatheatre.com/florida-theatre-presents-comedy-brilliance-paula-poundstone-nprs-news-quiz-show-wait-wait-dont-tell-saturday-april-12th/ http://floridatheatre.com/florida-theatre-presents-comedy-brilliance-paula-poundstone-nprs-news-quiz-show-wait-wait-dont-tell-saturday-april-12th/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:16:58 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=4095 One of Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-up Comedians of All Time” this gifted female comic has been making audiences laugh around the world for years.

The nonprofit Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida is proud to present comedian Paula Poundstone Saturday, April 12th. 25 years ago Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went — this high school drop-out has gone on to become one of the great humorists of our time. Tickets, on sale now, range from $53 to $25.50, and may be purchased in person at the Florida Theatre Box Office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or through any Ticketmaster outlet.

You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular rascal of a weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.  She tours regularly, performing standup comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany with the Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.”  Audience members may put it a little less elegantly:  “I peed my pants.”

While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that probably separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd.  Poundstone says:  “No two shows I do are the same. It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do. My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves.  Then, someone says, “Tell that story you used to tell,” and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them.  No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.”

Over the span of her career, Paula has amassed a list of awards and accolades that stretch the length of a great big tall guy’s arm. She not only shot through the glass ceiling, she never even acknowledged that it was there.  Never one to stereotype herself as a ‘female comedian’ or limit herself to comedy from a ‘female’ point of view, in the early 90’s she was the first woman to win the cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Special and the first woman to perform standup at the prestigious White House Correspondents dinner where she joined the current President as part of the evening’s entertainment.

In March, 2013, Paula joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and several other prominent women in comedy for a feature-length documentary produced by Lions Gate for Showtime entitled, WHY WE LAUGH TOO: Women of Comedy. In November, 2012 in Washington DC, Paula was honored, along with Nina Totenberg, NPR correspondent; David Brooks, New York Times columnist; and Bob Mankoff, New Yorker Cartoon Editor, with the 2012 Moment   Magazine Creativity Award at their 35th anniversary symposium and dinner, followed by a one-hour panel on the intersection of humor and politics. Just weeks later Paula was hand-picked to interview Calvin Trillin for the Los Angeles-series-darling, Writers Bloc, a series that presents conversations between the featured author and another interesting thinker.

Paula has starred in comedy specials on HBO and BRAVO, won an Emmy Award, served as “official correspondent” for The Tonight Show during the 1992 Presidential race, pioneered the art of backstage commentary during an Emmy telecast, steps up to the plate for causes she believes in, and is almost always included in any compendium – be it film, television or print, noting comedic influences of the 20th/21st century, most recently, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy (October 2012, Sarah Crichton Books). Paula also appears on “Late Night w/Craig Ferguson” about 3 times a year and she’ll do an occasional editorial for NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

In April 2013 NPR Laughter Therapy (Highbridge Audio) released a 2-CD collection of NPR’s best interviews and stories with “funny folks” including Paula’s Talk of the Nation interview.  If it means anything to anyone, she is recognized as one of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-ups of all time.  Paula won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic, and in 2010 she was one of a select group voted into the Comedy Hall of Fame.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me is now heard in 5 million homes across the country, including all of the major markets, internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast.  In 2008 it received a Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence.  On the show Paula gets to match wits with some of the country’s leading pundits.  In May 2013 the show filmed its first Cinecast from New York’s Town Hall and  Paula was one of the Panelists.  The show made its television debut on BBC America with a “2011 Year In Review.”  Paula was on that panel as well.  Poundstone quickly goes on record about how much she loves being part of the show saying: “I am a proud member of the endorphin production industry.  They allow me to say whatever I want on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.  The panelists are unscripted, so it’s perfect for me. I feel like I’m a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn’t cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience.”

Paula is also a published author and lecturer.  Her hard cover book, There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say (Crown, 2006, with a forward by Mary Tyler Moore) is still in release on audio (Highbridge) and in paperback.  Other writing credits include the back page columnist of Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Glamour magazine.

Not only a writer, but an avid reader, Paula continues her role for the American Library Association (ALA) as the Nat’l spokesperson for United for Libraries, their “Friends of Libraries” national network – a citizens support group who work to raise awareness and much needed funds to support their local libraries.  Paula has appeared as the headliner at the ALA’s annual conference for their Laughs On Us panel the last four years, and to quote Sally Reed, the ALA Nat’l Director:  “…you’d have to come to one of these events to see how adored Paula is by librarians.  We love her and it’s never repetitive.”   Paula has hosted many events to great success, including the Art Directors Guild Awards an unprecedented 4 times.

