The James Burton and Friends concert was held November 12 at the Schermerhorn in Nashville, TN. There were legendary performers from around the world, all invited to share their talents with that audience. There was Jason Scheff, son of Jerry Scheff, Elvis’ bassist, and long-time lead vocalist of Chicago, rock and roll royalty, Brian May, of “Queen”, Larry Stewart, lead vocalist of Restless Heart, Joe Walsh, guitar legend of the Eagles, Albert Lee, Marty Haggard, son of the great Merle Haggard, John Carter Cash, son of Johnny Cash, Tanya Tucker, Paul Schaffer of the CBS Late Show, and the Imperials.
This was a concert that exceeded my wildest imaginations! From the first rehearsal to the show, I knew it was going to be a night to remember. Jason Scheff had heard of us from his father, Jerry, so when he heard us sing, he came up to me and we had a nice chat. He asked me if we would back him on 25 or 6 or More. I went to that hall expecting to rehearse our songs, and Jason asked us to back him. Of course, we said yes.
Brian May of “Queen” heard us in rehearsal and enquired of the man sitting in front of him, “Who are those guys”? He knew us so he told him. Later, I had a photo taken with him backstage. Brian hopes to take this show to London next year.
Larry Stewart of Restless Heart shared the stage with us for a Glen Campbell medley of “Gentle on my Mind” and “Wichita Lineman”, and we backed him on their hit, “I’ll Still be Loving You”. He knew of the Imperials since childhood. His father, Buddy, had an auto dealership in Paducah, KY, and used to sell cars to many of his gospel heroes.
There were so many great moments that occurred with the guitar jam sessions. The Elvis segment was last. We came out with Jason and did his song. I introduced “The Wonder of You” and the Imperials sang it, with James Burton playing the lead guitar and Ronnie Tutt playing drums. Jason Scheff came on stage to play bass for us just like his father would have done.
It ended with several Elvis tunes and a stage full of all the performers singing songs by the king of rock and roll. I guess the only three people on that stage that actually worked on stage with Elvis were James, Ronnie, and me.
This show was so good, I have a feeling you will see it on PBS sometime next year. You will want to get a DVD of it. It’s that good!
God placed me in the Imperials for a reason. He had a plan from the foundation of the world. I’m part of that plan. I don’t know what the future holds but He does. I will go wherever He leads and sing to anyone who will listen.
I think 2020 may be even more exciting than this year! I can’t wait! Thank you, Lord.