Jimmy Lowry had a booking scheduled at the Blackmon Amphitheater when he died suddenly in 2007.
His family, with the encouragement of the Surry Arts Council, decided the show must go on.
Since then, the event has turned into an annual concert honoring Lowry while benefiting local students.
This year, the ninth-annual Jimmy Lowry Tribute Concert will be held Friday, July 8, at the Blackmon Amphitheater.
Lowry’s musician family, including his wife, Sylvia Lowry, daughter Jennie Lowry, son-in-law Rick, and grandson, James, will take the stage with many of his musician friends from Lowry’s decades in the music industry.
Lowry was a lifelong musician who appreciated numerous styles of music, Jennie Lowry said.
Thanks to teachers like Charlie Johnson, former Mount Airy High School band director, he furthered his education and pursued a career in music.
After playing with the “King Bees,” “The Okaysions,” and other regional bands, Lowry moved his family to Nashville in 1979.
He eventually joined Donna Fargo’s band, one of seven local musicians to do so, and served as Fargo’s band leader for 11 years.
Mount Airy native and Carolina Beach Music Inductee Steve Jarrell, of the band “The Sons of the Beach,” will be traveling from Fredricksburg, Virginia, to take place in the event.
Jarrell, who grew up in the Beulah community, also moved to Nashville in 1979 and joined Fargo’s band.
“He was like a brother,” Jarrell said of Lowry, who had also performed with “The Sons of the Beach,” for a time.
“I’ve come back every year,” for the tribute concert, he said. “I enjoy seeing everybody and playing with everybody. Jimmy was such a great guy, such a great friend.”
Jarrell also noted that the concert is for a “good cause.”
Event proceeds benefit the Jimmy Lowry Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships through the Surry Arts Council for students who excel in music, drama or visual arts.
“I don’t think God gave me talent just to make money,” Jarrell said. But, he noted that of the many requests to perform at benefits, “you can’t do them all. You pick your favorites.”
The Jimmy Lowry Tribute – “That’s my favorite,” he said. “It’s something I look forward to every year.”
John Rees, another Mount Airy native who, as Jennie Lowry put it, “has played for more Nashville artists than we can name,” including Fargo’s band, will be lending his talent at the keyboard for the event.
Other special guests performing at the tribute include:
• Lowry’s former band mates from the “Jimmy Lowry Gang”
• Dale Riddle, of the “King Bees;” Bill McNeil of “The Sand and Sea Band;” Danny Pierce of “The Part-Time Party Time Band”
• Jonathan Jones, Mount Airy High School band director
• Alan Nichols, Buddy Langley and Tommy Nelson of “The Fantastic Shuffle Band”
• Tim Callaway, Will Jarrell, Grayson Collins and Mike Corder
“My mother and I wish to express our gratitude to the many friends of Jimmy’s that are willing to give of their time and talent as musicians to benefit local fine art students in his memory,” Jennie Lowry said.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $11 or with a Surry Arts Council season pass. For more information, call the Surry Arts Council at 336-786-7998.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.