The hit-making duo Montgomery Gentry, which once filmed the video for its signature song “My Town” in downtown Lexington and surrounding areas, is one of four lifetime achievement award recipients from the Lexington Music Awards.
They are joined by local guitar and harmonica master Ronn Crowder, former UK choirs director Sara Holroyd, and Lexington’s leading bluesman, Tee Dee Young.
The honors will be given at the Fourth Annual Lexington Music Awards, at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.
For Montgomery Gentry, the honor comes just a few months after the tragic death of Troy Gentry in a New Jersey helicopter crash and the weekend before the release of the duo’s final album together, “Here’s to You.” It’s scheduled for release Feb. 2. Gentry and Eddie Montgomery started playing together in various acts in the 1990s and formed as Montgomery Gentry in 1999, with the debut single “Hillbilly Shoes.” They won the 2000 Academy of Country Music Award for top new vocal duo or group, and the Country Music Association award for vocal duo of the year, and they went on to chart more than 20 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including No. 1s “Lucky Man” and “Back When I Knew it All.” Montgomery Gentry was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009 and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
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Gentry and Montgomery completed their final duo album before Gentry’s death, and Montgomery has said he will continue as a solo act under the Montgomery Gentry name. Lexington Music Awards founder David McLean said he doesn’t know whether Montgomery will attend the ceremony.
Ronn Crowder. Memphis-born Crowder is a familiar face to Lexington-area music fans, who have seen him as a solo artist, a band member and part of the popular LexJam concerts. He enjoyed a career as a session musician in Memphis into the early 1980s and has several albums to his credit, including “Harp Country” (1998) and “Memphis Town” (2011).
Sara Holroyd. Alabama-born Holroyd taught at the University of Kentucky for 26 years and was director of choral activities, inspiring students who are devoted to her to this day. A group of her former students formed the concert and touring choir the Sara Holroyd Singers in 2015. After retiring from UK in 1987, she studied to become a registered nurse and worked at St. Joseph Hospital until 1993, and she continued volunteer work in the emergency department after that.
Tee Dee Young. The owner of Tee Dee’s Lounge on Second Street, Young is pretty much synonymous with the blues in Lexington. Young already has won the Lexington Music Award for best blues artist all three years of the event’s existence, and he’s up for the award again. At 14, he formed his first band, which played anywhere that would have it. He went on to play legendary venues including the Cotton Club and B.B. King’s and with artists including Albert King, James Brown and Aretha Franklin.