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Parade star Diffie thrills theater crowd

October 29, 2000

Parade star Diffie thrills theater crowd



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


Joe Diffie's appearance on the stage at The Maryland Theatre Saturday afternoon was bittersweet for Candy Cangialosi, an avid fan who drove an hour from Ellicott City for the concert.

"I was going to be here with my mom, Edna Wiegard, but she was too ill to attend," Cangialosi said. "I'll just have to tell her all about it when I get home."

Cangialosi epitomized the kind of loyalty that Diffie, a veteran country singer, enjoys with his fans.

After a warmup from Traveling Jones, a local country band, Diffie led off with one of his biggest hits, "Third Rock From The Sun," much to the delight of the audience.

He further tickled concertgoers when he adapted part of the lyrics to say "Welcome to Maryland" where it usually says "Welcome To Earth."

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"This was a real opportunity, a fluke, actually, for me to hear Joe Diffie," said an enthusiastic Pony Bean, of Hagerstown. "I didn't have to work today after all."

Ruth Ziegler, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said this was her first time hearing Diffie live but she was looking forward to it and might even buy a CD.

Keith Kent, of WAYZ Radio in Greencastle, Pa., said his station promoted the concert because of Diffie's popularity and his draw.

"It's a real coup to have Diffie here," Kent said. "He has a big following."

The audience of several hundred fans paid $38 a ticket and braved a congested downtown Hagerstown where preparations were under way for the 76th Alsatia Mummers' Parade later in the day.

Diffie was the grand marshal of the parade, Kent said.

During the concert, Kent picked the lucky occupant of Seat 103 E to ride in the parade with Diffie.

Diffie's appearance in Hagerstown wraps up a tour in support of his ninth album, "A Night To Remember." Diffie plans to return to the recording studio in November.

The singer offered old favorites and new hits like "It's Always Something" as he entertained his fans for more than an hour.

Charles Town, W.Va., resident Waldo Horne was also among the concertgoers.

"My mother, Terry Ward, is here with me. ... She is a really big Diffie fan," Horne said before the show. "I've heard him, but this is my first concert and I'm looking forward to it."

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