On the Beat

Choose a blog

Billy Ray Cyrus: Gitcher parka ready

Bookmark and Share

Way back in 1991, the year Walnut Creek Amphitheatre opened in Raleigh, it booked the closing show of its debut season in November -- R&B singer Patti LaBelle. It was an utter catastrophe, as temperatures plummetted down to near the freezing mark. That might still be the most uncomfortable night I've ever spent out there, and it was all for naught. After an interminable delay following opening act Freddie Jackson, LaBelle came onstage to announce that, due to the frigid temperature, she didn't feel as if she could give us "the show you deserve," with the clothes and the hair and the wailing. So she wasn't going to perform.

The crowd erupted into boos, with many shouting at her to leave and never come back. LaBelle did return to play Walnut Creek a few years later, during the heat of the summer, and all seemed forgiven. But Walnut Creek has never booked a show in November since, choosing instead to end every outdoor-music season in October (including this year, which is scheduled to wrap with Martina McBride on Oct. 4).

Cary's Booth Amphitheatre, however, is going to roll the dice. Just announced: A Nov. 8 date with country singer (and Hannah Montana dad) Billy Ray Cyrus as headliner. It's part of a concert celebration "recognizing the missions of the American Red Cross and the National Veterans Freedom Park, while honoring our Nation's veterans, military personnel and their families."

We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, tickets go on sale at noon Tuesday.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

RBC Show

I am pretty sure it was Patti LaBelle who was hired to play a show before a basketball tournament at the RBC but the Producer of the show never showed up with a check to pay her. The RBC stepped up and talked her into performing after she delayed going on stage for forty-five minutes.

When she got on stage she gave the crowd an explanation and then instructed them to call the producer. She gave the audience at the RBC the producers phone number and address.


Thanks for setting the record striaght, that's exactly what I remember.  

nov concert

just load up on anti-freeze.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

David Menconi has been the News & Observer's music critic since 1991. Before that, he spent five years at the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo. He has a masters in journalism from the University of Texas and a B.A. in English from Southwestern University. You can find more of his writing here.