John Conlee to perform at Clear Spring carnival

July 26, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

If John Conlee were trying to break into the country music scene today, he said he wouldn't like his odds.

"I wouldn't have a chance," says Conlee, 60, who had several No.1 hits in the 1970s and '80s and is known for what fellow country singer Darryl Worley refers to as a "classic country voice."

These days, a country music singer needs to have a certain look to be successful with music videos, Conlee says. Because of that, he says, country fans are missing out on some great voices.

Fortunately for Conlee fans, he came into the business long before music videos.

He will perform some of his hits as well as songs from his recent gospel album at 7 and 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at the Clear Spring Firemen's Carnival.


The Shepherdstown Fire Department also is holding a carnival next week, featuring a karaoke competition, fireworks and a bake auction.

The Clear Spring carnival is offering two nightly concerts from Monday through Saturday, Aug. 4, including performances by Exile and locally popular singer Tommy Cash, paying tribute to his brother, the late Johnny Cash.

Conlee, who lives in Nashville, got his start as a disc jockey. The job originally brought him to Nashville, where he started writing songs and pitching his demos around town.

His first hit was the 1978 song "Rose Colored Glasses" and he had 19 top-10 hits through 1987, according to For more information about Conlee, visit

Darryl Worley, who is performing at next month's Berkeley County (W.Va.) Youth Fair, says Conlee had a huge affect on him. One of Worley's favorite songs is "Rose Colored Glasses."

"He has one of those iconic voices that will always hold a special place in country music and he's a super wonderful guy, too," Worley says. Conlee joined Worley for at least one fundraising concert for Worley's charitable foundation, the Darryl Worley Foundation Inc.

Conlee raises money for the nonprofit group Feed the Children, with donations helping to feed the hungry in the U.S. When he starts singing "Busted," about being broke, a 5-gallon red bucket will come out for people who want to make donations.

Clear Spring is one of 60 to 80 shows Conlee is doing this year across the country. He's getting ready to go back in the studio to make another album.

For most of his career he has focused on country music, but in 2006 Conlee recorded his first gospel album, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

"I'd always wanted to do one," Conlee said. But the previous music labels with which he worked preferred he stay with country. Now working under his own record label, Rose Colored Records, Conlee has more freedom to explore the gospel songs and hymns he grew up with in a Kentucky Baptist church as well as new material.

In addition to twice-nightly concerts at the Clear Spring carnival, there will be amusement rides at both the Clear Spring and Shepherdstown, W.Va., carnivals Monday through Saturday, Aug. 4.

Proceeds from the carnivals will help the fire companies with operating costs and equipment purchases such as the new ambulances at Shepherdstown and the pumper truck at Clear Spring.

The Shepherdstown Fire Department Carnival will be giving away $100 each night, says Denny Barron, treasurer and Fundraising Committee member for the fire department. People need to sign up each night and be present when the winner's name is announced to receive the money.

There will be a silent auction, including Longaberger baskets, throughout the week with winning bids declared Friday, Barron said.

If you go ...

WHAT: Clear Spring Firemen's Carnival

WHEN: Opens at 6 p.m. Monday, July 30, through Saturday, Aug. 4.

WHERE: Carnival grounds off Big Spring Road next to the Clear Spring American Legion south of town

COST: Free admission and parking. Amusement rides cost $14 per night; $12 if purchased before Monday. Tickets are available at the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Company and many Clear Spring businesses.

MORE: For more information, call 301-842-2200.

Concerts are held nightly at 7 and 10 p.m.

Monday, July 30: Great Train Robbery, classic rock

Tuesday, July 31: No Fences, country and pop

Wednesday, Aug. 1: Hickory Ridge, bluegrass

Thursday, Aug. 2: Exile, country and pop

Friday, Aug. 3: John Conlee, country and gospel

Saturday, Aug. 4: Tommy Cash, tribute to his late brother Johnny Cash

If you go ...

WHAT: Shepherdstown Fire Department Carnival

WHEN: Starts around 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 30, through Saturday, Aug. 4

WHERE: Shepherdstown Fire Department on W.Va. 45 west of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

COST: Free admission. There is a charge for amusement rides.

MORE: For more information, call 304-876-2311.

Entertainment schedule

7 p.m. Monday, July 30: Karaoke competition

7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31: Allegro School of Dance performance

7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1: Karaoke competition

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2: New Hopewell Center for the Arts dance demonstration

7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3: Annual bake auction

10:45 p.m. Friday: Fireworks

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4: Karaoke finals

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