Bob Reed Country Music Showcase is the first returning event at the King Opera House | News


The Bob Reed Country Music Showcase began in February 2009 at the King Opera House in honor of Reed, who was then battling cancer. Reed was able to attend the show but died a few weeks later.

It was such a big show, the Reed family, along with Cindy Rhodes and her cast of players and country singers, have done the show every year since…except last year when COVID-19 closed everything and the theater of 120 years old was closed for phase I restoration.

Phase I of the King’s restoration is nearing completion, and the Bob Reed Country Music Showcase will be the first live event at the theater in nearly two years on Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m. A voluntary donation will be collected and split between the King Opera House and the Bob Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Don’t confuse Sunday’s show with the grand reopening of the opera house. It’s coming. “I guess you would call it a soft reopening,” agreed Jan Starcevic and Robyn Haselhuhn, board members of the King Opera House who are planning the grand reopening in March.

Suffice to say, loyal fans of the Bob Reed Country Music Showcase will get a taste of the Phase I remodel, which includes an all-new building facade, new entrance and concession stand, new foyer and all new sanitary facilities. The auditorium itself will be the bulk of the Phase II restoration and fundraising for this effort begins this Sunday.

The show itself features a well-known cast of band members and singers. Rhodes directed all 13 shows. She plays the keyboard. Kevin Maughan is on lead guitar, Michael Freshwater on bass, Richard Coop on rhythm guitar, Eric Chambers on trap set, Steve Head on fiddle, Pat Sharman on guitar and Darin Manson on banjo and guitar.

The lineup of performers includes Manson and the band doing Foggy Mountain Breakdown and later Lonesome Road Blues; Rhodes leading Bob Reed’s favorite “Tennessee Waltz” and his wife Jo’Ann’s favorite “Welcome to My World.”

Darrell Koehler breaks into the Hank Williams classic “Lovesick Blues,” Mardyll Benson sings Jim Reeves’ “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” and 96-year-old Reverta Stewart sings “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”

Curg McCoy performs Hank Snow’s song “A Fool Such As I”, Brittany Gingerich performs Loretta Lynn’s number “One’s on the Way”, Darin Manson performs “Wash My Hands in the Muddy Water”, and Richard Coop sings “What you need is a Sugar Daddy”, made famous by the Bellamy Brothers.

Denny Amos sings Garth Brooks’ “The Dance” and Beverly Graves sings Patsy Cline’s gospel anthem “Just a Closer Walk.”

The show has lost one of its regulars, John Van Weelden to Covid and his nephew, Michael Freshwater will perform Vince Gill’s beautiful song “Go Rest High on that Mountain”, to honor Van Weelden’s memory.

The second act begins with Bob Reed’s parents, including grandson Caleb Haselhuhn doing “Rainbow”, a song by Casey Musgraves, Allyson Haselhuhn and Jacob Scholtus teaming up, Roger Reed singing “Candy Kisses”, a favorite of his father and Bob’s late brother Ray, and Scott Reed singing Trace Adkins’ son “The Rest of Mine”.

Kevin Maughan breaks out of the group to perform “Don’t Let the Old Man in” and “The Older I Get”, and Kristi Ballard sings “Who’s Cheatin’ Who”, a Kelly McClain and Alan Jackson hit. Michael Freshwater returns with a Brooks & Dunn song “Neon Moon” and Darrell Koehler returns with “Six Days on the Road”.

Dave and Jan Paxton perform a modern country song by Cody Johnson that has a traditional country melody and meaning, “Til You Can’t” and Tom Williamson will sing Johnny Cash’s favorite, “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” .


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