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Big & Rich to headline Round-Up & Happy Canyon Concert

PENDLETON, Ore. – The award-winning country duo Big & Rich will be the main act of the Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon concert on Sept. 6. Named new country duo of 2004 by Billboard magazine, Big Kenny and John Rich have been packing houses and producing hits for the decade that followed. Tickets will go on sale March 27.

“Big & Rich continues our tradition of bringing excellent artists to perform in Pendleton,” Round-Up President Tim Hawkins said. “The energy they bring to the stage will be a great way to kick-off Round-Up Week, 2014. Tickets are sure to go fast for this duo, and all the other events that come the second full week of September.”

Happy Canyon President Jason Hill agrees.

“Our group has worked hard to try and bring some top flight talent in for this show, and this year is no exception,” Hill said. “I’m excited for this concert and I know Round-Up and Happy Canyon directors hope fans across the region feel the same way.”

Big Kenny and John Rich have made their marks in country music as singers and songwriters. Perhaps best known for their hit “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” the duo has influenced country music not just with their own hits, but with those recorded by other artists.

Their first studio album, “Horse of a Different Color,” produced four straight Top 40 country hits, plus collaborative efforts with stars including Martina McBride. Prior to that John Rich was a founding member of Lonestar. In addition, both Big Kenny and Rich have had solo careers. In 2005, with the release of “Comin’ to Your City,” Big & Rich added three more Top 40 hits to their credit, including the top-20 single “8th of November,” which was inspired by the Vietnam War.

Their third album, “Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace,” brought the release of the duo’s first number-one single, “Lost in This Moment.” After it was released in 2007, the two took a hiatus from performing as a two-man act and released solo albums in 2009. During that time they each produced Top 40 solo entries.

Big & Rich reunited in 2011, releasing the single “Fake ID” from the soundtrack of the movie “Footloose.” They followed with “Hillbilly Jedi,” their fourth album, released in 2012, and watched “That’s Why I Pray” climb into the Top 20. Their fifth album, “Gravity,” will be released this year. Its lead single, “Look at You,” was released in January.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale Thursday, March 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon office at 1114 SW Court Ave. Tickets will also be available for purchase online and by telephone at 541-276-2553 or 800-457-6336.


Double-barreled twin bill set for Round-Up & Happy Canyon concert

PENDLETON — The 2012 Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Concert won’t feature the normal opener and headliner format. Instead, two award-winning country artists will take the stage. Jake Owen, 2009′s Top New Male Recording Artist for the Academy of Country Music, and Lonestar, on a reunion tour with original lead singer Richie McDonald, will have equal billing at the event in Happy Canyon Arena on Sept. 8.

Both the Round-Up Association and the Happy Canyon Company are excited about the two headliners.

“It is nice to be able to bring a couple of great concert acts in to Pendleton this September,” Happy Canyon President Bob Rosselle said. “The Round-Up and Happy Canyon boards are very excited to bring in the caliber of a 20-year award-winning legend in Lonestar with their lead singer back on board and a chart-topping up-and-comer like Jake Owen. These bands are sure to please all that can attend. We look forward to providing a great event to start off our wild week.”

“Once again Happy Canyon and the Pendleton Round-Up Association are bringing two of the best country acts in the country to Pendleton,” Round-Up President Dennis Hunt said. “We hope the community will come out and support us.”

Lonestar is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a reunion tour that marks the return of original lead vocalist Richie McDowell. Also as part of the reunion, the band will be recording a new album together. If their earlier recordings are any sign, that new release will be a big hit.

Lonestar has produced 10 number-one singles including “Amazed,” “No News” and “What About Now.” In addition, a total of 27 of their singles have made an appearance on the country charts. The group has sold 10 million albums and wowed audiences around the world. If that’s not enough, Lonestar proved they sing for more than just country music fans. “Amazed” reached number one on both the country charts and the Billboard Hot 100. As a matter of fact, they are the first country band to reach the top spot on both the Hot Country and Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Bred in Texas, Lonestar has enjoyed multiple platinum albums and won numerous awards.

