Country legend brings crowd to its feet during fundraiser for WSCC Foundation

Singer Con Hunley performs during a fundraiser for the Walters State Foundation Saturday night. For more photos and video, go online to www.citizentribune.com.

The blue-eyed crooner got the crowd to its feet Saturday night.

Con Hunley, country performer, came to put on a show at Walters State Community College Saturday night in the R. Jack Fishman Library and by the time the show concluded, everyone was on their feet.

“Encore!” they shouted. “Encore!”

He came up one last time to give the crowd what they wanted.

Hunley was in Morristown to help raise money for the Walters State Foundation, which assists students who may not normally be able to receive tuition assistance through traditional means.

Hunley played rock n’ rollers, bluesy standards and crooners, while at points becoming emotional and wiping tears from his eyes as he belted out sad songs.

He went through his list of hits from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, such as “Oh, Girl,” “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got” and “What’s New With You.”

Hunley, originally from Knoxville, told stories throughout the night, at one point, pointing toward former U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan, who was in the crowd.

He said years ago, he called Duncan, who is also from Knoxville, and asked Duncan to sing with him on stage. He said they would sing “You Are My Sunshine” and “Silver Wings.”

Hunley said Duncan called him a few weeks later and gave him a message.

“He said, ‘You created a monster,’” Hunley said.

For weeks, he said Duncan was practicing singing in his office every day.

Also, on hand for the event was Rusty Wallace, former NASCAR driver and owner of Rusty Wallace Toyota in Morristown and Rusty Wallace Ford in Dandridge.

Wallace came on stage and told the crowd how he had a long history with Morristown and the Lakeway Area, stretching back almost 30 years.

“We’ve been in Tennessee a long, long time,” he said.

He said he’s proud to be in East Tennessee and able to help a cause like Walters State Foundation.

“We love the community and we love giving back to the community,” Wallace said.

David Hayes, president of the Walters State Foundation and local real estate developer, also came on stage he thanked all of the sponsors and media sponsors for the event. He also made a vow to those in attendance.

“I promise I won’t sing,” he said.

Before Hunley even came on the stage, though, members of High Lonesome Senate, a bluegrass band based out of Walters State Community College, revved up the crowd as the opening act.

Chip McClain, vocalist and guitarist for the group, said he was excited about what would come after his band performed.

“I’m excited about Con Hunley,” he said. “I was a fan in my teens.”

Hunley did not disappoint

Also announced at the event was another surprise.

Hunley said all the proceeds he earned from the show Saturday would go straight to support the Walters State Foundation and half of the CD sales.