I remember standing backstage one night at one of the Country Music awards shows many years ago and as I watched rehearsals I looked over to my right and found a future Country Music Hall of Famer standing beside me – Jimmy Fortune, member of the legendary Statler Brothers,
He had stepped out of the studio from where they were filming their popular top-rated TV show as best I recall. We stood and passed the time and began a friendship that continues. I was excited to hear he has just completed an all-new recording, Jimmy Fortune: Sings the Classics. The album, which will be available April 21, features collaborations with some of my other longtime friends Ricky Skaggs, The Isaacs and also the Voices of Lee. The Gaither Music Group project will be available at music retailers everywhere, along with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations nationwide.
“This project is very special and dear to my heart,” said Jimmy Fortune. “A lot of hard work and thought went into picking each song, songs that shaped my life. I love them all and I think anyone who hears it will feel the same way.”
Known for his unmistakable tenor voice that has captivated audiences since his 21-year tenure with The Statler Brothers, Fortune puts a new twist on some of his old favorites on the upcoming album. Jimmy Fortune: Sings the Classics features 14 new studio recordings of classic songs that have all left their mark in music history.
Standout tracks on the project include the classic Hank Cochran-penned “Make the World Go Away,” which has been recorded over the years by some of music’s greatest voices including Ray Price, Eddy Arnold and Donny & Marie Osmond. Another highlight is the country classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” which is one of the most well-known songs in the history of the genre. Paying homage to his Statler Brothers’ heritage, the project also features a new recording of the signature Grammy® Award-winning hit “Flowers on the Wall,” a tune which Fortune knows well, as it was the first major hit for the iconic quartet.
The past year has been a career-defining time for Fortune, who was honored by the Academy of Country Music at the 10th Annual ACM Honors with the “Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award” for his incredible contribution to country music, along with each member of The Statler Brothers. The Gospel Music Hall of Fame hit maker also received his first GMA Dove Award for “Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year” for the track “Life’s Railway to Heaven” featuring The Oak Ridge Boys and found on his previous critically-acclaimed album, Hits & Hymns (Gaither Music Group). The ACM Award-winner will be hitting the road in 2017 in support of the upcoming album, with a 40-plus city tour where fans can hear him sing No. 1 Statler Brothers’ hits such as “Elizabeth,” gospel favorites, and classics featured on his upcoming album. Fans who want an up-close and personal experience can set sail with Fortune on the 14th Annual Jimmy Fortune Alaskan Cruise, set for departure this July.
Jimmy Fortune: Sings the Classics will be featured as part of a special television offer on DISH TV, DIRECTV, Gaither Television Network, TBN, RFD-TV, FamilyNet, CTN, GMC, GMTN, Guardian, Liberty, TCT and TLN. It will air in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, The Miracle Channel, and Hope TV.
The recording will be exclusively distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and Universal Music. It will be available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace and through online retailers including iTunes, Amazon, Walmart.com, crackerbarrel.com and www.gaither.com.