The Poundstone family lives in Santa Monica, California.  Paula has three children, Toshia, Allison, and Thomas E.

Tickets for Paula Poundstone, on sale now, start at only $25.50, and may be purchased in person at the Florida Theatre Box Office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or through any Ticketmaster outlet (www.ticketmaster.com). The Florida Theatre is handicapped accessible and has secure and convenient parking.

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PHOTOS! Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Florida Theatre – March 22 2014http://floridatheatre.com/photos-ladysmith-black-mambazo-florida-theatre-march-22-2014/ http://floridatheatre.com/photos-ladysmith-black-mambazo-florida-theatre-march-22-2014/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:42:34 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=4077 For over 50 years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has warmed the hearts of audiences with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves, charming onstage banter, and those white tennis shows. The Florida Theatre is proud to present the “South African Cultural Ambassadors to the World” on Saturday, March 22, 2014.  Photos by: Don Keeton Photography.

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PHOTOS! Pink Martini and The von Trapps at the Florida Theatre – March 21 2014http://floridatheatre.com/photos-pink-martini-von-trapps-florida-theatre-march-21-2014/ http://floridatheatre.com/photos-pink-martini-von-trapps-florida-theatre-march-21-2014/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:24:35 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=4051 Sounding like the soundtrack to an early 1960′s international cocktail party, The New York Times says Pink Martini’s music suggests “an alternate pop universe untouched by the influence of rock ’n’ roll or R&B.” Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1994, the musical group’s dozen or so musicians draw inspiration from classical, jazz, old-fashioned pop, and music from around the world. Indeed, they’ve played on 7 continents, and their five albums have all gone Gold at home and internationally.  The Florida Theatre is proud to present Pink Martini with special guests The von Trapps on Friday, March 21, 2014.  Photos by Don Keeton Photography.

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Grammy Winner Ray LaMontagne Announces July 15 ‘Supernova Summer Tour’ Date for Jacksonville’s Florida Theatre; On Sale Nowhttp://floridatheatre.com/grammy-winner-ray-lamontagne-announces-july-15-supernova-summer-tour-date-jacksonvilles-florida-theatre-sale-now/ http://floridatheatre.com/grammy-winner-ray-lamontagne-announces-july-15-supernova-summer-tour-date-jacksonvilles-florida-theatre-sale-now/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:06:41 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=4000 Jason Isbell and Jenny Lewis to support on select dates as well as The Belle Brigade for the entire run. 

Grammy Award winner Ray LaMontagne announced his Supernova Summer Tour recently. The 42 city North American tour will begin on May 27th in Portland, Maine and will make a stopover on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida at the historic Florida Theatre. Ray will hit the road in support of his 5th studio album Supernova which will be released on May 6th via RCA Records. Ray welcomes Jason Isbell and Jenny Lewis to support on select dates as well as The Belle Brigade for the entire run.

The Florida Theatre is proud to present Ray LaMontagne, live in concert, at 7:30pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  Tickets, on sale now, range from $49.50 to $39.50, and may be purchased at the Florida Theatre box office at 128 East Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or at any Ticketmaster outlet.  Fans who pre-ordered Supernova on Amazon.com received early access to purchase tickets to the tour.

Supernova was produced by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. The first single, “Supernova” was the #1 track on Spotify’s viral 50 chart when it was released. The single also landed on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List stating the song, “captures young love with a rustic rock sound that evokes Van Morrison and Bob Seger.”

Earlier this month, Ray revealed to Time Magazine, “For the longest time these songs were eluding me. I felt like a kid trying to collect lightning bugs. I’d catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye and run for it, but the light would go out just as I thought I’d gotten hold of one. But eventually I caught on to their game. I stopped chasing them altogether. Instead I just sat there as if I were completely disinterested in them. And wouldn’t you know it, one by one they came to me! Flew right into my jar.”

Ray LaMontagne has released 4 studio albums (Trouble, Till The Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain and God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise). Ray’s most recent critically acclaimed, Grammy award winning album God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise released in 2010 debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Digital Album chart. This marked a personal sales best for Ray and tied his debut chart position at #3 with Gossip in the Grain. God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise garnered 3 Grammy Award nominations including the coveted Song of The Year category for “Beg Steal or Borrow” and won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The first single off the album, “Beg Steal or Borrow” became Ray’s first radio #1.

An evening with Ray LaMontagne takes place Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 7:30pm at the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville for one night only. To take advantage of this special opportunity to see this revolutionary musician, call (904) 355-ARTS to purchase tickets. The Florida Theatre is handicapped accessible and has secure and convenient parking.

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Julianne and Derek Hough to Appear Live On Stage at the Florida Theatre this June in ‘Move: Live On Tour’http://floridatheatre.com/julianne-derek-hough-appear-live-stage-florida-theatre-june-move-live-tour/ http://floridatheatre.com/julianne-derek-hough-appear-live-stage-florida-theatre-june-move-live-tour/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:04:55 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=3996 The superstar siblings from ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will tour North America in their own all-new dance production. 

Superstar siblings Julianne and Derek Hough will star in their own all-new dance production, Move: Live on Tour, onstage across North America beginning May 28, 2014.  Move: Live on Tour will be a complete stage production, with sets, costumes and a cast of talented dancers, with the Houghs headlining in solo, duet, and group performances in styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hip-hop and everything in-between.

The Florida Theatre is proud to present Derek and Julianna Hough in Move: Live on Tour, at 8pm on Thursday, June 12, 2014.  Tickets, on sale now, range from $68.50 to $38.50, and may be purchased at the Florida Theatre box office at 128 East Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

According to Derek and Julianne, “No matter where we go in the world, the question we hear most from people is ‘when are you going to do something together?’  We feel that everything we’ve done up to this point has led us to creating this show and we can’t wait to share it with our fans.”  The “Dancing With the Stars” champions conceived the show, which they are staging with Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo (Nappytabs), best known for their Emmy Award-winning choreography on “So You Think You Can Dance.”  “We’re so thrilled to be working with Nappytabs – their creative energy is perfectly aligned with ours and we couldn’t dream of better partners to bring Move: Live on Tour to life.”

The pair, both of whom are also accomplished singers and musicians, promise musical surprises and special guest appearances in a show they describe as “a cross between a Broadway spectacular and the hippest, coolest dance party you’ve ever been to.”  The Houghs and their Move: Live on Tour troupe will also be going into local communities on the tour to engage local dance groups and non-profit organizations to include them in the whole Move: Live on Tour experience in fun and unique ways, in order to encourage and celebrate dance.

Tickets for Move: Live on Tour are on sale now.  VIP packages are available through VIPNation.com and give fans the chance to purchase premium tickets, including backstage tours, pre-show parties, and meet and greet opportunities with Julianne and Derek.

Julianne Hough is known to audiences around the world for her success in film, television and music.  She was a two-time professional champion on ABC’s top-rated “Dancing with the Stars,” before making a seamless transition to award-winning recording artist and her feature film debut in “Burlesque.”   She starred in the update of “Footloose” and the all-star film adaptation of the musical, “Rock of Ages.” Hough also starred opposite Josh Duhamel in Nicholas Sparks’ “Safe Haven,” directed by Lasse Hallstrom. She was seen in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, “Paradise,” opposite Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer and will be seen in the upcoming thriller, “Curve.”  Julianne has also joined forces with the Kind Campaign to create and host Kind Camp, empowering and encouraging girls to be confident, beautiful women and to eradicate girl against girl bullying.

Derek Hough is an Emmy Award-winning choreographer and the only five-time champion in franchise history of “Dancing with the Stars.”  With celebrity partners that have included Brooke Burke, Ricki Lake, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler and Amber Riley, Hough’s innovative and daring choreography has garnered him a total of five Emmy Nominations.  He starred in London’s West End production of “Footloose” in 2006.  In 2013, he partnered with World Champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White to choreograph their short program for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the duo was awarded the gold medal after performing that routine, garnering record-setting scores and rave reviews.  He is currently appearing in Season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars” with Paralympian snowboarder, Amy Purdy, which premiered on March 10, 2014.

Move: Live on Tour takes place Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 8:00pm at the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville for one night only. To purchase tickets for this special event, please call (904) 355-ARTS. The Florida Theatre is handicapped accessible and has secure and convenient parking.

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FOLIO WEEKLY: Honky-Tonk Girlhttp://floridatheatre.com/folio-weekly-honky-tonk-girl/ http://floridatheatre.com/folio-weekly-honky-tonk-girl/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 00:41:20 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=3983 To view the entire article, click here: http://folioweekly.com/Honky-Tonk-Girl,9251

By Nick McGregor| Posted: March 19, 2014

LORETTA LYNN | 8 p.m. March 28 | $41-$71 | 904-355-2787 | www.floridatheatre.com

Six decades after she first stepped on the Grand Ole Opry stage, the Coal Miner’s Daughter is the reigning Queen of Country Music

The original Queen of Country Music, Patsy Cline, died in 1963, and since then, no one has staked a more legitimate claim to that title than Loretta Lynn. Unlike Cline, who had perfect pitch and started performing as a child, Lynn’s musical talents blossomed late. She didn’t pick up the guitar until age 21, didn’t start singing until age 24, didn’t cut her first record until age 27. What happened after that is the archetypal rags-to-riches American story spiked with nascent feminism and a rebellious streak that turned modern music on its head.

