Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run

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Downtown Savannah, Tennessee was officially Darryl Worley territory on October 3, 2015, as the 14th annual Tennessee River Run concert got underway mid-Saturday afternoon. Very chilly temperatures and a light drizzle of rain made conditions less than ideal for the outdoor, Main Street event, but audience members bundled up in coats and blankets to hear traditional country music. Two stages kept the music flowing and performers inspired audience members to warm up with a “little 2-step” and keeping the rhythm going.

The concert is the culmination of a weekend full of activities to raise funds for the Daryl Worley Foundation in its fight against cancer. Additional fund-raising events included: a golf tournament, a boat poker run, a 5K run, a motorcycle poker run, and a songwriters in the round gala dinner event.

As he introduced each act, Worley emphasized the importance his foundation’s fight against cancer. Worley’s Foundation was established in 2002 and raised 1.4 million dollars to establish a cancer treatment center in Savannah, TN. His foundation has a long list of other charities that the many events benefit across the Mid-South. Find out more at: darrylworleyfoundation.org

Worley’s cousin Carol Ann started the performance, playing “Taps” on her bugle to remember all the veterans.
The first guest artist was Alyson Greene, whom Worley introduced as a rising young talent. “She plays guitar better than I do,” he said. “I’m gonna ask her for some lessons.” She performed several songs she had written, and a few from other well known country artists. Her rendition of their tunes was as good as or better than the originals. Find more about her at: www.alysongreenellc.com

Performing for Worley’s event was extra special for Wade Hayes. Hayes was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2011, and in 2012 he was given a clean bill of health. But the dreaded disease returned in 2013. His second bout with cancer was especially tough, since the disease had spread into his lymph nodes, and he was only given as 12% chance of survival. But now, he is cancer-free! “My doctor said it was a miracle,” Hayes told the audience. “This is a big deal. I want you to go live your life,” was Hayes’ doctor’s advice, which became the inspiration for his newest album and main song of the night: “Go Live Your Life.” Hayes said, “I’m a walking miracle—not only am I alive, but I’m doing extremely well…Hope… is one of the biggest things you need, and my goal is to give someone else hope.” Find more about him at: www.wadehayes.com

Next on the agenda was the Bryan Moffitt band, which includes Scott Bumpus, owner of the Bumpus Harley Davidson dealerships, on acoustic guitar; Brian Wallace on bass; Austin Leslie on electric guitar; Justin Plunk on fiddle; Mike Blackwood on drums; and, of course, Bryan Moffitt, vocals and guitar. Scott Bumpus was one of the biggest sponsors for the event.

Worley introduced his next guest as country music’s “sexiest performer. If my wife says she is, I can say she is, too,” Worley explained. “Her father [George Morgan] was a Grand Ole Opry star for 25 years, and she grew up in the wings of the Opry stage.”  As her Slam Band members began to play, the vocals from “It’s a Heartache” came from off stage. Soon, to rousing applause, Lorrie Morgan came onstage singing and delighting the crowd. Named after the “coal miner’s daughter,” Loretta Lynn Morgan was a child of the Opry, and she sang onstage with her father as one of the youngest performers on the famous Ryman stage. Morgan says she’s recently been touring with Pam Tillis on the “Grits and Glamour Tour,” and they have released the “Dos Divas” album. One lovely addition to her Slam Band is her daughter-in-law, Ashlee Hewitt, who also performs with her own group, Post Monroe – an all female trio comprised of Hewitt, Whitney Duncan, and Shelby McLeod.

Other River Run performers included Kirstie Lovelady, Brassfield Aly and Dead Horse. The main headliner of the evening, in addition to Darryl Worley, was Tracy Lawrence.

There were additional events during the weekend to raise funds for the various charities the foundation supports: a golf tournament, a boat poker run, a 5K run, a motorcycle poker run, and a songwriters in the round gala dinner event. Find more information about the Tennessee River Run at: tnriverrun.org or on facebook at Tennessee River Run.

Horse Connections. The Worleys at one time had five walking horses. Now they are down to “our last one,” said Kimberly Worley, Darryl’s wife who is the “horse person” in the family. He is a Spotted Walking Horse – The Commissioner – whom Kimberly used to show. “Mish” won Amateur Novice World Champion Trail Pleasure and 11 & Under Traditional World Grand Champion Trail Pleasure, she said. Dickie Gardner was her trainer, who has won trainer of the year ten times and will be going into the hall of fame.

Kimberly has been riding her whole life; “horses are to me what music is to Darryl,” she said. “Darryl grew up on horses, but in his experience, horses were used for work. I rode horses for pleasure. Just to smell a horse makes me feel good; it balances me.”

The Worley’s daughter Savannah, age 7, also rides Mish. “Horses choose you,” Kimberly continued. “Mish chose Darryl and Savannah. Darryl and Mish have a special relationship. He’s an amazing horse, and a big one, standing at 16h. Since Darryl is 6’6” he needs a big horse. Darryl rode Mish on trail rides and Savannah rode him in lead line classes. Savannah has the horse bug, too. We’ve had Mish for about four years, but after Thanksgiving he will be going back to his original owner, who has a 10-year-old son to ride him.”

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