In October of last year, beloved Marietta native Billy Joe Royal passed away at his home in North Carolina at the age of 73.
This Saturday, January 30, The Strand will be hosting a concert to pay tribute to the life and music of Billy Joe Royal. His band The Rockets will be traveling to Marietta from Nashville to participate in this event, and his friends and family will be in attendance to tell stories about Royal and his life both in and out of the music scene.
Royal got his break when Zimmerman, previous owner of The Strand, risked opening the theatre for a Saturday night rock-and-roll show at 11:30 PM. Many patrons of The Strand still remember seeing Royal in concert at the theatre when he was still in high school with his band The Corvettes.
Royal found national success with several Top 40 hits in the 60s – songs like “Down in the Boondocks,” “Cherry Hill Park,” and “I Knew You When.” He went on to forge a successful country music career in the 1980s. In 1988, Royal was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
When a star shines brightly nobody is more proud than their home town, and Marietta is no exception. When Royal played at the first Strand New Year’s Eve concert in 2008, the citizens of Marietta came out in droves to see their favorite son ring in the new era of their favorite theatre, and when he played his farewell concert at the theatre in 2010 they came out again to see his career come full circle.
Even after his success in California and later in Nashville, Royal still held a soft spot in his heart for his home town. “Everybody knew everybody, and everybody liked everybody,” he said in a 2010 Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview. “It was the greatest place to grow up in the world. All we ever did was laugh.”
Tickets for this event are $25 and assigned seating. Each patron will receive a Billy Joe Royal CD with their ticket.
To purchase tickets visit www.EarlSmithStrand.org or call the Box Office at 770-293-0080 or 117 North Park Square, Marietta, 30060. Box Office hours are from 11AM-6PM, Monday through Friday, and 9AM-1PM on Saturdays. The Box Office opens two hours before showtime.