Russ and Paula Prill, Melrose organizers, are wanting to change the image of CornStalk and bring more entertainers to the area. They have changed the ticket and selling structure this year. Advance sales have already sold 4,000 tickets.
The Prill's are no strangers to country music as they both perform in the band KeyStone, which they formed two years ago. Russ Prill also developed the popular band "Switch" in the early 80s.
So how did a small town Minnesota couple find themselves sponsoring CornStalk, "By taking risks. And maintaining priorities," they said. "They don't expect to break even this year, but want to give the music festival a boost. We will be doing the CornStalk festivals for the next five years and hopefully longer. Planning for 1997 begins Aug. 1 so there really isn't much of a break," they added.
Schedule of events are as follows: Thursday, July 18, include: noon, gates open; 3 p.m., boat and marine show; 4:30 p.m. Country Cruisers; 7 p.m. Thunder Canyon; 8:30 p.m. Martina McBride, and at 10 p.m. Thunder Canyon.
On Friday, July 19, the gates will open at 8 a.m. The boat and marine show will continue at noon. At 2 p.m. Raging River Band will perform; 4:30 p.m., Karaoke finales; 6 p.m. KeyStone; 7:30 p.m. Eddie Rabbitt; 9:30 p.m. Clay Walker; and 11 p.m. Raging River Band will perform again.
On Saturday, July 20, the gates will open at 8 a.m. A street rod car show will open at 9 a.m. Brad Maule will sign autographs at noon and perform at 2 p.m.; at 3:30 p.m. Mary Sue Englund will perform, followed by Johnny Paycheck at 5 p.m., Kentucky Headhunters at 7 p.m. and Lari White at 9 p.m. The Jucee Frut will play at 10:30 p.m.
The first big name to appear on the billing is Martina McBride on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. In the two years since she released her groundbreaking second album, "The Way That I Am," Martina has enjoyed a number of career and personal achievements: the album went platinum and spawned three top 10 hits including "My Baby Loves Me" and "Life #9." In 1994, she picked up the Country Music Association's Award for video of the year for "Independence Day. "
On Friday, Eddie Rabbit will be performing at 7:30 p.m. with his Hare Trigger Band. During his 20-year career, Rabbitt has had 26 number one country hits and eight Top 40 pop hits. He is best known for "I Love A Rainy Night," "Driving My Life Away," "Every Which Way But Loose," and "Suspicions."
At 9:30 p.m. Friday, Clay Walker will take to the stage. He started performing in high school and then took his act on the road, playing in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Canada. Walker says it's in live performances that he shines. "Live performance is electricity. If you stand there and sing every song prefect and don't move a muscle, people will probably just enjoy you in a refreshing way. But if you put everything you've got into it„heart, body, soul, and a voice„they got the show. They got what they paid for."
Johnny Paycheck will take the stage at 5 p.m. Saturday. He has six gold albums recorded, one platinum, one double platinum album, and 33 hits in a row. He has recorded 67 albums. His song "Take This Job and Shove It," was number one world-wide. His first hit was "A-11" a honky-tonk anthem. Other hit songs include "Don't Take Her, She's All I've Got," "Someone to Give My Love to," "Outlaw Prayer," Me and the IRS," and Don't Monkey with Another Monkey's Monkey," to name a few.
At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Kentucky Headhunters will perform. The group formed in 1968 when Richard Young and his brother, Fred, along with cousin Anthony Kenney and Greg Martin came together. Over the next 16 years they took their unique blend of roadhouse blues, rock and country music and toured. In 1985, they were joined by Ricky Lee and Doug Phelps. Their record, "Electric Barnyard" went on to reach gold sales status.
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