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May 4, 2009

Harborfest 2009 Headliners

Collective Soul, Lee Greenwood, Joe Nichols, The Spinners, Percy Sledge, Randy Houser,  Jonathan Singleton & the Grove, Livingston Taylor and  David Letterman’s Late Show Gospel Choir  

…And more to perform for the Town Point Park Reopening Weekend!

Plus 3 Days of Fireworks! 

Free & Everyone is Welcome 

NORFOLK, Va. – (May 1, 2009) – Norfolk Festevents, Ltd. announced today the final lineup of musical headliners for the 33rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest®,  Friday, July 3 – Sunday, July 5. 2009. 

Collective Soul: (Friday, July 3,  8:30 – 10:00 pm) Collective Soul, an American rock band from Stockbridge, Georgia, has enjoyed success on alternative rock, mainstream rock and pop music radio throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium. The band recorded seven #1 mainstream rock hits, braking into mainstream popularity with their 1993 hit single "Shine" from their debut album “Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid”. Prior to forming Collective Soul, Ed Roland studied songwriting/composing and guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ed began working at Real 2 Reel Studios in Stockbridge during the 1980s and early 90s, which was owned by Will Turpin's father. Ed did production and engineering work for local Atlanta artists. He also recorded his own demos and his independent solo album Ed-E Roland in 1991. Ed had been in garage bands and did some performing of his own. He had a pre-Collective Soul band in the late 80s/early 90s called Marching Two-Step which also included Shane Evans; they were a legitimate band for about 3 years.  Marching Two-Step never managed to grow beyond the club scene, however, in 1992, Ed decided to shift focus as he was trying to secure contracts to publish his songs and compose for other artists with early attempts ending in rejection. That would change in 1993 when his song "Shine" from the Rising Storm label release of Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid became an underground hit on an influential college radio station in Orlando. It was around this time that Ed brought along Shane Evans, his brother Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Ross Childress. This would become the official line-up for Collective Soul.

Lee Greenwood: (Saturday, July 4, 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm) Lee Greenwood has been active in the Country Music scene since the early 1980s. He has released more than twenty major-label albums and has charted more than thirty-five singles on the Billboard country music charts. Few artists have ever written a song that has become more a part of America’s cultural landscape than Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” If he’d never written or recorded another hit, Greenwood would have secured his place in music history with that powerful inspiring ballad. “God Bless the USA” has been voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America, taking the top honor over “God Bless America” and the “National Anthem,” but it is only one of the many hits that have propelled Greenwood’s successful career. With his distinctive voice, insightful songwriting and unparalleled showmanship, Greenwood has been captivating audiences for decades.

Joe Nichols: (Sunday, July 5, 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm) Joe Nichols is an American country music artist. At age twenty, he made his debut in 1996 with a self-titled album on the independent Intersound label. However, it was not until the release of his 2002 single "The Impossible" on the Universal South Records label that Nichols first reached Top 40 on the country charts. The single, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, was followed by the release of his platinum-certified second album, Man with a Memory, released in 2002. This album also produced the Number One single "Brokenheartsville". Nichols followed up Man with a Memory in 2004 with Revelation (which included the Top Ten hit "If Nobody Believed in You"), and an album of Christmas music entitled “A Traditional Christmas”. His fourth album, 2005's gold-certified III, produced his biggest hit to date in the Number One single "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off". “Real Things” followed in 2007. Overall, Nichols' four studio albums for Universal South have accounted for ten singles on the country charts, including two Number Ones and five more Top Ten hits, and this past month Nichols released his brand new single “Believers” that promises to be another winner.

The Spinners: (Saturday, July 4, 3:15-4:30 pm)  In 1954 a group of friends who grew up together in Royal Oak Township, Michigan, just outside Detroit, came together to make music. Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C. P. Spencer, and James Edwards called themselves The Domingoes. James Edwards lasted only a few weeks; he was replaced by Bobbie Smith, who sang lead on most of the Spinners' early records (and many of their biggest Atlantic hits). C. P. Spencer left the group shortly afterwards, and would later go on to be a member of the Voice Masters and The Originals. He was replaced by George Dixon. The group renamed themselves The Spinners in 1961. This name was chosen after looking at popular car hubcaps and noting how they spun around on a car's wheel.

Percy Sledge: (Sunday, July 5, 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm) Percy Sledge will forever be associated with "When a Man Loves a Woman," a pleading, soulful ballad he sang with wrenching, convincing anguish and passion. Sledge sings all of his songs that way, delivering them in a powerful rush where he quickly changed from soulful belting to quavering, tearful pleas. It was a voice that made him one of the key figures of deep Southern soul during the late '60s. Sledge recorded at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, where he frequently sang songs written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. Not only can he sing deep soul, but Sledge is among the pioneers of country-soul, singing songs by Charlie Rich and Kris Kristofferson in a gritty, passionate style.

