Rhodes Show set for Saturday at Rector

Thursday, November 7, 2013
The ladies of the Rhodes Show in action.

The local stages are about to heat up despite the drop in temperature. The popular Rhodes Show will visit Rector for a special performance beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 8. The Rhodes Show will also be part of a double-header with the Ultimate Oldies, set for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23 in the Piggott High School middle gym. The shows are sponsored by Helena Chemical, and presented by the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Featuring sisters and stars Donna and Sandra Rhodes, longtime Rhodes Show member Brenda Barnett and Piggott native and Nashville standout Craig Morris, the Rhodes Show is sure to be a hit with local crowds.

Individually, the members of the group have performed at venues like the Grand Ole Opry, shared the stage with legends such as Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Paul Anka, Roy Clark, Ray Stevens, Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Clint Black and many, many more. Together, the Rhodes Show performers spark a return to the golden age of musical performances with a lifetime of combined expertise and immeasurable talents.

The Rhodes sisters were born into show business. Their father, Dusty Rhodes, started playing the fiddle in the streets of Pocahontas for tips in 1932. That led to a radio show and later a TV variety show out of Memphis.

The Rhodes family's show ran for 28 years and was atop the Nielson Ratings for 18 years. The show featured guests such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich.

While living in Memphis as teenagers, Donna and Sandra decided they wanted to try singing harmony with some of the R&B artists who were recording there.

"People knew that we could sing," Donna said. "Luckily, we sang on some hits that came out of Memphis back in the late 60s and early 70s."

The sisters sang harmony on several songs by artists like Al Green and Isaac Hayes. They even recorded with "The King" himself.

"Elvis came back to Memphis to do an album that we got to sing on," Rhodes said. "He had some big hits on that album."

The sisters found more work with Sun Records, recording an album and doing backing vocals for other artists. They eventually transitioned to Muscle Shoals, Ala. before finding their way to Nashville.

In Nashville, Donna met Craig Morris while the two were working for The Nashville Network's "Nashville Now" program.

Morris began writing songs at 16 and said he talked to anybody who had any kind of connection at all to the music business. During college, Morris began playing piano in clubs and restaurants around Little Rock. His talents eventually caught the attention of a producer for Opryland, who hired Morris to play a show at the theme park. Later, Morris was hired to tour with Ronnie McDowell, which led to a job touring with Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.

Craig and Donna married and reside in Paragould. They perform regularly with their children, Sam and Savannah. The family is also part of the popular Ultimate Oldies Show.

Barnett joined The Dusty Rhodes Show in Branson as a teenager, meeting Donna and Sandra. Barnett was an instant fit with the show. From there, Barnett found herself performing with artists like Tanya Tucker, Mel Tillis, Bobby Vinton and many others. She has written songs for The Oak Ridge Boys and Conway Twitty, including the number one record, "The Clown." Barnett also performed as the lead female vocalist in on off Broadway production of "Holiday on Ice."

The Rhodes Show promises to be an evening of fun for music lovers of all ages. Tickets are still available at the Rector Water Department. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 12 and under.

Tickets for the double-header with the Ultimate Oldies show are $15 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under. One ticket will admit the holder to either, or both, of the show dates. Those wanting more information may call the chamber office at 870 598-3167.

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