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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dwight Yoakam is Laredo-bound

By MIKE McILVAIN

Dwight Yoakam is a Country music star and his star rises high above any single genre.
The “Honky Tonk Man,” and singer of “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere,” “Gone” and a string of other hits brings his “Watch Out” Tour to the Laredo Entertainment Center on Oct. 16, a Monday night, and he could be the cornerstone for a new wave of entertainment here in Laredo.
“Support is important because he is the first of many to come,” Belinda Guerra, president of Guerra Communications, said.
LEC boss Jalinna Jones explains that the arena and Guerra bought the show from promoters as an investment, seeking to bring in other big Country stars. Jones added that Yoakam is represented by the William Morris Agency, which carries a long list of major stars. Guerra and the LEC see that a good showing in the 10,000-seat facility will bring many of those stars here.
“Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson have called,” Guerra said. “So this market needs to prove its strength.”
“We’ve got to be there for the first one,” Jones added. “They know Laredo is here.”
Jones said that the LEC has also talked with George Strait representatives.
Local ownership of the show put guarantee money in Yoakam and William Morris’s hands. This is an investment.
“We’ve been working on this since June,” Jones said. “They get their money whether we sell one ticket or all of them, but they don’t want to go to a market that would fail them.
“This is probably the fifth date we worked on with him.”
Guerra Communications said in its February press conference at the LEC when KRRG, 98.1 FM, dropped its Hip Hop format for Country music, on the same location in the LEC main entrance, and a hope to bring in stars from that genre was expressed by both.
Yoakam has crossed a number of barriers in his diverse career. His music is described as a mix of traditional Country with 1950s Rock and Roll with pinches of punk and Los Angeles-based alternative.
“The cowpunks, as they were called, that attended Yoakam’s shows provided an invaluable support for his fledgling career,” says his online biography.
Yoakam has been visible on the nation music level since 1984 when his release “A Town South of Bakersfield.” His first full-length album two years later, “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” eventually went platinum. Yoakam’s “Streets of Bakersfield,” recorded with idol Buck Owens, was his first No. 1 hit in 1988. “Blame the Vain” and “Live From Austin, Tx” are his latest albums.
Songs, albums and honors piled up for Kentucky-born and Ohio-raised Yoakam whose voice carries tunes with a controlling resonance. Eventually he moved into acting and has numerous credits. His recent movies include “Wedding Crashers,” “The Three Burials of Melciades Estrada,” “Bandidas” and “Crank.” Yoakam is no stranger to the small screen, appearing on numerous talk shows, exhibiting a strong, animated ability to express himself.
Yoakam’s credits include writing, songwriting and movie producing work.
Yoakam’s performance here is a week before his 50th birthday.
More information available about Yoakam online at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0948267/; www.dwightyoakam.com and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Yoakam.
Note: More stories on LareDOS can be read online at www.laredosnews.com in pdf. This is a similar version of the print story in the Sept. edition.

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