AUGUSTA – The Maine Country Music Pioneer Show will celebrate its 19th year Sunday, March 28, in a program at Cony High School beginning at 1 p.m. The master of ceremonies will be D.J. McCoy.

Norm Poulin, originator of the show in 1986, said an entertainer must be involved in Maine country music for at least 25 years to be considered a Maine pioneer.

Pioneers who will be sharing the stage will be Ira Allen who will be traveling from Nashville to his native Maine to be part of the show.

It also will include Betty Cody, who came out of retirement in 2003 to perform at the show; Maine country legends Gene and Flo Hooper, with their daughter Sharlene Hooper; Bert Truman; Jackie King; Rone Wright; Vi Moody; Denny Breau; Cowboy and Cowboy’s Sweetheart; Rob Coffin; Fred (Tommy) Thompson; Don Cote; Carter Newell; Kevin James; Frank Coffin; Coastline (Charlie) Gilliam; Bob Elston and Marlene Carpenter; Ron Stanley; Jewell Clark; and Don Katlin and Ebb Lovely. The house band will be Frank Coffin and the Pioneer Band.

Each year, a future pioneer is introduced. This year it will be 9-year-old Brian Wardwell, who has been entertaining audiences since he was 5. His 16 awards so far include the North American Country Music Association’s New Country Entertainer; and the Down East Country Music Association’s Youth Country Recording, Youth Country Video and Traditional Male Vocalist awards. He’s also been named the Pine Tree State Country Music Association’s New Country Entertainer, New Country Vocalist, Traditional Country Entertainer of the Year, and Country Vocalist.

Wardwell’s first album has a song called “The Happiest Kid in Town,” where he sings about his sister Alyssa, who’s two years younger. The title track of the album, “The Opening Act”, was co-written by Brian with Jim Flynn of Lewiston and Juanita Graves of St. Albans.

Tickets for the Pioneer Show are available at All-Rite Accounting, Norway; The Musicians Choice, Augusta; Carroll’s Music Center, Lewiston; or by calling Poulin at (207) 547-3444 and leaving a message. Advance tickets are $12; they will be $14 at the door.

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