Country stars stage benefit concert after terrorist attacks

Saturday, October 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ One of three major concerts this weekend to support relief efforts for terrorist victims will be held in Nashville on Sunday.

Stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw, Hank Williams Jr., Martina McBride, Vince Gill, George Jones, Clint Black and Trisha Yearwood are on the bill of The Country Freedom Concert.

The Nashville show will be aired live on the Country Music Television cable station from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. CDT. The eight-hour United We Stand concert the same day in Washington _ featuring Michael Jackson, the Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey and others _ won't be aired live on television.

The Concert for New York City on Saturday night featured Paul McCartney, The Who, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger and others. VH1 was set to air it live.

The Nashville show began as a Sept. 11 e-mail by Russ Simons, who runs the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. He offered his venue for a benefit concert.

``I just knew, no matter how the day ended, Nashville's music community would respond,'' Simons told The Tennessean. ``I thought I could get everybody thinking about it.''

Tickets for the show range from $25 to $1000, the latter including a pre-show reception with some of the stars of the show. Money will also be raised through a toll-free telephone number for donations, 1-800-725-2769.

Proceeds will go to the Salvation Army for its Disaster Relief Fund. The fund has provided more than 2.5 million meals to rescue workers in Washington, New York and rural Pennsylvania. It is also providing financial help for families affected by the tragedies.

The show is sponsored by CMT and Clear Channel Entertainment. It will be distributed to more than 700 radio stations around the world, including Scotland, Greece and England.

Also on the bill are Earl Scruggs, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Lonestar, Lee Ann Womack and Sara Evans.

Travis Tritt and Toby Keith, who can't perform because of prior commitments, will participate via taped segments.

Tritt's segment shows him speaking with soldiers and their families at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia. Keith's was filmed at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.

``The TV screen cannot capture the magnitude of the devastation,'' Keith said. ``There is too much horror there to even be able to comprehend with your own eyes. ... The Salvation Army provides a bright light in New York City's darkest hours.''

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