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Josh Turner, Guess Who highlight Franklin County Fair lineup

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By WHITNEY RANDOLPH

MALONE - Country music star Josh Turner and classic rockers The Guess Who will be among the artists performing at the Franklin County Fair in August, the Franklin County Agricultural Society has announced.

The 2014 fair officially begins on Aug. 2, and runs through Aug. 10. The midway will open at 6 p.m. Aug. 1, which will be a free entrance day for the fair.

Arguably the biggest act taking the stage at the fair this year will be Josh Turner at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, a Saurday.

Turner is famous for his debut album, “Long Black Train,” and has sold over 5 million albums, according to a press release. Some of his most famous hits include “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”

The release also stated that Turner is one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry; he was inducted in 2007. In June 2012, Turner released his fifth studio album, “Punching Bag,, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Chart, according to the release. The debut single “Time is Love” was No. 1 on the Best of 2012 Billboard Country Chart.

“We almost did not get him; we tried to get him for our Friday night show and that did not work out,” Franklin County Agriculture Society President David St. Mary said. “We were able to get him back in for the Saturday night show.”

Tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. June 2 for track seats. Pre-sale tickets will be $20 and tickets will be $15 at the gate. The grandstand will be free seating for those who wish to see the concert.

“Stop in or call in and we will fix you right up,” said Dale Chapin, a member of the entertainment committee.

The Friday night show will have a definite Canadian flavor. The 7 p.m. show will feature two Canadian bands, The Guess Who and Lipstick Rodeo. The Guess Who became Canada’s first international rock music superstars, according their press release. The band got its start in 1962 in Winnipeg. Their most popular songs include “These Eyes,” “American Woman,” “Share the Land,” “Bus Rider,” and “Rain Dance.”

The emergence of the classic rock radio stations in the U.S. has broadened the fan base for this Canadian band, according to the release.

There will be standing room on the track for these two bands and it will be $10 to go down on the track.

Lipstick Rodeo will be the opening act for The Guess Who.

Lipstick Rodeo is a group of five ladies from Montreal. The group sings cover songs and many songs from Canadian country pop singer-songwriter Shania Twain.

“My neighbor saw them perform down in Florida in the spring and he called me and said you should try and get them,” Chapin said.

For family entertainment, the Willis Clan will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5.

The Willis Clan is composed of parents Brenda and Toby Willis and their 12 children. They are a family of musicians, dancers, athletes, artists and writers living in Nashville, Tenn., according to a press release.

The Willis Clan is influenced by the Irish culture they were exposed to while living in Chicago, according to the release. They incorporate Irish dance and swing dancing into their performances. The release stated that the Willis Clan has branched out into several different genres of music for their performances including pop, country, bluegrass and jazz. The Willis Clan has their own TV series Thursday nights on GAC.

St. Mary and Chapin saw the Willis Clan down at the State Fair Board Convention.

“They are a very talented family. All kids sing, dance and play different instruments,” Chapin said. “If anyone wants to see a nice family act, it will be a pleasant night.”

Tickets for track seating for the Willis Clan will be $10 and the grandstand will have free seating.

The stage will feature Terry Lee Goffee, “The Ultimate Johnny Cash Impersonator,” at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6.

“He really does look and sound like Johnny Cash. It is a really good show,” said Chapin. “I don’t think anyone was disappointed who came and saw him the last time he was here.”

St. Mary said the show is presented in a way to tell the ongoing story of Cash’s life.

“When you see him standing on the stage, he’s got the long black trench coat, like Johnny Cash use to wear and the black hair. When you walk down to the stage area ,you would swear that it was Johnny Cash standing on the stage,” St. Mary said.

Other events for the week include the demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, horse pulls, figure 8, rollover and truck and van class.

Rollover is a new featured event this year. It is where cars hit a ramp on one set of wheels and the car will roll as many times as possible. Points will be given for how many rolls they can do. This event will take place at 4 p.m. Aug. 10.,

St. Mary gave a lot of credit to the entertainment committee for the work they have done to provide a variety of acts for the fair this year.

“The whole entertainment committee has worked hard to come up with entertainment, because it is not an easy job,” St. Mary said. “I think they have a real nice lineup. We have some good entertainment this year.”

St. Mary and Chapin said they are hoping for large crowds and great weather the week of the fair.

“It is the biggest annual event in Malone, and everyone looks forward to it,” St. Mary said. “We hope it is going to be a busy week for everyone.”

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