Tony Douglas to headline Mason Country Opry

Country music entertainer Tony Douglas will headline a special edition of the Mason Country Opry on Saturday, July 7. The show will be held at the Odeon Theater in downtown Mason. The two-and-a-half hour show will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 per person. Tickets are now on sale at Schooley Saddlery, KNEL or by calling (915) 347-5407. Douglas was born near Athens and began performing as a weekly guest on Fort Worth’s “Cowtown Hoedown” in 1956. He made his first record “Ole Blue Monday” that same year. While performing on the show, Johnny Horton’s manager, Tillman Franks, asked Douglas to be a guest on the popular Louisianna Hayride in Shreveport. Douglas then signed a three-year contract to become a hayride regular. In 1958, the manager of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville caught Douglas performing and offered him a contract. Douglas was ready to sign when he realized that signing with the Opry meant an automatic move from Texas to Tennessee. He gave up the invitation to join the prestigious show and remained in Texas. In 1961, Douglas struck gold with the song, “Shrimpin,” and developed a name for his band. The hits would continue to follow including “My Last Day,” “Layin In The Sunshine,” “Don’t Piddle Around A Puddle,” and “Worst of Luck.” In 1962, Douglas’ guitar player penned “His and Hers” for his bossman. Another standout arrived in 1972 when Douglas recorded “Thank You For Touching My Life.” Sims Records has just released a brand new box set containing thirty of Douglas’ recordings from the 1960’s. This collection will be available for the very first time at the Mason Country Opry. “I am looking forward to being in Mason,” Tony Douglas said. “It has been a long time since the Shrimpers and I played in Mason. I hope that some of our friends and fans will come to the concert.” Chuck Jennings will be joining Douglas on stage. Jennings was one of the original “Shrimpers” in Douglas’ band throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Jennings then went to work in Branson with Boxcar Willie as his lead guitarist and band leader. He worked in Branson for over ten years before moving back to Texas after Boxcar’s death. Other entertainers on the show will include Ashley Stahl, Mark Lee, Benny Watson, Frank Torres, Vernon Haak, Hosea Toms, Kelsey Behrens, Benny Fred Kothmann, Melanie Reeves and Mary Mensch. Tickets are also now on sale for the Bill Anderson and the Po Folks Band show at the Llano Country Opry on Saturday, July 21. Tickets can be bought by calling (915) 247-5354 or (915) 347-5407.

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