Born and raised deep in the hollows of Kentucky coal country, Loretta Webb, one of eight children, married at age 15. Within a year, she and her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn (also nicknamed “Mooney” for the moonshine he sold — and drank himself) set off for a logging camp in the Pacific Northwest, where Loretta ran a ranch house and raised four children, all born before she was 20. Doolittle was an alcoholic, a chronic philanderer and at times even a domestic abuser, but Loretta stood by her man for almost 50 years — right up until the day he died in 1996.

For all of Doo’s shortcomings, America has him to thank for launching Loretta’s career. He purchased her first guitar, a $17 Harmony model, as a gift for the couple’s sixth anniversary. He urged her to start performing at the Delta Grange Hall in Custer, Wash., and even served as her first manager. “[Doo] thought I was something special,” Loretta wrote in her 2002 autobiography Still Woman Enough, “more special than anyone else in the world, and [he] never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door.”

After Loretta won a televised talent show in Tacoma, she traveled to Hollywood to cut a few singles for Zero Records. The most powerful was “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl,” which Loretta wrote while leaning up against an outhouse; producer Owen Bradley famously wasn’t interested in any of her cover songs, only her originals, which she punctuated with a feisty, high-and-lonesome voice and genuine twang. In the summer of 1960, Loretta and Doo set off on a cross-country promotional tour, wrapping things up with a concert on country music’s most hallowed stage, the Ryman Auditorium’s Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

By year’s end, Lynn had a recording contract with Decca Records, a writing arrangement with the Wilburn Brothers, an intimate mentorship with Patsy Cline and even her own fan club. Minor success — including 1962’s “Success” — ensued. But from 1964 on, Loretta channeled the hard-knocks life and domestic strife she’d endured her whole life into some of country music’s most incisive hits: “This House You’re Tearing Down,” “Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath,” “You’ve Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out on Me).”

But it was the one-two punch of singles “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” and “Dear Uncle Sam” in 1966 that really shocked country music’s conservative system. The former, a lacerating teardown of one of her husband’s many mistresses, appropriately became the first No. 1 hit for a female artist. The second tune, Loretta’s first self-written song to chart in the top 10, recounted the Vietnam War’s horrors in a down-to-earth, humanizing way.

From there, Lynn was off to the races. Her heart-on-sleeve 1970 hit “Coal Miner’s Daughter” turned into a New York Times bestselling autobiography in 1980. (In another superlative, Loretta was the first country artist to be on such a rarefied list). Then, in 1980, the cinematic version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was a mainstream smash, earning Sissy Spacek an Academy Award for her gritty portrayal of Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones his first Golden Globe nomination for his role as Doolittle.

In real life, Lynn and country star Conway Twitty spent the ’70s raking in No. 1 hits and industry accolades as country music’s most successful duo, and Lynn became the first woman to earn Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1972.

Mainstream success didn’t tone down her spunk, though; songs about then-taboo topics like birth control (“The Pill”), post-divorce promiscuity (“Rated X”) and teenage virginity (“Wings Upon Your Horns”) were all banned from country radio for a time. “No one could understand that I could think that way and be so country,” Lynn told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2012. “But you can be country and speak up. I had my opinions, and I let everybody know it.”

As country music’s popularity waned in the 1980s, Lynn recorded and toured less, especially after her husband became ill in the early ’90s. Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette did team up for the wildly popular 1993 album Honky Tonk Angels; 2000’s “Country in My Genes” made Lynn the first female artist to have a charting single in five different decades; and Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama bestowed Kennedy Center Honors and a Presidential Medal of Freedom upon her.

