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Just Like the Real Thing

Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline tribute show coming to Madison

Rising Star Promotions to bring
the tribute show to Clifty Inn

(August 2019) – Classic Hank Williams Sr. hits  “Hey, Good Lookin,” “I’m So Lonesome I could Cry” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” plus classic Patsy Cline hits “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “She’s Got You,” are just a few of the favorites that will be featured at the “Tributes to Country Legends” show, sponsored by Rising Star Promotions.

Photo provided

Natalie Berry and Josh McMillen will perform Aug. 2 at Clifty Inn as Patsy Cline and Hank Williams Sr.

Spend the evening with Williams and Cline on Aug. 2 in the Overlook Room at Madison, Ind.’s Clifty Inn. The two-hour show starts at 7 p.m. Dinner before the show is available from 5-8 p.m.  The dinner menu includes both a buffet and a la carte options. Tickets for the show are $15, available by calling the Clifty Inn at (812) 265-4135, or at the front desk prior to the show.
Williams is regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, in spite of the fact that he was unable to read or notate music. His music influenced many artists, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
Thirty-five singles recorded by Williams reached the Top 10 of “Billboard,” Country and Western Best Sellers chart. Eleven of those singles reached No. 1 status. During the 1950s, he was called the “King of Country Music,” a title he shared with Roy Acuff. Williams died in 1953 at age 29, from a lethal combination of alcohol and drugs. 
Although Cline had been performing nationally for more than 10 years, she was officially “discovered” in 1957 on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scout show on CBS-TV. She won the competition that evening with her performance of “Walkin’ After Midnight.” That song became No. 2 on the country chart and No. 12 on the pop chart.
She continued to perform periodically on the Godfrey show in New York. In 1959, she signed with Decca Records and moved to Nashville, Tenn. Her new producer, Owen Bradley, coached and directed her to perfect her legendary smooth, torch-song style. Her first song with her new label was the country pop ballad, “I Fall to Pieces,” released in 1961. The song brought Cline her first No. 1 country ranking, plus No. 12 on the pop chart and No. 6 on the adult contemporary chart.
Like Williams, Cline’s career was cut short by an untimely death. On March 5, 1963, Cline, 30, was killed in a plane crash on a foggy, stormy night. She had decided not to take the long car ride home to Nashville that night. Both artists left a legacy of style and music that influenced many genres and performers. Their songs live on in the repertoire of current artists.
Especially memorable are the performances of tribute artists such as Josh McMillen and Natalie Berry. McMillen, 23, has been singing and playing the guitar since age 9. Hank Williams Sr., was always one of his favorites. Even at a young age, he naturally copied Williams’ style as he played his music.
“I’ve been playing his kind of music ever since I learned how to play the guitar,” he said. Growing up in Elizabethtown, Ky., he was homeschooled through high school. He said homeschooling provided the flexibility to perform at any opportunity, as long as his schoolwork was completed on time.
In addition to performing at these ‘tribute” shows, McMillen formed a band with friends Wyatt Miller and Austin Reynolds last year. Their band is called, “The Sun Boys,” recognizing the influences of Sun Records sounds and rockabilly music. The tribute and band performances have kept him busy every weekend so far. McMillen said he is booked almost solid through the end of 2019. 
Life isn’t all music. When McMillen graduated from high school, his parents told him that he had to work a “real job” for one year before going to college. He found a job in a factory. After that year of hard work, he said, “I was ready to go to college.”
Currently he is enrolled at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. He works for a local business, cleaning a bank building in the evening, Monday through Thursday. This schedule continues to provide the flexibility to perform on weekends. If he ever has any spare time, he said, “I spend every second fishing.”
Berry has always loved musical theatre. She has performed Eliza Doolittle, the Matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof;” Annie in “Annie Get Your Gun;” and many others on the circuit in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, as well as radio and TV performances. In her hometown of Harrodsburg, Ky., at the Ragged Edge Theatre, in 2011 she was asked to play Cline in a production called “Honky Tonk Angels.” That led to another show, “Always Patsy, Patsy Cline.” 
Berry said she has been singing Cline songs since she was a little girl. She has recently written her own “Juke Box Musical” of country music songs with a story wrapped around those songs. Her new musical will be staged in August. 
“I discovered I was really an entertainer who loves to sing,” she said. She had enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University on a music scholarship after graduating from high school more than 20 years ago. She graduated college with six years of classical music training and a major in French. It was during college that she found she had a knack for learning languages. After college, she looked for a completely different language and alphabet to learn. She chose Japanese and studied in Japan. That resulted in a career teaching English as a second language for Hitachi. She is currently serving in a local school system as the coordinator of an after-school program, where she also teaches Spanish. After years of being on stage, she is finding that she enjoys the “backstage” life. She loves helping new artists. Berry now serves on the Board of the Ragged Edge Theatre.
The tribute show is presented by Rising Star Promotions, operated by Bill and Phyllis Duke of Lanesville, Ind. They have produced tribute shows with various artists for venues including Branson, Mo., Starlight, Ind., and Scottsburg, Ind., and on the circuit in Kentucky and southern Indiana. In addition to the upcoming Madison show, they are planning future tribute shows –– one in October at Gen. Butler State Park in Carrollton, Ky., and a holiday show in December at Clifty Inn. “This Hank Williams Sr and Patsy Cline show is one of our best shows,” Phyllis said. “McMillen and Berry look and act the part. Their voices are amazing.”
Hailey Hall, Director of Sales for the Clifty Inn, said she is looking forward to bringing more entertainment to the Clifty Inn over the next few months. Hall reminded visitors that the entrance gate fee of $7 for Indiana residents and $9 for non-residents will be required to gain entrance to the park. Visitors can swim or enjoy other park amenities during the day and then return for the concert or any other evening activities with their paid day pass. In addition, a paid day pass for any Indiana State Park is usable in any other Indiana State Park throughout the day and evening.

• For more information, call Clifty Inn at (812) 265-4135.

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