Last updated: July 09. 2013 10:24PM - 295 Views
By - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com



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The beat continues to go on for an annual concert that honors a late local musician and helps students pursue their own careers in the arts.


Blackmon Amphitheatre in Mount Airy will be the site of the Jimmy Lowry Tribute Concert, now in its sixth year.


To begin Friday at 7:30 p.m., the concert will feature Steve Jarrell, a Beach Music Hall of Fame and soul artist who is a Mount Airy native, and rhythm and blues singer Melva Houston.


Other scheduled performers include Sons of the Beach keyboard player Spig Davis of Nashville and keyboardist John Rees, another Mount Airy native and Donna Fargo Band member, who has played with numerous other Nashville recording artists.


Many other friends of Lowry will be onstage to give of their time and talent as musicians for the benefit event, organizers said.


Lowry was a career musician from Mount Airy who was a member of The King Bees and The O’Kaysions (known for the hit “I’m a Girl Watcher”). He appeared with The O’Kaysions on the ABC-TV show “American Bandstand” in the early 1970s, according to previous reports. Lowry also performed with Fargo and Steve Jarrell and the Sons of the Beach.


However, that ended when the veteran musician died unexpectedly in 2007 at age 62.


After his death, those who had been close to Lowry wanted to keep his memory alive in a way that would give something back to a profession that meant so much to him.


That led to the annual tribute concert from which the proceeds would provide financial support to college-bound students of the arts.


“And that’s a cause my dad would have really (supported),” said Lowry’s daughter Jennie, a musician who owns Olde Mill Music in Mount Airy and will be among those performing Friday night.


“This is a good fit for us,” she said of the annual concert.


The proceeds from Friday night’s event will go to the Jimmy Lowry Memorial Scholarship Fund, which aids Surry County students, through the Surry Arts Council, who excel in music, drama or visual arts.


This year’s recipients were Rona-Lyn Dizon, John Atkins, Caitlyn Frye and Rebecca Brewer. Jennie Lowry said $2,050 in scholarships were given, including four $500 awards for college and another for a student to attend an arts-related camp.


Since the annual benefit event began, more than $10,500 in music and arts scholarships have been bestowed. This includes at least 34 students receiving money for college, with others awarded camp scholarships.


Students vie for scholarships through an audition process.


Tickets for Friday night’s concert cost $10. A Surry Arts Council season pass also covers admission to the event, with additional information available from the council at 786-7998.


Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or tjoyce@civitasmedia.com.


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