FMCA has arranged for three terrific nights of evening entertainment during the association's 87th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Aug. 27 to 30. All evening entertainment performances will take place at Pepsi Coliseum.
On Tuesday, August 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the coliseum will be converted into the world’s largest honky-tonk as a pair of performers take the stage for FMCA’s Country Spectacular.
Leading off will be 22-year-old Kayt Jones, an up-and-coming singer and songwriter who has fashioned her style based on classic country music stars such as Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, and Tammy Wynette. While she may embrace the roots of country, this native of San Clemente, California, has attracted attention thanks to her cutting-edge sound.
Next on stage will be country superstar Earl Thomas Conley, who became a prominent fixture on Billboard’s country charts during the 1980s.
Earl got his first big break as a writer in 1973, teaming up with Dick Herd to pen “Smokey Mountain Memories,” which became a top 10 hit for Mel Street. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, he found more success as a songwriter with “This Time I’ve Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me,” a number-one hit for Conway Twitty in 1975. That’s when he decided to switch from writer to singer.
He struggled to gain notoriety during the late 1970s, but scored a top 10 single with “Silent Treatment” in 1980, and followed it up with his first number-one hit, “Fire and Smoke,” in 1981. It was the first of 18 chart-topping singles he recorded during the decade. This included four from one album, Don’t Make It Easy For Me, which marked the first time an artist in any genre had four number-one singles from the same album.
By the early 1990s, dissatisfaction with the music industry, health problems, and the death of his father left Earl physically and emotionally drained, forcing him to take a seven-year hiatus from the studio. During this time he began to focus on writing again, and by 1997 he had accumulated more than 70 songs.
With longtime friends Randy Scruggs and Curly Corwin, he recorded Perpetual Emotion in 1998. He followed that up in 2003 with Should’ve Been Over By Now and Live at Billy Bob’s Texas in 2004. Earl continues to tour and play the number-one hits that so many people have come to know.
Taking the stage on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. will be Ron and Kay Rivoli, who will present their ever-popular “Rivoli Revue” for the Family Reunion crowd, courtesy of Adventure Caravans, C6954, an FMCA Five Star sponsor.
This singing/songwriting duo performs a unique style of music they call “Amerimobilly,” which includes music about America and our love of the roads and the places, people, and things they lead to. For FMCA members, these songs have an even greater meaning, as they often relate directly to the traveling lifestyle motorhomers lead. The songs also reflect the couple’s love of God, family, and country.
The Rivolis have been regular performers at FMCA events as well as other gatherings, and have performed venues with stars such as Tony Orlando, The Beach Boys, America, Lee Greenwood, The Spinners, and more. Energetic, funny, and charismatic, the Rivolis will have the audience laughing and singing along.
Prior to evening entertainment on Thursday, FMCA Tour Connection powered by Fantasy RV Tours, C5644, an FMCA Super Star sponsor, will award one lucky Family Reunion attendee a 13-day caravan for two to the cities of Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri.
The caravan, which will take place May 8 through 20, 2013, begins in Music City — Nashville — where attendees will move to the beat of music every day from city tours to showboats to the Grand Ole Opry. The next destination is Memphis, synonymous with Elvis, the Blues, and barbecue. The final stop will take the group west across the mighty Mississippi River to Branson to enjoy premier musical shows and attractions where a good time will be had by all.
The caravan prize is valued at $4,395 and everyone who is registered for the Family Reunion will be entered in the drawing.
The final night of entertainment will feature The Duttons, 2007 finalists on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” show, beginning at 8:00 p.m., thanks to FMCA Tour Connection Powered by Fantasy RV Tours. This musical family who now calls Branson, Missouri, home, has delighted audiences for years with an energetic variety show that features parents Dean and Sheila Dutton and their children.
The Duttons' performance showcases the talents of the family members who all play instruments, sing, and dance during the show, which incorporates musical styles ranging from bluegrass to classical. Their repertoire also includes country music and pop, with influences ranging from the Eagles and James Taylor to Ricky Skaggs and Rascal Flatts. In addition, the family has garnered recognition in both national fiddling contests and classical violin competitions.
The Duttons own and operate the Dutton Family Theater in Branson, where they perform throughout the year, as well as the Dutton Inn, just behind the theater. The family recently opened a new theater in Mesa, Arizona, where they perform from December through March. You won’t want to miss these talented and versatile performers as they present a dynamic, entertaining show.
Also see Daytime entertainment and events schedule.