If You Go
* What: A Country Music Reunion featuring Tony Martin, Kenny Berry, Mike Headrick and Bob Courter.
* When: 7 p.m. CDT Saturday, June 29.
* Where: Princess Theatre, 215 Cedar Ave., South Pittsburg, Tenn.
* Admission: $10 (box office opens noon Saturday).
* Phone: 423-837-5924.
Tony Martin has such a soft spot for his early days playing mostly Merle Haggard songs with Kenny Berry and Mike Headrick in and around South Pittsburg, Tenn., in the early '70s, he's throwing a big party just so he can do it again.
The country music singer/songwriter now lives in Mobile, Ala., but on Saturday, June 29, he has rented out the Princess Theatre so he can sing and pick with Berry, Headrick and drummer Bob Courter. The set list will feature songs by Haggard as well as hits by the late George Jones and Martin originals such as "Peyton Manning, Do We Love You" and "Little Dutch Maiden."
"Basically, what we are doing is having a reunion," Martin says. "My first band was around in 1970 in that locale.
"We all love that music. You know, the type we played back in the day. At one time, we probably did 80 percent Merle songs. We were big fans of 'The Hag.' "
After moving to Mobile, Martin formed the Plum Loco band and later performed as a solo artist. He has recorded numerous albums with Headrick at Mikron Recording in South Pittsburg.
In addition to writing and recording "Peyton Manning" in 1998, he worked with ESPN analyst Mike Gottfried on a song for the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
The show will be videotaped, Martin says, so that he will have a memento.
"I really want to have it," he says. "Good gosh, it's been over 40 years since we played together, and I want to remember it. There will be lots of folks I haven't seen, and I want to get some shots of the crowd. It's a pretty big deal for me." Martin says ultimately he hopes to make the Princess a place where local and touring musicians will play regularly.
"There are so many good singers and pickers in that area, and it'd be nice to get together and jam."