By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
Rock the South has added two music legends. Former country music entertainer of the year Hank Williams, Jr. and Allman Brothers founder Gregg Allman have both signed on for the second annual music festival.
By sundown Friday, popular country artist Jamey Johnson was also added to the lineup.
Johnson, an Alabama native, is best known for his Top 10 hit “In Color,” as well as “High Cost of Living,” which managed to crack the Top 40. Both were on his 2008 gold-certified album, “That Lonesome Song.”
Johnson was nominated for the CMA Awards New Artist of the Year in 2009 and the Academy of Country Music Top New Solo Vocalist in 2010.
After overwhelming requests from fans, organizers announced Friday they had booked Williams and Allman for the second year of Rock the South in Cullman.
They will share the stage with American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry and Sara Evans at the event, set for June 21-22 at Heritage Park. Additional acts will also be announced in the coming weeks.
Williams, Jr. has been a stalwart of the country and southern rock scene for decades, and scored several No. 1 hits and awards during the 1980s and 1990s. In his younger years, Williams, Jr. actually lived in Cullman. It was during his time here that he recorded his 1975 album Hank Williams Jr. and Friends. He was named the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year in 1987 and has won several Country Music Awards throughout his lengthy career.
He’s best known for the songs “Family Tradition,” “Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound,” and “Dixie On My Mind,” among others. He released his latest album Old School New Rules last year.
Event organizer Shane Quick, with Premier Productions, said he reached out to Williams, Jr. to perform at Rock the South after a groundswell of support from the community. Quick said Williams, Jr. was easily the most-requested act on the event’s social media accounts.
“Overwhelming, when we asked people who they wanted to see, it was Hank 2-1 over anyone else,” he said. “It’s just great, because I think this generation has heard about Hank, Jr. their whole life, but never actually seen him live. He only does about 20 shows per year and he chose Cullman. Hank is really going out of his way to be a part of this in Cullman and we appreciate that so much.”
Allman is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and released a new album just last year. He was a founding member of the blues-rock band The Allman Brothers and has toured as a solo act for decades.
The City of Cullman is teaming up with country artist Sara Evans to host Rock the South this year, which will feature several country artists. The festival expands to two days this year, following the success of the inaugural Rock the South in 2012 with Kellie Pickler and Dierks Bentley that attracted more than 15,000 people.
More information is available at the Rock the South Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/RockTheSouth), where organizers are “leaking” information in an effort to build buzz for the festival in the months leading up to the full marketing campaign.
* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220. Ashley Graves of The Times contributed to this report.