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CSO/CMA Country Music Profile

Van Zant
By Gary Voorhies

The Van Zant name has been linked to a rock 'n' roll legacy that spans more than 30 years.

Brothers Johnny and Donnie Van Zant have collectively sold more than 50 million albums. Johnny replaced his late, legendary brother Ronnie Van Zant as lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Donnie was one of the lead singers and rhythm guitarist for 38 Special.

After collaborating on two independent CDs as a duo, Van Zant recently signed with Columbia Records Nashville.

"People ask us if we've gone Country," Johnny said. "We ain't gone Country, we were born Country."

Donnie chimed in: "Our Dad was a truck driver for 35 years and Mom worked at Dunkin' Donuts, and at home, man, Country is what we listened to: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Mel Tillis."

The Jacksonville, Fla. duo teamed with producers Mark Wright and Joe Scaife to deliver Get Right With The Man, which hit stores on May 10. The single, "Help Somebody," was available exclusively at Wal-Mart beginning on March 22, followed by a March 29 national release. The brothers completed a radio tour in the spring.

"I hope people take a lot of journeys out of this record," Johnny said. "Each song is like a miniature movie to me, and I hope each person takes that ride and enjoys it like we did."


Who is your musical hero? 

DONNIE: "My older brother Ronnie Van Zant."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?

JOHNNY: "That I wrote great songs, and was a good family man and a good person."

What is your pet peeve?

DONNIE:  "People that half do their jobs, because anything worth doing should be done right."

On the Web: www.thevanzants.com; www.vanzantmusic.com
Van Zant is performing on Sunday night, June 12, at The Coliseum. Other performers on Sunday night include Diamond Rio, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich with Special Guest Appearance by Cowboy Troy and more! Gates open at 6:00 PM and concert begins at 7:00 PM.

Advance-purchase tickets for each nightly show at The Coliseum cost $30 plus applicable handling fees, and can be purchased through the CMA Music Festival Box Office at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, 501 Broadway, Nashville, Tenn., or toll-free at 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378). Tickets will also be available through Ticketmaster at (615) 255-9600, at www.ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket prices and artists appearing are subject to change.

Single concert tickets will also be sold during CMA Music Festival at The Coliseum ticket office beginning Thursday, June 9.

A limited amount of on-site pay parking ($8 per vehicle) will be available nightly at The Coliseum in Lots E and F, just across the Woodland Street Bridge. This parking is not available for pre-purchase. It is only available for purchase on-site on a first-come, first-serve basis after 5:00 PM on Thursday and Friday (June 9-10), and all-day Saturday and Sunday (June 11-12). Ample paid surface lots and parking garages are available in Downtown Nashville, conveniently accessible to The Coliseum via the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.
The single-night concert tickets are only good for performances at The Coliseum and do not include admittance to the Daily Concerts at Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages or the Wrangler® Fan Fair (Exhibit Hall). Single-day tickets to the Daily Concerts at Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages will only be available at the gate to Riverfront Park during the event for $14, with children 6 and younger admitted free. Admittance to the Wrangler® Fan Fair (Exhibit Hall) is included in four-day ticket packages only.

Four-day ticket packages are on sale now. Packages are divided into four categories, based on the level of reserved seating at The Coliseum (the Gold Circle and Floor Level ticket packages are already sold out). Four-day ticket packages include the Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum; Daily Concerts at Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages; daily admittance to the

Wrangler® Fan Fair (Exhibit Hall) featuring the Acoustic Corner; Bush's® Baked Beans Family Zone; Fun Zone; Sports Zone and performance stage; CMA Music Festival After HoursT; free in-town shuttles; the CMA Music Festival Program Book; CMA Music Festival pin; special discounts to area attractions, restaurants, shops and more.

Four-day ticket packages for CMA Music Festival are easy to purchase. Order over the phone by calling toll-free, 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378); visit www.CMAfest.com to download an order form to fax or mail; visit www.ticketmaster.com to buy online or charge-by-phone at (615) 255-9600. Prices do not include applicable handling fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable.

A limited number of four-day parking passes for The Coliseum are available by phone order only. Call toll-free 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378) to order. The price is $28 for cars; $60 for vans/shuttles; and $120 for RVs/motor coaches. Spaces are limited and no overnight parking is allowed. Free shuttles run all day between major Festival event locations.

For up-to-the-minute information about tickets, travel information, schedules, artists appearing and more, visit www.CMAfest.com and sign up for e-news or purchase official CMA Music Festival merchandise.

2005 CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. CMA Board member Tony Conway is the Executive Producer of CMA Music Festival. MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, is the official radio broadcaster. Chevy, An American Revolution, is the official automotive partner of the CMA Music Festival. Promotional partners include Bush's® Baked Beans, Camping World®, CremeSavers® candies, Coca-Cola®, Crisco®, Greased Lightning®, NBC Daytime and Wrangler®. Fan Fair is a registered trademark of CMA.

® 2005 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.


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