Tribute to country legend Byron Jones

‘It’s gonna be a big show’

Leland Jones Country Pickin’ band, above, is hosting a large-scale tribute show to his late brother, Byron Jones, inset, who died in 2016, this Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Farris Theatre. More than 25 musicians and entertainers have already signed up to perform in the tribute, many of whom played with Byron during his more than 50 years of performing in Richmond and Kansas City. Byron owned the Farris Theatre for several decades. (Left photo by Sara Seidel/Richmond News. Inset photo courtesy of Carole and Leland Jones)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

The two men had played together as musicians for more than 50 years, but they had been brothers for 77 years. When country singer Leland Jones speaks about his late brother Byron, his eyes sparkle with the love that only brothers have for each other, coupled with a lot of respect for his brother’s musical talent.

Byron Jones died March 20, 2016, at the age of 82, but his music and his legacy as the “King of Kansas City Country Music” lives on in the memories of his family, his fellow musicians and the public who loved his old country style.

This Sunday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m., the Farris Theatre, which Byron had once owned and where he performed, will open its doors for a tribute show dedicated to Byron and produced by Leland and Carole Jones.

“I invited anyone that ever played with Byron since 1964,” Leland said. “Country bands and bluegrass bands that played at the Farris with Byron – many have passed on, but there are still a few of us around.”

Two of the bands in particular are the Sho-Me Bluegrass Boys and The Green Side Up. Some of the members of both bands will be at the tribute show.

“We’ve got four to five each of keyboard players, bass, lead guitar, steel guitar and drummers,” Leland said. “They won’t all be on stage at the same time, we’ll alternate.”

Leland said he doesn’t know exactly how many musicians and singers will be at the show because he expects some to simply show up on Sunday. Somewhere between 25 and 30 have already contacted him to say they’d be there.

“Everyone will want to say something about Byron,” Leland said. “Right now, each performer will likely perform one song apiece – it depends on how many performers arrive.”

Former 61 Country radio personality David Bryan will emcee the event. Bryan, now a real estate agent in the Kansas City area, was Byron’s emcee for years.

The complete story is in the Friday, October 6, 2017 Richmond News.

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