Music and comedy acts add to SHC's entertainment lineup

2014 Southern Heritage Classic preview special: Music and comedy acts add to SHC's entertainment lineup
Charlie Wilson (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Charlie Wilson (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Lavell Crawford (Source: YouTube)
Lavell Crawford (Source: YouTube)

(WMC) - In addition to the football game and battle of the bands, there is even more entertainment you can expect from Southern Heritage Classic.

Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson is sure to blow you away.

Music critics call him "the natural." Fans call him "Uncle Charlie."

"If you haven't seen a Charlie Wilson show, you need to come see me, because I'm gonna be putting it down, I'm gonna be giving you all I got," Wilson said.

Wilson will perform Friday, September 12 at the Classic Music Festival at the Landers Center. It is part of a long-standing love affair with Mid-South fans who have supported him for decades.

"I'm so honored to be able to come back and play so many times, back to back, it's a treat," Wilson added. "I mean, the fans and the people there, the energy level so incredible."

Wilson has come a long way from the highs of his heyday with The Gap Band.

The Tulsa, Okla. native formed the pivotal R&B funk trio with brothers Ronnie and Robert. They hit the charts hard in the late 70s and 80s with a string of hits.

His relationship with Southern Heritage Classic organizer Fred Jones goes way back.

"Back in the day, he allowed us, The Gap Band, to play it once, and it went over really well and when I started doing my solo work they invited me back and ever since then it's just been, its been incredible," Wilson explained.

Joining Wilson on Friday night are Joe and Mint Condition.

"We're gonna have a good time," Wilson added. "We're gonna have some fun and I just want people to enjoy themselves because there's no party like a Charlie Wilson party."

Lavell Crawford

Lavell Crawford is a big boy who gets big laughs.

Always on the move, WMC Action News 5 spoke with the funny man via Skype on his way to Memphis where he will perform on Friday night at The Orpheum. He says if you don't like to laugh, stay home.

"I'm not trying to change the world, I'm just trying to put a smile on your face," said Crawford. "Whatever I say ain't gonna change your mind, but I'm hilarious. That's what you need to know. I'm hilarious."

This year's Classic Comedy Jam features Cocoa Brown, Jammin' Jay Lamonte, Dominique and Crawford, who is no stranger to Mid-South audiences.

"You know, I got love all over the country," he said. "Now, Tennessee is a great, great state for laughing people. Come out and laugh. You can't beat that southern hospitality man, you can't beat it."

And no matter how you try to charm him, you can't make Crawford pick a winner for the big game on Saturday.

"I ain't gonna say either or because I don't know who the home favorite," he laughed.

Crawford's hometown favorite when he's in Memphis is barbecue.

"I can't wait to get there," he said. "Memphis, save me some beef brisket and if y'all have some of that roasted chicken down there holler at me."

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