The first national telethon and concert event to raise money to aid victims of the recent flooding disaster in Middle Tennessee, sponsored by Great American Country Television, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau and Gaylord Entertainment, is set for this Sunday (5/16) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Music City Keep on Playin’ – A Benefit for Flood Relief will air live and commercial-free on GAC, from 7:00-10:00 PM CT.
Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins, Kellie Pickler, Keb ‘Mo, CeCe Winans, Randy Montana, Jaci Valesquez and Will Hoge will perform. Celebrity hosts for the event include James Denton, Kimberly Williams Paisley, Food Network’s Pat & Gina Neely, Travel Channel’s Adam Richman and Samantha Brown and GAC’s Suzanne Alexander, Nan Kelley, Storme Warren and Bill Cody. NASCAR’s Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer will also appear and will answer phones. All funds raised will go to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Celebrities will join other volunteers to man phone banks to collect call-in donations. The special will re-air at 10:00 PM and 1:00 AM and phone lines will remain open for donations. All money raised will go to those in need in Middle Tennessee. Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will be the organization processing and distributing donations.
“Nashville has endured historic flooding, but we are resilient, recovery efforts have already begun and I am confident we will come out of this stronger than ever,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “Music is the heart and soul of this city and as such it will play a critical role in its recovery. This collaborative effort is just one example.”
“This is the first event to solicit funds on a national level,” said GAC President Ed Hardy. “While it’s important that our viewers know our city has come together and survived this unfortunate event, thousands of Nashville and middle Tennessee residents are in serious need and some of this city’s most talented residents are generously stepping in to help.”
In addition to artists, many production people are donating their time and talent to the event. High Five Entertainment will produce the telethon and concert event.
“Many of us have friends and family members who are just now beginning to get back into their homes to survey the damage and start rebuilding their lives,” said Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment. “At the same time, support has come pouring in from every corner of the community. And now, we are reaching out on a national level to ensure that the people of Nashville have every resource they need to restore our city.”
Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau President Butch Spyridon added, “We are proud to partner with GAC and Gaylord Entertainment to raise money for Nashville’s flood victims. This concert effort is a great example of how the partnership between Nashville’s hospitality and music industries benefits the entire city.”