DARLINGTON—Little Texas, best known for their hits “God Blessed Texas,” “What Might Have Been” and “Kick A Little”, will be rocking the stage at the Lafayette County Fair on Friday, July 13.
Little Texas was conceived in Nashville, Tenn., by a handful of guys in their early 20s who were willing to do just about anything to bring their brand of rockin’ country to the forefront of the music industry.
Before hitting the big time, the band crisscrossed America for three long years, playing every bar and honky-tonk from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Los Angeles, Calif., all the while writing songs that were destined to change the sound of modern country and perfecting a stage show that has been critically acclaimed worldwide.
Known as “the hardest-working band in country music,” it was not uncommon for the band to play more than 300 shows a year without a bus, without a driver, without tour support from a label. They simply made it on their own, and that seasoning is evident even today.
Their first radio release, “Some Guys Have All the Love,” became a top 10 hit, as did their next single, “First Time for Everything.” After the album First Time for Everything was released, five singles reached the top of the charts. The second album, Big Time, truly was the big time for Little Texas.
The sophomore release, which has sold more than 3 million copies to date, spawned three No. 1 singles—“What Might Have Been,” “Got Blessed Texas” and “My Love”—and captured the group’s first CMT Award, a Billboard award, a Radio & Records award and a Grammy nod.
Soon, they signed on as an opening act on an arena tour headlined by Clint Black. Later, they traveled with Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood on a tour sponsored by Budweiser. After that they were on their own, with Crown Royal, singing to packed arenas across the United States and Canada. During this time, the band played a part in Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, which later earned their first Country Music Association trophy for “Album of the Year.”
The group’s cover of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” charted well; albeit, without an official release, and with that, Little Texas broke another record in country music history: three different songs on three different charts with three different lead singers, all at the same time. It is a feat that has never been repeated since by any band. The year 1994 also brought the lineup an Academy of Country Music Award for “Vocal Group of the Year.”
Little Texas released their Kick A Little album and their first true arena-headlining tour began, supported by Keebler and newcomer Tim McGraw with opening act BlackHawk. The tour and the album were huge successes, highlighted by shows in Detroit and Minneapolis, where they sold out the arenas just days after their heroes, The Eagles, had played the same venues. The tour continued on through 1995, finishing as the fifth largest-grossing tour of the year, and over the course of ’94 and ’95, the band received two more Grammy nominations and released Little Texas-Greatest Hits.
After the self-titled album was released, Little Texas, the players, needed a break following years of performing a relentless concert schedule. Thus, at the end of that year, each member went his separate way, opting to spend time with family and friends and work on individual projects.
Today, though, Little Texas is back. The multi-platinum band’s four original members—Duane Propes (bassist-vocalist), Porter Howel (lead vocals and lead guitar), Dwayne O’Brien (vocals and rhythm guitars) and Del Gray (drums)—have rebuilt the franchise with a completely new sound. And with two recent albums under their collective musical belt, they couldn’t be happier to be back on tour and bringing fans what they do best.
The Lafayette County Fair will kick off Wednesday, July 11, with stock car racing starting at 7 p.m. The Lafayette County Area Tractor Pull is set for Thursday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. Little Texas will follow Brook Garrison who takes the stage Friday at 6:45 p.m. Saturday will feature the livestock and cheese auction at 1 p.m., kiddie tractor pull at 3 p.m. and Badger State Tractor Pull at 6:30 p.m. Sunday will wrap up with the third annual Lafayette County Singing Talent Contest at 10 a.m., rural Olympics at 12:15 p.m., Mud Hog Rodeo at 1 p.m. and gauntlet, soccer car races/crash and trailer races at 6 p.m.
Call the fair office at 776-4828 with any questions.