“I’m still having fun,” said the performer. “Not many people get to do what I do, so I’m blessed.”
Billy’s Entertainment will present Ronnie McDowell Friday at the Corinth Coliseum Civic Center beginning at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and a portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the American Legion Post 6.
“When we come to town, we just have a good time. I’ll be performing songs I recorded through the years and some new songs, too,” said McDowell.
While McDowell’s fans are well aware of his musical prowess, many might be interested to know he is also an artist. He has painted several noted pieces, including the well known George Jones painting “Last Chance,” which he said he was commissioned to do by George Jones. There is also the “Reflections of a King” painting which hangs at Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo. He has also been painting for the Disney Corporation for the past four years, painting everything from Donald Duck, to Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear.
How does one reconcile the man renowned for music with the artist?
“It’s like I have two careers and live in two different worlds,” said McDowell.
The singer/artist said he has been drawing since 1956, around the time he was in the first grade. He said he still paints all the time.
Originally from Portland, Tenn., right outside of Nashville, McDowell said he moved to Hendersonville, Tenn., in 1987, after country legend Conway Twitty “talked him into it.”
He has five children and eight grandchildren. He is a Vietnam veteran, having landed in Saigon on Oct. 26, 1968. He did tours in 1969 and 1975, as well.
He’s also a song writer.
With all his talents, McDowell is remarkably humble about his achievements.
“I am a jack of all trades, master of none. You have to be humble, lest ye stumble,” he said.
Singer, song writer, performer and artist — McDowell said he enjoys it all and doesn’t seem to have a preference for one passion over another.
“I totally enjoy it all ... all the creative process. I will never stop. I always want to be creating things,” said McDowell.
Although McDowell has had his own impressive string of hits, one cannot ignore the success he has seen preforming Elvis’ hits. McDowell achieved notoriety when he sang 36 songs on the soundtrack “Elvis,” the Dick Clark-produced television movie that featured Kurt Russell as the performer, according to information provided by Webster PR.
He also was the singing voice for the television movie “Elvis And Me,” the ABC television series about the early years of Elvis’ career titled simply “Elvis” as well as, the 1997 Showtime special “Elvis Meets Nixon.”
Following the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, McDowell came out of nowhere to dazzle the world with his heartfelt and self-penned tribute song “The King Is Gone” on the independent Scorpion label. The record took off immediately, gaining airplay on country and pop stations across the country and around the world.
To date, “The King Is Gone” has sold more than five million copies. McDowell scored a second hit for the Scorpion label titled “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You” before being wooed and signed by CBS Records – Epic label in 1979.
McDowell has had an impressive singing career with a string of hit singles for Epic from 1979 to 1986.
Every single release with the exception of just one became a Top 10 Hit, including the chart toppers “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation.” Other hits during his Epic years included “Watchin Girls Go By,” “Personally,” “You Made A Wanted Man Of Me,” “All Tied Up,” and “In A New York Minute.”
While the concert headliner is McDowell, there will be other great talent to enjoy. Also performing will be Charley Kyles, Bonnie Crum and Ruth Calicutt. The MC for the evening will be Superstar Bill Dundee.
“The show will be a time for people to come and enjoy themselves. They can forget their worries and their woes for a while,” said McDowell.
Advance tickets for the show are $15; tickets at the door with be $20; and VIP tickets are $25. VIP tickets will get attendees reserved seating.
(Tickets can be purchased in advance at Mattress Gallery, or Kim’s Auto Repair and Towing, both in Corinth, or by calling Billy at 662-664-1836.)