Not only did Ken Burns‘ landmark, eight-night TV documentary called “Country Music” boost music sales and streaming for the artists featured in the show, it generated rave reviews among an SRO crowd on Thursday, September 19, at Anne and Steve Stodghill’s estate in Preston Hollow. While North Texas Giving Day was in its final hours of topping past goals, Pat Green was holding forth at The Eye across from the Joule for Leukemia Texas, and Larry The Cable Guy was bringing his blue-collar antics to The Shed for The Bridge, the birth announcement of the area’s newest fundraiser was underway at the Stodghills’ place, with more than 100 country-western aficionados in attendance.
The big news, revealed by Steve and Lisa Purcell of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, was that, for the first time, the Museum will be bringing a special fundraising concert series called All for the Hall to Dallas next year. On Wednesday, April 29, there will be a full-band concert by Brooks and Dunn at the Statler Dallas hotel. The night before, the Stodghills will host an “acoustic evening” with a to-be-named Nashville star at a VIP patron party in their spacious backyard.
Up until now, All for the Hall, which benefits the Museum’s education programs, has been held in alternating years in New York and Los Angeles. But then, Stodghill pal Kurt Johnson —he’s programming president for Townsquare Media and president of the Country Music Association board of directors — introduced Steve and Anne to people with the Hall of Fame and Museum, and the idea for the Dallas event was born. After all, as Steve told the September 19 crowd after temporarily closing down the Stodghills’ “disco” bar, “Texas is the biggest market for country music in the United States!”
Also speaking to the gathering were Lisa, Kelly and Brendon Anthony of the Texas Music Office in Austin, and longtime Hall of Fame trustee Jody Williams. Then the guests, who included the likes of Harry Hunsicker, Anne Davidson, Laura and Dennis Moon, Kelly Anthony and Carla and Joe Russo, were treated to a live mini-concert by Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band — Jeff was featured in Burns’ documentary, by the way — and his wife, songwriter Matraca Berg.
While papa Stubbs Davis waited for his gorgeous wife Holly Davis to arrive, he did the proud papa bit by announcing that daughter Landry Davis had just been signed by the Campbell Agency for both modeling and acting. Landry fessed up that she hoped that mama Holly would return to the modeling biz, too. … 2020 Cattle Baron’s Co-Chairs Diana Hamilton and Heather Randall, as well as 2019 Co-Chair Lisa Shirley with husband Joe Bob Shirley, were huddling over a table as it was announced that former CBB Co-Chairs Katy Bock, Jonika Nix, Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill, along with Terri Johnson (she’s Kurt’s wife), would be co-chairing All for the Hall.
Steve, who was clad for the occasion in a Manuel shirt and ostrich-skin boots, had had a long day. In addition to being in Austin, he’d had to rent a car to drive back to Big D due to canceled flights courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Imelda. When he proudly told one guest that Gov. Greg Abbott had just appointed him to the state’s Public Safety Commission, which oversees the Texas Department of Public Safety, he was put in the position of fielding questions about the driver-license-renewal issues that recently had raised headlines.
Carole and Scott Murray, who had attended the T. Boone Pickens memorial service earlier in the day at Highland Park United Methodist Church, were still reeling from the news of Mary Lee Cox‘s death. Confided Scott: “I was just talking with her last week about a project.”
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron