Country music veteran set for Saturday at Commons

Organizer Matt Lee figured he needed a concert with a good balance to cap his inaugural Who’s Hoo Independent Country Music Awards Show on Saturday at The Commons in downtown Columbus.

“So I thought if I could have a country music legend headlining and the son of a country music legend opening for him, then that would be perfect,” Lee said.

There you have how he arrived at Jesse Keith Whitley, son of the late Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan, opening for veteran performer David Frizzell, best known for the 1981 No. 1 hit, “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” with Shelly West.

The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. at the conclusion of the awards show. Tickets are $50 and include the show, the concert, and a meet-and-greet session nearby at The Crump Theater after the performance.

At press time days ago, Lee mentioned about 200 tickets of a possible 400 have been sold. In the past, he has booked sold-out shows with such classic country performers as John Schneider in 2017 and Tom Wopat, also a jazz artist, in 2021.

Texas native Frizzell, now 81, has been in some element of entertainment since the age of 9 when he landed a radio show.

He began touring with his legendary brother, Lefty Frizzell, at the age of 12 throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After serving in the Air Force, Frizzell signed with Columbia Records in 1970 and charted his first Billboard single with “L.A. International Airport” and then a Top 40 hit with “I Just Can’t Help Believing.”

During the 1970s, Frizzell appeared regularly on “Buck Owens’ All American TV Show” and began recording for Capitol Records. “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” won the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year and Vocal Duet of the Year awards in 1981, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It also was featured in Clint Eastwood’s film “Any Which Way You Can.”

His website reports that, “in recent years, Frizzell created his label Nashville America Records and has released several albums, including ‘Frizzell & Friends: This Is Our Time,’ which includes a bonus track, written in honor of Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, and traditional music in general.”

“Lefty, Merle & Me” features Frizzell with Marty Haggard.

About the concert

Who: Country singer Jesse Keith Whitley, son of the late Keith Whitley, opening for veteran country performer David Frizzell.

When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 after the inaugural Who’s Hoo Independent Country Music Awards.

Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St., downtown Columbus.

Tickets: $50 at the door and at nightowlcb.com. Includes show, concert, and post-concert meet-and-greet with performers.