IT’S ME AGAIN – Dr. Jim Byford has portrays Ray Stevens
IT’S ME AGAIN – Dr. Jim Byford has portrayed Ray Stevens for over 30 years and he will be bringing his act to the stage of the Rotary Sing-Alike Saturday night. The event is sponsored by the UT Martin Roteract Club and will begin at 7 p.m. in the UT Martin Boling University Center’s Watkins Auditorium.
It’s me again, Margaret! Actually, it’s Ray Stevens
Well, actually, it’s Dr. Jim Byford, University of Tennessee at Martin professor and dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, playing the part of Ray Stevens in the Martin Rotary Club’s fundraising and hair-raising production of the Rotary Sing-Alike.
At 7 p.m. on April 8 in the Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus, several faculty and community members will be taking the stage displaying their talents as various recognizable musical artists and they’ll be performing in the name of charity. UT Martin Athletic Director and talent coordinator for the event, Dr. Phil Dane, admitted the idea for the Sing-Alike came about from an idea to have a fundraiser that sought to be different from the usual civic fundraisers.
“The idea for the show came from the notion that most civic club fundraisers involve selling a product (barbecue, ham breakfast, pancakes, etc.). We thought entertainment was an option that should be explored and an idea similar to this show was used successfully by the Optimist Club several years ago,” Dane explained.
“I was a member of the Optimist Club at that time and back then, the show was more difficult to conduct because sound equipment, folding chairs and other items had to be hauled to a local venue. But since the UT Martin Rotaract Club is sponsoring the event, we will have access to the very comfortable and high-quality sound system in the Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center,” he added.
Local musicians and singers have been recruited to impersonate famous artists and Chris Brinkley will emcee the event much like a deejay playing music on the radio. Participants will perform at least two songs, audience members will assist in selecting the winners and the top three contestants will be awarded monetary prizes that will go to charities of choice. The balance of the ticket sales will support various Rotary philanthropies.
The line-up includes:
• Tim Burcham and his bluegrass music friends as Bill Monroe and other bluegrass artists;
• A lively male quartet with great harmony from the UT Martin music fraternity led by Eric Lipford;
• Andy and Pam Sliger as Sonny and Cher;
• Jim Byford as Ray Stevens singing “It’s me again, Margaret,” and “When you get a haircut”;
• Donald Doster as Jim Reeves;
• Niki Donaldson as Cher, “The Shoop Shoop Song” and Sugarland;
• Deanna Doster Freeman as Martina McBride;
• Phil Dane, Jerry Burgin, Elwood Doss and Jeff Thompson as The Statler Brothers;
• Will Sliger as Ray Stevens and Ronnie Millsap;
• Steve Holt and Roger Walker as Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson doing “To all the girls I’ve loved before”;
• Dave Chaffin as Johnny Cash
Admission is $5 per person.