Hylton Performing Arts Center Presents Crystal Gayle, Larry Gatlin, Andy Cooney

Posted: September 27, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: September 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas opens its inaugural season of Hylton Presents on Friday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. in Merchant Hall with a performance by three powerhouse entertainers.

Two pioneers of country pop music, Crystal Gayle and Larry Gatlin, won respective Academy of Country Music’s Awards for Best Female and Male Vocalist of the Year in 1979.

Hailed as “Irish America’s Favorite Son” by The New York Times, Andy Cooney’s dynamic stage presence and outstanding interpretations of Irish music make him one of the busiest entertainers in America.

In a program titled “American Voices,” this spectacular trio celebrates their country, faith, heritage and friendship, performing some of their own respective hits as well as favorites from America’s songbook.

The program includes Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and Gatlin’s “Houston” and “All the Gold in California.” Cooney performs a stirring tribute to American service men and women called “Bring Him Home.”

For more than 50 years, Gatlin has led the Gatlin Brothers from the dusty stages of Abilene, Tex., to performances at the White House; from Broadway to the Grammy Awards to the top of the country music charts.

Living in Nashville, Tenn., Gatlin began writing hits for Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Streisand, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley. He recorded several hit albums in the early 1970s, including “The Pilgrim” and “Broken Rainbow,” featuring his Grammy-winning song “Broken Lady.”

In the late 1970s, the Gatlin Brothers began touring and recording together as a group, and earned more than a dozen Top 40 hits and several Academy of Country Music awards. The band stopped touring in 1992, and the versatile Gatlin turned to Broadway, starring in the lead role of the Tony Award-winning musical, “The Will Rogers Follies.”

In 2009, the Gatlin Brothers returned to the spotlight with an album called “Pilgrimage,” filled with spoken reflections and songs that pay homage to the history of country music and its legendary figures.

In 2010, Gatlin also became a regular contributor on FOX News, which gave him his own weekly column on FOXNews.com.

Known for her warm, resonant vocal style and timeless music, Gayle introduced a new audience to country music by making it accessible to popular music fans. Like her famous sister Loretta Lynn, Gayle also grew up a “coal miner’s daughter” and began her career with a more traditional country sound, releasing a debut single penned by Lynn titled “I’ve Cried The Blue Right Out of My Eyes,” which reached the top 20 on the national country music charts.

After a slew of number one hits and Top 10 albums, Gayle released her most successful song to date, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” which topped the Billboard country music chart and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list before winning Gayle the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1978. Since then, the song achieved status as one of the 10 most-performed songs of the 20th century.

Cooney has taken the Irish-American music scene by storm with his heartwarming interpretations of classic Celtic tunes like “Galway Bay” and “Danny Boy.”

One of nine children born into an Irish-American family on Long Island, Cooney began singing Irish music from an early age at family and church gatherings, and began appearing at Irish establishments throughout the New York area as a teenager before touring with renowned Irish bandleader Paddy Noonan.

In 1994, he broke out on his own, appearing at venues around the globe, recording 15 albums and charming Irish music fans everywhere. Cooney has developed strong relationships with other Irish and Irish-American artists, and his many collaborators include Ronan Tynan, Cherish the Ladies and Eileen Ivers.

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is pleased to recognize Novant Health as the Inaugural Season Sponsor of the 2010-11 Hylton Presents season.

Tickets are $50, $42 and $34. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit hyltoncenter.org or the box office to purchase tickets.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu