The Westmoreland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to announce big changes for the Fourth Annual Owen Bradley Music Festival, scheduled for Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. Originally the event was held in September, but for several reasons the chamber decided to make it a spring event.
The event honors the legacy of famed music producer Owen Bradley, who was born and spent his early childhood in Westmoreland, and is undergoing other big changes besides a change in date.
"The chamber decided it was time to go big with the event," said coordinator David Harrison. This year it will be held in the Westmoreland High School gym, which holds more than 2,100 people. The chamber has also added a concert on Saturday night following the talent search, featuring long time country great Restless Heart.
The chamber has also partnered with Belmont University to provide studio time for the winner of the talent search.
"In the past the winner of the talent search got to record in whatever recording studio we could find to work with us," said Harrison. "Bradley's original Quonset Hut Studio is now part of CBS/Columbia Studios which is operated by Belmont University."
Mike Curb of Curb Records purchased the building and signed a 40 year lease with Belmont in 2014. The winner of the Owen Bradley talent search will now get to record in the same studio where Bradley produced such artists as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee and Conway Twitty, just to name a few.
Tickets for the event are available online at www.owenbradleymusicfestival.com, and registration is open for the youth talent search as well as the Owen Bradley talent search. The youth talent search is limited to the first 30 contestants and the Owen Bradley talent search is limited to the first 75 entrants.
Besides the recording session, the winner of the Owen Bradley talent search will have their song digitally mastered and distributed to country radio stations across the US as well as international markets. They will also get to shoot a music video of that song filmed by Keech Rainwater of Rainwater Productions. Rainwater is also the drummer for country group Lonestar.
Returning this year to perform is past winner Gracie Metheny, from Elkins, W.V. Metheny will show her video for the song "Unspeakable" which was filmed by Rainwater Productions in the Dream Center in Westmoreland.