Lee Greenwood Lights Up San Angelo With a Nostalgic Musical Performance
SAN ANGELO, TX — Lee Greenwood performed Sunday evening at the McNease Convention Center. His performance is part of the Legends of Country Music series presented by West Texas Concerts and sponsored by Jim Bass Ford. The crowd size was about 500.
Greenwood opened with his staple of his fast hit songs, such as “Holdin’ a Good Hand.” Warmed up, his velvet voice even at age 75, hit every high note as he performed a litany of his slower ballads, like “I.O.U.” and “Ring on Her Finger with Time on Her Hands.”
Between songs, Greenwood included the backstory of many of his songs and tales of incidents during his career. One memorable story he told was about a song he never recorded, but sang live since his early years in Las Vegas. Written by songwriter Dave Loggins in 1974, “Please Come to Boston” is performed by Greenwood because, he said, of his support and love of songwriters, and particularly his friend Loggins. His rendition was craftily musical and voiced perfectly, accompanied by his five-member band with Greenwood on keyboard. Texas musicians David Alan Coe and more recently Wade Bowen recorded “Boston”, but Greenwood said he never recorded it.
Greenwood made some quips about his songs being popular back when cassette tapes were the only mode of music distribution. His son, he said, refused the gift of a used family BMW 740i because the car still had a cassette tape deck, factory installed.
On fame, Greenwood described the challenges of his rise to fame, and fall from it. He enveloped the stages of his career with the number of shows he performed each year. Early in his career, he said he did 300 shows a year. With a schedule like that, he said, it was sometimes tough to deal with fans who recognized him in airports, for example. Then, as the money flowed, he cut his performances back to about 120, allowing a more manageable approach to stardom. Today, with a light schedule of 100 or less shows per year, he said no one recognizes him any more. He relayed a story about how an older couple identified him as comic singer Ray Stevens in a grocery store a while back.
Interspersed with the backstories and tales, Greenwood displayed his multi-faceted musicianship, including playing the tenor and soprano saxophone.
With soprano sax in hand, Greenwood told the story of “Wind Beneath my Wings,” the song that was made famous by fellow artist Bette Midler and the late-1980s movie Beaches. Greenwood recorded it before Midler (along with many other artists) it but it never was a Billboard #1 until Midler’s version.
Greenwood performed “Wind Beneath my Wings” with an intro and interludes on his soprano sax.
The concert also had levity. At about the midway point, Greenwood announced he was about to perform the song that everyone knows his voice by. Anticipating Greenwood’s anthem, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” the audience let out a loud applause. Greenwood then lit into a singing commercial he recorded for McDonald’s Restaurants.
Greenwood ended his concert with a superb performance of “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Earlier Sunday, West Texas Concerts, LLC. and Jim Bass Ford presented the Grammy winning-artist with the honorary West Texas Honors Lifetime Achievement Award.