Randy Houser: (Sunday, July 5, 4:10 pm – 5:00 pm) The passion, enthusiasm and conviction in Randy Houser’s music is utterly irresistible. One listen to his soul-drenched singing is enough to convince you that you are in the presence of a masterful performer. One scan of his deeply felt lyrics is all the proof you need to see that this is a major songwriting talent. And one meeting with this smiling, endearing, open-hearted personality is all it takes to make you believe he deserves to be a star. As illustrated in his breakthrough single, Randy Houser is a breathtaking vocalist with fire and conviction at his core. The songs he has chosen by other Nashville writers for this album are superb showcases for the vocal side of his talent. In addition to “Anything Goes,” they include the sensual “Strange” and the ultra-cool, groove-saturated “How Many Times,” the latter featuring harmony vocals by superstar Vince Gill.

Jonathan Singleton and the Grove: (Sunday, July 5, 2:45 pm – 3:20 pm) Since signing his breakthrough publishing and production deal two years ago with Crosstown Songs Nashville, multi-talented singer/songwriter Jonathan Singleton has been caught up in a creative whirlwind that’s left him little time to be chilling at the airport “Watching Airplanes”—the name of the track he co-wrote (with Jim Beavers) for superstar Gary Allan that became one of the biggest country hits of the past year. The Grove has never wavered from its trademark sound of raucous rock/R&B sound with a little country thrown in the mix. Squeezing as much emotion from the burnt frets of his guitar as his gritty smoke and soul-covered vocal chords, Singleton cut his teeth with The Grove not only as a writer, but also as a charismatic live performer. Over the years, the band played steadily at Barley’s Brewhouse in Jackson while also touring and opening for several major artists. They also released two independent CDs, including More Than People (2002) and most recently Liven’ in Paradise, released, March of 2009.

Livingston Taylor: (Saturday, July 4, 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm) Livingston Taylor's career as a professional musician has rattled along for over thirty years. He has toured-some might say, perpetually-with such major artists as Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett, Fleetwood Mac, and Jethro Tull. Now a full professor, Livingston lectures regularly at the Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1985, teaching a performance course there since 1989. The concept and much of the inspiration, for his book Stage Performance came from those classes. Livingston has written most of his music repertoire, including such Top Forty hits as "I Will Be in Love with You" and "I'll Come Running"; and, recorded by his brother James, "I Can Dream of You," "Going Round One More Time," and "Boatman" (off the double Grammy-winning album Hourglass). In 1988 he received the Boston Music Award for outstanding folk artist. He is the author of two children's books, Pajamas and Can I Be Good?

The Late Show's Gospel Choir: (Friday, July 3, 2pm and 3:30 pm) The Late Show's Gospel Choir was organized by Lady Peachena when Jill Leiderman, a rep then for CBS's popular show, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN," read a story about her show, The Great Divas of Gospel, and called her up requesting a choir to sing on a video. After Paul Shafer heard the choir, he requested that they perform live on the show.  Since then The Late Show's Gospel Choir has performed on "THE LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN," more than 13 times, and has also backed such artists as: Martin Shore, Darlene Love, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Steve Martin and many others. Over the years, The Late Show's Gospel Choir has performed at arenas all over the NY/NJ/CT metro area, including Wall Street's Cipriani's, Cornell University's Weill Medical Center, and Madison Square Garden. Most of the time the Choir sings a cappella, and their powerful voices are simply amazing. Later this year, THE LATE SHOW'S GOSPEL CHOIR will start recording their first CD project. Members of this super choir include: Charles Carter, Kenneth Alston, Reuben Griffin, Carol Hawthorne, Linda Smith, Debbie Sargeant, Michelle Kenney, Dejahnee Richardson, Betty Cook, and Geraldine Washington. 


Festival Quick Facts:

What:  Grand Opening of Town Point Park, 33rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest®             & 27th Annual 4th of July Great American Picnic and Fireworks 

When: Friday, July 3 – Sunday, July 5, 2009 

Time:  Friday & Saturday: Noon – 11pm and Sunday: Noon – 8pm 

Fireworks: Friday: 10 pm, Saturday: 9:30 pm and Sunday: 7:30 pm  

Where: Town Point Park, Downtown Norfolk, Virginia  

Admission: Free & Everyone is Welcome

For more information about the entire weekend’s events, please visit www.festevents.org or call 757-441-2345. The 33rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest® is produced by Norfolk Festevents in partnership with Port of Virginia and presented by AT&T, the City of Norfolk & WVEC the official T.V. Station for the 33rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest®.

The weekend’s events are sponsored by: W.F. Magann Corporation, Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, CFE Equipment Corporation, Budweiser, Geico, Pepsi, Norfolk Plumbing, Norfolk Environmental Commission, Spirit of Norfolk, Virginia Lottery, Nauticus, 92.9 The Wave, 97.3 The Eagle, 100.5 The Max, 93.7 BOB FM, U.S. 106.1 America’s Country, WSKY Channel 4, 94.9 The Point, 101.3 2WD, and Z104.  

Norfolk Festevents, Ltd. is a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing premier concerts, festivals, ship visits and special events and city celebrations for residents and guests of Hampton Roads.  Celebrating its 27th season, Norfolk Festevents has garnered international acclaim for its outstanding quality programming.  Norfolk Festevents is the official event marketing and production agency for the City of Norfolk.

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