Yet it was 2004’s Van Lear Rose that truly catapulted Lynn back onto the mainstream radar. The grungy, hard-rocking collaboration with garage-blues kingpin Jack White was only the second album of Lynn’s then-45-year career entirely written by her. “I don’t think anyone has the natural songwriting ability she has inside of her,” White told The New York Times after the Grammy-winning album was released. “It just comes out and it’s so real. Loretta was breaking down barriers for women at the right time … saying, ‘This is how women live. This is what women are thinking.’ ”

Lynn turns 82 two weeks after her March 28 performance at The Florida Theatre, and she’s still performing some 50 dates a year, often wearing an exquisite white ball gown; still overseeing Loretta Lynn’s Ranch at her longtime home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.; and still recording, with a Christmas album, a gospel record and a possible (fingers crossed) reunion with Jack White in the works.

Even with 64 years in the music game, and thousands of young musicians citing her as an influence, Lynn remains humble about her place in country music history. “I never, never thought about being a role model,” she told the San Antonio Express-News in 2010. “I wrote from life, how things were in my life. I never could understand why others didn’t write down what they knew.”

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Retro has never sounded so now! The Florida Theatre Welcomes ‘Under the Streetlamp’ and ‘Gentleman’s Rule’ in April after Triumphant PBS-TV Premiere in Marchhttp://floridatheatre.com/retro-never-sounded-now-florida-theatre-welcomes-streetlamp-gentlemans-rule-april-triumphant-pbs-tv-premiere-march/ http://floridatheatre.com/retro-never-sounded-now-florida-theatre-welcomes-streetlamp-gentlemans-rule-april-triumphant-pbs-tv-premiere-march/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 00:34:34 +0000 http://floridatheatre.com/?p=3980 Blending youthful style with outstanding vocals, these talented and charismatic performers bring the American Song Book to a whole new level.

With their unique style and modern “Rat Pack” persona, Under the Streetlamp brings the American Radio Songbook to a whole new level in their second television special for PBS. With the mantra “Retro never sounded so now,” these four extremely talented and charismatic former cast members of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys are set to provide an electrifying concert at the historic Florida Theatre on April 27, 2014 at 7pm.

Tickets, on sale now, range from $45 to $25 and are available in person at the Florida Theatre box office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or online at www.floridatheatre.com.

To celebrate the premiere of both specials, Under the Streetlamp and Gentleman’s Rule will launch a 50-city U.S. concert tour on April 17 in Bloomington, IN at the IU Auditorium.  It concludes June 28 in Lancaster, PA at the American Theatre.  The Florida Theatre is proud to present Under the Streetlamp and Gentleman’s Rule on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 7pm.

Backed by an outstanding ten-piece band, singers Michael Ingersoll, Shonn Wiley, Michael Cunio and Christopher Kale Jones bring classic hits back to the millions of fans who fell in love with this music in the first place.  The show includes classic hits of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s with the perfect balance of tender ballads and uptempo classics, all done with the same signature harmonies and slick dance moves that have made them irresistible. The title of this program: “Let the Good Times Roll,” says it all. Of course, no Streetlamp show would be complete without a musical tribute to the original “Jersey Boy” himself, Frankie Valli, and the Four Seasons.

Joining Under the Streetlamp will be the next generation of a cappella entertainment, Gentleman’s Rule. From the creator of Straight No Chaser and the producer and manager of Under the Streetlamp, Gentleman’s Rule exudes youth, energy, and incredible harmonies in a concert performance that is sure to bring the house down.

Gentleman’s Rule blends their youthful style and outstanding vocals with timeless classics and contemporary hits. Their diverse music selections include songs by the legendary Manhattans, Bill Withers, the Rolling Stones, Rascal Flatts, and the Spencer Davis Band, just to name a few.

The eight versatile and individually talented vocalists in Gentleman’s Rule are Will Lockhart, Brent Mann, Luke Mechlin, Holland Nightenhelser, Jasper Smith, Jesse Townes, Andrew Morstein, and TJ Breen.  Based out of Chicago, the group is signed to Arena Child Records and released their first album, Act Accordingly, in 2012.  The release coincided with a two-week run at Chicago’s acclaimed Royal George Theater, followed by a national tour supporting Under the Streetlamp. Both the album and live performances have been met with high praise from audiences and critics alike.  “They are phenomenal,” said Dan Richards from superstation WGN-TV in Chicago.  Showbiz Chicago hails Gentleman’s Rule for “incredibly precise and lush harmonies” and Theatremania urges, “don’t miss this amazing singing sensation.”

Tickets for this special concert event are on sale now, range from $45 to $25, and are available in person at the Florida Theatre Box Office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or through any Ticketmaster outlet. The Florida Theatre is handicapped accessible and has secure and convenient parking.

UNDER THE STREETLAMP PBS preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CQuan5P3aBk

GENTLEMAN’S RULE PBS preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVfZc2govcM

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