SMETHPORT (EC) — Morgan Wallen, who appeared on Season 6 of the NBC reality talent show “The Voice” will headline the 2017 McKean County Fair with an 8 p. m. show on Aug. 18.
Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the fair office on the fairgrounds in East Smethport beginning July 10. Payment can be made by cash, check or money order.
A passionate singer, Wallen grew up in Appalachia. He moved to Nashville in July 2015, unsure of what he would find, but convinced that he should at least give his dreams a legitimate shot. Less than a year later, he’d already been signed to Big Loud Records, recorded some initial tracks with producer Joey Moi and hit the road on his first radio promotion tour.
Born in Tennessee, Wallen showed his musical interest early, singing in front of his church congregation at the age of 3 and asking for a violin for his 5th birthday. He would soon switch to piano and later add guitar, though he never really imagined it was possible to make a career of it.
“I didn’t think that was realistic because I had no clue about how the music business worked,” Wallen said. “Even living three hours away, I had no idea about Nashville.”
Instead, he focused on baseball, and he was pretty good at it. Playing shortstop and pitcher for Gibbs High School in Corryton, Kenny Chesney’s alma mater, Wallen earned an offer to continue playing at a major college.
But fate intervened. While pitching during his senior year, he felt a pop in his right elbow and would undergo a tendon replacement procedure. While he was able to continue playing guitar and piano, it proved to be the end of his baseball career.
“Looking back, I’m glad it happened that way because I really loved music more than I ever did baseball.” he noted.
The kind of music didn’t matter. Rock, hip-hop, country — he loved it all, particularly the emotional connection that it created between the musician and the listener. But when he wrote, the music was invariably country.
“Writing music was a way for me to get my feelings out,” he said. “I don’t really express my feelings very much, and I guess it was just a way for me to let some of that go. It’s my safe place.”