“Five years has come and gone since I left Lonestar,” McDonald said of the reunion. “We’ve all tried other avenues and the fact remains that some things were just meant to be. I miss those crazy nights running around on stage making music with my band of brothers.”

McDonald will be running around on stage in Pendleton with that band of brothers — keyboardist Dean Sams, drummer, Keech Rainwater and lead guitarist Michael Britt. The band has issued a joint statement saying the members are excited to celebrate their 20th anniversary, open a new chapter and record a new album.

Jake Owen became a star so quickly that he says he didn’t have time to memorize any country music rule book — which made it easier to toss it out the window. When he was on the Florida State University golf team he severely injured his shoulder. During his recuperation, he decided to learn to play guitar. He enjoyed success with “Startin’ with Me,” “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” and “Eight Second Ride.” He was nominated for Grammy and Country Music Academy awards for his revival of “Live in a Northern Town” with Sugarland and Little Big Town.

Now he’s rewriting the rule book with “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” The title track from that album has already hit number one on the charts. In the past he depended on his own songwriting, but with his new album he went out to find songs from other composers.

“I got to pick songs from this amazing community of writers, and I’d never done that before,” he said. “I’d written everything because I felt like that was expected of me. On this record, I wanted to include the incredibly talented writers in this town.”

From singing in country bars in Florida in 2005, Owen has come a long way. That doesn’t mean he’s about to rest on his laurels, however.

“If you want to get better at your craft, you have to push yourself, take risks and try something different,” he said. “In order to grow and not be complacent, you have to open your mind, expand your horizons and be grateful.”

Tickets for the Round-Up and Happy Canyon Concert will go on sale May 15 at 8:30 a.m. They will be available at the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon office and online at www.ticketmaster.com. The concert kicks off a week of activities that, in addition to the world-famous rodeo and Happy Canyon Night Show, include parades, a street fair and the two-day U.S. Bank/Pendleton PBR Classic.

Rosselle named Happy Canyon president

PENDLETON — Bob Rosselle is the new president of the Happy Canyon Company. He was voted into office Tuesday evening at the annual stockholders meeting. Rick Baltzor was elected as director, filling the chair occupied by retiring director Chris Cockburn.

“I am very honored to lead an extremely strong board of directors and am excited for the opportunities that will be presented to Happy Canyon in the future,” Rosselle said. “Happy Canyon is a special event to our community’s history and I am proud to play a part.”

Rosselle’s family has been playing a part in Happy Canyon for decades. He is a third-generation director and president, with both his father Jim Duff and grandfather Jack Duff being elected president of the organization.

This is Rosselle’s 28th year as a volunteer for Happy Canyon. In addition to working behind the scenes and in the show, he has also labored for concert and the Pendleton PBR Classic. His first two years on the board he was Indian and court director. For the last six years, he has been the livestock director.

The whole Rosselle family is involved in the show. His wife Teri is also a third-generation cast member. Rosselle’s daughter Macy, 9 , and his son Michael, 4, have appeared in Happy Canyon since they were born.

Rosselle and his wife own and operate his family’s century farm east of Pendleton. Teri Rosselle is also a nurse practitioner at Pediatric Specialists of Pendleton. He has also served on the Northwest Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals board of directors and the Umatilla County Soil and Water Conservation District board of directors. He is currently a member of the Pendleton School District 16R board.


Baltzor will be the director in charge of the grounds at Happy Canyon. Born in Caldwell, Idaho, Baltzor was raised on a cattle ranch in Jordan Valley. He’s lived in Pendleton for 31 years and works for the city of Pendleton’s water department.

He began volunteering for Happy Canyon about 20 years ago. He first was a bartender and then began working with the stage and set-up for the pageant. He’s also helped with arena repairs as well as replacing and removing the topsoil for the PBR Classic.

Other directors and their 2012 duties are Kevin Porter, vice president and security director; Jason Hill, show director; Michael Corey, director; Randy Perkins, livestock director; Jerrod Spriet, secretary-treasurer; Ryan DeGrofft, games director; Harper Jones, properties; Corey Neistadt, tickets and ushers; Kelsy Garton, Indian director; and Tanner Hawkins, bar director.

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