Country music legend Mark Chesnutt to headline Gulf Coast Gala

Country music legend and Southeast Texas native Mark Chesnutt will headline the 15th annual Gulf Coast Gala at Lamar State College Port Arthur.
“An Intimate Evening with Mark Chesnutt” will feature an all-acoustic performance of the Beaumont native’s greatest hits. The performance takes place Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center on the campus of LSCPA, 1800 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur.
The black-tie or business attire event includes a formal meal preceding the night’s entertainment and, as always, proceeds benefit the College and the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
Chesnutt is considered one of country music’s true musical treasures with critics hailing him as a classic country singer of the highest order.
“The Gulf Coast Gala is always a great night of entertainment each spring but to have a legend of country music like Mark Chesnutt is particularly exciting,” LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard said. “Mark’s impact on the world of music is huge and we’re fortunate to be able to experience his style and talent in person.”
Chesnutt has 14 No. 1 hits, 23 top 10 singles, four platinum albums and five gold records to his credit.
In a creative forum that sometimes confuses style with substance, Chesnutt possesses both. Remaining true to himself as a traditional country artist while keeping the pace with the ever-changing country recording landscape, he has a knack for picking great songs, delivering them with world - class style and a heart-felt emotion.
“Mark Chesnutt gave honky-tonk music back its soul,” noted music critic Robert K. Oermann. “When Chesnutt appeared on an arid musical landscape back in 1990, I dubbed him the hillbilly messiah.” Oermann stated, “I still feel that way today and I’ll feel that way decades from now.”
Now, some 20-odd years later, Chesnutt marches on to preserve and honor the splendid works of the sculpturing forefathers, George Jones and Waylon Jennings, to bring music from the honky tonks right back to where country music began.
Chesnutt got his start in the honky-tonks of Beaumont, learning from his father, Bob Chesnutt, a singer, record collector and major fan of classic country music. Playing alongside his dad, Mark embraced his father’s influence one set at a time and began making a name for himself. Mark sang covers by Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, Jones and Jennings to develop his unmatched crowd-pleasing rapport and his authentic country style.
In 1989, Mark was signed to MCA Nashville and his list of accolades tells the rest of his story. With the release of his first single “Too Cold At Home,” Mark established himself as one of country’s most authentic and talented vocalists. He won the CMA Horizon Award attracting the attention of country legend [and Mark’s greatest mentor] George Jones who introduced him as “A boy from Beaumont, Texas, who is the real deal.”
That recognition and initial success opened the door to offer Mark his chance of a lifetime, to do what he loved most — sing country music for country fans, this time, on a national level.
“The first couple of years it was non-stop.” Mark said. “I can remember one time during a tour, I didn’t step foot on the front porch for 10 months, with exception of a day or a day-and-a- half, then, it was right back out again.”
Mark’s dedication paid off. His fans helped his records climb the charts one right after the other, making him one of Billboard’s 10 Most-Played Radio Artists of the 1990s.
Mark is easily identified for his string of hits including “Brother Jukebox,” “Blame It On Texas,” “Old Flames Have New Names,” “Old Country,” “It Sure Is Monday,” “Almost Goodbye,” “I Just Wanted You To Know,” “Going Through The Big D,” “It’s A Little Too Late,”  and “Gonna Get A Life.” One of his biggest, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” held its position at the top of the charts for four consecutive weeks.
Married since 1992, Mark and Tracie Chesnutt are the parents of three boys, Waylon, Casey and Cameron.
Tickets, tables available
Various levels of sponsorships are available to help the efforts of the college with individual tickets and tables available for purchase. For sponsorships, tickets or information, call (409) 999-6281.
The first gala was developed in 2004 to benefit cultural and visual arts at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, and to provide support for scholarships as well as campus and community programs.

Photo courtesy of Lamar State College Port Arthur