It's ladies first as superstars gear up for Tullyglass show

IT'S all systems go for a feast of top-flight music when the Grand Ladies of Country come together for what promises to be a sell-out show in Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena, on Wednesday, March 3.

Indeed, in what is a rare musical treat, an elite United States female ‘invasion’ that includes Billie Jo Speers, Stella Parton, Georgette Jones and Leona Williams will link up with Ireland’s Queen of Country Philomena Begley for a five-star extravaganza.

This being the case, it’s no great surprise that there is already huge interest in the show. The US superstars have, of course, appeared in this country before and made a special request this time round to be afforded the opportunity to entertain Ulster audiences.

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“They were knocked out by the reception they received in the north both as individuals and collectively on previous shows hence their enthusiasm for performing here again,” explains James McGarrity, spokesman for promoters JW Promotions.

Billie Joe Spears has been performing since the 70s and has enjoyed a string of massive hits including ‘57 Chevrolet’ and ‘Blanket on the Ground’ while Stella Parton, sister of Dolly, is basking in the huge success emanating from her new CD ‘Testimony’ from which she will be performing tracks at the show.

And in recent years Leona Williams has enhanced her already considerable reputation by recording duets with several top-ranked artistes including George Jones, Jimmy Martin, Floyd Tillman, Justin Trevino, Johnny Bush and Joe Paul Nichols. Having received six encores on the last night of her Irish tour in 2004 she now returns and is destined to create an even bigger impact.

Georgette Jones, currently appearing in tandem with Nathan Carter and his new band at venues throughout Ireland, will also be on the Tullyglass House Hotel bill. Daughter of the legendary George Jones and Tammy Wynette and better known as the ‘Princess of Country’, the vivacious Georgette will bring her own personal charm to the Tullyglass stage.

Philomena Begley has been at the core of the Irish country music scene for 45 years and is still as popular as ever. She rightly revels in her ‘Queen of Country’ title and her many successful albums testify to her distinctve singing style.

With such a distinguished line-up and the presence of a top-class backing band featuring vastly experienced musicians, this Tullyglass House Hotel prestige show looks destined to be a huge success from every viewpoint.


The Coleraine Times has a pair of tickets to the Grand Ladies of Country to give away.

To enter, simply send your answer to the following question, along with your name, address and telephone number to Grand Ladies of Country competition, Ballymena and Antrim Times, 22-24 Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, BT43 6AL.

Q. Name one of the artists appearing on the Grand Ladies of Country show.

Normal Morton Newspapers competition rules apply. Closing date is Tuesday, March 23.