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Pickers square off in Country Showdown

July 30, 1999

Country singerphoto: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Twenty Tri-State area musicial acts took the Williamsport Redmen Lodge stage Thursday, vying for a chance to be considered the best country act in the region.

The True Value-Jimmy Dean Country Showdown has highlighted the talents of country singers and bands across the United States for the past 18 years.

A regional competition has been held at the Lappans Road club for the past several years, according to Deanna Steven, spokeswoman for radio station WYII, which sponsored the local event.

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"They have a lot of personality. They're out to win," she said of the contestants.

Regional winners advance to a state competition at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pa., in September. The final competition is held in Nashville, Tenn. The winner there takes home $50,000.

The radio station broadcast the talent show live on the air Thursday evening.

About 325 people crowded the clubhouse to hear the local musicians, most solo acts and some bands, she said.

The winner would be selected by judges based on vocal ability, originality, stage presence and talent, she said.

The name of this year's winner was unavailable Thursday evening.

The talent show featured the musical skills of bands and individual performers. Participants ranged from an 8-year-old child to a 50-year-old singer, said Steven.

Last year's local winner "Branded," of New Market, Md., acted as the stage band, performing for contestants without backup music.

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