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Arts and Entertainment

December 21, 2012

Foothills to host country icon Tillis

Singer, songwriter and entertainer Mel Tillis will perform at 8 p.m. today at Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center on Market Street in Oneonta.

Tillis has been in the music and entertainment business for more than 50 years, appearing on television shows such as “20/20,” “The Tonight Show,” “The 700 Club,” “Prime Time Country,” “60 Minutes,” “The Late Show With David Letterman,” and as host for the Music City News Awards and “Music City Tonight.”

He started performing in the early 1950s with the group The Westerners while serving as a baker in U.S. Air Force stationed in Okinawa, Japan. In 1956, Webb Pierce recorded a song written by Tillis titled “I’m Tired,” and it launched the singer’s career, a media release said.

Since then, Tillis has been credited with multiple awards that include the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, The National Medal of Arts, Broadcast Music Inc. Songwriter of the Decade and the Golden Voice Entertainer Award. He has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

He is known for songs such as “I Ain’t Never,” “Good Woman Blues” and “Coca-Cola Cowboy.”

The singer also has appeared in numerous feature films, including “Every Which Way But Loose” with Clint Eastwood, “Cannonball Run” I and II, “Smokey and the Bandit II” with Burt Reynolds and as the lead role with Roy Clark in “Uphill All the Way.”

Tickets are $53 for silver seating and $65 for gold seating. For more information, call 431-2080 or go to www.foothillspac.org.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Foothills will host a free show by The Empire Brass with Elizabeth von Trapp.

The group has an international reputation as “North America’s finest brass quintet, renowned for its brilliant virtuosity and the unparalleled diversity of its repertoire,” a media release said.

Joining the ensemble will be von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.”

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