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Hall of Fame Performer featured
at Moon Family Theatre

Jimmy Fortune and Lynn Moon McAllister

From the Sept. 22, 2021 issue
of The Journal

By Mulkey McMichael
   Lynn Moon McAllister continues the actions of her father, the late Mike Moon. On Friday night, August 17, the Moon Family Theater welcomed Jimmy Fortune to Buena Vista and the charm it provides.
   During breaks in the show, Fortune asked about the geographic representation in the audience. Six counties seemed to be represented in the thrilled audience.
   I had never heard a singer with such a voice range and breath control," said one out-of-town visitor. "He could hold notes forever."
   The marvelous redesign of The T.B. Wight Ford Building now welcomes visitors who are learning about the current growth of the town with its restaurants, shopping, and musical appeal.
   Lynn Moon McAllister sang two songs with the talented group and seemed right at home on the stage with such an acclaimed performer. On several occasions, Fortune commented on the professional design of the theatre and the love he and his group had experienced.
    "This is a friendly town and audience. I would love to take you all with me," said Fortune.
   Jimmy Fortune toured, sang, and performed with the legendary Statler Brothers for 21 years. He joined them first as a temporary replacement for Lew DeWitt, after DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended him. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by the Statler Brothers and performed his first show with them on January 28, 1982, in Savannah. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn's Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers, and Jimmy was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.
   Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group's second No. 1 hit, "Elizabeth," on their 1983 album Today, and followed that with two more No. 1 hits – "My Only Love" (from 1984's Atlanta Blue) and "Too Much On My Heart" (from 1985's Partners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote the top-10 hit "Forever" from 1986's Four for the Show and co-wrote the top-10 hit "More Than a Name on the Wall" from 1988's The Greatest Hits.
   Jimmy Fortune has performed in all of the U.S. States, in Canadian Provinces, and in front of audiences as large as 100,000. He was part of the Statlers' annual Happy Birthday USA celebration in Staunton, Virginia, for 14 years. He also sang on many of the Statlers' gold, platinum, and double platinum recordings. Jimmy's career included The Nashville Network's popular "The Statler Brothers Show" which aired for seven seasons and debuted in 1991 as the highest rated show for the network. He was privileged to perform at the White House on two occasions, once for President Ronald Reagan, and once for President George H.W. Bush. He also presented a special gift to actress Elizabeth Taylor by singing his song "Elizabeth" to her for a birthday celebration.
   Jimmy and The Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007, and inducted into the CMA (Country Music Association) Hall of Fame on June 29, 2008. Jimmy, as a solo artist, was inducted into the Virginia Musical Hall of Fame in 2018.
   Many future shows are scheduled at Moon Family Theater. See the ad on page 7 and check for upcoming artists, dates, and prices. Purchase tickets early. Most shows are sellouts! The 150-seat auditorium welcomes you. Additionally, McAllister continues to provide professional training to many students with her Performance Academy, located under the same roof.