Drivin' N Crying' will perform a free public concert at the downtown Cleveland Halloween Block Party on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Sharon Marr, executive director of Mainstreet Cleveland, announced recently that Atlanta-based Drivin’ N Cryin’ — best known for their 1991 hit “Fly Me Courageous” — has agreed to play a 90-minute concert at the Halloween event thanks to a sponsorship from Check Into Cash and the company’s founder and CEO Allan Jones.
“Drivin’ N Cryin’ is a band known for putting on an incredible live show that features rock, blues and folk, much in the tradition of groups like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and the Dave Matthews Band,” Ms. Marr said. “They have a large following not just in the South, but also throughout the country. This year’s crowd could easily be our biggest yet.”
Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has toured extensively over the last 25 years and made history by becoming the only band to share a stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sonic Youth and Neil Young in the same year. In 2011, the Georgia General Assembly honored the band with a resolution for their contribution to popular music.
Ms. Marr said Check Into Cash hired Drivin’ N Cryin’ with the intent of making the Block Party’s 25th anniversary a night to remember. In previous years, Mr. Jones has supported the Block Party by partnering with nationally recognized performers like Little Richard, Vince Vance and the Valiants, and even the cast of the television show, “Leave It To Beaver.”
The businessman, often called “Mr. Halloween,” was also a key figure in the creation of the Block Party, Ms. Marr said.
Mr. Jones created the Tall Betsy goblin in 1980 as a way to entertain his first child, Courtney. At the time, Jones was living on Centenary Avenue in downtown Cleveland. When the annual Halloween crowds became more than the street could accommodate, Mr. Jones helped create the Halloween Block Party as a way to draw traffic away from Centenary after 8 p.m.
When it became time to pick a band for the 25th anniversary Block Party, Mr. Jones asked for help from Courtney, a member of the Cleveland High School 1992 graduating class. Courtney suggested Drivin’ N Cryin,’ a band whose popularity skyrocketed in the early ‘90s.
“I recognize that there has been a changing of the guard and I am too old to know who today’s popular music acts are,” Mr. Jones said. “Drivin’ N Cryin’ is not a band I know much about, but instead is a band that appeals to the parents of the children who will be at this year’s Block Party.”
Ironically, the 1992 CHS class had its 20-year reunion recently at Mr. Jones’ Creekridge estate where those who attended learned that Drivin’ N Cryin’ would appear at the Block Party.
Check Into Cash President Steve Scoggins said it is important to the company that the concert is free to the public so that as many people as possible can attend.
"Even in today’s economy, it can cost $500 or more to take your family down to Atlanta or Nashville to see a headlining act that puts on a great concert,” Scoggins said. “Check Into Cash has partnered with MainStreet to ensure that anybody who wants to see Drivin’ N Cryin’ can come to downtown Cleveland and celebrate completely free of charge.”
For more information on the free Drivin’ N Cryin’ concert, contact Mainstreet Cleveland at 479-1000 or visit www.mainstreetcleveland.com.