Riverbend: Gary Allan Gave The “Best He Ever Had” On Coke Stage

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - by Mark Herndon

Gary Allan is a tough cowboy!  After fighting illness the past few days and even cancelling events. As I picked up my media credentials from Bob Payne w/Friends of the Festival,  the word was his performance was in jeopardy to open on the Riverbend Coke stage.  It was serious as his website www.garyallan.com reported Gary Allan's fan club party scheduled for Saturday evening at Rocketown has been cancelled. 

Allan spent two days this week at the Vanderbilt Voice Clinic with Doctor Gaeyln Garrett. The singer is fighting a viral infection that is impacting the strain on his voice, forcing Allan to cancel the fan club party. The strain is temporary and is expected to resolve as the viral infection runs its course.  However, his Facebook posting and Riverbend Festival Facebook posting confirmed a couple of hours prior to taking the stage he was on his way and the show would go on. 

This eased greatly the concerns for Gary’s health and his schedule performance to the opening crowd of fans awaiting him.  About 30 minutes before Gary Allan was to take the stage, Dex (WUSY US 101) and Amy Morrow (Friends of the Festival Marketing Director) were covering last minute details before Dex was to make the introduction to the fans.   

As I completed my walk around the stage, I met and greeted some of the VIP fans and stage hands. Stage manage Alex was accommodating my walk, routine for the most part, and we discussed the stage setting, at the same time he was talking to Gary on the radio.  All the sound checks had been made earlier and, with the tuning of the guitars in the background, taping down a set list of songs for the band and Gary.   Alex was  to have everything ready as Gary and the band made the transport by boat to the stage.  One request I was privy to hear was to make sure there was plenty of Orange Juice on and around the stage….. Alex delivered!!  

It was a great night with the cool weather as David Glenn, WTCV Channel 9 weather and official Riverbend forecaster, put our fears to rest as his pre-stage forecast.  Gary walked down the platform right on schedule with Tough Goodbye…………. Then as the lights were panned across the riverbanks the unbelievable crowd cheered him into his scheduled 90 minutes of songs. He performed more than 20, including Tough Goodbye, Feeling Like That, Man To Man, Pieces, It Ain’t The Whiskey, Send, Smoke Rings, Sand In My Soul, Get Off On The Pain, Songs About The Rain, Radio, California, Every Storm, Bones, Man Of Me, Air Planes … then as the crowd was overtaken by him and his eight piece band to return with Best I Ever Had and Dark Whiskey….. you will notice a couple of new songs to be included in his new studio album/cd in the works.  

Thanks, Gary… after two hours of the best relaxing night as you beat the illness and the earlier threat of storms that moved around the city last night. 

This year becoming one of the official professional photographers for the Festival provides an opportunity to share with the fans and festival interest a different perspective of stage performance.  

(The photo series is Friends of the Festival management (Riverbend Music Festival (https://www.facebook.com/rbfestival )  and www.Chattanoogan.com  ways of keeping festival fans updated with events throughout the week.  Keep checking these sites and the schedule artist on all stages for event information and photos.)



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Man Digs Up Old Gun In His Yard On Wheeler Avenue

A Wheeler Avenue resident told police that he was doing yard work and discovered a handgun buried in his yard. He said the firearm did not belong to him. Police could determine that the firearm was a firestorm 1911 government 45 AUTO but were unable to read the serial number do to the rusty condition of the gun. Police submitted it to the Chattanooga Property Division for safe keeping. ... (click for more)

All I Want For Christmas Are Digitized Newspapers For 2018

With recent news of the Public Library investing in their own StoryCorps-ish effort with the Chattanooga Memory Project, it got me thinking about digitizing local newspapers again.   It's been two and a half years since the Chattanooga Public Library committed to sending out a request for proposals to digitize the local newspapers they have on microfilm. Back in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last You’d Suspect

Back when Bill Lenz launched Christ the Rock Community Church, the idea was to spread the gospel in Menasha, Wisc. but Bill and his brother Bob soon found they were dealing with people in trauma situations – drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, the homeless, and suicide prevention. As the church grew, they started an offshoot ministry called “Solid Rock” that deals with suicide ... (click for more)

Vols' Pruitt Is A "Ball Coach" Who Won't Forget HIs Roots

KNOXVILLE -- He is still the guy that taught them how to play kickball and officiated their dodgeball games. He's still the guy that wore a Fort Payne Wildcats football T-shirt to class every day and carried them over his shoulder across the playground if they got hurt. Before he rose to prominence as a college football coach, Jeremy Pruitt was a PE teacher at Wills Valley ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To Virginia Tech 64-44

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs started off the current basketball season with three straight losses, including a 60-30 whipping at Green Bay on November 11. Things had gotten better since that time as the Lady Mocs came into Sunday afternoon’s home game with Virginia Tech on a six-game winning streak, but the train jumped off the track, the local girls had one of their poorest performances ... (click for more)