Review and Picture Book: Harold Shedd Tribute Included Toby Keith, Mel Tillis, Randy Owen and More @ Mill Town Music Hall, 8/23
By Amanda Miles
Harold Shedd has spent most of his life out of the spotlight. However, last Thursday in his hometown of Bremen, Georgia, Shedd was featured as the star of the show. Harold Shedd is a country music juggernaut who dedicated his life to his greatest love, making music. His career spans many decades and includes numerous successes as both a producer and record executive. In 1979, he was instrumental in signing Alabama to RCA and then produced 21 consecutive number one hits for the band. He also produced albums for Mel Tillis, Louise Mandrell, Glen Campbell and Reba McEntire. In 1988, Shedd joined Mercury Polygram Records Nashville, where during the next six years he oversaw the signing of the Kentucky Headhunters, Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, Toby Keith and Kathy Mattea.
Throughout the day Harold was honored by his friends, family, colleagues and fans. A portion of U.S. Highway 27 (which runs through Shedd’s childhood residence in Haralson County) was officially renamed as “Harold Shedd Highway.” Later that day, the city of Bremen renamed the former Bremen-Mount Zion Road as “Music Mill Road.” The day culminated in a tribute concert at the Mill Town Music Hall, a family-friendly venue fashioned after Harold’s famed recording studio in Tennessee.
The star-studded tribute concert was hosted by Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inductee, Rhubarb Jones. Rhubarb kept the crowd entertained between sets and established the mood for an enjoyable night. The artists, video montages and presenters walked the audience through Harold’s storied career showcasing songs, albums and musical history Harold had a hand in creating. Some of his dearest friends came to pay homage to the music man, including Mel Tillis, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, Coach Barry Switzer, The Dysfunctional Four and Toby Keith. Native Georgians John Berry and Doug Stone were thrilled to be a part of the celebration.
Mel Tillis regaled the crowd with hilarious jokes and delighted when he obliged and played a classic tune. The Dysfunctional Four were, well, dysfunctional…but in a very comical way! Their wit kept the crowd on its toes as they jammed through an amusing setlist including a special performance from “Aquaman.” Next, Randy Owen joined Teddy Gentry for a rousing version of the Alabama classic “Mountain Music.” The smashing event was closed by country music mega-star, Toby Keith. Keith performed his first hit “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and the summer hit “Red Solo Cup.” Toby’s songs were fantastic but his finest moment came when he spoke of his fondness for Harold Shedd. Toby announced he would have walked all the way from Nashville, just to be there to honor the man who made his dreams possible.
Harold Shedd briefly spoke to the audience at the close of the tribute. Shedd appeared very moved and touched by the love, adoration and respect he felt throughout the night. Shedd said he never expected this and was so thankful. Harold, I hope you know how thankful we are for the beautiful music you have brought into our lives!
Full Gallery after The Jump…