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.)


Dalton Police Arrest 8 In Prostitution Sting

The Dalton Police Department arrested eight potential “Johns” in a prostitution sting  on Wednesday  night. In recent months, Dalton detectives have received complaints of prostitutes operating in the area and have been investigating.  An undercover officer posed as a prostitute for the operation. Investigators placed an ad online and the suspects agreed to ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 1 GS 1570989 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 2 GS 1570990 LIGHT LAW VIOLATION ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 1 GS 1182477 VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 2 GS 1182478 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW ARD, KEVIN ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Softball Ranked No. 33 In MaxPreps Preseason Top 50

Ooltewah’s softball team is ranked No. 33 nationally in the Maxpreps Preseason Top 50 and junior Kayla Boseman is on the website’s preseason All-America team. The Lady Owls finished third in the 2015 TSSAA Class 3A state tournament, but was eliminated by Stewarts Creek 6-2 in the sectional. Ooltewah has a combined record of 81-16 over the past two seasons. Coach Jon Massey ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)