Several months ago the historic Mars Theatre in Springfield opened its doors to screen movies every weekend, but now, after a long pandemic, they are finally bringing live music back to its stage, as well. After canceling all of their 2020 shows, the Mars Theatre has booked three crowd-pleasing shows for the Fall.

“It feels good,” said Allison Newberry, Director of the Mars Theatre. “And I think the people are ready for it.”

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To kick off the season, Mars Theatre will host The Grand Tour: A Night of Classic Country Music, led by Canadian country singer Gil Grand.

Grand is an eight-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) nominee and CCMA “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Record Producer of the Year” winner. His debut album on Sony Records’ Monument imprint, “Famous First Words,” produced a number one single along with several top ten hits. Grand followed up with two more award winning albums, “Burning” and “Somebody’s Someone.”

Gil Grand

Grand’s publishing company also earned a Grammy for “God and my Girlfriends” recorded by Reba McEntire.

With his Country music bonafides and decades of experience Grand has put together an entertaining show featuring talented musicians, authentic country wardrobe, and a stack of hits by George Jones, Ray Price, Kenny Loggins, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and, especially, Conway Twitty.

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“I started off doing the ‘One Night with Conway’ series of shows,” said Grand. “It primarily started off in Canada where I’m from. I didn’t know if it would do well or if anything like that would even work, but I was such a big Conway Twitty fan, and I had, myself as an artist, my own music for 25 years.

“I was at a point where radio stopped playing my music and things were slowing down, so I wanted to do something different. Conway had always been my favorite singer and I thought would try to do an entire Conway show and at the very least have a lot of fun doing it.”

Conway Twitty wows the fans during the MCA Records show at the Municipal Auditorium for Fan Fair June 6, 1979.

The show became a huge success in Canada, so Grand moved back to Nashville where he hoped to continue the tour. When COVID struck and the tour was canceled, Grand fine-tuned the show to include other Country greats.

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“I knew there was a market for people who still want to hear traditional and classic music like this,” said Grand. “Half of the show is still a Conway kind-of-tribute show, but I thought, what about all the people that love George Jones and Buck Owens, and stuff like that?”