Gary Allan coming to Franklin County Fair

August 19, 1998

Gary AllanBy TERI JOHNSON / Staff Writer

Gary Allan likes songs about real life, and that's why he got so excited when he heard "No Judgment Day."

The song surfaces on the country singer's new album, "It Would Be You," but you won't find it printed on the liner notes. The hidden track begins playing about a minute after the last listed song, "Forgotten, But Not Gone."

"That gives you a few moments to ponder it. It makes you listen," Allan said.

--cont. from lifestyle--

The song tells the true story of three youths who killed a Texas storekeeper over $6 in the cash register and then used the money to buy beer.

Decca Records wasn't too thrilled about the song, but Allan stood his ground.

"I had to fight to keep it on the album," Allan said.

Allan, a father of three, said high school principals have called and asked for copies of the song to play in their schools.


"No Judgment Day" is especially meaningful in the wake of the recent youth shooting sprees across the country, Allan said.

The song is one way that Allan, who attracted notice with his breakthrough hit "Her Man," is proving he is his own man.

Allan, 30, is making a name for himself by staying true to the music on which he was raised.

If you're looking for a very traditional, high energy country show tonight, the Franklin County Fair is the place to find it.

Allan and his band, the Honky Tonk Wranglers, will take the midway stage at about 9:30 p.m., after the WAYZ Youth Talent Contest.

Allan, part of last year's Crown Royal Untamed and True Tour with Mark Chesnutt and David Lee Murphy, has performed at locations ranging from the Astrodome to small bars. He said he prefers playing at smaller venues.

"The bigger the show, the more production that's involved," Allan said.

Allan, who started playing country music in bars when he was 13, said he likes to keep things simple.

Since the release of his first album, 1996's "Used Heart for Sale," the singer and guitarist has piqued some curiosity.

People are intrigued by the fact that Allan is from California, for example.

"I'm baffled by that. Most people aren't aware of all the roots out there: Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard," Allan said.

He's also amused by the fascination over his interest in surfing, which has led some to call him "the Surfin' Cowboy."

"We surfed before school. There wasn't anything neat or shocking about it," he said.

Allan was offered a recording contract when he was 15, but he turned it down.

"I wasn't ready for anything like that. Back then I imitated a lot," he said.

Allan, who did a stint in the Army and owned a construction company by the time he was 20, honed his music and created his own blend of classic country and honky tonk.

He was thrilled when Owens, one of his idols, invited him to perform at his Aug. 9 birthday party in Bakersfield, Calif.

Allan sang a few Owens songs, and when he sang "Tiger By the Tail," Owens joined him onstage.

"What a blast!" Allan said.

But success also has its drawbacks.

Being on the road so often is hard for Allan, who said he lives on a bus and in hotels at this point. His daughters, Maggie, Tanna and Dallas, live in Utah with his ex-wife.

He said he calls his daughters every day, and he plans to rent a cabin at the end of the month and take them on vacation.

"We'll go up in the mountains and find a lake to play in," he said.

Gary Allan in concert

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